Books I Read: Favorites of 2010

I know it's a bit late, but here are some of my favorite books I read last year. A few I've talked about before. Those have just a brief summary and a link to my original post on the topic, but there are a couple here outside my regular genre(s) that I wanted to point out.

Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
Mark Haddon, 2003, Mystery/Literary
An autistic teenager investigates the death of the neighbor's dog and ends up learning secrets about his parents he was never meant to know. Read more...

Million Dollar Baby: Stories from the Corner
F.X. Toole, 2000, Short Stories
A collection of stories drawn from the author's experiences in the world of boxing. Now I don't like boxing, and I don't normally like short stories, but I really enjoyed this book. The trainers and fighters in this book are smart, showing that boxing isn't just about hitting the other guy until one of you drops. It's about strategy, timing, knowing where and when to do the most damage. As Toole put it, "Boxing is like chess with pain."



Hunger Games
Suzanne Collins, 2008, YA Science Fiction
Do I really need to talk about this book more? It's awesome. Worth all the hype (the two sequels are pretty good too). Read more...

Mistborn trilogy
Brandon Sanderson, 2006-8, Fantasy
In a world where the nobility exhibit super powers just by ingesting metal, a small band of thieves sets out to do the impossible: start a revolution among the commoners, and overthrow the immortal tyrant known as the Lord Ruler. Read more...

Itchy Brown Girl Seeks Employment
Ella deCastro Baron, 2009, Memoir
A collection of stories, poems, and essays that serve as an ironic resume of experiences one wouldn't normally tell a potential employer. Ella is a first generation Filipina American who writes about her struggles with faith, prejudice, eczema, death, miracles, and more. I'm biased, as Ella is a good friend of mine, but there is a lot here to make you laugh and to make you think. I was most moved by the story of her friend Emilia who died of cancer, and Ella's struggle to trust a God that didn't answer our (because I was there too) repeated prayers for her to be healed.

 So tell me, what were your favorite reads of 2010?

6 comments:

Emmet said...

I'd say 'Far From the Madding Crowd' by Thomas Hardy was the one I read and was wondering why I never read it before and ended up recommending the most. There were a handful of theology books that were pretty good (won't bother you with the titles). The Myst Born trilogy were fun and the most creative, but for some reason they were never able to maintain the awesome trajectory that was set by the first book.

I turned a lot of pages this year, and enjoyed most of them, but there wasn't a lot that went straight to the top of my favorites list. I am reading 'Never Let Me Go' and "Le Miserables' right now, I can imagine either or both of them placing high on the list next year.

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

How did Mistborn escape my TBR pile? Well, that's fixed now.

Hunger Games and Leviathan/Behemoth top my list, but I also really enjoyed The Hunchback Assignments, a story about a young shape-shifting quasimodo character in a steampunk era...as a spy. It was a great example of a compelling character driving an entire book.

One of my resolutions is to read more this year. No really, I mean it this time.

Dibakar Sarkar said...

I am enriched coming to this blog once again...

Matthew Rush said...

Interesting! I always love to discover books that others liked.

I really enjoyed Ship Breaker, by Paolo Bacigalupi, and No Country for Old Men, by Cormac McCarthy.

Adam Heine said...

@Emmet: I know we disagree on the Mistborn thing. I thought the way it ended was the only way it could have. To me, it was perfect.

@Susan: Leviathan is definitely a contender for my 2011 list. We'll see.

@Dibarkar & @Matthew: It makes me happy that folks like these posts. I sometimes wonder if I should do them, seeing as how they're only my opinion. Then again, we are book people. This is what we do :-)

Iliadfan said...

"Folks" LOVE these posts. :) I read about two books a week on average, and probably half of them come from recommendations on blogs.

But I picked up The Magicians (Lev Grossman) at a bookstore going out of business, and it rocked. Usually stories written about adults crossing from our world into another are time travel stories, but this wasn't.

But that was this month, come to think of it. Read a lot of great books last year (Hunger Games, White Cat, An Abundance of Katherines, etc) but top of my list has to be The Ghost Brigades. It tore me up. Old Man's War was good, but Ghost Brigades had me crying all day at work, and I immediately went back and read it again, hoping it didn't end the way I thought it had. Which doesn't sound like much of a selling point, but there you have it. John Scalzi's brilliant.

And now I'm going to read Mark Haddon's book on your recommendation...