10 Best of 2010

While I may not have read as much as I wanted to in 2010, I definitely read more than ten great books. Here are the top ten that I read in 2010, many of which were published prior to this year. In no particular order...

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell- My husband had been pestering me to read this ever since he finished a few years ago and I could kick myself for putting it off for so long. Amazing writing that ties several different narratives together, this book is a what it means to be "well-crafted". We also went to one of his readings this summer- Mitchell is as humble as he is brilliant.

Super Sad True Love Story
by Gary Shteyngart- I love Shteyngart, but he is definitely not for everyone. His narrators aren't always completely likable and the social commentary that he provides may be too accurate for some. Personally, I think he's amusing, a great writer, and, in this text, forces you to think about what the near future will be like.

One Best Hike: Half Dome
by Rick Deutsch- I hiked Half Dome in Yosemite with my brother this year and this guide was an outstanding resource. It provided information for pre-hike necessities and for every point along the way.

Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones- I really loved this novel- so much of it was about the act and importance of reading, and what literacy means to different people. For those that love Dickens' Great Expectations you will appreciate the tie in to this classic. It's set on a tropical island that has been completely cut off from the world, until the only white man there start reading to the children. It's a little explicit at times, as far as violence and sex, but the uncheesy sentimentality behind it is well done.

Solar by Ian McEwan- I agree with some critics that say this isn't his best novel, but I actually really enjoyed it. McEwan's writing is still up to par and I really appreciated his take on global warming, the environment, and the overall message that the world needs to invest in clean energy. Just make sure you go into this book accepting that you're not always supposed to like main characters.

Big Machine by Victor Luvalle- I generally stay away from science fiction, but this book was outstanding. Luvalle's narrative voice has a life of its own and his combination of philosophy, psychology, and straight up crazy is fantastic.

Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell- If you need a book for a plane trip or to read by the pool in a few months this is perfect. Witty and hilarious, it's a quick read about an ex-mobster turned doctor.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy- If I had to put my top ten in order, this text would be near the top. McCarthy's ability to say so much, so simply is a true art form. This book is dark, depressing, and exhausting (obviously, since it's about a man and his son trying to survive after some sort of unnamed nuclear holocaust).

Campbell Biology by various authors- I'm not suggesting you necessarily read this, but since it's my favorite books of 2010 I had to include it. I read the stupid text cover to cover (over a thousand pages) to prepare for the biology CSET, which I passed. I'm hoping this credential helps save my job next year, plus I actually love cells, ecology, and the human body.

Midnight's Children
by Salman Rushdie- I confess, I'm not quite done with it, but I know it would make the list. Magical realism, coming of age, and politics in India- what's not to love?

Runners Up: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, The Irresistible Henry House, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, By Nightfall, and The Long Run.

Don't Waste Your Time: Tell All, In the Kitchen, Fun with Problems or The Nanny Returns.

What books did you love in 2010?


  1. Hi! Thank you for coming to my blog :) I don't know how you found it - but I love your blog name! :)

    Y'know, I haven't read any of these books. These are definitely going on my list. Must read more good stuff in the New Year. Happy NY! :)

  2. WOW!! All of those books look amazing! Thanks for the list because I am always looking for good reads but too lazy to research them ha!! So about the salad....it is from La Sirena Grill in Dana Point. How about during the summer we go get it together?!?!

  3. @bakingnbooks- I found your blog after you made a comment on someone else's and got excited by your name, too. Baking and books? Love it.

    @Hungry Runner Girl- Thanks! Summer sounds great, I'd love to get together over some good food. Good luck in Boston, by the way! Not to long to go.

  4. Thanks for the list - I am looking for a few good books. I am currently reading Midnight's Children - not loving it. books I did enjoy include City of Thieves, The Indian Marriage Bureau for Rich People, and Let the Great World Spin. I suggest the last book for EVERYONE - fantastic writing.

  5. I have that book on my shelf right now. His novel "Dancer" looks good too. How far are you in Midnight's Children? It took me a little while to get into it, but I'm a sucker for magical realism. I love the fact that there's a Padma in his story and he ends up marrying (and divorcing) a Padma years later... there's some life imitating art for you!