Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Reading List

I read 75 books this year.  My favorites were The Lovely Bones, The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing, People of the Book. The Lace Reader, Shadowland, The Likeness and Sarah's Key.


The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold.  This book is not really a thriller but does have some of the suspense that murder mysteries contain.  The book is well written.  The author manages to take a disturbing subject and make it, in the end, healing.

The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Banks.  This novel is about  the working-girl heroine, Jane Rosenal.  This is a coming of age book about awkward Jane that skips to various points in her life.  For me, this book is best described as Catcher in the Rye meets Bridget Jones's Diary.

People of the book by Geraldine Brooks.  This novel is about a book manuscript conservator Hanna Heath is hired to work on.  This religious manuscript, the Sarajevo Haggadah, is 500 years old.  The novel covers both Hanna's 20th century restoration and the history of the book itself as Hanna discovers a series of tiny artifacts in the codex.  This novel is very well done and this Pulitzer Prize winning author does not disappoint.

The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry.  Set in Salem, Massachusetts, The Lace Reader takes full advantage of the witch trial history of the locale.  This novel grabbed my attention at the beginning and held it throughout.
"There is lace in every living thing: the bare branches of winter, the patterns of clouds, the surface of water as it ripples int he breeze.... Even a wild dog's matted fur shows a lacy pattern if you look at it closely enough."

The Likeness by Tana French.  Detective Cassie Maddox goes undercover to solve the murder of a post-grad in this murder mystery with a unique twist.  This was a hard-to-put-down book!

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay.  This well-paced novel alternated between Julia Jarmond's modern-day story and Sarah's 1942 situation.  It is also story of family secrets.  I found the novel to be moving and well-written.  In some ways it reminded me of Suite Francaise.

This year I also have a few new categories.

Worst book
  • Amarcord: Marcella Remembers by Marcella Hazan.  I have no idea why I felt compelled to finish this book.  OK, I do.  My mother loaned the book to me.  The first section of this book was very interesting. I enjoyed reading about Marcella's journey from Egypt to Milan and reading about her time at Lake Garda during World War II. She has some very interesting stories to share, especially the one about the skeleton.

    The last 2/3 of the book involved a lot of self serving name dropping and that was considerably less enjoyable. The book became a slog to read. The low point was when she devoted an entire chapter to a child-like criticism of famed food editor Judith Jones.
Biggest Train Wreck

Have you ever seen a horror movie that was so bad that it was funny?
  • Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession by Julie Powell.  The book was poorly written and the author's behavior so abhorrent that I wonder why she put it in writing.  Who would want to commemorate that?!  Throughout the book, I kept on thinking to myself, "She knows her mother's going to read this, right?" This book has become a family joke.  Oh look!  Cleaving is now available in paperback!
Most Disappointing
  • The Postmistress by Sarah Blake.  Simply put, I wanted to love this book and I did not.   The premise of the book was good but the characters did not develop and the book lacked heart.  It was a slog.
Most Saccarhine
  • Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah.  I picked this up after reading and enjoying Magic Hour.  This book was like reading a Lifetime movie.  If there was a cliche to be had, it was employed and every song, food, fad of the 1970's was referenced.

The list
  1. Unaccustomed Earth: Stories by Jhumpa Lahiri
  2. The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani
  3. Amarcord: Marcella Remembers by Marcella Hazan
  4. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
  5. The Madonnas of Leningrad by Debra Dean
  6. Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella
  7. Names My Sisters Call Me by Megan Crane
  8. The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted: And Other Small Acts of Liberation by Elizabeth Berg
  9. The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank
  10. Twilight (Twilight #1) by Stephenie Meyer
  11. New Moon (Twilight #2) by Stephenie Meyer
  12. Eclipse (Twilight, 3) by Stephenie Meyer
  13. Breaking Dawn (Twilight #4) by Stephenie Meyer
  14. Cause Celeb by Helen Fielding
  15. We Are All Fine Here by Mary Guterson
  16. Nanny Returns by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
  17. Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession by Julie Powell
  18. Look Again by Lisa Scottoline
  19. The Senator's Wife by Sue Miller
  20. East of the Sun by Julia Gregson
  21. Dedication by Emma McLaughlin
  22. Shanghai Girls by Lisa See
  23. Citizen Girl by Emma McLaughlin
  24. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  25. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweetby Jamie Ford
  26. Brooklyn    Colm Toibin
  27. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
  28. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
  29. The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry
  30. The Map of True Places by Brunonia Barry
  31. In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick
  32. Airhead (Airhead #1) by Meg Cabot
  33. Being Nikki (Airhead #2) by Meg Cabot
  34. The Postmistress by Sarah Blake
  35. Coventry by Helen Humphreys
  36. The Clique (The Clique #1) by Lisi Harrison
  37. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
  38. Runaway (Airhead #3) by Meg Cabot
  39. Best Friends for Never (The Clique #2) by Lisi Harrison
  40. Jinx by Meg Cabot
  41. Insatiable by Meg Cabot
  42. My Fair Lazy: One Reality Television Addict's Attempt to Discover If Not Being A Dumb Ass Is the New Black; Or, A Culture-Up Manifesto by Jen Lancaster
  43. Shadowland (The Mediator #1) by Meg Cabot
  44. A Desirable Residence by Madeleine Wickham
  45. Revenge of the Wannabes (The Clique #3) by Lisi Harrison
  46. I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti by Giulia Melucci
  47. Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate #1) by Gail Carriger
  48. Changeless (The Parasol Protectorate #2) by Gail Carriger
  49. Invasion of the Boy Snatchers (The Clique #4) by Lisi Harrison
  50. Ninth Key (The Mediator #2) by Meg Cabot
  51. Me & Emma by Elizabeth Flock
  52. Magic Hour by Kristin Hannah
  53. Reunion (The Mediator #3) by Meg Cabot
  54. Darkest Hour (The Mediator #4) by Meg Cabot
  55. Haunted (The Mediator #5) by Meg Cabot
  56. Twilight (Mediator Series #6) by Meg Cabot
  57. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium #1) by Stieg Larsson
  58. The Girl Who Played with Fire (Millennium #2 ) by Stieg Larsson
  59. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Millennium #3) by Stieg Larsson
  60. Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
  61. The Likeness by Tana French
  62. Hurting Distance by Sophie Hannah
  63. Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
  64. Once a Runner by John L. Parker Jr.
  65. A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
  66. In the Woods by Tana French
  67. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
  68. House Rules by Jodi Picoult
  69. Saving Max by Antoinette van Heugten
  70. Comfort and Joy: A Novel by Kristin Hannah
  71. Everything Must Go by Elizabeth Flock
  72. Blameless (The Parasol Protectorate #3) by Gail Carriger
  73. High Tea by Sandra Harper 
  74. Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhonda Janzen 
  75. The Baker's Apprentice by Judi Hendricks 

1 comment:

  1. That's an impressive list of books! I think for me 2011 is going to be the year of the classic. I am going to go back and read the classics that I never got to read at all.