I read a lot of new books. While I occasionally dip into an author's back catalog, I'm mostly trolling the new book shelves at the local library, looking for the newest stuff. (Of course, now that I've got the list, I'm reading more books from past years, because I remember that I want to read them.)
Anyway, here are my favorite books of 2010, fiction and non (in no particular order):
- The Irresistible Henry House by Lisa Grunwald. This book was never actually on the list. I picked it up on a whim, and I just thought it was quirky and a good, quick read.
- Countdown by Deborah Wiles. And how! What a great, great read. Filled with awesome graphics, and really well-told. It's a kid's book, but I can't imagine it wouldn't appeal to adults.
- Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff. Definitely my favorite "chick-lit" book of the year. Just excellent.
- The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. Only Mockingjay came out this year, so I'm sort of fudging it. But I read all three books this year, and I am so glad I did. I love this sort of futuristic sci-fi, and even though it's technically children's lit, who cares? It was that good.
- A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan. I ADORED this book. I loved that Egan was able to speak in many voices, and that all the chapters were a little bit like short stories but not. The book tied together at the end in a way that made me want to cheer.
- The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall. I'm a little surprised this book didn't get more attention. I really enjoyed it, and it seems like the kind of book that does get press attention. I didn't find it exploitative at all, and I don't think it was written in a sensationalist manner, at all. A family story, but one with a big ol' quirk.
- The Cookbook Collector by Allegra Goodman. Even though I can think of, off the top of my head, tons of problems with this book, I still left it feeling deeply, deeply satisfied. And I couldn't wait to finish it, and find out how it turned out. Lovely, somehow.
- The Widower's Tale by Julia Glass. Same as above. Lovely, somehow, even with all its flaws.
- Pegasus by Robin McKinley. One of my new favorite sci-fi novels. Or fantasy. Whatever. I cannot WAIT for the next book in this new series.
- Blackout by Connie Willis. Technically, I'm not sure that this came out in 2010. I read it in 2010, though, and the sequel (which I haven't read) came out in 2010. I lurve Connie Willis, and I really like the type of alternate fiction but not that she writes.
- Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. This book is on everyone's list. But with good reason. Compulsively readable, and just...fascinating to the utmost.
- Freedom Summer by Bruce Watson. This book deals with a really tough time in America's past, and it does it without seeming too light, but without bogging down, either. I never felt like I was dragging myself through pages. I just kept going. Couldn't stop going.
- Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things by Gail Steketee and Randy Frost. Endlessly fascinating. It's totally a car crash, and you're totally gawking.
- You Never Give Me Your Money by Peter Doggett. I think I've read every Beatles biography that is respectable in the least, and not a one of them ever really told me what REALLY happened with all the lawsuits and so on. Every Beatles book has a chapter that says, "And then everyone sued everyone and Paul made a record and John made a record and Ringo drank and George did a concert for Bangladesh and the Beatles were over." Doggett tells you the sordid details of the "everyone sued everyone" part, and I found it very illuminating reading for a die-hard Beatles fan.
- The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick. You know. It was good.
- Poisoner's Handbook by Deborah Blum. Chock full of little bits of knowledge that'll never do you much good, but are fun to know anyway. So good that I went back and read another book by Blum.
I clearly read a LOT more books than this, but these are the ones that jumped out off my reading list at me.