Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Laura’s Top Ten Books of 2010

I read a lot of good books in 2010. I like to call 2010 the year that disappeared. With my horrific morning sickness at the beginning of the year, the birth of Penelope Rose on October 15th, and having a baby to nurse along with a 4 & 2 year old, I haven’t had as much time to socialize as I usually do. I did have a lot more time to read instead of sleeping!

Overall I read 95 books in 2010 and listened to 9 audiobooks. My number of books was up for the before stated reasons, but my number of audiobooks was down. I was in a number of challenges this year including The All About the Brontes Challenge, The Classics Challenge, The Stephanie Plum Reading Challenge, and the Everything Austen Challenge II. I was also in two book clubs, my Kewaunee Library Book Club and FLICKS Book and Movie Club.

I read a variety of books through the year, but I didn’t read as much non-fiction or sci-fi as I would usually like too. This is probably because between reading advance review copies of books, books for challenges, and books for my book clubs, I didn’t have much time to read personal picks. I need to work on this.

My top ten books are my favorite ten books that I read this year. They were not necessary published in the year 2010 and do not include books I read and enjoyed for a second, third, or fourth time (such as Pride and Prejudice, Outlander, Child of the Northern Spring) as it is obvious that I love those novels. If you are interested, check out my top 10 from 2009, 2008 and 2007.

Without further ado, my top ten favorite books of 2010 (in no particular order):
  1. Room by Emma Donoghue – Room was a horrifying and heart-warming tale rolled into one told through a very unique prospective, that of a five-year old child. Jack has lived in a small room trapped with his abducted mother throughout his five-year life. The room encompasses his life, but things are about to change as Ma plans their escape. I literally couldn’t put this book down!
  2. The Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson – I know I’m cheating here by counting a trilogy as one selection, but I loved the entire trilogy and read it this year. Larsson weaves a unique tale set in Sweden, with a very unique heroine, Lisbeth Salander. Hero Mikael Bloomberg is a crusader who stops at nothing to get the story for his Millennium magazine and to right wrongs even if it means bringing down the Swedish government.
  3. The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins – I loved this young adult trilogy set in a post-apoplectic world. The world has ended as we know it and the U.S. has been divided into thirteen districts. The districts are controlled by the capital and are kept under strict control. Each year each district is required to send two children to compete in the televised “Hunger Games.” There can only be one winner left alive at the end of the games. Katniss Everdeen is trying to keep her sister and mother alive in District 12 when her sister is chosen for the games. Katniss steps in to save her and her life is forever changed.
  4. The Greatest Knight and The Scarlet Lion by Elizabeth Chadwick – These two novels are among the best historical fiction novels that I have ever read. I love the hero William Marshal. His story is a riveting tale that I had never read about before. Chadwick is a master storyteller that is vividly able to bring the past alive. I look forward to reading more of her novels!
  5. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – This book is uniquely narrated by death during WWII and tells the story of one girl and her struggle to survive during WWII in Germany. The German people not painted as only evil, but rather shades of gray.
  6. Cleopatra’s Daughter by Michelle Moran – I honestly didn’t know that Cleopatra even had a daughter! Moran’s novel is an intriguing look at the life of the famed Queen’s children after her death.
  7. A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrich – A stark fascinating novel set in the depths of winter in Wisconsin. A mail order bride has arrived, but is she all that she seems to be? Lovers of gothic tales such as those written by the Brontes or Daphne Du Maurier will love this novel.
  8. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas Although it has been almost two hundred years since this novel was written, it is still an action packed novel that kept me up in the night trying to find out what happened next. It is the ultimate novel of revenge.
  9. The Season of Second Chances by Diane Meier – I loved this book. It was a unique story with a unique heroine, Joy Harkness, that has moved to a small town into a large Victorian mansion that needs a lot of fixing up. The characters are wonderfully drawn and the writing is superb.
  10. Life of Pi by Yann Martel – Why do we believe? This tale of a boy and a tiger on the high seas was thought-provoking.

Books that I love tend to keep me thinking about them late into the night. I read a lot of good books this year and had a hard time narrowing them down. Special honorary shout-outs go to Spoken from the Heart by Laura Bush, Alone by Richard Logan and Tere Duperrault Fassbender, The Brave by Nicholas Evans, By Fire, By Water by Mitchell James Kaplan, and The Polski Affair by Leon H. Gilden. Also I have a special mention of Black Hills by Dan Simmons. This book had some of the best and most memorable scenes in fiction that I read (or listened to in this case) this year, but was brought down overall by some scenes that should have been cut (Brooklyn Bridge) and a too frisky General Custer.

Did you enjoy any of these novels? What were your favorite books in 2010?


  1. The only ones that I have read of those are The Book Thief (which I think was my favourite book of last year), The Millenium Trilogy (soooo compulsive!) and the Life of Pi (which I read a long time ago and loved!).

    Hope 2011 is just as successful for you

  2. Laura, I have only read the first book in the Millennium trilogy, but boy was that a riveting book!

    Since you loved The Book Thief, please read I Am the Messenger by the same author.

    I MUST read Room.

    Excellent post! :)

  3. i am addicted to the hunger games! <3 i stayed up all night to read it a second time lol i dunno it is just that good. i am so excited to see the movie when it comes out!! http://on.fb.me/gXrImz

  4. I liked Room very much despite my initial reluctance to even read it. Life of Pi was for me an unbelievably good read, I did not like the Good Wife at all. Cleopatra's Daughter is a must read for everyone I think!

  5. I have read three of your top ten books (Larsson, Collins, & Chadwick), and loved them. This tells me that I need to read the other seven. I enjoy your reviews. Thanks for doing your blog.

  6. Good list! It's easier for me to say which books I haven't yet read - Room and then the last four books you mentioned. Loved the rest of them.

  7. Wow, I didn't know there was another book with Cleopatra's Daughter. Stephanie Dray's debut - Lily of the Nile - is also about her! I am officially intrigued ^.^

    Also, I love that you name is Laura... because it's my name too heh~~

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