One post that is consistently popular here is 4 Sites to Help You Decide What Book to Read Next. Last summer I wrote about reading a book per week and listed the books I read the first half of the year.
Here I’m listing the rest of the books I read in 2010. I didn’t quite make a book a week – I read 50 books in 2010 and that’s pretty darn close.
I’ve marked my favorites with an asterisk.
- The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession by David Grann – I’m not quite sure why I read this one – not my usual type of book. I’d have to say the title was the most interesting part of it.
- The Art of Eating In: How I Learned to Stop Spending and Love the Stove by Cathy Erway – I don’t know why I was interested in this one either. It’s about a woman who lives in New York City who decides to go a year without eating out. She learns to cook and becomes interested in other activities related to food. I couldn’t put this book done. I rarely eat out so I couldn’t exactly relate but I do know a lot of people in NYC eat out all the time and it’s not unusual to not have or use your kitchen.
- The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi – This was one of the biggest disappointments of the year. It’s sci-fi, dystopian and won some awards so it should have been perfect for me. Maybe it was overhyped and I expected more but I really didn’t enjoy it all that much.
- Arcadia Fallsby Carol Goodman – A modern sort of gothic tale where the past meets the present at a prep school. It was entertaining but nothing special.
- *Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Lifeby Barbara Kingsolver – The author spends a year eating home-grown or local food. I thought this was really interesting and not preachy the way a lot of readers thought it was. And who knew breeding turkeys could be so amusing?
- Sizzling Sixteenby Janet Evanovich – The Stephanie Plum series featuring a screwball “bounty hunter” jumped the shark around #7 but I can’t stop reading them. Complete guilty pleasure junk food reading.
- Garnethill by Denise Mina – An award winning crime thriller. It reminded me why I don’t normally read this genre – there’s enough of this in real life.
- No Dominion by Charlie Huston – The second in the Joe Pitt, vampire detective series. I’ve become a big fan of Charlie Huston even though the language can be really rough.
- The Girl Who Played with Fire by Steig Larsson – The 2nd in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series. It isn’t as good as the first one but it was still a book I couldn’t put down.
- Star Island by Carl Hiassen – I’m a big fan of Hiassen and have read all of his novels. I was really looking forward to this one because it was the first in quite some time but it was far from his best or funniest. I kind of felt like been there done that while reading it. Most of his novels are mysteries set in Florida with a cast of off the wall characters. And they are usually laugh out loud funny.
- Power Trip: The Story of America’s Love Affair with Energy by Amanda Little – The history of fossil fuels in the United States and their impact on us. This was interesting and frightening – especially the section on our extremely outdated power grid.
- *Feed (Newsflesh, Book 1) by Mira Grant – Bloggers and zombies. Need I say more? ;-)
- The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Steig Larsson – The final installment in the Dragon Tattoo Trilogy. Again, enjoyable but not as good as the first one. It’s a shame that Larsson passed away because I would like to read more from him.
- *The Passage by Justin Cronin – This was one of my favorite books of the year. It’s about a virus that creates vampires and pretty much destroys the world. I liked the first part better than the rest of the book and the first chapter just about broke my heart. The book is looong and is going to be the first in a series.
- How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu – I loved the title of this and it’s about time travel so I figured I would love it. I didn’t.
- *World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks – This was a really good one. Instead of telling a straight story of the zombie apocalypse, Brooks uses oral histories and interviews to tell the story – sort of in the tradition of Studs Terkel.
- Dreadnought by Cherie Priest – I loved Priest’s book Boneshaker that I read earlier in the year so I was really excited about this second one that is loosely related. It was good but I didn’t love it. It’s an alternate steampunk version of the Civil War.
- Transition by Iain M. Banks – Science fiction which takes place in a contemporary setting. The main premise is that parallel worlds exist and that certain people can travel between them. This was a difficult read because in the beginning I didn’t really know what was going on. It does, however, have an excellent opening sentence. “Apparently I am what is known as an Unreliable Narrator, though of course if you believe everything you’re told you deserve whatever you get.”
- * Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void – Mary Roach – Mary Roach writes popular science books that are informative, interesting, snarky and laugh out loud funny. This has been my favorite because it answered a lot of my questions such as how do astronauts go to the bathroom.
- *The Dreaming Void by Peter F. Hamilton – I don’t really know how to describe this one but it’s epic science fiction. It takes place in the 34th Century and humanity has basically found a way to live forever but have not found spiritual fulfillment. This is the first in a trilogy.
- Time’s Eye (A Time Odyssey) by Arthur C. Clarke – Mysterious satellites appear around the planet so that time is scrambled and different times in history converge. The back of the book blurb was the best part of this book.
- Summer Knight (The Dresden Files, Book 4) by Jim Butcher – I read the first couple of books in this series because the 2nd one was about werewolves and I had a hard time getting through it because I’m just not interested in werewolves. This is a supernatural series about a private investigator who also happens to be a wizard. My favorite part of the series is the humor.
Out of 50 books, 11 were non-fiction or just over 20%. I thought the percentage would be lower for non-fiction so I am happy with that. It also seemed to be the year of crime thrillers / zombies, which is not what I usually read and was not intentional. This year I should probably focus on unicorns and rainbows.
I’m off to a good start this year and have already read 5 books so I’m hopeful that I will meet or surpass my goal of a book a week this year.
I use Goodreads to track what I am reading and see what my friends are reading. If you love to read, you can find me over there.
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photo credit: nSeika