I tried to just come up with a top ten list like I did last year, but when I started making it, it morphed into something new. So instead of a simple top ten, I give you my favorite books in various categories. These are books that I read in 2010 but not books that were necessarily published in 2010. I’m not going to say too much about each book. You can click on the title to read my full review.
Finny by Justin Kramon is my absolute favorite this year. I loved it from start to finish. ★ Blankets by Craig Thompson was my first (and only so far) graphic novel. It was simply beautiful. ★ Up from the Blue by Susan Henderson is heartbreaking in a way that made me want to give the book a hug and filled with beautiful prose. ★ Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer is a necessary but jarring reminder that we all need to make intelligent decisions regarding our food. ★We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson is deliciously creepy. ★ Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde took me into a fantastically-crafted new world ★ My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares surprised me. I never knew I’d love a book about soulmates. ★ Bad Marie by Marcy Dermansky was so captivating that I accidentally read it in one sitting. ★ Room by Emma Donaghue is creative and sad and hopeful and I’m still thinking about it even if I haven’t reviewed it yet. ★ Mr. Peanut by Adam Ross is indescribable.
Favorite Young Adult/Middle Grade:
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead deserves all the praise it has received and made me long for a reread of A Wrinkle in Time. ★ The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson seemed so possible that it was hard to call it Dystopian. ★ Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder, a novel in verse, held me captive on a rainy day until I had read every last word.
America, America by Ethan Cain has a terrific narrator and an intriguing story of a boy who gets wrapped up in a political family’s drama. ★ Stardust by Neil Gaiman is a grown-up fairytale that I couldn’t get enough of. Oh, and Neil Gaiman reads it himself. Awesome. ★ A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson is exactly what it claims to be – a great overview of the whole world of science. Perfect for the science nerd in me.
Favorite Reading Experience:
While Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins may not have been the conclusion to the Hunger Games trilogy we all hoped it would be, it was a lot of fun to wait it out and read it with the entire book blogosphere.
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson is a book that should be placed in the hands of every teenager, male and female. I wish it had been placed in mine back then.
Favorite Comfort Reads:
I continued my late-to-the-party reading of Betsy-Tacy with Betsy in Spite of Herself by Maud Hart Lovelace and it continues to be simply wonderful. ★ And The Summer Before by Ann M. Martin, a Baby-Sitters Club prequel, surprised me by being incredibly enjoyable. I loved being back in Stoneybrook with some of my oldest friends.
Favorite Short Story Collection:
Zombies vs Unicorns edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier is probably the most fun I had reading a book this year.
And there you have it. My favorite books for a variety of reasons.
Stay tuned for my final year-end wrap up post: my year of reading in numbers (can you tell that I LOVE these year-end posts?).