Review of 2010 in books

I started the ‘Book A Week’ challenge on the Chaletian Bulletin Board in 2009, which certainly did a lot for my reading of ‘new’ books. For 2010 I aimed for one hundred books over the year, but didn’t manage to read that many, partly because I re-read so many in June and July, but it’s certainly helping me to read books and authors new to me. However, it’s not so good for my bank balance, since I’m buying all these books, rather than borrowing them (mostly).

I have lots of favourites from this year – too many to be singled out.

Best crime novels:
The Big Sleep – Raymond Chandler;
When the Wind Blows – Cyril Hare;
The Underground Man – Ross Macdonald.

Apologies that I haven’t reviewed any of these – I liked them so much that I’ve lent the books to other people and haven’t got them back yet!

Best science fiction or fantasy:
Komarr – Lois McMaster Bujold;
Banewreaker & Godslayer – Jacqueline Carey;
Pegasus – Robin McKinley.

Best non-fiction:
Hungry City – Carolyn Steel;
McMafia: Seriously organised crime – Misha Glenny;
Living Dolls: the return of sexism – Natasha Walter.

Best discoveries:
Atonement – Ian McEwan;
The Jungle Books – Rudyard Kipling;
Nightingale Wood – Stella Gibbons.

This seems like a slightly arbitrary category, but these are the books I’d either heard about and not considered I’d like, or had never heard of before picking up, or just surprised me by being so good.

Worst book of the year:
The Railway Detective – Edward Marston.

I’ll be posting more reviews of books read in 2010 over the next couple of weeks, and perhaps trying to back-track and review more books that I’ve re-read.

And, thanks to my lovely parents, I now have a Kindle, which I’m slowly getting used to. It’s not always as intuitive as I’d like, but the convenience of having, say, Anathem by Neal Stephenson (which runs to many hundreds of pages in real life) on a small device is well worth it. Also, some books are a good deal less expensive on Kindle than in real life (unfortunately not all – Ross Macdonald’s books, which I love, are almost all no cheaper on Kindle than they are in real life, or not available at all). I’m also hoping to download a few e-books from Project Gutenberg for the Kindle, and thus read a few more ‘classics’ in 2011.

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3 Responses to Review of 2010 in books

  1. Oh, I’m looking forward to your review of Atonement; I think it’s quite a remarkable piece of work.

  2. Pingback: Spotlight on the Wordpress.Com Book Bloggers! « Randomize ME

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