Wrapping Up The Year – 2010

Well it’s that time of the year already! Good lord, 2010 flew the hell by! I doubt I’ll finish anymore books this year, so I figured I’d give my list of favorite books of the year.Β  I read 70 books this year. That’s the least I’ve read since I’ve started book blogging in 2007, but the quality of the books I’ve read was just as good as any other year. So no complaining at all! I can’t believe this is the 4th annual wrap up I’ve done already! Doesn’t feel like I’ve been blogging that long, but at the same time, it feels like I’ve known some of my blogging friends forever. Without further ado, here are my favorite er… 13 books in no apparent order. I’ve never been known to have an even 10 books :p Click on the links for my reviews.

1. Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan – What can I say about this book that I haven’t said already. This is one that I continue to talk about. This book moved me so damn much and it continues to do so every time I think about it. Ms. Lanagan wrote a true masterpiece here that dealt with rape, incest, and abuse in a very realistic way through the medium of a fairy tale. And she did it beautifully and painfully. This is an instant favorite of all times…not just of this year.

2. Blankets by Craig Thompson – One of the best graphic memoirs I’ve ever read. Well the only graphic memoir I’ve ever read really…I should say one of the best books in the graphic format I’ve ever read. I read this ginormous book in one sitting because I just couldn’t put it down. I don’t know that I’ve ever read a book that talked about relationships as perfectly as this one did. Or a book that made me cry so much for so many reasons.

3. Looking for Bapu by Anjali Banarjee – This book took me completely by surprise. I didn’t know what to expect from it, but was completely enamored by it and just fell instantly in love with it. With the Indian culture, with the young narrator, with the universal family dynamics, with the writing itself. Just an amazing book that I couldn’t shut up about and I still can’t recommend it enough.

4. Mare’s War by Tanita Davis – Another one that truly took me by surprise. I became obsessed with this one too. I learned so much about this book. About the history of African American women during war time. And was completely entertained by Ms. Davis’ writing throughout. The storytelling was just amazing in this one.

5. Push by Sapphire – Whoa. Powerful doesn’t even really begin to describe this book. There are scenes in this book that I don’t think will ever leave me. I can’t believe that I waited so long to read this book but I’m so happy that I finally did read it. What an amazing, strong, book full of beauty, triumph, pain and strength.

6. The Dream of Perpetual Motion by Dexter Palmer – This one is perhaps the surprise of the year. It was pitched to me as a review copy and I decided to accept it. I was blown away by this one. I’ve never read anything like this before. Part steampunk, part dystopian, but even if those things are not your thing, I think you would love this book. Because at it’s heart it’s just full of good story telling and amazing characters.And so unique.

7. Transformations by Anne Sexton – This book is like a little treasure. I like to just take this book off of my shelf sometimes and hold it and thumb through it. With the beautiful drawings throughout and Anne’s amazing transformations of old fairy tales into modern poetry classics. Love this one.

8. Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness – The sobfest of the year. Surprise surprise that this one is on the list, huh? :p This one was just OMG Amazing!!!! Just the absolute perfect ending to the Chaos Walking series and I couldn’t have asked for more. Well yes, I could ask for more Chaos Walking, but I doubt that I’ll get it :p

9. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver – This book had more of an impact on me than any other book has in more years than I can remember. This is the book that made me decide to start living as sustainable a life as I could. I’ve always tried to, but this one made me decide to go full fledge into gardening…to start composting…to do many other things. And on top of that it was an AMAZING read.

10. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender – I. Loved. This. Book. Seriously, such a weirdly amazing book that I just could not get enough of and I still want to just read everything that Bender has ever written. You just have to read this one for yourself. Such a very cool book.

11. Room by Emma Donoghue – Jack may be one of my favorite characters of the year. I just thought he was such an incredible little boy. And what Donoghue did with this book was so damn amazing. To write from the point of view of a little boy and to stay in that voice throughout couldn’t have been an easy task…but she did it so well!

12. The Bells by Richard Harvell – I think this may be my favorite book of the year. If there were one book that I recommended that everyone read, it would probably be this one. Just loved it.

13. The Armless Maiden and Other Tales For Childhood’s Survivors edited by Terri Windling – My other favorite read of the year. And probably the most important book that I’ve read this year. Just absolutely amazing.

Any surprises for anyone? Anything you were expecting to make the list that didn’t? Or anything on there that you didn’t think would make the list? There were about 5 or 6 more that I wanted to add, but I thought that since I only read 70 books, I’d stop there :p Why 13? Because I just couldn’t limit it any further, lol.

Stats for the year are as follows:

Total Books Read: 70

Total Pages Read: 17,434

Comics/Graphic Novels Read: 17

Non-Fiction: 10

Short Story Collections/Anthologies/Essay Collections: 9

Poetry: 6

By Women: 27 (T_T OMG I’m so ashamed of that…note to self…read more deliberately next year!!!)

By Men: 42

By Both Male and Female: 1

Chunksters (450+ pages): 5

And that’s a wrap for 2010!!! Usually I make some sort of reading goals for myself at the end of these posts, but I’m not doing that this year. The only goal I’m setting for myself is to READ MORE FEMALE AUTHORS NEXT YEAR!!! That stat really is awful. And I’d like to read more poetry as well next year. I’ve been loving poetry lately. But mostly I just want to have fun and enjoy my reading. How was your year of reading? Happy with it? Happy reading in 2011!!!!!!!

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14 Responses

  1. I love how consciously you read. Also, I want you to know that I read Blankets because of your review. It really was amazing and such a poignant read! Thanks as always. Your list is great.

  2. You look to have had a great reading year, Chris. Hope next year is even better!

  3. Great list — not that I would know because 5 books on you list are on my TBR — I have owned them for months, maybe even for over a year, will 2011 be magic?

    Have a super holiday.

  4. I’d like to read Blankets, having seen much about it both here and elsewhere, and you’ve convinced me to try the lemon cake one. πŸ˜‰ But, wait! No Japanese novels particularly struck your fancy this year? XOXO Merry Christmas, dear Chris, and every blessing for 2011.

  5. I’m so sad. I couldn’t limit myself to less than 23 top books this year…sigh. I try to tell myself that’s only a little over 10% of my books…:D I read too much this year! I hope next year to have a year closer to yours!! I’d rather read around 70 books, it makes looking back on those books a bit clearer!

    It sounds like you’ve had a wonderful reading year. And I’m so glad you reminded me about The Bells because I’ve been seeing that in stores and thinking it looked interesting and not knowing why, and now I remember! I forgot to add it to my list before, but I’m going to do that now.

  6. Chris you really read some amazing books this year. I’m still on the fence about picking up Lemon Cake even though everyone who has read it has LOVED it. I think that it will end up being a book that surprises me, but *still*.

    Perhaps I’ll grab it after I complete James’s TBR Dare. πŸ™‚

    Have a wonderful holiday weekend.

  7. Well, you did a lot better than I did! lol.. But like you I seemed to have enjoyed more of the books I read ..which is a good thing! I don’t “make myself” read more of this or that or more women authors then men.. I just read what I hope I will enjoy.. I don’t much care if a man or woman wrote it or a Oriental or black author.. if a books suits me I read it. I guess I should be more observant but I’m not.. but don’t shoot your mom2 ! lol

  8. These all sound like fantastic books and sadly I have not read one of them! But you’ve certainly promoted their presence near the top of my list. I haven’t yet gone over my numbers for 2010 but am curious what they will reveal about my reading habits this year…

  9. I’m so sad–things just got so out-of-whack this year that I didn’t even end up keeping track of what all I read. 😦 But I doubt I even hit 70 this year. But of the books that I read on your list (Tender Morsels, Room, and Monsters of Men), they’d all make my favorites of 2010, too! (So would Blankets, but I read that one last year.) Anyway, I’m so glad you had such a wonderful year of reading, my dear friend!!! I hope 2011 is every bit as good. Or even better! πŸ˜€

  10. I SO need to read TENDER MORSELS. And BLANKETS. And ROOM. And, well, most of the others you listed, with the exception of the few I’ve already read.

  11. Oh wow, I’ve only read one of your top 13!! That’s terrible…. πŸ˜‰

    Hope you had a lovely yule, christmas and new year xx

  12. Oh, I loved Blankets too… such great stuff on your list! I’m looking forward to reading ROOM at some point.

  13. Ok, it’s official. I was going to make The Stand my first read of 2011, but now I’m going for The Knife of Never Letting Go! I didn’t keep track of authors or really anything in 2010, but I’m guessing my male to female ratio is a bit skewed as well. :-/

    I hope you have a truly fabulous 2011, Chris. And in Arkansas, huh? Have a wonderful time.

  14. I can’t believe I’m just now reading your list! Blankets and Lemon Cake made my best of 2010 too. I really need to read Tender Morsels. I think it’s getting a bit ridiculous that I’ve own this book since it’s publication and it’s unread. This is a great list Chris!

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