The Broke and the Bookish. This week's list is the best books I read in 2010. That doesn't mean published in 2010, just read in 2010. (Title links are to reviews.)
iubookgirl's list (in no particular order):
The Charlemagne Pursuit by Steve Berry. Ballantine Books, 2008.
I have this book to thank for introducing me to one of my favorite series. It's actually number four in the Cotton Malone series, but reading out of sequence wasn't a problem. After finishing The Charlemagne Pursuit, I went back and sped through the previous books. If you like series but aren't familiar with this one, I recommend you pick up The Templar Legacy (#1) as soon as possible.
Etta by Gerald Kolpan. Ballantine Books, 2009.
This is Kolpan's fictional story of the real-life Etta Place, compatriot of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. It's a wonderful story that I wanted to believe. Etta was my favorite historical fiction read of the year.
Darling Jim by Christian Moerk. Henry Holt, 2009.
Darling Jim is the book that got me back into reading and blogging after a bit of a hiatus. I'd had trouble getting through the somewhat gruesome prologue when I first received this book, but decided to give it a second chance. I'm so glad I did. I hope his other books reach the U.S. (and more importantly, English) soon!
Provenance: How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art by Laney Salisbury and Aly Sujo. Penguin, 2009.
I got on a bit of a "cultural crime" kick this year and still have a few titles on the TBR pile. Of those I read, Provenance was by far the best. Salisbury and Sujo managed to turn non-fiction into a page-turning crime story. The Mystery Writers of America agree with me. It was a 2010 Edgar Nominee for Best Fact Crime.
The Princess Bride by William Goldman. 30th Anniversary Edition. Ballantine Books, 2003.
I've been meaning to read this book forever...well okay, for about ten years, but just never got around to it. Thankfully, Chrisbookarama decided to host a readalong this year. I'm so glad I chose to participate. I think I loved the book even more than I love the movie. The Princess Bride is really a must-read.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Anniversary Edition. Harper Perennial, 2009.
I'm embarrassed to say I'd never read this classic before. I never had to in school and in the years since, I've been afraid that it would be to upsetting. I was surprised to find that it was less about the trial and more about Scout. Please, don't ask what rock I just crawled out from under. Anyway, I thought it was first and foremost a heartwarming story of how one little girl learns not to judge a book by its cover.
The Night Bookmobile by Audrey Niffenegger. Abrams ComicArts, 2010.
I'm not normally a reader of graphic novels, but the story description combined with the author convinced me I needed to read it. It's amazing how much punch Niffenegger packs into this short format. I can't wait to see further installments of The Library, of which Niffenegger says The Night Bookmobile is part.
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin. William Morrow, 2010.
I read this as part of Bermudaonion's Okra Picks Challenge, and I'm so glad I did. Tom Franklin is a natural and beautiful storyteller. This novel shows how secrets can eat away at you.
The Distant Hours by Kate Morton. Atria Books, 2010.
I just posted my review of The Distant Hours yesterday. Even though a week or more has passed, I still love it just as much as the moment I finished it. I can't wait to read Morton's two previous novels, The House at Riverton and The Forgotten Garden.
My Reading Life by Pat Conroy. Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, 2010.
This is the best book about reading I've read in awhile. Mr. Conroy fills these pages with heartfelt stories of reading and the people that have influenced his reading and writing life. If you like reading about other people's reflections on reading, I highly recommend My Reading Life.