Friday, December 31, 2010

Best Books of 2010

The end of the year seems to be a popular time for "Best of" Lists. I couldn't miss the opportunity to make my own Best List. Of course mine is going to be all about books. Of the 97 books I've read in 2010, 26 of them received a 4 or 5 star rating. Looking back over those, 6 rose to the top as my choice for Best Books Read in 2010. Since not all of these books were published in 2010, this is not technically a Best Books of 2010 list, but a Best Books Read in 2010 list.

Pam's Best Books Read in 2010

Lord of the Flies by William Golding - The only book I read in 2010 to receive a perfect score of 5 Stars. If you haven't read this one since High School or College, you really need to revisit it. It is fabulous.

Room by Emma Donoghue -This book appears on lots of Best of 2010 lists. And for once, I agree!

The Unforgiving Minute: A Soldier's Education by Craig M. Mullaney - The 2011 Reading Across RI selection. I expected to dislike this book and absolutely LOVED it! Not at all what you would expect based on the title. The best book you haven't heard of.

The Red Thread by Ann Hood - Amazing book by a local author and the subject of our best book club meeting ever!

The Leisure Seeker by Michael Zadoorian - The book has a wickedly funny narrator. It deals with a serious topic in a lighthearted and engaging way. Another terrific book you probably haven't heard of.

Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls - This is the second memoir by the talented Walls, author of The Glass Castle. This time her subject is her indomitable maternal grandmother, Lily.

2010 was a pretty good book year for me. While I managed to read 10 more books in 2010 than I did in 2009 and I rated twice as many of them 4 or 5 stars, I didn't really read any books that WOWed me. 2009 was a better year for books that blew me away. How about you? What are your top books of 2010? I'd love to hear from you. After all 2011 is just around the corner and I can always use some recommendations.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

May your Christmas be Merry and Bri

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Great Reads

This post comes courtesy of Sue at Book by Book who posted about Book Pages Top 40 Books of 2010 and Amazon's Best Books of 2010. Of course, I had to check out those lists and was pleased to see that while I have read only a handful of the books on the two lists, I was familiar with the vast majority of them - some of which sit on my tbr list and some of which I had decided not to read. Reading Sue's post and looking over those lists made me realize that I have strong feelings about some of those books, which I have yet to share here. So thanks to Sue for inspiring me to write this post of mini book reviews.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot - This is a fascinating look at the true story of Henrietta Lacks who died of cervical cancer in the 1950s. Her cancer cells became the basis for numerous medical advances and treatments and they are still being used all over the world in research today. The story is complicated by the fact that Henrietta was a poor black woman from the south whose family didn't know for two decades about the amazing advances made to medical science from the study of their wife and mother's strangely prolific cancer cells. I chose this book for the December Book Club that I run at the library. It was the best attended meeting and most hotly discussed book in the nearly 4 years I have been leading that group. This book has so many layers and is open to so many different points of view that no one is able to come away from it without giving serious thought to medical research and the advancement of medical knowledge. And the best part, is that Skloot writes this like a work of fiction. It is accessible to all readers, not just those with an interest or background in the medical field. 3/5 stars.

I'd Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman - Great psychological suspense story about Eliza, a woman in her mid-thirties who was abducted and held hostage for 6 weeks by a serial a killer when she was 16 years old. The killer, now on death row and soon to be executed, contacts Eliza and asks to see her. Even though Eliza has managed to move on with her life in a healthy and positive way, she feels compelled to talk to him. Are the risks involved worth the benefit she hopes to gain? 4/5 stars.

The Hand that First Held Mine by Maggie O'Farrell- I am almost finished reading this intriguing story and can not wait to see how it all plays out. In alternating chapters, O'Farrell tells the separate stories of two women living in London during two different time periods - right after WWII and current day. According to the book jacket, at some point the women's story will collide and the anticipation of that is very compelling. What I'm loving about this book is that each story is unique and fascinating in it's own right and as O'Farrell switches from one to the other I find myself reluctant to let go of one story, but then excited to read more of the other. I can not wait to find out how the two stories intersect. So far I have had only one hint and the anticipation is killing me. I anticipate giving this one 4/5 stars. Though it could go either way and end up being 3/5 or even 5/5. It all depends on how the stories are resolved and how the "collision" plays out. I'll let you know.

How about you? Have you read or heard of any of these books? Are any already on your tbr list? Do you normally consult these types of lists to find new books to read?

Blog Design By Lindsey Joy Design © All Rights Reserved.