Thursday, February 11, 2010

Best of 2010, Update 9

I have finished, and reviewed, two more books since the last update but only one of the two enters the list (Game Change at number 5).

Top 10 after 15 entrants:

1. Cutting for Stone - Abraham Verghese (novel)
2. Man of Constant Sorrow - Ralph Stanley and Eddie Dean (biography)
3. The Opposite Field - Jesse Katz (memoir)

4. The Calligrapher's Daughter - Eugenia Kim (novel)

5. Game Change - John Heilemann and Mark Halperin (political nonfiction)
6. Homer & Langley - E.L. Doctorow - 4.0 (novel)
7. Blind Submission - Debra Ginsberg (2006 novel)
8. Goosetown: Reconstructing an Akron Neighborhood - Joyce Dyer (memoir)
9. Get Out of the Way - Daniel Dinges (novel)
10. Transfer of Power - Vince Flynn (novel)


  1. Sam, I would love to know how you decided to put Game Change at #5. Why not 3? Or 8?

    Also, is there any chance that you will divide your list into Fiction and Non-fiction at some point?


  2. You know, JoAnn, it comes down to a gut feel as much as anything else. Among other things, I rank the books according to the immediate impact they make on me and how likely I am to ever open them up again...much less re-read them. Also, the list is short and, according to my internal rules, a book is not allowed to leapfrog past a book that was ever ranked higher than it is. Another way for me to judge is by deciding which book it would bother me least to see exit the list. I know it doesn't make much sense.

    Depending on how much nonfiction I read this year, I might split the list into two later on. Right now the split is 10-5 in favor of fiction.

  3. I think your "rules" make perfect sense --- to another good-reader, that is! LOL

    The second part of my question was due to my total inability to compare fiction and non-fiction, thus being unable to list them together in a ranking.

  4. I didn't come up with 10 nonfiction titles in 2009 that I thought deserved listing in a "Top 10." If it works out better for me in the nonfiction category this year, I will likely end up with two separate lists. It would be easy to go back to the last few lists to cull them into two honest lists, by type.