Friday, June 11, 2010

Best of 2010, Update 20

I have several new books to consider for a place in my real-time Best of 2010 list this time around: The Secret Speech, Republic, Damp Squid, Mr. Peanut and Horns. These are pretty much all over the map. Two are "political thrillers," one is a literary murder mystery, one fits best in the horror genre, and one is a look at the evolution of the English language.

So, after due consideration, this is what the fiction list looks like after 42 fiction books read:

1. Cutting for Stone - Abraham Verghese (novel)
2. Matterhorn - Karl Marlantes (Vietnam War novel)
3. The Calligrapher's Daughter - Eugenia Kim (novel)
4. Remarkable Creatures - Tracy Chevalier (historical fiction)
5. Drood - Dan Simmons (historical fiction)
6. The Secret Speech - Tom Rob Smith (historical thriller)
7. Far Cry - John Harvey (police procedural)
8. A Fair Maiden - Joyce Carol Oates (novel)
9. Johnny Porno - Charlie Stella (noir crime fiction)
10. The Samaritan's Secret - Matt Beynon Rees (detective fiction)

And the nonfiction list from a total of 14 read so far this year is unchanged:
1. Lies My Mother Never Told Me - Kaylie Jones (memoir)
2. Man of Constant Sorrow - Ralph Stanley & Eddie Dean (biography)
3. Losing My Cool - Thomas Chatterton Williams (memoir)
4. Jane's Fame - Claire Harman (on the evolution of Jane Austen's reputation)
5. The Opposite Field - Jesse Katz - (memoir)
6. The Tennis Partner - Abraham Verghese (1998 memoir)
7. Game Change - John Heilemann & Mark Halperin (political nonfiction)
8. Damp Squid - Jeremy Butterfield (on the evolution of the English language)
9. Top of the Order - Sean Manning, Ed. (baseball essays)
10. A Time to Betray - Reza Kahlili (memoir of Iranian CIA agent)
Five books, two changes:The Secret Speech enters the fiction list at number 6, pushing Not So Perfect off the list, and Damp Squid enters the nonfiction list at number 8, eliminating Goosetown. So these are the best 20 books of the 56 books I've read as of today...and the beat goes on.

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