Sunday, November 28, 2010

Best of 2010, Update 29

This will be my last Top 10 lists update until I prepare the final one at the end of December when I will, hopefully, have another nine or ten books to consider. I offer six new books for consideration this time around (three novels and three nonfiction entries): The Story of Edgar Sawtelle (David Wroblewski), Set the Night on Fire (Libby Fischer Hellman), For Love of Country (William C. Hammond), Crime Beat (Michael Connelly), My Reading Life (Pat Conroy),  and Mark Twain's Other Woman (Laura Skandera Trombley).

None of the three new novels are making the list, so, with just over a month to go and 82 fiction titles behind me, the fiction Top 10 will remain:

1. Cutting for Stone - Abraham Verghese (novel)

2. Matterhorn - Karl Marlantes (Vietnam War novel)

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

4. The White Garden - Stephanie Barron (literary alternate history)

5. Shadow of the Swords - Kamran Pasha (novel about the Third Crusade)

6. Remarkable Creatures - Tracy Chevalier (historical fiction)

7. Drood - Dan Simmons (historical fiction)

8. City of Tranquil Light - Bo Caldwell (historical fiction

9. Shoeless Joe - W.P. Kinsella (classic baseball novel)

10. Beatrice and Virgil - Yann Martel (novel with a kick to the gut)

But two of the nonfiction titles are cracking the list, My Reading Life at number two and Mark Twain's Other Woman at number five. Of the 32 nonfiction titles read so far this year, these are my favorites:

1. George Washington: A Life - Ron Chernow (biography)

2. My Reading Life - Pat Conroy (memoir)

3. Lies My Mother Never Told Me - Kaylie Jones (memoir)

4. War - Sebastian Junger (about the daily lives of our soldiers in Afghanistan)
5. Mark Twain's Other Woman - Laura Skandera Trombley (biography)
6. Man of Constant Sorrow - Ralph Stanley & Eddie Dean (biography)

7. At Home: A Short History of Private Life - Bill Bryson (Sociology)

8. Tammy Wynette: Tragic Country Queen - Jimmy McDonough (biography)

9. Losing My Cool - Thomas Chatterton Williams (memoir)

10. Roger Maris: Baseball's Reluctant Hero (biography)

And there you have the best 20 books of the 114 I've read so far this year - with maybe another nine or ten to be read before the end of 2010.  I honestly like the way the lists are shaping up; it's been a nice reading year.


  1. Well I've not read any of your favorites so now I can look forwarding to doing so!

  2. It's been a pretty good year - and December is turning out to be one of the better months. I'm pretty pleased with my 2010 reading.