Thursday, December 30, 2010

Best Books Read in 2010 ~ My Picks

For the last (10) years I've been coming up with my favorites list -- of books read for each year. Usually, it is a top (10) fiction list and top (10) non fiction list, but for 2010 I decided to add a top (10) audio book list and a top (10) childrens list as well.

Here are my picks --EXCEPT FOR # 1 on each list, the remaining (9) are in no particular order.

FICTION - Top 10

  1. The Bells; Richard Harvell
  2. The Wayward Bus; John Steinbeck
  3. The Solitude of Prime Numbers; Paolo Giaordano
  4. The Handmaid's Tale; Margaret Atwood
  5. How High the Moon; Sandra Kring
  6. Strangers at the Feast; Jennifer Vanderbes
  7. The Good Daughters; Joyce Maynard
  8. Blue Nude; Elisabeth Rosner
  9. Noah's Compass; Anne Tyler
  10. The Wife's Tale; Lori Lansens
Top 10 Non Fiction

  1. Unbroken; Laura Hillenbrand
  2. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks; Rebecca Skloot
  3. Frida Kahlo: The Still Lifes; Salomon Grimberg
  4. Making the Rounds with Oscar; Dr David Dosa
  5. Slow Death By Rubber Duck; Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie
  6. The Genius in All of Us; David Shenk
  7. Gilded: How Newport Became America's Richest Resort; Deborah Davis
  8. Making Toast; Roger Rosenblatt
  9. You Don't Look Like Anyone I Know; Heather Sellers
  10. Stitches: A Memoir; David Small  (graphic novel - memoir)
Top 10 Audio Books

  1. I Thought You Were Dead; Pete Nelson
  2. The Poisonwood Bible; Barbara Kingsolver
  3. Shantaram; Gregory David Roberts
  4. Pillars of the Earth; Ken Follett
  5. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle; Haruki Murakami
  6. Girl in Translation; Jean Kwok
  7. The Lonely Polygamist; Brady Udall 
  8. Freedom; Jonathan Franzen
  9. The Murderer's Daughters; Randy Sue Meyer
  10. The Forty Rules of Love; Elif Shafak
Top 10 Childrens Books

  1. The Last Train; Gordon Titcomb
  2. Llama, Llama Misses Mama; Anna Dewdney
  3. Night Tree; Eve Bunting
  4. Interrupting Chicken; David Ezra Stein
  5. Fred Stays with Me; Nancy Coffelt
  6. Owen and Mzee; Hatkoff
  7. Biblioburro; Jeanette Winter
  8. Molly's Pilgrim; Barbara Cohen
  9. Christian the Hugging Lion; Richardson and Parnell
  10. Fancy Nancy: Heart to Heart; O'Connor and Glasser
Looking forward to adding some of your 2010 favorites to my 2011 reading list.


  1. Great lists! I loved the Handmaid's Tale when I read it and I just got the Good Daughters for Christmas. I have Henrietta Lacks on my Kindle and Girl in Translation on my TBR!

  2. Awesome list, I hope to find those fiction titles in the new year.

  3. I also loved The Good Daughters. Tonight I'm going to start reading The Bells (I've been looking forward to it ever since I read your review).

    My favorite read of 2010 was Cutting for Stone.

    Thanks for sharing your great book reviews with us, Diane!

  4. I should haved added that I also loved The Poisonwood Bible (one of my top 25 reads of all time; along with Cutting for Stone).

    Have you read FRIDA - A Biography of Frida Kahlo by HAYDEN HERRERA? I read it back in the late 80's. It's excellent!

  5. The Handmaid's Tale is on my list too. I loved The Girls by Lori Lansens and I want to read The Wife's Tale too.

  6. I love your lists. The Handmaid's Tale is an all-time favorite of mine and I have The Bells on my shelves to read next month. Can't wait! :-)

  7. Did u see the movie Frida w/Salyma Hayak? it was phenomenal... I love the works of Frida Khalo. U certainly have a wide range of taste.. Thank u for sharing.

  8. Some great books on that list, and a lot of them are ones that I want to read! Especially The Bells!! I am glad you had such a great reading year!!

  9. I am going to be passing this list on to my husband who I am certain will read every book you have listed (if he hasn't already!)

    My husband the "book worm"!!

    Happy New Year! xoxo

  10. What interesting lists! So different from the usual!

  11. Sounds like you enjoyed a great reading year! I would love to read The Bells and Noah's Compass in 2011.

  12. Thanks for the top 10 lists, that's quite useful...for making our list!

  13. i love reading these best of lists!
    i read strangers at a feast too and loved it!! i have blue nude on my tbr and i wasn't sure if i wanted to read it or not but after seeing you put it on your list i'm going to give it a try. i'm glad you had a nonfiction section. i've just recently started reading non fiction so i'm going to add those books to my wishlist!

    thanks for sharing your list with us!!

  14. Thanks for sharing your favorites with us!

  15. Oh I need to read the Lori Lansen's book. That's been on my list since it came out.

    So glad to see Atwood on your favorites :)

  16. What a great list Diane, I'm impressed with your reading totals for the year. I've read a few on your list and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and Girl in Translation are also on my favorites list. I've read The Handmaid's Tale years ago and it is a powerful book.

  17. My parents are napping so I'm taking a minute to sneak time on the internet. :)

    I love this post - I will add some books to my list. I know I will enjoy the book if you have given it a good review and it's a genre I enjoy. Without you I wouldn't have read The Solitude of Prime NUmbers or Strangers at the Feast!

    I need to check out The Bell

    Happy New Year!

  18. Oh I am so mad at myself for forgetting to pick up The Solitude of Prime Numbers -- thank you so much for reminding me of this book :) :) :)

  19. I've just bought Henrietta Lacks and am loving it. I'm always on the look out for fantastic audio books so I'll ensure I come back next time I need to buy one.

  20. Wow there are so many on here I hope to read!

  21. There are some great titles in your lists.

    I was particularly interested in the Lori Lansens 'The Wife's Tale'. I have read 'The Girls' and thoroughly enjoyed that, so your recommendation means another for my TBR pile.

    Best Wishes for The New Year.


  22. I badly want to read The Bells. I am not surprised that The Handmaid's Tale made your list. It is phenomenal!

  23. Thanks for another list I can refer to for my next books to read!

  24. Fantastic list Diane and one that I am making note of for sure. The Bells is one that I have to read!!

  25. This is a great list! I have only read just a couple from two of your lists!

  26. I am very excited to read The Bells - glad to see that this is your favorite!

  27. great list-I have read only the Handmaid's Tale (loved it) and The Wild Bird Chronicles which is just a great book-here is hoping you find some wonderful books in 2011

  28. I loved The Handmaid's Tale. I've heard so many good things about The Bells; I hope to get to that one soon.

    Happy reading in 2011!

  29. Hi Diane, just popping in to wish you and your family a Happy New Year. May 2011 be filled with good books, good friends, good health and much happiness. I like the way you broke down your list - that's a good way to do it.

  30. Great list. I am envious of all of you who manged to keep track of your yearly reads. I don't have an excuse, this year I didn't keep track. It is one of my resolutions for the new year.

  31. So much to explore here! Several have already been added to my wish list thanks to your reviews. You've had an excellent reading year... Happy New Year, Diane!

  32. love these year-end wrap-ups! i'm a fool for audiobooks and haven't listened to any of the ones you posted about. i'm going to jot down some titles for my next trip to the library! happy 2011. :)

  33. wow, I can't believe I haven't read any on your list. More to check out for next year! Happy New Year

  34. Such a wonderful variety of books. Haven't read many of them, though The Bells is on my list. I got it from the library but didn't get to reading it right away.


  35. What an amazing list! And The Bells is in my TBR pile too, so it's nice to see that it's your #1 in fiction! What's also great is that there are quite a few books not in my TBR pile that I'm going to be adding because you enjoyed them so much to put them in your "top picks" list! Thanks for sharing! And Here's to a wonderful New Year of reading!

  36. Great list! I've been wondering about Handmaid's Tale. It looks so good.

  37. I enjoyed reading your lists of favorites, Diane! It's always interesting to see what others enjoyed throughout the year.

    One of these days I'll get around to trying something by Atwood. And I definitely want to read Skloot's book this coming year.

    I hope you have a very Happy New Year, Diane!

  38. I love this time of year and all the Best Of lists. Your recommendations will give me something to choose from for quite a while.

  39. What a wonderful year of reading! I love your list of Best Books. I didn't do one but I am coming up with a list of must-reads for me in 2011.

  40. Great list! I love a few of them and have a few on my to-read list. Hope you have a great reading year in 2011.

  41. I loved your approach to this ... and I love reading these lists.

  42. So glad you liked UNBROKEN and MAKING TOAST. I loved both. Interestingly enough, I did NOT like SOLITUDE OF PRIME NUMBERS. You just never know what will speak to different people.

    Life by Candlelight


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