Saturday, 1 January 2011

A Year in Books 2010 - Top 10

This time it is the books turn. A bit pointless really as I only read paperbacks and have a constant 20 or so unread on my shelf at any one time so the chances of reading a book published this year are pretty slim! So not top 10 of the year but "top 10 books I've enjoyed the most this year..." snappy title or what

10 The Privileges - Jonathan Dee

American golden family and the complex morals of climbing the wealth ladder - worth it for the opening "wedding" segment alone

9 Juliet Naked - Nick Hornby

Some say a return to form , for me he has never been off form. A look at relationships and artistic ambition and why every now and then we just need to escape

8 - Skippy Dies by Paul Murray

A comic tale set in an Irish boarding school that sometimes trips over its own ambition but still stays compelling to the surprisingly downbeat ending

Better known by his recording name of Eels, this is an autobiography with a difference. More tragedy than any one life should have to cope with, it turns out to be an amazingly uplifting read

I'm a sucker for big American family sagas and this sneaks in on the back of the shear awfulness of the main character Audrey who gets all the best lines

David Mitchell writes beautifully. He makes this tale of culture clash in 18th century Japan completely of that time and place but also with sense of the now. The one book in the list that in years to come will be held up to be a classic

An end of days novel of close to a 800 pages which is the first part of a trilogy ... and it has got vampires. No come back.... this is really good

The quirkiest book I think I've ever read, which if it doesn't leave you with a warm fuzzy feeling at the end ..well you have no soul

Like a Scandinavian John Irving but without the bears and farting dogs

Unashamedly populist, the story of two people on the same date told over 25 years. At times it felt like Nicholls was telling my story as there were so many parallels (me and anyone else who went to uni in the late 80s) That is one of his skills. The other is to create 2 characters both flawed , one not particularly likable but who you come to care for deeply.

Finally happy new year and thanks to all of you who have wandered over and a big thanks to those who stayed to leave comments


  1. Happy New Year.

    Sorry I've not been as frequent a visitor as I should have been, but I promise to do better in 2011. The music featured in here is consistently excellent....thanks for all your hard work.

    Here's to some peace, love and understanding in 2011. There's nothing funny about wishing for that.....

  2. Cheers JC - hope 2011 brings nothing but happiness

  3. David,
    a fine list; part' enjoyed Super Heroes and 1000 Autumns.
    Di has nicked One Fine Day for her work bag so I'll have to defer judgement. I hope that she finishes it before I see the film...
    Thanks for 'Keepers' lofty ranking by the way. I'm with you on Stornoway (sp?) by the way...
    All the best for 2011.

  4. Cheers Trev - interested what you think of one day. On one level it is very contrived a bit predictable and a clssic easy holiday read. On the other hand it really struck a chord with and was full of scarily familiar situations and feelings.I think it is only at the end when you realise how much you care for the 2 main characters you realise how well drawn and written they are


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