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message 1: by Sherry (sethurner) (last edited Jan 05, 2011 12:11PM) (new)

Sherry (sethurner) (sthurner) I thought I'd post ten of my favorite fiction books for 2010 here, and I hope some of you do too.

Annie Dunne, by Sebastian Barry
"Oh, Kelsha is a distant place, over the mountains from everywhere." The opening line of Sebastian Barry's 2002 novel is spoken by the book's narrator, Annie Dunne. I liked the book fine for its subtle characterizations and poetic language, but it won't be for everyone. Fact is, not much happens, and many people will not like Annie. In general, Annie, who is unmarried, born with a crooked back, and in her sixties, is unhappy and cantankerous, and afraid that the way of life she has known is passing away and that there is no place any more for her in her world. She lives with her friend Sarah on a remote farm, and one summer gets to take care of her grand-niece and nephew - something that has its good and bad days. Then it looks like Sarah might marry, and where would Annie go? This is a quiet book, and a thoughtful one, that leads the reader to consider what is important in a person's life.
Annie Dunne

Being Dead, by Jim Crace
"For old time' sake the doctors of zoology had driven out of town that Tuesday afternoon to make a final visit to the singing salt dunes at Baritone Bay."This is a short book about the lives and deaths of Joseph and Celice, a married couple whose unsentimental lives are chronicled in prose both straightforward and poetic. They die, they decay, and their entwined lives are considered in an unforgettable way. Be forewarned, this is not for the squeamish reader.
Being Dead

The Cellist of Sarajevo, by Steven Galloway
"It screamed downward, splitting air and sky without effort."
"It" is a bomb in Sarajevo, the setting of The Cellist of Sarajevo. The book came highly recommended to me, and because of that, plus the fact it is a short novel, I dove into it. It took a while for me to see how the four stories of people living in the Serbian city during its siege in the 1990s were related. By the end, though, I saw what the very different people had in common, besides their unhappy lot of living in a city at war. The novel describes some very terrible things in a quiet and dispassionate way, but the final impression I am left with isn't how horrible people can be, but rather how fine.
The Cellist of Sarajevo

Cutting For Stone, by Abraham Verghese
"After eight months spent in the obscurity of our mother's womb, my brother, Shiva, and I came into the world in the late afternoon of the twentieth of September in the year of grace 1954."Cutting for Stone came highly recommended to me by friends whose opinions I value, and their good opinion was well justified. I had put off reading this one because of its length, 541 pages, but I ended up savoring the story of identical twin brothers who each love the same woman, and each of whom becomes a doctor. It's a sprawling novel that begins and ends in Ethiopia, and in the middle travels to the United States. While I was interested in some of the historical events covered in the story and information about Ethiopian culture, the real interest for me was the story of the boys and their families. The writing here is wonderful - flowing, observant, humane. I was sorry to see it all end.
Cutting for Stone

East of Eden, by John Steinbeck
This was the first book I read in 2010, and for a while nothing lived up to it. I didn’t write a review at the time, so my grasp of details has slipped. But suffice it to say this is a sprawling intergenerational novel that traces the history of a family of California settlers. Everything I read said the plot broadly follows the story of Cain and Abel, and certainly there is a great rift between the two brothers in the story, but the novel is broader, richer than that. Steinbeck stirs together history, autobiography, legend, philosophy, and even poetry to make a book that is hard to put down (even though it weighs a ton!), and hard to forget.
East of Eden

Let the Great World Spin, by Colum McCann
"Those who saw him hushed." Let the Great World Spin came highly recommended by a book friend whose taste I trust, and this one was as good as I hoped. The novel's plot lines all come back to the day in 1974 when a French wire walker held NYC spellbound by dancing back and forth between the towers of the World Trade Center. There are beautiful chapters about that walk, but the bulk of the novel consists of interwoven threads about New Yorkers who saw or heard about the event. There's an Irish priest who ministers to streetwalkers, women who lost sons in the Vietnam war, a judge, and more. Each of walks his or her own dangerous path. I was charmed by the characters and the writing, but I expect some readers will be impatient with the fragmented narrative. Thumbs up from me.
Let the Great World Spin

The Little Stranger, by Sarah Waters.
"I first saw Hundreds Hall when I was ten years old." Our narrator was the son of a maid at the hall, and when he was allowed his first peek at the mansion he pinched a plaster acorn from a frieze on the wall. Years later (in 1947) , after his parents are gone and he has become a country doctor, he once again visits the house to treat a sick maid, and we're off. One one level the story is a Gothic romance, complete with a decaying but once fine mansion out in the countryside, dim and dusty rooms, steep staircases, locked nurseries, tales of ghosts, mysterious marks on both the house and the inhabitants, strange noises, insanity, death, and frustrated love. As I read I kept flashing scenes from classic horror, The Turn of the Screw, Fall of the House of Usher, The Haunting of Hill House, even the creepy old house bits from Great Expectations. But there is more, a sense of loss, sadness, a passing of a way of life that is historic rather than simply creepy. The story begins rather slowly, but little by little I found myself turning the pages more quickly, reluctant to stop, and a little afraid to turn out the lights.
The Little Stranger

Olive Kitteridge, by Elizabeth Strout
Even though this was one of my favorite fiction reads for 2010, I neglected to review it immediately after I finished the book. I know this novel polarized many readers - many disliked the dark tone of the thirteen inter-related stories, or thought Olive was unlikeable. I was completely caught up in each separate story, and the way they told the story of Olive’s life, and of the lives of others in her small Maine town. My heart went out to this woman whose life, like many people’s lives, is hard. Her crustiness is a self-defense, and underneath it she has a good heart. I loved the quiet writing in this book, the unflinching look at the joys and heartaches that make up our lives.
Olive Kitteridge

The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters, by Robert Lewis Taylor
I just finished a second reading of The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters, as always a little afraid that I wouldn't like it as well as I remembered. The novel begins this way: "On the day when I first learned of my father's journey, I had come back with two companions from a satisfactory afternoon in the weeds near Kay's Bell Foundry, shooting a slingshot at the new bells, which were lying out in the year and strung up on rafters." Jaimie narrates the story, and the journey is as much his as his father's. Soon enough the shooting that happens is with guns, not slingshots. This rambling odyssey of a story covers a year in the life of Jaimie and his father, who leave Louisville to escape debt and find fortune in California. The adventure of crossing the country by wagon train is filled by turns with humor and horror. The author includes an extensive bibliography of work he used for research, including many narratives of travelers on the Oregon Trail. I had the feeling that descriptions of privation, Indian attacks, experiences with the Mormons, all had their basis in the true experiences of pioneers. It is an interesting book, with likable characters, filled with history, adventure, and danger. I'm not sure I'd recommend it for young readers, not only because it runs more than 500 pages, but because of the occasional gut-wrenching violence. Travel across the prairies, mountains and deserts of America in the 1860s was not for the faint of heart. Still, I found myself impatient each day to return to the story, anxious to see what became of the wanderers, and whether or not they ever found home. I am happy I was able to revisit this fine novel.The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters


message 2: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19955 comments I enjoyed reading your list, Sherry.

I think my library has Cutting The Stone on their list for us to discuss in the coming months.

I, too, enjoyed Olive. It wasn't at all what I expected. For some reason I expected something insubstantial and fluffy. I read it in 2009. Well deserved praise, imo

My list of fiction is quite short. I only gave 2 books a 5 which is my top rating.

The #1 book for me was Little Bee~~Chris Cleave. I read it with my f2f book club. I very much doubt I ever would have picked this book up on my own. This is the reason I love book clubs !

The only other fiction book I gave a top rating to was I Know This Much Is True~~Wally Lamb This was a re-read for me for my f2f book club. I loved this story just as much the second time around.

Others that I gave a 4 rating to which is a cut above the rest were:
The Plague~Albert Camus
The Stranger- Albert Camus Both of these books were re-reads for me. I read them in college.
House Rules~Jodi Picoult
Last Night in Twisted River~John Irving
Ethan Frome~~Edith Wharton- It took me awhile to finally read this classic. I'm glad I did.
Freedom~Jonathan Franzen


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Sherry (sethurner) wrote: "I thought I'd post ten of my favorite fiction books for 2010 here, and I hope some of you do too.

Annie Dunne, by Sebastian Barry
"Oh, Kelsha is a distant place, over the mountains from everywhere..."


Loved reading this and of course East of Eden is one of my all time top ten books. I liked Olive and Let the Great World Spin and Cutting for Stone. All in all great books, glad you enjoyed them, Sherry.


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Alias Reader wrote: "I enjoyed reading your list, Sherry.

I think my library has Cutting The Stone on their list for us to discuss in the coming months.

I, too, enjoyed Olive. It wasn't at all what I expected. For..."


I did so enjoy Freedom, Alias. I also gave it 5 stars. I liked greatly House Rules and Last Night in Twisted River. I truly enjoyed Little Bee. Great books for me as well!


Sherry (sethurner) (sthurner) Alias, Little Bee is on Mt. TBR, and I will get to it eventually, good Lord willing and the creeks don't rise...


message 6: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19955 comments Sherry, the book was a hit with my f2f book club, too.


message 7: by Jaleh Rose (new)

Jaleh Rose | 10 comments Sherry (sethurner) wrote: "I thought I'd post ten of my favorite fiction books for 2010 here, and I hope some of you do too.

Annie Dunne, by Sebastian Barry
"Oh, Kelsha is a distant place, over the mountains from everywhere..."


East of Eden is my all time favorite book. The books I liked the best that I read this year are:

1.The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
2.The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
3.The Help by Kathryn Stockett
4.Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger
5.East of Eden by John Steinbeck
6.Animal Farm by George Orwell
7.In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez
8.The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb

...and I can't come up with two more that I would give a 4 or 5 rating to.


JoAnn/QuAppelle | 741 comments As I asked in an earlier post, I hope you will all vote for your top 10 books of 2010 over at the thread at Readers and Reading that I set up for this. This is for fiction and nonfiction. Here is the link again:

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/4...

This will be the 13th year we have compiled this list. Last year 66 people voted.

Thanks


message 9: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 06, 2011 09:35AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19955 comments Jaleh wrote:
4.Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger
-------------------

Thanks for posting your list, Jaleh !

I still have my copy of Nine Stories from a zillion years ago when I was in high school. I do plan on re-reading it. It would really be like a first read for me, as I don't recall a thing about it anymore.


Donna in Southern Maryland (cedarville922) | 207 comments Saving CeeCee Honeycutt Beth Hoffman
The First Rule Robert Crais
Nowhere to Run C. J. Box
The Virgin of the Small Plains Nancy Pinkard
Think Twice Lisa Scottoline
Split Image Robert B. Parker
The Bone Thief Jefferson Bass
The Eleventh Victim Nancy Grace
A Hopeful Heart Kim Vogel Sawyer
State Fair Earlene Fowler


Donna in Southern Maryland


Donna in Southern Maryland (cedarville922) | 207 comments Sherry, I wrote down 3 of yours to add to my list!

Donna


Lynne in PA/Lineepinee (lineepineeaolcom) | 22 comments I only read 22 books last year, a couple of them not worth the time. I read several books with the immigrant theme. My top reads were:
CUTTING FOR STONE/ Abraham Verghese
THE NAMESAKE/Jhumpa Lahini
A RELIABLE WIFE/Robert Goolrick
THE HELP/Kathryn Stockett
HUNTERS MOON/Dana Stabenow
GIRL IN TRANSLATION/Jean Kwok
HOTEL AT THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET/Jaime Ford
TEA FOR STANDARD BUILDS/Alexander McCall Smith

Most Disappointing:
THIS TIME TOGETHER/Carol Burnett


message 13: by Bobbie (new)

Bobbie (bobbie572002) | 1084 comments This has been one of those years when contemplating this question nothing jumps out at me. So I am looking at my notebook and reflecting.

1. The Help Kathryn Stockett definitely qualifies

2. That Old Cape Magic Richard Russo I enjoyed this and the fact that I still remember a lot about it means it registered.

3. Little Bee Chris Cleave a worthwhile book IMO and it made an impression

I had quite a few rereads I see. And I was glad that I read each one. Was pleased to be reminded of their place in my memory

- East of Eden I've read this more than twice.

Brave New World

The Plague

The Wayward Bus

A Tale of Two Cities


message 14: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19955 comments Lynne in PA/Lineepinee wrote: "I only read 22 books last year, a couple of them not worth the time. I read several books with the immigrant theme. My top reads were:
CUTTING FOR STONE/ Abraham Verghese
."

--------------

I keep seeing Cutting For Stone on peoples best of list. I guess I am going to have to bit the bullet and read this one, even though it is longer book than I like for fiction.

I am sure one of my F2F book clubs will select it this year.


Susan (aka Just My Op) (justmyop) | 234 comments I loved Cutting for Stone but it doesn't make my top list for this year because I read it last year. Some of my favorite fiction that I read this year in the order that I read them are:

Let the Great World Spin

Saving Ceecee Honeycutt

Girl in Translation

Impatient with Desire

The Tale of Halcyon Crane

The Kitchen House

Some Sing, Some Cry

Sunset Park

The Calligrapher's Daughter

How to Be an American Housewife

Bitter in the Mouth

The Distant Hours

A Cup of Friendship: A Novel

The Lonely Polygamist

Lots of good reads this year, but I think my favorite of the above is Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok by Jean Kwok. These aren't all books that everyone will love, just ones that especially touched or interested me.


message 16: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19955 comments Susan, at the last meeting of my F2F book group someone added The Lonely Polygamist to our TBR list.

Glad to see you enjoyed it. It does sound interesting.


Susan (aka Just My Op) (justmyop) | 234 comments I've read several books about polygamy, LDS and FLDS, both fiction and nonfiction. This one certainly has a different outlook than any of the others. I thought it was a great read but YMMV.

For nonfiction, I enjoyed Jon Krakauer's Under the Banner of Heaven.


message 18: by Elaine (new)

Elaine Langer | 119 comments I was wondering if we could make cutting for stone a group read at some point this year. It is on my list of to read, with several books in front.
My favorite fiction last year was undoubtly
To the End of the Land. It captured me in a way no book has done in a long time. I usually read non-fiction so this book was a nice break.


message 19: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19955 comments Elaine we will probably do nominations in March, you can nominate Cutting The Stone. That would be great.

We already have group reads selected for Feb/march
Feb- Up From Slavery
March- What's eating Gilbert Grape.


Susan (aka Just My Op) (justmyop) | 234 comments Dang, Elaine, now I have to add another book to my TBR. ;-) Really, thanks though -- looks like a good novel, and one that wasn't on my radar screen.


message 21: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 08, 2011 09:44AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19955 comments Susan wrote: "I've read several books about polygamy, LDS and FLDS, both fiction and nonfiction. This one certainly has a different outlook than any of the others. I thought it was a great read but YMMV.

For nonfiction, I enjoyed Jon Krakauer's Under the Banner of Heaven.
----------------

I totally agree, Susan. A few of us read it together here a while back and loved it.

I'm nominating it for my f2f book club.


message 22: by Elaine (new)

Elaine Langer | 119 comments Susan, I only heard of it on NPR while the author was on and he was talking of his own life while writing the book. Apparently his son was also serving in the military. Really good read...:)


message 23: by Bobbie (new)

Bobbie (bobbie572002) | 1084 comments Elaine wrote: "I was wondering if we could make cutting for stone a group read at some point this year. It is on my list of to read, with several books in front.
My favorite fiction last year was undoubtly
[..."


Elaine -- I nominated Cutting For Stone on our last go round. It seemed to be too big and fat for some. So if all else fails and it doesn't get chosen the next time around I'd be happy to have a buddy read with you. I definitely plan to read it in 2011.


Carolyn (in SC) C234D | 82 comments Alias Reader wrote: "Lynne in PA/Lineepinee wrote: "I only read 22 books last year, a couple of them not worth the time. I read several books with the immigrant theme. My top reads were:
CUTTING FOR STONE/ Abraham Verg..."


Although Cutting for Stone is a long book, I found that it moved pretty quickly. I would become immersed in it and not want to put it down, so it did not take terribly long to read. Years ago I put off reading The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay for ages because it was a big, fat book, then I was annoyed with myself for not reading it sooner--I loved it.


message 25: by Elaine (new)

Elaine Langer | 119 comments Bobbie57 wrote: I would love to read this with you. I guess I will wait a bit before deciding...big books don't usually scare me, I like a book that lasts. :)


message 26: by Madrano (last edited Jan 10, 2011 06:50AM) (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments Nothing immediately came to mind when thinking about this thread. I read quite a bit of fiction this year, thanks to my stay in NYC. However, i couldn't come up with 10 favorites and, worse, most of these are on the list because they introduced me to the writer &/or reminded me of the author. But the book itself isn't particularly outstanding. If this is a mood thing, it's been going on for several months. Hmmm.

Favorites for 2010.
The Bondwoman's Narrative written by Hannah Crafts "discovered, researched" and edited by Henry Louis Gates Jr.. The novel itself is too Gothic for me but this is now believed to be the first novel by a black woman. Because it is written in first person and apparently offers the first authentic look at how house slaves viewed field slaves, i found it interesting.

Push by Sapphire. I liked the way the author showed readers the progress of Precious made by sharing her school writings. This novel also introduced me to Sapphire's poetry, which is raw and emotional.

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. I liked the writing and felt he had keen insights to where this country was headed in the late 50s & early 60s. I hope to read more by him, as i found the characters intriguing and the writing strong.

Too Loud a Solitude by Bohumil Hrabal. This is a very short novel about a man in Prague who has spent decades working as a paper crusher. The person who loaned it to me did so due to some comments we shared about crowding our homes with old books. I'd like to read more by Hrabal, as his humor fits me.

The Stranger by Albert Camus. Also this year i read his The Plague. I liked both for their presentation and the ideas behind them, leading me to want to read more by him. However, i think it's this education about his work i like as much, if not more than the novels themselves. (I'm wondering if i'm even making sense with this comment.)

Loitering with Intent by Muriel Spark Again, the book was so well written it reminded me how much i have enjoyed Spark's writing in the past. It also led me to wonder why i haven't read more, which i hope to do this year. This particular novel wasn't the best i've read by her, though. (I hope my theme/intent is being expressed well enough that i don't look crazy here.)

The Colonel's Family (Series B by Fredrika Bremer introduced me to this 19th century Swedish author. She was a feminist who influenced the Swedish legislature with her novels and also carved a good life for herself without marrying. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fredrika...

As you may have noticed, not one of these was written in this century. I read several (Undiscovered Country: A NovelLin Enger; LowboyJohn Wray; The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie SocietyMary Ann Shaffer; Point OmegaDon DeLillo to name a few)
but they didn't seem particularly good and none of them made me want to read more by the authors.

EDIT: PS. I realized that i should add, for those new to the board (& me) that it is typical that i don't like many contemporary novels. What's surprising this year is that even the older ones haven't done much for me. The nonfiction this year was great, however. Also typical of me is that i read & enjoy nf better than fiction.

deborah


message 27: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19955 comments Madrano wrote:Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. I liked the writing and felt he had keen insights to where this country was headed in the late 50s & early 60s. I hope to read more by him, as i found the characters intriguing and the writing strong.
--------------

This has been sitting on my shelf for a long time. I really should move it up in the rotation.


message 28: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments When the film came out a couple of years ago, i know many people who read the book then but didn't enjoy it. It rang true to me but i could understand not liking either character, which could influence one's opinion.

deborah


Sherry (sethurner) (sthurner) I read Push when it came out, and remember being caught up in the sheer energy of the writing.


Susan (aka Just My Op) (justmyop) | 234 comments I read Push by Sapphire when I learned of it through the hype about the movie Precious. It's a very powerful little book. I saw the movie after reading the book, and thought it was well done too.


message 31: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19955 comments Revolutionary Road~~Richard Yates

Madrano wrote: "When the film came out a couple of years ago, i know many people who read the book then but didn't enjoy it. It rang true to me but i could understand not liking either character, which could influ..."
---------------

If my memory is correct, I think I purchased the book after reading a recommendation from Jonathan Franzen.

As to not having "likable" characters, that doesn't bother me at all. I find unlikeable characters very interesting.

I guess I am in the Leo Tolstoy camp. "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."


message 32: by Connie (new)

Connie (constants) | 73 comments Madrano wrote: "Nothing immediately came to mind when thinking about this thread. I read quite a bit of fiction this year, thanks to my stay in NYC. However, i couldn't come up with 10 favorites and, worse, most o..."

Speaking of Revolutionary Road - I "discovered" Richard Yates about 10 years ago and truly enjoyed every book of his that I've read. Easter Parade is one of those rare books that I read twice and that I still think about occasionally. His stories are never very upbeat, but they're well-written and get right to the heart of the characters.

Connie


message 33: by Mike (new)

Mike (mikesgoodreads) | 294 comments The only book I read in 2010 that was actually published in the same was Greyhound by Steffan Piper. Not great writing but the story makes up for it. Or something.


message 34: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sarahreader) | 68 comments Connie wrote: I "discovered" Richard Yates about 10 years ago and truly enjoyed every book of his that I've read. Easter Parade is one of those rare books that I read twice

Connie, thanks for mentioning this. I enjoyed Revolutionary Road (not sure "enjoyed" is exactly the right word, but it was very well done and worth the effort). I'll try to fit in Easter Parade soon.


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) I just bought Revolutionary Road at the book sale in the library.


message 36: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19955 comments Mike wrote: "The only book I read in 2010 that was actually published in the same was Greyhound by Steffan Piper. Not great writing but the story makes up for it. Or something."
---------------------------

For this thread, the book doesn't have to be published in 2010, just a book read by you in 2010.


message 37: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments Alias Reader wrote: "For this thread, the book doesn't have to be published in 2010, just a book read by you in 2010...."

I may have caused this confusion with my comments. If so, apologies. Btw, i forgot to mention liking
Noah's Compass by Anne Tyler. I liked it and continue to find myself sighing after reading her fiction. However, it didn't end up being a favorite for the year, even though i didn't have 10. I'm not sure i'm clear on my own thinking here. Maybe it's that if a novel is truly outstanding i feel i should remember what it is about & this is the case for the ones i listed. Whereas when thinking of Tyler's book & others i read last year, i couldn't remember what they were about or even anything about the characters.

And thanks for the comments on Yates & other books by him. I didn't know where to start.

deb


Sherry (sethurner) (sthurner) Also, remember that you don't have to come up with ten titles. This thread is just fiction titles you enjoyed reading in 2010. Any number is just fine.


message 39: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments Good point...thanks, Sherry. I think i just like round numbers. ;-)

deb


Carolyn (in SC) C234D | 82 comments These are my top ten favorite fiction books for 2010 (as posted in the Readers and Reading thread):

Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese
The Alchemist, by Paolo Coelho
Transfer of Power, by Vince Flynn
The Second Perimeter, by Mike Lawson
The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The God of War, by Marisa Silver
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Steig Larsson
Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte
Birds of a Feather, by Jacqueline Winspear
The Third Option, by Vince Flynn

Some of the other fiction that I thought highly of:

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley (I look forward to the next book, should check to see if it has been published yet)

The Haunted Bookshop by Christopher Morley -- an oldie, but a goodie.

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson -- I enjoyed it, just expected more, I guess.

Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad -- interesting and very topical still.

City of Bones by Michael Connelly -- A Harry Bosch police novel; I find this author's books riveting.

I am happy to have been introduced to two new mystery/thriller writers this year -- Mike Lawson and Vince Flynn. I have quite a few of their books to look forward to.


message 41: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 19955 comments You had a nice mix of classical and contemporary, Carolyn.


Carolyn (in SC) C234D | 82 comments Alias Reader wrote: "You had a nice mix of classical and contemporary, Carolyn."

Yes, I read some good classics last year, but I was surprised to see how little non-fiction I had read. I will consciously try to remedy that in 2011. I usually have a longer NF list, but this wasn't a typical year for me, as we had our daughter and two young grandchildren living with us for almost six months. Too many distractions! But I miss them now.


message 43: by JoAnn/QuAppelle (new)

JoAnn/QuAppelle | 741 comments Carolyn (in SC) C234D wrote: "we had our daughter and two young grandchildren living with us for almost six months. Too many distractions! But I miss them now...."

boo hoo, I bet you do.....after getting used to them being around all the time!!

How far away are they now, Carolyn?


message 44: by Elaine (new)

Elaine Langer | 119 comments Carolyn (in SC) C234D wrote: "These are my top ten favorite fiction books for 2010 (as posted in the Readers and Reading thread):

Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese
The Alchemist, by Paolo Coelho
Transfer of Power, b..."


I love yor list. I am rereading the Great Gatsby right now (14 years later). I felt the same with Mjor Pettigrew, when it ended I thought, is that it?

I have cutting for stone and the alchemist on my to read list. Thanks! for sharing.


Susan (aka Just My Op) (justmyop) | 234 comments I know that a lot of people love The Alchemist but that one just didn't work for me. I didn't like the style and it bored me. I ended up skimming through it.


message 46: by Connie (new)

Connie (constants) | 73 comments Susan wrote: "I know that a lot of people love The Alchemist but that one just didn't work for me. I didn't like the style and it bored me. I ended up skimming through it."

Both my boss and my son had been urging me to read The Alchemist so I brought a copy home. I struggled through the first 20 pages before quitting. It's just not my kind of read. I didn't like the writing style either, and I suspect I wouldn't have appreciated the book's message either.


message 47: by JoAnn/QuAppelle (new)

JoAnn/QuAppelle | 741 comments Connie, I am glad to know someone who can decide in 20 pages whether a book grabs her!

As for me, I read the synopsis of The Alchemist and decided it was not for me. Zzzzzzz


message 48: by RNOCEAN (new)

RNOCEAN | 29 comments TOP 10 FICTION: (no particular order)

The Forgotten Garden - Kate Morton

Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt - Beth Hoffman

The Help - Kathryn Stockett

The Wife's Tale - Lori Lansen

The Girl With Glass Feet - Ali Shaw

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake - Aimee Bender

Leaving The World - Douglas Kennedy

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson

The Girl Who Played With Fire - Stieg Larsson

The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins


Carolyn (in SC) C234D | 82 comments JoAnn/QuAppelle wrote: "Carolyn (in SC) C234D wrote: "we had our daughter and two young grandchildren living with us for almost six months. Too many distractions! But I miss them now...."

boo hoo, I bet you do.....after ..."


They are across the country in Monterey, California. SIL will be attending a naval school there for the next 18 months, so it will be a long time before we see them again.

I had never been interested in reading THE ALCHEMIST until my book group selected it. It's not my usual type of book, but I did enjoy it.


message 50: by JoAnn/QuAppelle (new)

JoAnn/QuAppelle | 741 comments Carolyn (in SC) C234D wrote: "JSIL will be attending a naval school there for the next 18 months, so it will be a long time before we see them again.
.."


Do you think you will go out there to visit? What a beautiful place to live! Do they know where they will go after he is done?

Two of my daughter's best friends just moved east from CA. Both military--- one Navy, one Marine. She is so glad to have them nearby again.


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