Best books read in 2010

It’s the annual “Best Books” Awards.

People, I read a lot of book in 2010. And, looking over the awards, I see that I read a lot of really good books this year. So this post is a bit long. You may want to make yourself a cup of tea and settle in.

The awards committee has met and has recognized the following:

Best book to keep me in bed all New Year’s day despite
the fact it contained torture AND a serial killer:
Chelsea Cain

Best book that connected new dots about a beloved series from my youth:
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Pamela Smith Hill

Best book I couldn’t stop talking about
despite other people’s obvious discomfort:

Dave Cullen

Best book about food you will read
in 60 minutes or less:

Food Rules
Michael Pollen

Best book featuring little gems of delightful writing
scattered throughout a vaguely coherent narrative:

A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints
Dito Montel

Best book I read this year about teaching:
The Teaching Gap
Stigler & Hiebert

Best of the Anti-Racism Books I read this year:
Uprooting Racism
Paul Kivel

Best book featuring an author back on top of his game:
Juliet, Naked
Nick Hornby

Best book about teaching Math:
Math: Facing an American Phobia
Marilyn Burns

Best novel written by an essayist:
Downtown Owl
Chuck Klosterman

Best bunch of interconnected short stories:
Olive Kittridge
Elizabeth Strout

Best book that was delightful, moving and interesting
far beyond my expectations (which were fairly high):

The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Society
Mary Ann Schaffer

Best book by Audrey Niffennegger that kept me from spring chores:
Her Fearful Symmetry
Audrey Niffengengger

Best book that draws you in, sets you up and
keeps you reading despite how hard it is:

Every Last One
Anna Quindlan

Best unexpectedly interesting scholarly study of my people:
Radical Homemakers
Shannon Hayes

Best examination of one family’s life in the Midwest:
Best description of the ghosts among us
Sing them home
Stephanie Kallos

Best beginning wild food plant guide:
Edible Wild Plants
John Kallas

Best gardening book to get me motivated in the middle of summer:
One Magic Square
Lolo Houbein

Best large collection of poems it took me probably a year to read:
Essential Pleasures
Robert Pinskey, ed.

Best non-fiction book for anyone to read:
Best book about a subject I care nothing about
The Blind Side
Michael Lewis

Worst fantasy novel I’ve ever read that clearly
needed a map, among other things:

River Kings Road
Liane Merciel

Best nonfiction examination of matrimony and its place and purpose:
Elizabeth Gilbert

Best nonfiction book I would have read out loud in its entirety
to Matt if I had my druthers:
Best book by my writer boyfriend:
Best book I probably brought up in conversation
with the largest number of people:

Manhood for Amateurs
Michael Chabon

Book that I wanted to like because I really loved the other two I’ve read by her, but solved the mystery very early on, alas:
Faithful Place
Tana French

Book that pointed me toward the author who will perhaps
fill the gaping hole left when Olivia Goldsmith died:

This Charming Man
Marian Keyes

Absolutely drenched in sugar and incredibly annoying book
that I’m sorry Fannie Flagg ever wrote:

Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven
Fannie Flagg

Best premise of the year:
The book that some other people I know
need to read already, so we can discuss it:

One Day
David Nicholls

Best tiny book about downsizing:
Put Your Life on a Diet
Gregory Johnson

Best premise for a futuristic apocalypse book, even if
the expressions of the Pagan lead character did get annoying:

Dies the Fire
SM Stirling

Best novel about: prodigies, first (or seventeenth) love
and also math, that I have ever read:
Best book in general that I think you should read. Really! No, I mean you. Even if you don’t like math or “get it.” You should read it:

An Abundance of Katherines
John Green

Best book of poetry by a poet I know:
Slim Margins
Alison Apotheker

Best book for getting me back on the tiny house bandwagon:
Tiny, Tiny Houses
Lester Walker

Best book highlighting a healthful practice you
could easily implement in your daily life:

Perfect Breathing
Al Lee & Don Campbell

Most awesome book that is totally not from our
“overprotective about the children” times:

Housebuilding for Children
Lester Walker

Book that I just did not like even though I really did hold out until the end with a small flame of hope that was extinguished on the last page:
The Lonely Polygamist
Brady Udell

Best reminder of my love for J.D. Salinger:
Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenter
J.D. Salinger

Best book by Audrey Nifflenegger that kept
me away from autumn chores:

The Time Traveler’s Wife
Audrey Nifflenegger

Best library book club book I read:
First novel about slavery and reconstruction I’ve read in ages and why are there not more published these days?:

Margert Walker

The Oh. My. God. You must read this book, seriously!
It is hard and oh so good, I’m not kidding award:

The Help
Kathryn Stockett

Best end-to-a-series and book I read in one day this year:
Moonlight Mile
Dennis Lehane

Best book to get me started on a very smart,
modern pen-pal series set in Australia:

Feeling Sorry for Celia
Jaclyn Moriarty

Absolutely worst book I’ve read in a decade that I feel like spitting
on the ground whenever I think about it:

Janne Teller

Best cooking book I read this year by
two authors with difficult to spell last names:

The Lost Art of Real Cooking
Abala & Natziger

Best book with a character I could not help
but grow overly attached to:
Best third book in a four-book series:

The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie
Jaclyn Moriarty

Best fourteen year old protagonist:
Best dialogue I’ve read in years:

True Grit
Charles Portis

Best book of the 10 books I read for the Mock-Printz Workshop :
Finnikin of the Rock
Melena Marchetta

Best book I had low expectations for but was pleasantly
surprised as to how much I enjoyed it:

Prince of Thieves
Chuck Hogan

Best non-fiction historical book I read that was written for Young Adults, but that adults would also enjoy:
They Called Themselves the KKK
Susan Campbell Bortoletti

Best practical gardening guide I read:
The Resilient Gardener
Carol Deppe

I read 97 books this year. Next year, if all goes according to plan, this list will be shorter because one of my goals is to read fewer books. I’m aiming for about 70 or so.

One thought on “Best books read in 2010”

  1. OMG! I love your book awards post every year (is this the second annual). I am laughing out loud! Truly classic!!!

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