I’ve been talking with some friends from work, and we all decided to compile a list of our top 10 Reads for 2010. It doesn’t matter when they were published, as long as I read them in 2010. These are in no particular order.
I really enjoyed this book. It’s not incredibly deep or allegorical, like some fantasy, but it was fun. Lots of action, some good dramatic moments, as well as a good discussion of power and control: letting yourself be used and intimidated by fear or standing for the right thing no matter what. See my full review here.
2. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
This book really was a treat. I love the British-ness of it, and the narrator’s (Flavia’s) voice was incredibly distinct and enjoyable. This book has a unique mystery, not too convoluted. Flavia is a character about whose exploits I’d like to keep reading.
Rick Riordan’s latest, The Lost Hero, was an exceptional installment in the saga of the Heroes of Camp Half-Blood. It’s a continuation of the events in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians, taking place about 6 months after The Last Olympian ends. It’s clear that Rick Riordan is in his element with Greek mythology. I loved being back in Percy’s world, and the new storyline is actually broader in scope, able to encompass new characters, while fitting seamlessly into that which we’ve already read. Read my entire review here.
4. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
You need to read this book! It’s engrossing and exceptionally well written–exciting all the way through. I was wary for a while because I thought it would be too absurd to have young children as soldiers-to-be. In fact, you don’t even read them as kids half the time, partially because of the situations in which they’ve been placed.
I plowed through this book and one of its many sequels/side-quels in about a week. I couldn’t stop.
Read these books. Read my entire review here.
5. Going Bovine by Libba Bray
This is a very quirky, thoroughly enjoyable read. It’s existential teen fiction at it’s best. It reads like Jack Kerouac and Percy Jackson–excellent. Raw, crass, and bawdy–exemplifying a lot of teen issues very well. I really wish I’d have thought of it myself! This was one of the best books I’ve read this year.
I loved this book. It has a fully unique premise. I’ve always loved Holly Black’s voice. She creates great characters, deeply fleshed out and interesting. I was drawn in right from the beginning, and she kept me the whole time. There are great twists throughout, and a solid lead-in to the next book. Read my entire review here.
7. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
This is a very promising beginning to a new trilogy. While I really liked the original trilogy—it’s intelligent, witty, and snarky—it reads like chick-lit every once in a while. The writing here is much more mature, and it reads like a lighter (in tone, not in content) version of a Holly Black novel. This balances a bit of romance with a good amount of action and suspense. This expands the already established world of The Mortal Instruments in a skillful way. See my full review here.
Rarely has a book simply captivated me from page 1. The Spellmans are a family of private investigators; they are an extremely dysfunctional family, but they seem to make it work. This novel, for the most part, is told in the form of interconnected vignettes. I enjoy that, as they read like short stories, self-contained, but essential background information. Truly, this is the story of a family’s relationship with one another, odd as it is, and how they discover that they need each other, and that they cannot live without one another. It was hilarious and addictive, I simply could not stop reading (listening, in my case!), and I can’t wait for the sequel! Read my full review here.
9. Batman: Long Halloween & Dark Victory by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale
This was rather epic, a full-on noir murder mystery starring Batman. Either way, the atmosphere of the book truly captured me. It was populated by some of the scariest Batman villains, making me wonder who was truly behind the year-long “holiday” killings, followed by the “hangman” murders, as there were so many contenders.
I can also see the influence (at least in tone and characterization) on Christopher Nolan’s Batman franchise. Read my full review of Long Halloween here and Dark Victory here.
10. The Passage by Justin Cronin
Amy is the girl from nowhere, and she is going to save the world. The scope of this novel was immense, sweeping, intricate, tragic, and brutal. It was terrible and heart-wrenching. It is Kingsian in style and content, and I loved it. Read my full review here.