January 31, 2011

Top Reads of 2010

I stopped posting my monthly summaries some time last year. I fell behind and decided it was too much effort to try to get caught up. But no matter how late I am with my Top Reads, I simply can't skip posting this annual summary. It's not yet February, so technically it's still the New Year, right?

I've been keeping track of how many books I read each year since 1999. I don't know if those early records included the books I quit on or just the ones I finished, but this year's total is a bit of an improvement from the previous two years. Take a look:

1999 42 books
2000 60 books
2001 63 books
2002 72 books
2003 88 books (includes books I quit on)
2004 82 books (doesn't include the books I quit on)
2005 57 books (quit on 12)
2006 73 books (quit on 17 more)
2007 58 books (quit on 9 more)
2008 46 books (quit on 6 more)
2009 45 books (quit on 7 more)

and this past year...

2010 52 books (quit on 3 more)

2010 Stats:

Male Authors 15

Female Authors 37

New-To-Me Authors 29

Fiction 43

Nonfiction 9

Epistolary 1

Current Affairs 0

Cultural Studies 0

Audio 11 (an all-time record!)

Historical Fiction 12 (this must be a record, too)
Classics 0

Graphic Novels 0

Poetry 1

Teen 3

Kids 0

Science Fiction 0

Fantasy 0

Horror 1
Romance 0

Culinary 1

Humor 1

Travel 1

Memoir 5

Mystery/Thriller 14
Re-read 2

Did Not Finish 3

Advanced Reader Copies 14

Borrowed 23

From my stacks (including ARCs) 29

It appears to have been the year of historical fiction, audio books and mystery/thrillers. And not too many that I couldn't finish.

And now for my Top Ten for 2010 (listed in the order read) ...

Mudbound by Hilary Jordan

The Help
(audio) by Kathryn Stockett

Lift by Kelly Corrigan

Every Last One by Anna Quindlen

Faithful Place by Tana French

World Without End by Ken Follett

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski

Room by Emma Donoghue

Left Neglected by Lisa Genova

Stiltsville by Susanna Daniel

Honorable Mentions:

Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

The Girl Who Played With Fire by Steig Larsson

Loving Frank by Nancy Horan

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin

Still Missing by Chevy Stevens

Click on the titles to read my reviews

You can also find a list of reviews for all the books I read in 2010 here.

My goal for 2011? Read more from my stacks before our second floor collapses into the living room!


  1. Most of my books are also on the second floor - good reason to read more from my own stacks too :)

    I'm starting to keep track of books I didn't finish as last year I had tons. I hope this year I won't track that many but I would like to know.

    I haven't read any from your favorites of the year - boo-hoo! But, there are several on your list I really want to read.

  2. Fantastic list of books, Les :)

  3. I've read 4 of your top 10 and 2 of the honorables. Agree with you on all of them!

  4. I need to read more from my own stacks, too. I am reading too much from the library the last couple years! Glad you had some good reads there! Hope 2011 is a great reading year for you!

  5. I'm really slipping, having only read one of the books in your top ten and one in your honorable mentions.

    There have been very few times in my life that I've given up on a book...that is, until I joined a book club. How embarrassing.

  6. A lot of great books! I'm glad to see you loved Stiltsville - I did too and a lot of other people didn't.

  7. Anonymous5:30 AM

    I have read 5 of your top 10, and 3 of the others......not bad. Keep the reviews coming!

  8. So many of your favorite Les, have been favorites of mine as well. Nice list.

  9. I wouldn't ever count books I don't finish. I mostly want to forget them as soon as I close the books. :<) It won't surprise you one little bit that I didn't read any of your top ten. :<) Did you see in one of my Maeve Binchy posts that she was reading Room?

  10. Ililana - I'm not sure why I had fewer books that I quit on this year than in previous years. I wonder if it's because I was more selective about what I wanted to read. Or maybe I just got lucky. Of course, I wound up quitting on one in January (and only finished 2), so I'm not off to the best start, now am I?

    Hope you find some winners from my list!

    Wendy - I thought so, too. :)

    Kay - Thank you again for sending me your copy of Stiltsville. I may not have made the time to read it for a few more years, had I waited to buy it myself. Nothing like a little gift guilt to motivate one's reading choices. ;)

    Kailana - Seems like everyone is saying the same thing. We've all wound up with huge TBR stacks thanks to all the great recommendations in the blogosphere (not to mention all the ARCs pouring in from publishers). Hope you have a great reading year, too. Thanks for popping in. I need to make a point to visit your blog more often!

    Janet - Well, you've been a bit busy with your jewelry business and new GRANDBABY! :)

    Anonymous - Not bad at all!! Thanks for stopping by.

    Nan - No surprise at all. I still love ya! ;) And, yes, I did see that Binchy was reading Room. Not your type of book at all, though. I do think you'd enjoy The Help, though. And World Without End. And Left Neglected. Probably none of the others, though.

  11. Kathy - Wasn't Stiltsville wonderful? I hope she's busy writing her second novel. I really enjoyed the character development in this first one.

    Diane - Another reading twin! I'll have to be sure to keep track of your favorites throughout the year. :)

  12. Amazing how many of your favorites were mine! That tells me that I need to add the rest of your list to my own "to read in 2011" list! Thanks! Annie

  13. I love your list Les...I'm going to reference it on my Reading Challenge page so that I can pick a book from it to read this year!

  14. My main reading goal this year is to read more from my own shelves, too. So far, so good!

    My library book club is reading The Help this month, so I will finally be able to see what all the fuss has been about and whether I agree or not!

  15. Nice list as always Les. We have two in common in our top 10 and one of of the honorable mentions. My Top 10:
    The Lonley Polygamist - Brady Udall
    Mudbound - Hillary Jordan
    The Gone Away World - Nick Harkaway
    Unbroken - Laura Hilenbrand
    Full Drak, No Stars - Stephen King
    Crooked Letter, Crooked Leter - Tom Franklin
    Room - Emma Donoghue
    Little Bee - Chris Cleave
    The Tower, The Zoo, & The Tortoise - Julia Stuart
    The Passage - Justin Cronin

    Honorable Mentions:
    Still Alice - Alice Genoa
    The Last Child - John Hart
    The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint - Brady udall


  16. I agree with 7 of them! And, I have several others in one way or another in a TBR waiting mode. I need to get my hands on Stiltsville!!!

  17. Annie Joy - Glad to help. ;) Hope you find some more gems.

    Staci - Aw, thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for the reference!

    Lesley - Good for you. My problem is all the new books that I see coming into the store Every.Single.Day! It's very difficult to resist them even though I know I have so many that I felt that way about a few years ago and they're still sitting here, unread.

    I hope you aren't disappointed with The Help after all the hype. Somehow, I doubt it. It really is a wonderful, wonderful book.

    Lee!! Good to see you! I'll have to add some of your titles to my TBR list. I had an ARC of Unbroken, but Rod didn't care for it, so I passed it on to my stepdad (who loved it). Might have to get it back. :) And I have a copy of The Passage somewhere around here. Good, huh? I've also been planning to read The Last Child, so I'll move that to the top of one of my lists. I have so many lists, it's ridiculous. I miss getting your monthly reviews. Drop me an email when you get a chance. Every time I read about Borders, I worry about you. Hope all is well. Take care.

    Joy - Wow! 7?! We really are reading twins, aren't we? :) I should send you my copy of Stiltsville...but I loved it so and hate to part with it. I'm sure I'll read it again...when I'm 80. Ha!

  18. Thanks for even thinking about sharing your Stiltsville copy, Les, but I've been keeping my eye out for it at my library. They've had a copy of it for a little while now, but they just got it in an electronic resource! So, that means I will download it to my iPad soon. The service isn't available until March 1.

    I see you're reading . . . Suspect X. I have an ARC of it sitting on my nightstand. I'm curious as to your thoughts.

  19. Joy - I really need to start utilizing my library's ebooks with my iPad! Thanks for the reminder.

    Umm, just finished The Devotion of Suspect X. In a word, Meh.

  20. Oh! Yay, one less ARC that I feel I HAVE to read! I'm putting it back on my bookshelf today. Thank you! :)


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