Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Notable Books of 2010

Each December the New York Times releases its 100 Notable Books of the year. Each year I like to compare what I have read to what the self-styled tastemakers declared best. So how many of this year's notable 100 did I read?

One.

That's not to say I wasn't reading this year, but the paltry number did surprise me. Upon reflection I realized the answer: while I read lots this year, all but a handful of those books were at least several years old.

My sole read from this year's 100 Notable Books was Robert Stones' Fun With Problems. This collection of stories portrays despicable people in often selfish situations, yet you will end up not only sympathizing with them but cheering for their redemption.

Some other books from 100 Notable Books of 2010 that caught my eye:

Fiction
David Mitchell's The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet

Tom Rachman's The Imperfectionists

Karl Marlantes' Matterhorn

Anthony Doerr's Memory Wall

Nonfiction

Lewis Hyde's Common As Air: Revolution, Art, and Ownership

Paul Greenberg's Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food

Daniel Okrent's Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition

Ian Frazier's Travels in Siberia

I'm hoping to get to a few of these, but the 2011 books are quickly approaching (not to mention 130 million books estimated to have been written in recorded history).

What were your favorite books of 2010?

2 comments:

La Princesse de Clèves said...

See also APL's own Best Books of 2010 at http://www.cityofaustin.org/library/rr_booksbyyear.htm

Anonymous said...

I've heard of 'The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest' and 'Hitch', but I don't think I've read anything current.

Nope... nothing is coming to mind.

~ Jane