Friday, January 7, 2011

Best Books of 2010

Let's switch gears and talk about something I haven't mentioned in awhile: reading. One perk of being single is that I sure read a heck of a lot more!

Last week, out of curiosity, I counted the number of books I read in 2010. The total? 50. Ufda. That is a lot of books. Do you wonder how I keep track?, my friends. Do you love to read? If so, I highly recommend that website (I have no association with them, I just think it's an awesome way to keep track of what you've read and what you want to read). If you join, let me know so we can be friends!

After scanning through all those books, I thought I'd share my top 5 reads from 2010!

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay - This was a heavier read. It's set in Paris during WWII and is about the round up of Jews living in Paris. The narration alternates between an American journalist who now lives in the apartment of a Jewish family that was sent to Auschwitz and Sarah, a child in the family that was sent to Auschwitz. When the family was rounded up, Sarah thought they would return to the apartment so she locked her little brother in a cabinet in an effort to save him. As a Francophile, it's probably not surprising that one of my favorite books from 2010 is a book that is largely set in France. It's definitely worth checking out! de Rosnay has a new book out, A Secret Kept, which I might buy and read while I am in Paris!

The Piano Shop on the Left Bank by Thad Carhart - Ahem. Yes, another book set in France makes the top 5 list... I really adored this book. I played piano growing up and absolutely love pianos. I loved this book because I learned so much about the history of the piano. I think the author told the story of the piano in an interesting way. Carhart gets to know the owner of a little Piano Shop in Paris and gets to see how the shop owner helps his patrons select pianos. This book makes me want to move to Paris so I can get to know the shop owners in the neighborhood I would inhabit. I know I will never really move to Paris, though, as I would miss my family too much, but this book let me vicariously live through Carhart's experiences. And it made me really want to buy a piano! When I buy a house, that will be my first major purchase!

American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld - This was probably my favorite read for 2010. It's loosely based upon the life of George and Laura Bush. The author did a great job of capturing the spirit and mannerisms of the Bush's. It was a page turner and would be a great book club book as you could have a great discussion about whether or not you could/did marry someone with different political views.

Good Things I Wish You by A. Manette Ansay - This novel explores the relationship between Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms, the protege of Clara's husband, Robert Schumann. It's a work of historical fiction and Ansay did a great job weaving together notes and photos from both the present and the past. The narrator of the book, Jeanette, is struggling with a divorce and while she tries to find out what really happened between Clara & Johannes, she starts dating someone and finds that her relationship parallels the relationship she is researching to some extent.

Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern - Since my other books were heavier books, I had to include one light/funny book. This might just be the funniest book I have ever read. This is the kind of book that you can not read in public, unless you want to look like a lunatic, because it will leave you laughing so hard, you may be in tears! I will warn you, the language is pretty crass/vulgar, but if you can get around that, you'll love this book. I can't wait to talk about this book when I see my younger sister later this month as she also read it and loved it!! I'm picturing us pulling out the book and reading sections to each other. Seriously, check it out!

What were your top reads for 2010?


Jess said...

I love reading, so I'll have to check out that site!

Since finishing my MA, I've been reading a lot of lighter stuff, just because I feel like my brain needs a little break. I just got something like 12 books for Christmas though, so I'm pretty excited about that. I'd say the best book I read in 2010 was Fiona Range by Mary McGarry Morris or She's Come Undone (Wally Lamb - I've read it before, but re-read it and I seriously, seriously love that man!!)

I should check out some of your recommendations because you read some really good stuff!!

Emily Jane said...

Oh I LOVE Goodreads... I especially love that they have a quotes section where you can find favourites from your top books and authors :)

I will have to check some of these out! I'm setting myself a reading challenge this year (actually posting on Monday about books too :)) and I've got a few I can't wait to get into!

Mandy said...

I would have a few of these plus a few others on the list as well -- I really enjoyed The Help. It was probably my most favorite book. I would also add Her Fearful Symmetry to the list. I enjoyed it so much more than Time Travelers Wife.

You are a reading machine.

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

I love love l love American Wife! Laura Bush and the character of Alice Lingdren fascinate me! You read some really great books in 2010! My goal was to read 50 books and review them on my blog but that failed miserably. Now, I have no idea how many books I read. I should probably join Goodreads!

Nora said...

Hmmm, this is tough! Definitely the Help. I couldn't (and didn't) put that book for a few days. I just loved every single part of it. And surprisingly, though it was dark, Never Let me Go. Hauntingly beautiful, that book. I'd have to go through the list of books I read last year to come up with others! Oh, and Jennifer Weiner's newest book, Fly Away Home. I loved it.

Thanks for your sharing your list; surprisingly I've not read a single one of them!

Amber said...

Ooooh American Wife is definitely on my list too! And The Help and Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

I have heard only good things about Sarahs Key so I really need to get my hands on that book!

That last book sounds good. I like funny books. I might have to check it out!

Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird said...

I am so glad American Wife made the list... I read that awhile ago and really liked it. In fact, I need to reread it soon.

Cherry Blossoms said...

For our Feb book club we are going to read Sarah's Key and I def want to check out the Sh** my dad says> Too bad I didn't care for the comedy though,

Abby said...

So I am embarassed to admit this -- but I am JUST FINISHING American Wife probably today!!! Sad, I know! I was doing great until Tgiving, then I got home - we started packing up the house, we moved, we unpack, I switched to nights, Christmas occured - and here we are now! :)

BEST BOOK EVER. I could write a book about how much I love this

Also, Sh*t My Dad Said is amazing. I need to pull that out of our "book boxes" and read that again. It's a good "cheer up" kind of book.

Right now, all the books we had are in boxes, waiting to be put on book shelves in our office/library -- which is SO not set up yet. It won't be set up when you get here either.

I am so excited to start reading my Kindle now!

PS --I never did get to "The Piano Shop" :(

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

I honestly cannot even remember what I read in 2010, because it wasn't as much as I would have liked. I used to read at least a book a week or every few days, and now with my full-time work and school I just don't get a chance. I have some I want to read this year for sure!

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

I love goodreads too :) But we are already friends. The biggest thing I use it for is my insane list of books I want to read haha.

I read both Sarah's Key and American Wife last year and they were definitely on my top list of books.

Other books I really liked last year were the Dragon Tattoo books (though I still haven't read the 3rd one), South of Broad and Year of Fog.

I am not as good at keeping tracks of book I read on goodreads as books I want to read but I would estimate I read about 25 books last year. I can't blame Eric for my lack of books though, it's more the computers fault!

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

I read a lot of so so books in 2010 but I think my favorites were The Help and Firefly Lane.

Shoshanah said...

It's been a year or two since I've read Sarah's Key, but it still haunts me... in a good way... at least kind of. I'm sure you understand since you've read it. It's definitely the type of book you can't forget.

And I'm on goodreads too. I'm not actually sure of my username, but my link on my blog if you're curious

Erin said...

Okay---well I definitely need to read "THE HELP" now because it seems like everyone on your post is saying it is SUPER awesome :) I tried to think of my favorite read for this year----and I'm not sure what it was. But I DID sign up for goodreads---and I hope to have more time to read THIS year. Lately it's been a lot of 8th grade literature---but I hope to sneak some of my own BIG GIRL books in as well! :)

Erin said...

Okay---well I definitely need to read "THE HELP" now because it seems like everyone on your post is saying it is SUPER awesome :) I tried to think of my favorite read for this year----and I'm not sure what it was. But I DID sign up for goodreads---and I hope to have more time to read THIS year. Lately it's been a lot of 8th grade literature---but I hope to sneak some of my own BIG GIRL books in as well! :)

Caroline said...

I loved Sarah's Key too! And American Wife is on my list!
I can't even remember the books I've read this year, that's so sad.. I'm reading "the tipping point" right now though and it's pretty interesting.