I’ll be doing my own “Best of 2010” posts next week, but when Jamie from The Perpetual Page-Turner posted her End of 2010 survey, I thought it would be fun to participate. I’ll just be looking at my favorites in my “Best of 2010” posts, but Jamie asked all sorts of interesting questions!
1. Best book of 2010?
- Fiction: One Amazing Thing by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. It’s stayed with me like no other book from this year has.
- Nonfiction: The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby. Funny, literary, and full of great bookish quotes.
- Young adult/audiobook: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. One instance where an author reading his own work makes for an absolutely incredible reading experience.
2. Worst book of 2010?
A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick. Ugh…I hated it, even though everyone else seemed to love it. I listened to the audiobook, which may or may not have affected my enjoyment of the book — I’ll never know!
3. Most disappointing book of 2010?
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. I shouldn’t have set my expectations too high based on my feelings toward The Kite Runner.
4. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2010?
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. I always assumed I’d hate this novella. A guy turns into a bug? Simultaneously creepy and uninteresting. Boy, was I wrong! Also When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead. I spent most of the book being unimpressed, then was blown away by the ending.
5. Book you recommended to people most in 2010?
That would be The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby, even though I’m pretty sure no one I’ve recommended it to has actually read it yet!
6. Best series you discovered in 2010?
The Agency series by Y.S. Lee. Young adult historical fiction/mystery with a great female main character. I’m looking forward to the third installment; so far it’s just two books (A Spy in the House and The Body at the Tower).
7. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2010?
Jose Saramago! I’ve only read Death with Interruptions, but I’m so happy I finally read one of Saramago’s books.
8. Most hilarious read of 2010?
- In print: Something Missing by Matthew Dicks. An OCD thief gets a little too involved in his “clients'” lives. Truly a wonderful book!
- On audio: Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. I giggled throughout at both the hilarious plot and the ingenious writing. (As it seems I never actually wrote about this one, I’ll direct you to Amy’s review, with which I quite agree!)
9. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2010?
- In print: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. I don’t care what anyone says, I thought it was the ending that the series needed! I read it in a day and hardly took breaks for food. There were so many reviews out by the time I read it (see below) that I didn’t bother writing my own. I do, however, agree with pretty much everything Amanda said in her review, which is excellent and thorough and highly endorsed by yours truly!
- On audio: City of Thieves by David Benioff. I listened to it while cleaning my apartment one day. I think the apartment was the cleanest it’s ever been, because I did not want to stop listening!
10. Book you most anticipated in 2010?
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. No doubt about it. I was out of the country when it was released and pretty much avoided all contact with the internet and people who might have read the book until I could get home and acquire a copy. I even went into work (a bookstore, at the time) before it opened to get the copy I’d reserved and leave before I ran into too many people who could potentially reveal something I did not want to know!
11. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2010?
It’s a tie between two: Daring to Eat a Peach by Joseph Zeppetello (which I read) and Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork (which I listened to).
12. Most memorable character in 2010?
I have three: Kimberly Chang from Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok, Gladys Cailiff from The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia by Mary Helen Stefaniak, and Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. Kimberly is memorable for her story, Gladys for her narrative style, and Holden just because, even though he’s not my favorite character, he’s so well drawn that I doubt I’ll ever forget him.
13. Most beautifully written book in 2010?
Half Life by Roopa Farooki, which featured exquisite prose, or Death with Interruptions by Jose Saramago, which was so cleverly worded that the writing (translation) was half the fun of reading.
14. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2010?
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and The Odyssey by Homer. Combined, these three audiobooks (all rereads for me) helped convince me I do not hate classics and inspired me to launch my Classics Reclamation Project.
15. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2010 to finally read?
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster! I can’t believe I missed this one as a child!
What would your picks be?