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?

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).

2010 Favorite Covers

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!

Your Turn!

What would your picks be?

Join the Conversation


  1. My book club is reading A Reliable Wife for January…I hope I like it better on my Kindle than you did as an audiobook! I suggested The Girl Who Fell from the Sky, but I picked the book last time. We’ll see… Have you read that one?

    1. I hope you like it better than I did, too! You’ll have to let me know what you think when you finish it. I’m definitely in the minority with my intense dislike. I haven’t read The Girl Who Fell from the Sky, but I’ve heard of it, and I love the cover. (Which is, of course, a totally acceptable way to judge a book!)

  2. I was not a big fan of A Reliable Wife either. It isn’t my least favorite book of the year, but I was definitely disappointed after reading it. I had no doubt that I would love it, after seeing so many rave reviews, so I was surprised with my reaction.

    1. I was surprised by my reaction, too! I spent so long staring at it on the bestseller wall across from the registers at the bookstore where I worked that I figured it must be good. I guess I’m fortunate not to have read a worse one! I’m curious now what your least favorite was!

    1. It was really fun! More to think about than just which books you liked the best. Though I’ll be doing that too! Enjoy!

  3. This is a great survey and I had to add it to the end of my own Best-Of post, which won’t go up until after I’ve finished reviewing books for the year (next week).

    On the other hand, I couldn’t limit myself to one-book answers like you did! I had to put up like 5-10 for each question… I guess that’s a hazard of reading so many books. I’m really looking forward to the day that list narrows down!!

    Mockingjay was right around the time we met, no?

    1. Indeed, it was your Mockingjay post that first made me think, here is a blogger with whom I will surely get along! I think I left a gushy, overexcited comment because I was so overjoyed at having finally read a thorough, articulate review that didn’t label Mockingjay a disappointment!

      I’m curious to see what you have on your Best-Of lists! You got through a lot of books in 2010, so I think it’s natural you’d have trouble limiting yourself. For me, there were pretty clear bests and worsts. If you’d asked me to name the most mediocre book I’d read in 2010, that’s where I’d struggle!

  4. I’ve only read one Alexie, and I really want to read another. I’ve heard some wonderful things about the one you listed up there, so I think that shall be the one I get!

    City of Thieves (!!!!!!!!!) I bet that one would be fantastic to listen to on audio.

    1. Yes, give Absolutely True Diary a try! I hear it’s even better in print with all the cartoons, but I pretty much fell in love with Alexie’s reading on the audiobook. It’s a win-win situation! City of Thieves was another phenomenal audiobook. I listened to it in a whole day while I was cleaning my apartment. I kept finding more and more things to clean so I could keep listening!

    1. I’m pleased, too! I can’t wait to read more. I don’t even care what it’s about — if it’s by Saramago, I’m willing to give it a shot!

      Most people liked A Reliable Wife more than I did, so chances are good you’ll like it. I think maybe the fact that I listened to the audiobook had something to do with my reaction, perhaps.

  5. I love this end-of-year survey! I am still trying to figure out what kind of wrap-up I should do for this year. First I thought I hadn’t read anything particularly amazing in 2010, but looking back at my reading list, I have read huge quantities of amazing stuff. It’s hard to pick favorites.

    1. I’m looking forward to seeing what you choose to do! I’ve liked a couple different wrap-ups I’ve seen, and since I won’t get much reading done when I’m home for the holidays, I figure I might as well do a couple different ones 🙂 That’s so cool your reading year turned out to be so full of good stuff! Maybe you could single out books by categories, like your own book Oscars?

  6. I have “One Amazing Thing” but have let it sit and sit … I’ll bump it up in the TBR pile.

    And I so want to read the Hornby book. I think it is on my wishlist from you.

    And I want to read that Stead book … I’ve heard such good things about it and I’m soooooo curious!

    Great wrap-up … I love this format.

    1. Ooh, definitely bump One Amazing Thing up. So wonderful! The Stead & Hornby books are wonderful as well. Enjoy 🙂

  7. What a great collection of books here! Thanks for the link to my Good Omens review – that book was definitely BY FAR the funniest book I read all year! And I read Death with Interruptions last year and wow, definitely so well written. Some other books here I’ll have to look up.

    1. Good Omens was hysterical! I’m so glad so many bloggers read it at once and brought it to my attention. I’m glad to hear someone else read and liked Death with Interruptions!

  8. Great survey! Too bad you didn’t like A Thousand Splendid Suns, I liked it more than A Kite Runner… Sometimes all the hype around a book ruins it thoughm it’s like it can never, ever live up to your expectations.

    1. I liked A Thousand Splendid Suns more than The Kite Runner, too, but I read The Kite Runner a few years ago, so I couldn’t choose it for this survey! I didn’t hate A Thousand Splendid Suns, but it certainly fell well short of my expectations. In this case, I definitely think the hype was a problem.

    1. It’s definitely a good thing! I missed Phantom Tollbooth as a kid and am so glad I found it as an adult!

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