Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Best of 2010: Books

A list of 10 (okay, 12) great reads from 2010:

The first four were Whitney winners in April:
Counting the Cost, by Liz Adair
The Last Waltz, by G. G. Vandagriff
The Chosen One, by Carol Lynch Williams
In the Company of Angels, by David Farland

I love the language and stories and so much more about these books. (I loved lots of other Whitney books, but I read most of them in '09, so I'm not counting them here.)

Favorite Romances of the year:
Courting Miss Lancaster, Sarah M. Eden
Cross My Heart, by Julie Wright

I'm betting these will both be Whitney finalists (both of these writers have been finalists before). They're so good that I'd be surprised if one of these two books doesn't take the award for Best Romance.

Side note: Sarah's next book, Kiss of a Stranger, just hit stores!

Favorite National titles:
The Hunger Games and series, by Suzanne Collins
Loved all three books. Lots to discuss and think about. Disturbing, but in a good way.

The Help, by Kathryn Stockett
Wow. Had to stay up late, tears streaking down my cheeks, to finish this one.

The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
Finally got around to reading this recommendation from Melanie at Write Stuff (She was the first of many to tell me I'd love it. I did.)

Mother Had a Secret, by Tiffany Fletcher
A touching memoir on a fascinating topic: a daughter's journey dealing with her mother's multiple personality disorder.

For the Kids
The Fourth Nephite, by Jeffrey S. Savage
Hands down, my kids' favorite bedtime book for the year. Even my youngest, who has a hard time listening to chapter books, was all over it.

The "I'm More Culturally Literate" Title of the Year
A book I should have read a long time ago:
Dune, by Frank Herbert

Interesting, but not something I have to ever reread. I have to remind myself what a ground-breaking book it was when it first came out some 40-ish years ago.

One Fun Tidbit
In 2010, I officially read more books than in any year since I've been tracking my reading (1997). Titles so far in 2010: 72. And I might finish a couple more by the end of the year if I hurry.

I'm guessing that the Whitneys played a big part in my reading volume, plus reading some books on the Kindle (I read faster on the Kindle, and now I have my own so I don't have to steal my husband's, woot!). Then I added a couple of books by listening to them on my iPod in the car and on the treadmill.

Next year, I hope for a slightly higher number, even if by one, just to say I broke my record again.


Sadie said...

I love that you put out this list. I'm all about book recommendations. And I know I'll enjoy these. I keep track of the books I read on a book blog (strictly for my own pleasure), and it's fun to look back at the year in book titles.
One of my favorite series this year for young readers was The Ranger's Apprentice.

Annette Lyon said...

I keep hearing about RA! I need to read it!

Jenny P. said...

I'm so envious of your reading. I have read so little his year... and I'm not sure why. Generally, when I'm nursing a baby, I read a lot more because I have a reason to sit still! I need to head to the library and reconnect with myself. Suddenly, I think that is my goal for 2011. Make it more literary. Read more. Write more. How could I possibly go wrong with goals like that?

Sarah M Eden said...

Gee thanks, Annette!

My mom just finished "Cross My Heart" and said that she would be completely shocked if it wasn't a Whitney finalist--she loved it!

Susan Anderson said...

Two of my favorites were also The Help and The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society.

I'll have to check out your other picks!

Happy New Year!


kbrebes said...

I'm almost ready to order more books again, or hit the library, so this list helps! Happy New Year!

Unknown said...

I've read exactly one of the books on your list - Guernsey Potato Shmuh-shmunah. I loved "The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie", so much so that I gave it as Christmas gifts to five different people. And I re-read "To Kill a Mockingbird" this year, which was the best read of the year for me.

And yay for Kindle! Santa brought me my own, too, so I'm devouring "The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag" via digital download as we (figuratively) speak.

Next goal? Learn how to publish directly to Kindle.

Heffalump said...

I had a slow reading year this year! I never keep track of how much I read, I just know that since I had the baby I haven't been able to finish a book, even though I continue to acquire them!

TisforTonya said...

I always think I'm going to keep track of my reading (that's actually one of the reasons behind beginning my book blog) but I always forget somewhere in the first week of January!

I think we had the same National Faves though :)

and I will wait for my birthday for a Kindle I guess... looks like I can't survive much longer without giving in :)

lesa said...

I just finished The Help. Thanks for sharing this list. There are plenty that I haven't read yet that I'm going to put on hold at the library.

Enjoy your Kindle!

I just starting making a list a couple years ago. I wished I would have started it sooner.

Lara Neves said...

I really need to read all the Whitney stuff. I have found that I am enjoying the genre (because of you, mostly) but it's hard when one doesn't live near a Deseret Book. :)

I so agree about Guernsey and The Help. Such great books. And I see DeNae's comment about The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, and that makes me happy because I just loaded it onto my Kindle for vacation. Now to see if I can keep myself from reading it for two days, because I already finished the other one (Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet) that was meant for vacation and I LOVED it. Read it, if you haven't already.

Shanda said...

I know the Whitney Awards have helped increase the amount of reading I get done each year. I love it!

Great list, though I've only read a few of them. Just posted my top ten on the LDSWBR blog...

Shanda :)

* said...

I have a feeling I'm the odd man out here (and in most circles) but I can't stand The Hunger Games and series by Collins. I'm slogging my way through book #3 wondering why I'm wasting my time...

Love reading everyone's "best of 2010" books though, always adding more to my own "to read" list!

Erin said...

How do you read so many books AND write your own books AND do publicity for them AND blog AND have children? I probably only read 10 books this year. (I would love to read more but can't find the time. Sigh.)

wendy said...

Why Thank ya.....I love book recommendations.

Rachel @ Busy Mommy Media said...

I wish more LDS fiction was available on the Kindle. Since we’re outside of UT now we don’t have them available through the library system like we used to.

Annette Lyon said...

Rachel, The good news is that more and more LDS books are getting onto the Kindle.

Josi Kilpack and Julie Wright have some already, and more are coming.

(Several of my picks aren't LDS fiction, though.)

Anonymous said...

I've seen a lot of people mentioning THE HELP. I guess I'd better give it a try, huh?

Ooh, your own kindle? Color me jealous! =D My dad got one for Christmas so my siblings and I bought him all of the accessories for it (book light, cover, gift cards for books, etc).

Way to go on the books read. You're awesome, Annette!


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