What I liked about 2010

30 December, 2010

I’m all summaried and wrap-up’d out for this year and wasn’t going to do a best of post, but then I thought, hey, it’s a good way to say good bye to 2010. Plus, looking back at the books I’ve read, I’d actually forgotten I’d read some of them. Oops. Brain drain. I read 62 books this year which is a little more than I thought I would as I was calculating a book a week. But this year I have to say that I loved most of the books I read. Maybe I’m getting better at choosing (or maybe I’m narrowing my choices too much…)

So here’s my list of the 10 books that had the strongest impact on me this year (in no particular order):

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbary
Beside the Sea by Veronique Olmi
The City & the City by China Miéville
The Darkness that Comes Before by R. Scott Bakker
Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
The Samurai by Shusaku Endo
The Road from Elephant Pass by Nihal de Silva
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
To Live and To Write: Selections by Japanese Women Writers 1913-1938 edited by Yukiko Tanaka
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Hokay, those of you who are eagle-eyed will have noticed that I have listed 11 books and not 10. Heh:) It’s just too hard!

My most frustrating read was Italo Calvino’s If On A Winter’s Night A Traveller and the most surprising which re-awakened my interest in the gothic (of the Anne Rice variety) is Angelology by Daniella Trussardi. And of course I read 3 Terry Pratchett novels which were brilliant as usual.

I also want to mention Charlaine Harris’ the Southern Vampire series (True Blood for the telly addicts) which I’ve been devouring since I bought the set of ten books for a tenner from The Book People. I haven’t reviewed them except for the first one as I’ve been reading them at a pace of a book a day and thought I’d write a post when I’m done. You could call it a mild obsessive phase I’m going through.

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20 Responses to “What I liked about 2010”


  1. I gotta read that Alan Bradley novel!

    I could read only 96 books in 2010. But that’s ok. I was in a reading slump for more than four months.

    Here are my Best Reads of 2010.

  2. Nymeth Says:

    The only two I’ve read (Middlesex and Heart-Shaped Box) were ones I loved as well. Happy New Year!

  3. winstonsdad Says:

    I ve read two as well beside the sea and middlesex ,all the best for the coming year stu

  4. amymckie Says:

    Great list of books! Some I’ve loved and some I want to read. And yes, I had the mildly obsessive bent with those Sookie books too 😉 Enjoy!

  5. Melissa Says:

    I loved Middlesex and The Poisonwood Bible too. You read some great ones this year!


  6. That is an interesting mix of books I loved (Beside the Sea, Middlesex, The City and the City) books I thought were quite good (Poisonwood Bible and Sweetness at the Bottm of the Pie) and books I didn’t like (Elegance of the Hedgehog) I hope to get to Heart Shaped Box at some point. I wonder which category it will fall in to?

    Have a wonderful 2011!

    • chasing bawa Says:

      It’s interesting how differently people feel about the same books. But that’s part of the fun, isn’t it? I can’t wait to see what you think of Heart-Shaped Box!

  7. Colleen Says:

    I quite enjoyed The Elegance of the Hedgehog. I still really need to read some Endo!!

    Happy new year!

  8. Iris Says:

    It is funny how most of the books listed were already on my wishlist because of your reviews earlier this year 🙂

    And I agree, picking just 10 is definitely too hard!

  9. Aarti Says:

    I really want to read China Mievelle! And Nymeth has told me many times Middlesex is one of her favorites. And the Bakkar book is highly recommended on so many fantasy blogs. Ack, so many to read! Great list 🙂

  10. JoV Says:

    I can relate to the feeling of hard to shortlist the top 10.

    Many from your list I would like to read:
    The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
    The City & the City by China Miéville
    The Samurai by Shusaku Endo
    The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
    Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

    What a great year of reading you had! 🙂


  11. I have only read The Elegance of the Hedgehog (which I loved!). I have a few more of those on my TBR pile at home though – hope to get to them next year.

    Happy new year, Sakura! 🙂


  12. “…a mild obsessive phase I’m going through…” Heheh. Two of yours (Middlesex and The City & The City are on my shortlist for 2011: glad to hear that you enjoyed them so much that they’d surface in a wrap-up post!

  13. novelinsights Says:

    Oh I second you on Calvino being the most frustrating read of the year! Great list. I’ll definitely need to get around to The Road From Elephant Pass soon.

  14. chasing bawa Says:

    Thank you all for your lovely comments and I hope you’ve all had a wonderful new year’s! It’s nice to see so many people enjoyed Middlesex and that so many of you also want to read The City & The City. Go for it! And I’m also glad I’m not the only Sookie-obsessed person here;P

  15. Stacy Says:

    The Poisonwood Bible is one of my all-time favorite books. I am with you on the Calvino read…I ended up not finishing that one. I am getting a lot better at choosing my books…no regrettable reads for me:) Happy reading in 2011!

  16. Simon T Says:

    Lovely to see you today, Sakura! Just to say that I’m keener than ever to read The City & The City – and am halfway through my first Pratchett novel, Going Postal.

  17. Novroz Says:

    I also cheat on my top5 book of 2010, I make it into 6 😉

    I only read Heart shaped box from your list. I like it and want to read more by him.

  18. chasing bawa Says:

    Stacy: Happy reading!

    Simon: The film adaptation of Going Postal was pretty good too:)

    Novroz: I haven’t read anything else by Hill yet. But I did give Heart-Shaped Box to two people for Christmas!


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