Thursday, 6 January 2011

The Books of 2010

2010 was the first year I actually decided to keep a record of the books I read. Until I compiled it I had not even a rough idea of how many books I read, and looking over the list reminds me of what I was doing at the time I was reading each of them - I was reading 'The Rehearsal' when I went to the Van Gogh exhibition, 'The Remains of the Day' when I went to Paris. When I was doing work experience at Ebury I was reading 'Arthur & George', when I was at HarperCollins, 'Freedom'. One of the things I love about books is how they become bound up in life, how books not only tell stories but also begin their own. Tracing the publication history of Richard Wright's 'Native Son' for my course at Oxford was a fascinating task, but even more interesting is the personal histories that are written when we give or recommend books. My find of the year would have to be Kelly Link, and her disconcerting but brilliant collection 'Pretty Monsters', illustrated by the fantastic Shaun Tan. It was such a success with the friend I gave it to that she bought several copies for her friends. Hopefully we won't be waiting too long for another book, but in the meantime I have plenty of other things to be reading; with my discount and my exposure to so many great new books, my reading rate has sadly not managed to match my acquistion rate...

Armadale – Wilkie Collins
2. A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
3. The Killer Angels – Michael Shaara
4. The White Tiger – Aravind Adiga
5. The Rehearsal – Eleanor Catton
6. Then We Came To the End – Joshua Ferris
7. The Braindead Megaphone – George Saunders
8. The Suspicions of Mr Whicher – Kate Summerscale
9. When Nietzsche Wept – Irvin D. Yalom
10. The Death of Sigmund Freud – Mark Edmundson
11. The Unnamed – Joshua Ferris
12. The Corrections – Jonathan Franzen
13. The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
14. Arthur & George – Julian Barnes
15. Beyond Black – Hilary Mantel
16. Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
17. Carter Beats the Devil – Glen David Gold
18. When God Was A Rabbit – Sarah Winman
19. The Blair Years – Alastair Campbell
20. Predictably Irrational – Dan Ariely
21. The Dark Lord of Derkholm – Diana Wynne Jones
22. Eleven – Mark Watson
23. Charmed Life – Diana Wynne Jones
24. Room – Emma Donoghue
25. How I Escaped My Certain Fate – Stewart Lee
26. The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky
27. Voodoo Histories – David Aaronovitch
28. Freedom – Jonathan Franzen
29. Middlemarch – George Eliot
30. Mathilda Savitch – Victor Lodato
31. Blackmoor – Edward Hogan
32. The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil – George Saunders
33. Beware of Pity – Stefan Zweig
34. Solar – Ian McEwan
35. The Little Stranger – Sarah Waters
36. To the Lighthouse – Virginia Woolf
37. The Naked Jape – Jimmy Carr and Lucy Greaves
38. Iola Leroy – Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
39. Pretty Monsters – Kelly Link
40. Archer’s Goon – Diana Wynne Jones
41. Ten Stories About Smoking – Stuart Evers
42. The Lives of Christopher Chant – Diana Wynne Jones
43. The Help – Kathryn Stockett
44. Conrad’s Fate – Diana Wynne Jones

1 comment:

  1. I'm a huge fan of Diana Wynne Jones -- I see you are, too? Then I started to wonder if you'd read M. T. Anderson's novels, or Elizabeth Knox, or -- not young adult, but still wonderful, Joe Hill's collection 20th Century Ghosts?

    All best,
    Kelly Link