Here’s a few fun reading questions that I saw The Avid Reader’s Musings, who saw it at Literary Musings and The Perpetual Page-Turners. I thought it would be a great way to do a reading wrap-up post for the year. And, being my usual wordy self, I reserve the right to list more than one book!
2. Worst book of 2010? The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor “I Can Write and Write and Bore You To Tears” Dostoevsky (click on the Brothers K readalong category if you want to hear my weeks of bitching about the book) and Whacked by Jules Asner. Again, two books as different as night and day, but I suffered through both of them and hated it.
3. Most Disappointing Book of 2010? Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins and Fool by Christopher Moore (review not yet written). Even though I wasn’t a die-hard Hunger Games fan, I thought the final book was particularly weak and unsatisfying. And my beloved Christopher Moore let me down with Fool, which I found repetitive and unsatisfying (but still readable and 575% better than the books I listed in the previous question).
4. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2010? Fingersmith by Sarah Waters (so full of twists and turns), Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenedies (after reading The Virgin Suicides and not thinking too highly of it, I was quite surprised and pleased with how darn good Middlesex was), and In the Woods by Tana French (the surprise here was how she chose to end the book … messy, messy, messy but satisfying in a real world way).
5. Book you recommended to people most in 2010? ROOM by Emma Donaghue was my late year recommendation and “that Guernsey” book (AKA The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society) by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows was my beginning of the year recommendation. (For the record, I still recommend both of them.)
6. Best series you discovered in 2010? That would be the only series I felt compelled to read one right after another—The Millennium series by Steig Larsson.
7. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2010? Michael Chabon, Marisa de los Santos and Mary Roach
8. Most hilarious read of 2010? How I Became A Famous Novelist by Steve Hely (parody of modern publishing), How To Get Things Really Flat by Andrew Martin (a man’s view of housework) and This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper (family dysFUNction).
9. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2010? My choices are going to seem a little odd, but all three of these books were ones that kept me up way too late reading because I got so caught up in the story: Still Alice by Lisa Genova (a gripping look at Alzheimer’s from a patient’s point of view), The Unnamed by Joshua Ferris (what happens if you can’t stop walking?) and Columbine by Dave Cullen (even though I knew the basic story, I was gripped by Cullen’s novelistic approach).
11. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2010?
12. Most memorable character in 2010? William Kamkwamba from The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind (if we could all be 25% more like William, the world would be a much better place) and Lisbeth Salander (best kick-ass heroine I’ve met in years).
13. Most beautifully written book in 2010? I swooned over Michael Chabon’s writing in The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, was transported back in time by Lisa See’s Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, and highlighted passage after passage in Marcus Zusak’s The Book Thief.
14. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2010? Because it dealt so candidly with issues so close to my heart and integral to my current life, I have to say Bad Mother by Ayelet Waldman.
15. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2010 to finally read? Musashi by Eiji Yoshikawa (click on the Musashi Readalong category for related posts). My dad wanted me to read this book for almost 20 years, but I was always so intimidated by it. So when I finally picked it up and read it this year, I felt chastened by its accessibility. I very much wish I’d read it while my dad was still around to discuss it.
So what about you? What were some of the best books you read this year?