Thursday, December 30, 2010

Memorable Books from 2010

These are the books that will spring to mind if anyone should ask for a recommendation from what I read this year. Not necessarily my favourite books of the year but the ones that made an impact, drawing an emotional response that left their mark in a such a way they're hard to forget - many tears were shed in their reading Part of the reason was the surprise factor for most of them are books I had doubts about liking at all.

Historical Fiction and Crime/Suspense are not included as they have their own lists.
Best Historical Fiction of 2010
Thriller/Crime/Mystery Favourites 2010
I'm not adding reveiw links because most of them didn't get reviewed - I have trouble finding words that truly express my feelings sometimes so rather than not do the book justice I didn't even try.

In no particular order

Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Alice Howland is a fifty-year-old woman who suddenly finds herself in the downward spiral of Alzeimers Disease....

A painful but healing experience as reading this book brought to the surface emotions and issues that I'd kept buried since my mother's passing in 2007.

Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

An old Celtic legend brilliantly brought to life.

Beautiful writing, beautiful story - I cried a lot and couldn't believe I'd never read her books before especially as she is NZ born.

Never again can I say " I don't like Fantasy".

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

A heart-warming and inspirational tale in which Enzo, a loyal family dog, tells the story of his human family, how they nearly fell apart, and what he did to bring them back together.

The motor racing put me off but I finally gave way to my best friend and my daughter's assurances that I would like it.
I loved it!!!

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

Life through the eyes of a 54-year old French concierge and a precocious but troubled 12-year-old girl.

A wonderful story - funny, sad ,and very moving.

We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

Winner of the 2005 Orange Prize - Kevin is in prison for a high school shooting. His mother, Eva, writes a series of letters to her estranged husband......

An amazing book that raises many issues about marriage, family and parenting and has to have the most unexpected and devastating climax I've ever read.

I was shattered for days!

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

 A breathtaking story set against the volatile events of Afghanistan's last thirty years -- from the Soviet invasion to the reign of the Taliban to post-Taliban rebuilding -- that puts the violence, fear, hope and faith of this country in intimate, human terms.

One of those books I kept meaning to read and then when I did wondered why it took me so long.

Daughters of the House by Michele Roberts

An intense and passionate story of two cousins, one English, one French. Secrets and lies linger in the walls of the old Normandy house in which Therese and Leonie grow up after the war.

Shortlisted for the 1992 Booker Prize I came across a rather tattered copy in my library and the cover (not this one) intrigued me. It was to prove a little treasure - the blurb on the back " richly sensuous word-spinner' describes it perfectly.

Eternal on the Water by Joseph Monniger

From the day Cobb and Mary meet kayaking on Maine's Allagash River and fall deeply in love, the two approach life with the same sense of adventure they use to conquer the river's treacherous rapids. But rivers do not let go so easily...and neither does their love.

A lucky dip from the library I wasn't sure I'd like this as love stories are not really my thing but it proved to be so much more. Beautiful descriptive prose, a haunting story ..........loved it!

Best Non- Fiction

Columbine by Dave Cullen

Dave Cullen, the acclaimed journalist who followed the Columbine massacre from day one reconstructs, with unrivaled care and insight, the psychological journey of two teenage boys who became killers.

Superb non-fiction that grips , enthralls and horrifies.

Best Young Adult

I don't read much YA but from what I did read these two stand out both for the quality of the writing and the originality of the subject matter.

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Out of Shadows by Jason Wallace


  1. I hope 2011 brings you many more excellent reading pleasures :)

  2. *sniff* I know right, Daughter of the Forest, I cried and cried

  3. Still Alice and Columbine made my fav list of 2010 too! I thoroughly "enjoyed" them. The others are on my wishlist.

  4. I forget sometimes how much we agree. Still Alice is an all time favourite of mine now.

    I can't wait to read We need to talk about Kevin. Columbine is really starting to intrigue me.

    I look forward to 2011 and reading your reviews agan. Happy New Year

  5. How nice to find my book on your list. Thanks.

    And thanks to Aths, too. Marce, I hope you like it if you find time to read it.

    We are trying to help teachers use the book, and just created a Columbine Student Guide and Columbine Teacher’s Guide.

  6. Still Alice and Columbine both made my Best Of 2010 list too! Such powerful books. I read We Need to Talk About Kevin in 2007 and I still recommend it like crazy. It's such an intense book, but so good. What a wonderful reading year you've had!

  7. It has indeed been a great year of reading and so hard to choose favourites from the many.

  8. I haven't read any of the books on your list except A Thousand Splendid Suns, which was wonderful and heartbreaking, and Out of Shadows.

  9. Wow - there are several on here that I must read. The Art of Racing in the Rain especially.

  10. I'm with you on Columbine and Still Alice .. they made my list too. I was impressed by "Before I Fall" as well. Great round-up --- and you've given me some more reading ideas too.