The act of reading ... begins on a flat surface, counter or page, and then gets stirred and chopped and blended until what we make, in the end, is a dish, or story, all our own.
— Adam Gopnik

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December 28, 2010

2010 in books: my favorite reading

I hope you all enjoyed wonderful holidays (we did).  Everyone seems to be writing very interesting and detailed recaps of what they read in 2010.  Mine won't be either, but I do keep a reading journal (more of a life list) and it's always fun to be able to look back.

Books read in 2010:  89 (I'm hoping to make it an even 90 before Friday).  Ten biographies, 25 works of fiction, 32 mysteries, and the rest were nonfiction (mostly memoirs, arts, letters, or history). 

New authors discovered:  Elizabeth Jenkins, Louise Penny, and Georgette Heyer.

Most disappointing reading:  a slate of contemporary memoirs, back in July.

Technology I'm happiest about:  Downloading audiobooks (free ones, from the library!) onto my new Ipod. And finding many wonderful blogs to read.

Technology I'm going to keep an open mind about:  I was surprised with the gift of a Nook (the Barnes & Noble e-reader) for Christmas. It was a very generous gift. I'm not an instant convert to this form of reading, but still I'm looking forward to playing around with it (I think).

The books I enjoyed most in 2010 (in the order that I read them):
  1. The Three Weissmans of Westport, by Cathleen Schine (February)
  2. Talking about Detective Fiction, by P.D. James (March)
  3. Her Fearful Symmetry, by Audrey Niffenegger (audiobook) (March)
  4. Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, by Helen Simonson (May)
  5. Lunch in Paris:  a love story with recipes, by Elizabeth Bard (May)
  6. Death Comes for the Archbishop, by Willa Cather (June)
  7. Cranford, by Elizabeth Gaskell (June)
  8. The Great Silence:  Britain from the Shadow of the First World War to the Dawn of the Jazz Age, by Juliet Nicolson (July)
  9. Jane Austen:  a biography, by Elizabeth Jenkins (July)
  10. The Cookbook Collector, by Allegra Goodman (August)
  11. The Tortoise and the Hare, by Elizabeth Jenkins (August)
  12. The Charming Quirks of Others, by Alexander McCall Smith (October)
  13. 'The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,' by Washington Irving (October)
  14. The Brutal Telling, by Louise Penny (November)
  15. As Always, Julia:  the letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto, edited by Joan Reardon (November)
  16. Persuasion, by Jane Austen (December)
I hope your new year, and everything you read in it, brings you comfort and joy.

{The painting is 'Skaters Pond,' by John Carberry, found here.}

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Nan said...

I read 2. and 4. and enjoyed them both. I'm looking forward to 15. in the new year. And am wondering about 5. and especially 10. I loved, loved, loved her Kaaterskill Falls.

Joan Hunter Dunn said...

ooh Lunch in Paris sounds a delicious read.

Claire (The Captive Reader) said...

An excellent list! Lunch in Paris was one of my favourite reads of 2010 as well and Persuasion is always fabulous. I'm really looking forward to reading As Always, Julia and am glad to see that it was such a success with you!

Bellezza said...

Such a fun post. I love the photograph, I love how you made it short and sweet and of the essence. I look forward to my copies of Major Pettigre's last stand and Her Fearful Symmyetry, both acquired long ago and still unread. Otherwise, they might have made my 'best of 2010' list as well. ;)

I have a Nook. I love it, but it will never replace the joy of a true book (with pages) for me. It's great for vacations. It's great for downloading 9,000 classics for free. It's great for eyes that are tired and need a larger font. But, the experience of reading from it is not the same for me as reading from the scent and sensation of an actual book. Bliss.

Lunch in Paris said...

So flattered that Lunch in Paris made your list! Our family just made a big move to Provence, to live in the wartime home of famous French poet and Resistance leader Rene Char. I hope you'll follow along. Wishing you and yours a very happy New Year!

Vintage Reading said...

I saw the Elizabeth Jenkins biog of Jane Austen in a second hand shop recently. I think I'll get it if you've included it on your list of best reads, thanks.

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