Thursday, December 16, 2010

(My) Top Ten List for 2010

What reader’s blog would be complete without a year-end “Best of . . .” list? Here are my favorite reads for the past 12 months, in no particular order, and limited to those published this year.


A Visit From the Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan. Postmodern wizardry! Changing characters and shifting time against a backdrop of the music industry.

Freedom, Jonathan Franzen. 10 years since The Corrections, and he hasn’t missed a beat. Another dysfunctional family, but viewed with compassion this time.

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, David Mitchell. From the author of the dizzyingly postmodern Cloud Atlas, a straight-up romantic adventure set in 18th century Japan.

The Love Song of A. Jerome Minkoff, Stories, Joseph Epstein. Trenchant, funny, poignant stories, mostly about Jewish men of a certain age in Chicago.

Room, Emma Donoghue. (See my blog post dated November 18th.)


Last Call, The Rise and Fall of Prohibition, Daniel Okrent. Detailed and scholarly, but reads like a thriller! Full of fun tidbits and surprising background about a tumultuous episode in American history.

Parisiens, An Adventure History of Paris, Graham Robb. History told with a novelist’s eye in 19 separate “stories,” each revealing a different aspect of the city’s past and geography. For those who have been there, and for those who dream of it.

The Icarus Syndrome: A History of American Hubris, Peter Beinart. How mistaken foreign policy got America into three wars of the 20th century, and what subsequent administrations learned -- or did not learn -- from the experience.

The Invisible Gorilla, And Other Ways Our Intuitions Deceive Us, Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons. (See my post dated November 24.)

The Authenticity Hoax: How We Get Lost Finding Ourselves, Andrew Potter. How the collapse of traditional societal structures has sent us on an unsuccessful quest for “meaning,” from Rousseau to farmers’ markets.

OK - your turn! "Comment" your favorite books of 2010 - I will publish as many as I can in a "Readers' Favorites of 2010" entry.

1 comment:

Patty said...

Ellen - These all sound interesting; this has become my reading list for 2011. Thank you. Patty