Dec 28

Our special year-end episode is here! We announce the top 10 books of 2010, as voted by you, our listeners. Then Ann and I each pick 5 books we loved this year (plus one extra each for good measure!)

Your Top Ten

Thanks to everyone who took the time to vote in our Favorite Books of 2010 Listeners’ Poll. Without further ado, here are the top 10 vote-getters:

1. Room by Emma Donoghue
2. The Passage by Justin Cronin
3. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
4. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
5. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson
6. (tie) Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson
6. (tie) Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
8. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
9. (tie) The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer
9. (tie) Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes

Michael’s Top Five (5:30)

The Bells by Richard Harvell

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Kings of the Earth by Jon Clinch

Let’s Take the Long Way Home by Gail Caldwell

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

and a belated discovery: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Ann’s Top Five (9:27)

How to Live by Sarah Bakewell

The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer

Mr. Peanut by Adam Ross

The Nobodies Album by Carolyn Parkhurst

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

and a belated discovery: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Be sure to tune in next episode when we’ll be giving you a sneak peek of some of the books we’re looking forward to in the early part of 2011.

  • Anonymous

    My favourite for 2010 were:

    a) Revolution – I really enjoyed it. It was much like the diary fiction that I have read in the past, but it was also quite different and intriguing

    b) The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake – thanks for the recommendation. I really liked the premise and while it took me 2 weeks to finish the book, it was very good.

    c) The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers – Another one of the recommendations that I received from a podcast of yours. Really enjoyed the ending. Did they die or did the live? Even though the book left me hanging, I enjoyed being left hanging in this one.

  • Jenny

    MIchael, I’m currently reading and loving your favorite Any Human Heart by William Boyd. I also really enjoyed the Israeli novel To the End of the Land. I appreciate how difficult and rewarding these two books are! — GCPLreader on LT

  • I’m looking for non-fiction novels that aren’t crime centric. I have a student that faints easily at the sight or mention of gorry things. Therefore her mother wants her to read something other than In Cold Blood.

    Could Unbroken work? Any other suggestions?

    • Bah195

      How about The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. I’m not a non-fiction reader but I really enjoyed this book.

  • I can never take part in the Best of the Year discussions because I almost never read a book in the year in which it is released. It’s rather a blessing, in that by the time I get around to something, the hype is almost always long-forgotten. In looking over my favorite reads of 2010, I found that the most recent publishing date was 2006, and then they all reach back at least two decades (in some cases, more like seven). I did purchase Unbroken, because Laura Hillenbrand is one of only two authors whose books I’ll buy as soon as they’re released. It’s anyone’s guess as to when I’ll be able to read it, however.

    • Silentsgirl,
      We hate to restrict the “best of” to newly-published books, but if we didn’t
      have that limit, there would be lots of books with 1 vote, and no clear
      “top.” But we don’t believe that publishing dates matter much otherwise,
      aside from books where timeliness is important (and even then, a look back
      can help put some things in perspective). I’m curious, though, which book
      was seven decades old that you loved? I would love to read more books
      published between 1920 – 1960 — not sure I’ve read many from that time

      Books on the Nightstand: illuminating conversation about books and reading

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