Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Some of my top books of 2010

Hey, it is the end of the year, time for making lists. Since I don't have any pictures to share yet (they are off the camera, but not off the external hard drive...), I am going to give you some book recommendations.  These are ten of the books I really enjoyed this year, in no particular order. They may or may not have been published in 2010, some are fiction, some are not.
  • Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff - I am not quite done with this, but I will be by Friday, so it counts. Anyway, I am learning a lot, like the fact that all the accounts we have of Cleopatra were written by her enemies, mostly misogynist Roman men. Instead of being a witch, or just a seductress, she was a highly capable, incredibly intelligent leader of a vast and wealthy kingdom in a very turbulent era. 
  • The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Heidi Durrow - I picked up a signed copy from the author at ALA. I was a little hesitant about it, since it seemed like it belonged on Oprah's book list, and I tend to avoid such things, but I really enjoyed it. There are lots of themes and ideas in it that make it perfect for a book club.
  • Scent of the Missing by Susannah Charleson - a dog book that can tug at your heartstrings without having to resort to a dead dog. A lovely look at what goes into training a search and rescue dog and handler, I read this in less than 24 hours. And I have been pushing on anyone who comes into our library looking for something to read, no matter what they are there for.
  • Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson - I listened to this on CD in my car during my commute. Again, another of those books I wasn't sure I would like, but which I fell in love with. Major Pettigrew is a very upright, proper British gentleman, embattled by a selfish son, a difficult sister-in-law, and a modernizing world that doesn't seem to have any manners. He starts a friendship with a widowed Pakistani shopkeeper, which turns everything in his life upside down.
  • Binky the Space Cat by Ashley Spires - One of the most adorable children's books I have read in a long time. 
  • Out on a Limb by Louise Baker - a memoir from the 1940s by a woman who lost a leg in an accident as a child, but didn't let it slow her down. I stumbled upon it during some inventory work here at the library. 
  • The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Steig Larsson - I loved this trilogy, and picked up a copy of the third book in Amsterdam, before it came out here. I read it in one gulp, without stopping, on the plane flight home.
  • Soulless by Gail Carriger - Book One of the Parasol Protectorate series, all of which are delightful. A felicitous discovery that has become one of my favorite steampunk/SF/mystery series. Alexia Tarabotti is not a young woman to be trifled with!
  • The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America by Douglas Brinkley - I think I picked this up in wake of the National Parks series on PBS, and it took me a while to read, since it is long and dense, but I really enjoyed it. Theodore Roosevelt is pretty high up on my list of favorite presidents. He had his faults, but he sure did a lot of good for this country. 
  • The Case for God by Karen Armstrong - Another dense book that took me a while to read. A refreshing book that kept me saying "Aha."
I haven't included everything that I liked, so if you want to see what else I have been reading in 2010, I encourage you to get an account on Goodreads. Then you can look at all my various lists, and create some of your own.

1 comment:

mdvlist said...

I was just recently thinking about putting Major Pettigrew on my reading list. I guess I will!