Best of Reading for 2010

December 30, 2010 Reading Nook 41

I feel a little bit sheepish participating in this “Best Of” meme since I only finished a whopping 23 books this year (yes, twenty three), but I have blogger’s block again and really want to post something before tomorrow at midnight!  And for the record, while I do feel like a bit of a failure as a book blogger for only having read 23 books this year, I think back on all the things I did in 2010 and am totally OK that reading took a back burner and will continue to do so in 2011.

So…Jamie from The Perpetual Page-Turner has asked us a series of questions about our 2010 reading (pop by for a Linky of all participants).

My 2010 Reading Year

1. Best book of 2010?
No question about it – Les Miserables by Victor Hugo and Extremely Loud &; Incredibly Close by Jonathon Safran Foer. I can pick two, right? They are soooo different afterall.

2. Worst book of 2010?
The Night Gardener by George Pelecanos. I don’t often feel like I’ve wasted time reading a book, but I wish I could have the week I spent reading this one back. I read for book club and it’s a harmless book (murder mystery), just not something I enjoy reading.

3. Most Disappointing Book of 2010?
Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky. I wanted to read the book for so long and it ended up just being a painful time sucker. 

4. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2010?
The Odyssey! Who knew that it would be so easy to read and entertaining as well.

5. Book you recommended to people most in 2010?
Is it weird that I don’t typically recommend books? I guess Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close though it’s not one I’d recommend universally.

6. Best series you discovered in 2010?
Does Flavia de Luce count as a series? I adored The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley and can’t wait to read more of Flavia’s adventures.

7. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2010?
Not sure I really had any “discoveries” this year, but I’ll be reading more of Jonathon Safran Foer and Alan Bradley for sure.

8. Most hilarious read of 2010?
I guess maybe One for the Money by Janet Evanovich but mostly it was just entertaining rather than HILarious.

9. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2010?
The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale about a Victorian murder mystery. This one will get included among my favorite non-fiction books!

10. Book you most anticipated in 2010?
I didn’t really have any “anticipated” reads for 2010. Now, 2011 I have a whole list!

11. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2010?
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. Delicious. I might even pick up the Jane Eyre edition for next year.

12. Most memorable character in 2010?
Definitely the cast from Wuthering Heights. I even casted out my own version of the movie.

13. Most beautifully written book in 2010?
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. Any book that can make me cry on the bike at the gym is one dear to my heart.

14. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2010?
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. See note above about crying on the bike at the gym. Seriously.

15. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2010 to finally read?
Animal Farm by George Orwell.  Such a fun surprise and so short!

Book Blogging in 2010

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2010?
I’m admittedly bad about kind of sticking to my handful of longtime favorites, especially after the blogging break and move, but a few newbies [to me] for me this year are Erin Reads, Kristi Loves Books, Iliana from Bookgirl’s Nightstand (met Iliana this year in Austin!), Amy Reads, and Allie from A Literary Odyssey

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2010?
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close though it’s mostly a rambling mess. In my head I also love my Les Miserables review even if I can’t seem to get more than one paragraph actually drafted.

3. Best discussion you had on your blog
Though sometimes I miss the big Sunday Salon discussions I used to have before my break, I’ve had some great ones this year. Two of my favorites from this year were Taming of the Shelves and Picking Your Next Read.

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?
Amanda from The Zen Leaf wrote an amazing review of Lolita. She warns of spoilers, but I think especially those who haven’t read the book should read her thoughts. It’s a beautiful book that so many people avoid but she explains perfectly why Lolita is a must read.

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
ALWAYS the read-a-thon. The next I presume will be in April right before Little Miss comes. I’m hoping I can get in one last day of gratuitous reading before the true insanity begins.

6. Best moment of book blogging in 2010?
Finally letting go of Trish’s Reading Nook and allowing myself to begin to blog more freely (still working on it, but hey).

7. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)
That I can download audiobooks from my local library! The collection is small but I’m hoping I can take more advantage of this in 2011.

Soooo, the bottom line is I want you all to go read Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close right now so we can meet for coffee and chat about what heavy boots the book gave us.

I’m so looking forward to all that 2011 is going to bring.  I plan to be back with a Sunday Salon on January 2nd, but until then I hope you all have a lovely and safe New Year’s Eve and Day.

Much love and happy reading,

41 Responses to “Best of Reading for 2010”

  1. Jamie

    YESSS for EL&IC domination!! But you knew I’d approve of that, right? :P

    And yes…the read-a-thon was epic and cheering with you was fun!

    Thanks for participating in the survey with me! :)

  2. leeswammes

    I loved doing the read-a-thon too! It’s such a great event.

    I have the nagging feeling that there is one book that I should be reading according to your post…. What was the title again? :-)

  3. Debi

    OMG–that Wuthering Heights cover is sooooooo amazing!!!! I want. I want. I want.

    And I hope it makes you happy to know that you are in large part to blame for me picking Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close as one of the books I definitely want to get to in 2011!

    And Trish–stop stop stop beating yourself up over reading 23 books!!! 23 books is awesome!!! Yeah, “hanging out” with book bloggers can make us feel like we’re not doing so well in the numbers department. But there’s more to reading than quantity. I know you know that, but I thought I’d say it anyway. :)

    May 2011 bring you all the joy you can handle, my dear!!!!

  4. Iliana

    Alright, I’m putting Extremley Loud and Incredibly Close on my list – I hear you :)

    It was such a treat meeting you, Amanda, Carin, Jenn and Debbie at the Texas Book Festival. Hopefully we can make it happen again!

    And, don’t worry about the number of books. What matters is having discovered some great reads! Happy New Year Trish!

  5. Amy

    Reading any amount of books in a year is a win I think, so 23 is fantastic! I love this meme and have been enjoying reading it. Great to see your faves. And thank you for the mention as a new discovery :)

  6. Amanda

    Hi Trish! First off, thanks for the shout-out about Lolita. :) Second, I’ll have to check out Kristy’s blog as it’s the only one you mentioned that isn’t sitting in my GR right now! Third, I absolutely love the cleanliness of having read 23 books. Seriously. I’ll bet you remember your books-read far better than I do. :)

  7. Jenny

    Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is going to be one of the first books I read in the new year. I can’t wait to see what I think and to talk with you about it! =)

  8. Bonnie

    I LOVE how you wrote this post with all the details! I have been wanting to read Les Miserables for a long time but have been daunted by the sheer volume of the book. Plus, my book club friend told me she has been reading it on/off for 15 years! She is determined to finish it but that is a long time:) I will have to add Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close to my wish list for 2011 as I’ve heard rave reviews including yours here!

  9. Allie

    I loved participating in the readalong as well. I hope that the next one I participate in allows me to read more than I did in October (Matt was too distracting then). I am already warning him that he’ll have to leave me alone. :)

    I think its great that you can so vividly remember what You did read this year. I think we, as bloggers, need to find a happy medium with just the right amount of reading. And while I am sometimes jealous of those people who read 200, 300, 400 or more books in a year, I am glad that I can remember what I did read better than they can. And I still have time to do the many other things I love. :)

    I look forward to getting to know you even better in the coming year! I am so glad we discovered each other this year. :)

  10. Charley

    Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close — that book just about broke my heart. I love the picture of you on your couch. You look so beautiful and content!

  11. Kristi

    You shouldn’t feel bad about reading only 23 books this year. I think it’s great that you’ve found what works for you. I only started my blog a few months ago and I feel such guilt when I don’t post, but I need to let that go. I have to remember that my family and other obligations are more important.

    It sounds like I’ll have to read Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. :) I’ll have to try Les Mis again.

    Thanks for listing my blog as a new one you’ve found. That was really sweet!

  12. Brenna

    Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close was my very favorite read of the year as well. Hands down. I’m glad you loved it too!

  13. Melody

    I think you’d a wonderful reading year, Trish! It’s the reading pleasure and quality that count, not quantity. ;)

    Happy 2011 to you and your family!!

  14. Trish

    Dang! You guys commented fast on this one!

    *Jamie – Thanks for hosting the survey! And yes, EL&IC will forever be dear to me! Can’t wait to read EiI and The History of Love in the new year.

    *Leeswammes – Haha! I know, I hate to repeat myself but EL&IC really was such a touching book. I think you’d like it? Happy new year Judith!

    *Debi – Isn’t that cover gorgeous? Love it so much and the one for Jane Eyre is equally delicious. And yes, please read EL&IC soon, Debi. It’s a beautiful book and I think you’d like it. And I’m OK with the 2-3 number. I mean, I did get my motorcycle license this year, right? ;) Happy new year to your family too, Debi.

    *Bookmagic – Isn’t Oskar great? Ususally child narrators get on my nerves but I loved him. You know about the movie slated with Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock?

    *Jason – Oh you’re not alone! I LOVED Les Mis. Just don’t know how to write about the damn thing!

    *Iliana – Was I being loud? ;) Yes, it’s such a good book but now I fear I’m overselling. And yes, it was so fun to meet you–even though I knew of your blog before I’m grateful for the rediscovery.

    *Amy – pretty new gravitar! ;) And yes, glad to have met you this year. Your reading is so diverse and I love that.

    *Rhapsody – I don’t want to see the movie!! But the book really is captivating. So hard to describe how that’s possible but Amanda does a good job.

    *Amanda – Haha! Yes, I might remember my books better–but I am still convinced there might be one from the beginning of the year that I’m forgetting. Kristy is a newish blogger but such a sweetheart.

  15. Trish

    *Jenny – I hope you like it Jenny. It’s a little strange at first but the narrator has a way of just sucking you in.

    *Bonnie – Les Miserable took me about 5 months (maybe longer)–a big reason why I only read 23 books this year for sure! It was a lot of work but definitely well worth it. Though, if I read it again I’ll definitely read the abridged version. One of these days I’ll put thoughts together but I do recommend!

    *Allie – Ha! I always tell Scott way in advance so that he knows to entertain himself the day of the readathon! After several he’s finally learned. ;) And yes, I agree that it’s important to do several things you love rather than just focusing on one–I’m a little envious of those who have more “free time” than I do, but that’s OK.

    *Lisa – That’s what you say. :P But look forward to your thoughts on both.

    *Charley – I know, I know–heavy boots for sure. It still makes me want to cry just thinking about Oskar and the grandpa and the answering machine and…! And thanks–the story behind my smile in the picture is I had just eaten a poppyseed bagel and didn’t want to flash my teeth. ;)

    *Kristi – The guilt is definitely tough–I especially felt it when I first started blogging and I was trying to build an audience. It’s hard to find a happy medium but you’re right that we have real life obligations that we have to think about as well. And so glad to have met you this year. Maybe try the abridged Les Mis? About half the book can be cut down!

    *Brenna – Yay! Another EL&IC fan! I have troubles recommending it to others but haven’t met anyone yet who hasn’t loved it.

    *Reviewsbylola – Isn’t Flavia great? Just love her. And yes, I HAD to have that copy of Wuthering Heights when I saw it. Deckled Pages too!!

    *Melody – Yes, I absolutely agree about reading pleasure than quantity. Next year I want to focus on making all my reads the BEST of the year! Happy new year to you!

  16. christina

    Trish that is such a cute picture of you and your book during the RaT. I’m really nervous reading Russian authors. It doesn’t seem as though there have been a lot of “YES this book kicked butt!”

  17. Veens

    Well, see I don’t think 23 is a bad number, I am used to read as much. But this year I read around 30, which is Awesome number for me lol!

    You have been a great blogger, you have updated us all on whats happening and done loads of chit-chats, that’s really the fun!

    I went and searched for the book and we only have imported edition, **sigh**! I will have to wait :D

    I need to read Les Miserables!

  18. farmlanebooks

    OK! You’ve persuaded me! I’ll read Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close as soon as I can. I love emotional books :-)

    I loved Mr Whicher too. What a great list. I hope you have a wonderful 2011!

  19. joanna

    I’m glad you’re in a more comfortable blogging place Trish, it should all be fun!

    I loved Extremely Loud.. too, great book. Mt Whicher is on my radar for 2011, all I’ve read about it is great!

    have a lovely New Years’ Eve and Day!

  20. Nymeth

    Extremely Loud… is so wonderful <3 And I swear, one of these days I’ll read Les Mis and give WH another try :P

    Happy, Happy New Year, Trish! Wishing you all the very best in 2011.

  21. JoAnn

    So, I guess I really need to read Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, right? My daughter loved it, and it’s right here on the shelf…

    Glad the disappointment of The Brothers K was tempered by The Odyssey. Read-alongs were a big part of 2010 for me. Happy New Year, Trish!

  22. Laura

    I think 23 books isn’t too shabby at all for a yearly count, regardless of what is going on in your life! 2 a month is great in my book :) If you can keep that up next year after the arrival of Little Miss, I will be ultra impressed! Anyways, I think I need to go back and read your review of EXaIC! Happy New Year!

  23. Literary Feline

    One day I will finish Les Miserables; although, now I think I’d better start from the beginning. :-) I really liked what I’d read of it, but school got in the way oh those many years ago and I set it aside, never to get back to it. And I really want to read Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. I loved Everything’s Illuminated by the same author.

    I’m sorry you didn’t like Pelecanos book. I read it awhile ago and remember liking it. It was very dark.

    I hope you have a great New Year, Trish! It’s certainly going to be a big one.

  24. Bellezza

    Apparently, I need to read Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Up which I purchased long, long ago! This was a great post, Trish, most informative of your year, and I’m glad that you started this new blog (especially that you didn’t give up blogging completely!). Happy New Year!

  25. Michelle

    Well two books I have put at the top of the list for 2011 is Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close as well as Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie mainly for your reviews. So thanks! No pressure though. ;)

  26. Erin

    I would say you are definitely NOT a bad blogger. You ask some of the most interesting questions and write insightful, honest posts I’ve encountered! It’s not quantity, it’s quality :-)

    Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is on my list for 2011, so I’m glad to have your ringing endorsement! I’m so honored to be included as one of your new favorite blogs :-D I loved the Readathon (my first) and discovered library ebooks this year, too. Happy New Year, Trish!

  27. Brooke

    Be proud of your 23 books, I only read 2 1/2. Yes, 1/2 because I read most of The Historian in 2010, but I only have 200 pages left (out of 816). I hope that I read more books next year, but at least I read something.

    Pass the book along that you are talking about and I’ll read it. Not like I have anything else to read (jk) … my book shelf cries to me everytime I pull a book down because I have tons that I haven’t read. I blame the book fair that we went to when I was pregnant.

  28. Trish

    *Christina – I just read a review of a Russian book from Jill (Fizzy Thoughts) that she really liked, but of course the title escapes me. See her newest post, I think, for the review. Otherwise, yes—Russians = Scary As Crap.

    *Wordlily – I probably won’t read the 3rd Flavia book this year but I really look forward to The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag (Geez—is that really the title?) :)

    *Trisha – I know—Odyssey was such a nice readalong surprise after Brothers Karamazov and even Wuthering Heights (re-read for me). Can’t say I have high hopes for Joyce. ;)

    *Softdrink – Ahhh, thank you for the wisdom. Just wish there was more reading. And writing. Ah well!

    *Veens – I’m so sad that you don’t have Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close where you are. There’s a movie coming out I think next year so maybe something will come soon? The paper book has pictures so not sure if those would translate to an ebook. And yes, read Les Miserables!!

    *farmlanebooks – Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is a pretty emotional book. I’ve heard that Foer’s Everything is Illuminated is even more so. Glad you liked Whicher, too—such a fascinating read! Happy New Year to you, too.

    *Joanna – Yes, absolutely agreed that blogging should be fun! Not pressured yick. ;) Hope you like Mr. Whicher—really fascinating book! Especially if you like Victorian Lit.

    *Nymeth – Wuthering Heights—eh. It’s depressing and the characters are awful. But Les Mis, YES—definitely read. And the best to you, Ana.

    *JoAnn – Well, if your daughter loved it and it’s on the shelf, what are you waiting for? Of course read Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. ;) I loved the readalongs of 2010 and hope to do more this year as well. Happy New Year to you!

    *Laura – Oh I know—I’m going to try and rely more on audiobooks once the baby comes—but maybe I’ll be able to read during late night feedings? Ha! Delusions, I know. Happy New Year to you!

    *Lit Feline – Technically I think you could start Les Mis about 75 pages into the book and be fine. ;) Takes a little bit to get to the meat! I hope to read Everything is Illuminated this year—I’ve heard such good things about it! And about Pelecanos—I think it maybe was just the fact that we didn’t have a great discussion about the book—that’s my only memory now. Oh well—win some, lose some.

    *Bellezza:) Yes, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is a great book—but it’s a little different. But…I haven’t found anyone yet who didn’t like it. Glad I started the new blog as well and I’m so grateful you guys have stuck with me. The best in 2011 to you.

    *Michelle – Muh ha ha ha! Glad to influence you. I hope you like both Sweetness and EL&IC—I think you will. They’re both fairly short but Sweetness is definitely easier to read than EL&IC. Enjoy love.

    *Erin – Thanks Erin–guess we can only do what we can do, huh? And yes, definitely read EL&IC–I think you’d like it. At least hope so. And hope you’ll be readathoning in the spring!

    *Diary/Anna – Ugh–Brothers Karamazov is a beating, huh? ;) Happy New Year!

    *Brooke – When you finish The Historian, if you need a book I’ll loan you EL&IC–it’s the book I got Kim for Christmas (well, got her a used copy and she then wrapped it and gave it to herself). And you’ve been working hard on scrapbooking, so don’t feel bad about not reading as much!

  29. Kate

    Again, this post was awesome. You are awesome. I love the picture of you on the couch. You look beautiful; but then… you are. Okay, even though my reading will be much more limited this year (damn the scrapbooks), I do commit that I’m going to do the readathon with you this year, and I will read Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. so there. Happy 2011, soon your reading choices will be more along the kine of nursery rhymes and Mother Goose. — Love, Mom

  30. Kate

    One more thing. I think it would be a wonderful birthday present if someone who happens to love the book “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” were to give it to me. And write a note on the inside. Just sayin.

  31. priyaiyer

    Two lovely memes. Had fun reading both of them. I did the first one some time ago, on my blog, too.

    I have Lolita on my bookshelf since, like, forever, but I can’t, just can’t get around to reading it – though I started on it a couple of times. :( Just too dark and disturbing. Will check out the review at Amanda’s that you have linked to.

    I don’t think 23 books is not a bad number in a year at all. That’s how much I usually read in a year. :)

  32. Christy

    I read The Night Gardener last year as well. As you said, it’s a harmless book really. I think I liked it more than you, but mostly because it was set in D.C. and I got excited every time I recognized a location, some of which were in neighborhoods where I used to live.

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