Sunday, January 2, 2011

2010 Books in Review

Bridge to TerabithiaBorn to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never SeenThe Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon, #3)

City of ThievesThe Girl Who Played with FireThe Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's NestMockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)The HelpShelter MeSecond ChanceThe Other WomanJunky
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1)BarefootAngry Housewives Eating Bon BonsShanghai Girls

I try to make a goal each year of reading at least as many books as I did the year before. This year, I made it by the skin of my teeth. I had to throw in Bridge to Terabithia last night in order to make it, which is kind of cop out, but still resulted in matching number of books read in 2009, so I'm okay with it. In my defense, I'm in the middle of about 5 books, so I blame being easily distracted to the last minute goal completion.
The books above outline what I read last year. I track everything on Goodreads, which if you have not been to is a great site that allows me to keep track of what I read when, and what I thought of books overall.
My favorite book of the year was Born to Run, but The Help and the Steig Larsson trilogy were also really entertaining reads. For 2011, I am going to try to diversify my reading a bit to include some new genres.
Here's a quick recap on my thoughts on the books above (as a general rule, I only give really horrible books 1 or 2 stars):

Born to Run, by Christopher McDougall: Fascinating book about a serious group of runners, featuring the Tarahumara tribe of Mexico. Whether you are into running or not, I recommend the read. It was really interesting and I learned a lot. (5 out 5 stars)

The Lost Symbol, by Dan Brown: This is the third Robert Langdon installment and is pretty consistent in tone and pace with the other books. This one focuses mostly around Freemasonry and takes place in Washington, D.C. I liked it as much as I liked The Da Vinci Code (4 out of 5 stars)
Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Patterson: A book from my childhood. It doesn't hold the same appeal to me now as it did then, but still a good read for a young adult book.... and a really quick one. I think I blew through it in an hour. (4 out of 5 stars)

City of Thieves, by David Benioff: This is what I'd call a comedic tragedy. It takes place during WWII in Leningrad and follows two unlikely heroes, as they go off on a seemingly impossible hunt to find eggs in order to secure their freedom. It's definitely the most unique war story I have ever read. (4 out of 5 stars)

Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins: The third and final installment of The Hunger Games series. I thought it was just as good as the other two books and was surprised by how much I liked the series. Sad to know that the series is over. (4 out of 5 stars)

The Help, by Kathryn Stockett: I'm definitely not the first person to have read this book in 2010. As I'm sure most of you have heard of it, I will keep it concise. Loved the characters and the writing in this book. (5 out of 5 stars)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl who Played with Fire, The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, by Stieg Larsson: Same as above, I'm sure most of you have heard about this series as well. I loved it. You definitely have to get through the first few chapters of the first novel to get into it, but once you do, it unravels into a really fascinating story. The last two books are pretty intense from a pace perspective. There were many times when I did not want to put the books down. (5 out 5 stars)

Shelter Me, by Juliette Faye: I started this book in August and did not finish it until the day before yesterday. It centers around a woman in the year after she is widowed unexpectedly with two small children. I think the premise of the book was good, it just never really kept me interested. I think it was well written, but perhaps to sad overall to really keep me engaged. (3 out of 5 stars)

Second Chance, by Jane Green: The 1st of two Jane Green books I read this past year. She is a british author, who pretty much writes a lot of chick lit. This was my favorite of the two books I read of hers. It follows a group of friends who are reunited through a loss after years apart. It was a quick read and entertaining. (4 out of 5 stars)
The Other Woman, by Jane Green: My least favorite read of the year, but a quick beach read if you need one. It follows the relationship between a girl and her soon to be mother-in-law, as they move through engagement to wedding and beyond. (3 out of 5 stars)

Junky, by William S. Burroughs: Dan brought this one home and I picked it up one day and finished it pretty soon after. If you ever need a reason not to do drugs, you should read this book. While it's a little to anxiety producing for my liking it was well written and an interesting look into 1950s drug culture. (3 out of 5 stars)

Barefoot, by Elin Hilderbrand: A fun beach read that takes place in Nantucket. I loved the scenery of this book and would recommend it if you're looking to remind yourself of Summer. I also like the characters although the story could have had more to offer. (4 out of 5 stars)

Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons, by Lorna Landvik: This story spans a group of friends' relationship over a series many decades. I liked to see how the times effected each character and really liked how each developed. A fun book that reminded me of the Ya Ya books. (4 out of 5 stars)

Shanghai Girls, by Lisa See: While I liked Snowflower and the Secret Fan more than this book, I still found it to be good. It focuses on two sisters' transitions from wealth in Shanghai to being immigrants in Los Angeles. It was somewhat sad overall and dragged at times once they were in the US. (4 out of 5 stars)


  1. let me know what you think of House Rules

  2. I am so happy you love reading. I loved Snow Flower and the Secret Fan too. I think I will skip Shanghai Girls.