Jan 11 2011

Taking Stock of 2010: Books

Undemanding reading, with one or two exceptions, appears as the hallmark of 2010. Belated reaction to the economic crisis? Lack of initiative after spending several months with Count Tolstoy in 2009? Hard to say.

The exceptions: Armenian Golgotha by Grigoris Balakian, a survivor’s testimony from the time of his arrest in 1915 in Istanbul to his eventual escape into Central Europe in 1918; and in a completely different vein The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley, a retelling of Arthurian legends with the Grail quest a nuisance, all of the swordplay off-stage, and the men in general of secondary interest.

Most-read author this year just passed: Alexander McCall Smith. Authors new to me I want to read more of: John Biggins, Raymond E. Feist, Jo Walton, Hillary Mantel. Books read aloud to the eldest child: should be obvious from context. Best tale of the Austro-Hungarian navy: Tomorrow the World by John Biggins. Disappointment from a Nobelist I otherwise quite like: The Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk. Best novel of first contact in medieval Germany: Eifelheim by Michael Flynn. Books in German read: none, for the first time in many years.

Full list is below the fold, links are to earlier posts on the title or author. See also 2009, 2007, 2006.

The Promised Land – Nicholas Lemann
The To-Do List – Mike Gayle
The State Counsellor – Boris Akunin
The Coronation – Boris Akunin
Life and Soul of the Party – Mike Gayle
The Armageddon Rag – George R.R. Martin
Stories I Stole – Wendell Steavenson
Tears of the Giraffe – Alexander McCall Smith
The Last Colony – John Scalzi
Voyage of the Dawn Treader – C.S. Lewis
Cyberabad Days – Ian McDonald
Morality for Beautiful Girls – Alexander McCall Smith
The Kalahari Typing School for Men – Alexander McCall Smith
Tomorrow The World – John Biggins
Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator – Roald Dahl
Juliet, Naked – Nick Hornsby
The Full Cupboard of Life – Alexander McCall Smith
Glimpses – Lewis Shiner
Washington’s Crossing – David Hackett Fischer
Resurrection Man – Sean Stewart
Hammer & Tickle – Ben Lewis
Crooked Little Vein – Warren Ellis
Odyssey – Jack McDevitt
Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone – J.K. Rowling
The Mists of Avalon – Marion Zimmer Bradley
The Museum of Innocence – Orhan Pamuk
Slam – Lewis Shiner
Daughter of the Empire – Raymond E. Feist
Ha’Penny – Jo Walton
The Bronski House – Philip Marsden
Eifelheim – Michael Flynn
The Fuller Memorandum – Charles Stross
She Lover of Death – Boris Akunin
In the Company of Cheerful Ladies – Alexander McCall Smith
The Importance of Being a Bachelor – Mike Gayle
Blue Shoes and Happiness – Alexander McCall Smith
At Home – Bill Bryson
We’ll Always Have Paris – Ray Bradbury
Wolf Hall – Hillary Mantel
The Good Husband of Zebra Drive – Alexander McCall Smith
Wireless – Charles Stross
Armenian Golgotha – Grigoris Balakian
Sainte Chapelle – Anon.
Frontera – Lewis Shiner
The Blind Side – Michael Lewis
Stations of the Tide – Michael Swanwick
Agent to the Stars – John Scalzi
Father/Land – Frederick Kempe
Shades of Grey – Jasper Fforde

Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2011/01/11/taking-stock-of-2010-books/

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