Best Books I Read This Year – 2010

Top Ten Books I Read This Year That I Loved (Listed In

1. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie – this semi-autobiographical and delightfully illustrated story deserves the 22 awards it received.

2. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver – Honest to goodness, this book will change your life.

3. Belong to Me by Marisa de los Santos – reads like a Cole Porter song: clever, funny, sexy, poignant, and expressing all kinds of love in musical prose.

4. Fingersmith by Sarah Waters – made me whoop for joy at the clever twists and turns.

5. Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy by Gary D. Schmidt – broke my heart.

6. Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork – this author’s warmth jumps right out of the pages.

7. A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly – beautifully wrought prose.

8. The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly – historical romance saga at its best.

9. This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper – laughed till I cried.

10. The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly – follow-up to The Tea Rose, this next installment is even better than the first! (But they are both so good, you’ll want to read both, so start with The Tea Rose.)

Some runners-up:

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin – racial reversal in Mississippi

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness – information overload set on a dystopic world

A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick – haunting tale of redemption

Room by Emma Donoghue – unforgettable story with a five-year-old narrator


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33 Responses to Best Books I Read This Year – 2010

  1. Nymeth says:

    I feel like I should remove the two I’ve already read and turn this into my personal reading list for 2011 😛

  2. Sandy says:

    Ditton on what Nymeth said. Well, I’ve read a few of them, but I have a handful of them on my shelves. On my bests next week, I think you shall see some repeats!!!

  3. Rural View says:

    Interesting list. I agree with you about Fingersmith. What a delicious story! I haven’t read the others but some are on my list to look for. I don’t think my husband will ever “get” why I love books so much, but I can look back on my own reading and remember what joy or insight I derived from many books. They teach me and they take me to places I’ll never get to see in person, or back to an intriguing historical period. I feel badly that he doesn’t read.

  4. zibilee says:

    I agree with a lot of your books on this list, particularly Fingersmith. There are quite a few on your list that I really want to read in the new year as well. Glad to see that you had so many great reads this year, and it seems as if a lot of them came late in the game!

  5. Richard says:

    Jill, congratulations on finding a writer who could contribute three selections to your Top 10 list for the year. That’s the kind of good fortune we could all stand to come by. P.S. Loved your “gushing ahead” line/warning in that one post!

  6. Haha this looks like my TBR list! Jealous that you’ve gotten to some many of the books I want to read. Looks like a darn good year of reading!

  7. Tricia says:

    I loved Fingersmith, but sadly haven’t read any of the others on your list – this is definitely a good guide for 2011 – thanks!

  8. Aarti says:

    Ooh, I’ve not read many of these books, but Absolutely True Diary makes my Best Of list for the year, too. Not posting that yet, though, as I *think* I may get through another book before the year runs out.

  9. Ceri says:

    Great choices here, hun. Some beautiful books. Wish I’d read a bigger selection so I had more choice to choose from. 😛

  10. stacybuckeye says:

    Absolutely True Diary was one of my faves from last year. And The Tea Rose will be one of my tops this year. Really need to get my hands on the Winter Rose.

  11. It is great to see Fngersmith on your list – that is one of my alltime favourite books. Room was my favourite read of 2010 so it is nice to see it mentioned.

    I hope to try Jennifer Donnelly in 2011. I hope I enjoy her as much as you do 🙂

  12. Staci says:

    I’m amazed at how many of your faves were YA!! Great list!

  13. Jenny says:

    Wa-ah, I want to read the Donnelly Rose books and I can’t because my library keeps on not having them when I go. I was so sure they’d have them in the instant I wanted them, I didn’t even bother checking. Turns out, they have four copies in the whole system, and everybody apparently wants a piece of that. :/

  14. bermudaonion says:

    I’ve only read two of those books (and loved them both) but I have three others in my TBR pile.

  15. Jen says:

    I love Jonathan Tropper’s books, but This is Where I Leave You was one of my least favourites of his. Still a good, solid book (totally funny and sad at the same time) but it just didn’t match up to The Book of Joe or Everything Changes. Have you read anything else by Tropper?

  16. Lots of YA and middle grade! xoxo

  17. cousinsread says:

    I join the others in declaring my love for FIngersmith! So glad to see it made your top ten.

  18. Trish says:

    Wow–Absolute True Diary won 22 awards? I think my brother at 14 is finally old enough so I might pass it on to him to read as I enjoyed it too. Also loved Fingersmith. Have Knife of Never at the top of my 2011 list and boy has Room been getting a lot of love lately!

  19. Haven’t read any of these but I’ve added some to my to-read list. Thanks for a year of wonderful reviews!

  20. Jenners says:

    So you want us to read Jennifer Donnelly do you? She totally dominated your list!! As you know, I agree with you on most if not all of these (except, of course, for the ones I haven’t read yet … but will!!!!)

    Great wrap-up.

  21. Marie says:

    Great list. I loved the tropper, the alexie and I really, really need to read MARCELO. Hope next year’s reading is just as good or better!

  22. Margot says:

    Someone has already said it but, this is a wonderful To Be Read List, especially if I want to fill my reading hours with truly amazing books. Maybe someone should start a book challenge titled Read Whatever Jill Reads. Based on this best of the best books list here, how could anyone not join in.

  23. Vasilly says:

    I definitely agree with you on Alexie. It’s on my list of favorites for this year too. I really need to re-read Marcelo. Most of the books on your list that I haven’t read, are on my TBR list so I really love list. Have a great week!

  24. Amanda says:

    So many wonderful books on this list! I’m getting excited to make my own best-of lists later this week!

  25. Lisa says:

    Jennifer Donnelly was certainly a hit with you this year!

  26. Ti says:

    Quite a variety you have here. As much as I love making lists, I hate making my “best of” lists because they are usually best for some personal reason of mine and not necessarily “best” to someone else. Does that even make sense? I am recovering from food coma.

  27. Kaye says:

    I can see why you included The Tea Rose on your list. After reading your stellar review, I got TTR from the library and enjoyed it immensely. Thanks for the reco!!

  28. Literary Feline says:

    I was really hoping to get to Fingersmith this year, but it just wasn’t meant to be. Maybe this coming year . . .I also want to read Jennifer Donnelly’s books as I’ve heard great things about them (including from your great review!).

  29. Rachel says:

    I’ve read This Is Where I Leave You and The Absolutely True Diary…and they were both five star books for me too. Loved them! I’ll have to read some of the other books on your list since we appear to have similar tastes.

  30. Pingback: It’s a Wrap! : January 2011 (and rampant book buying) « Bibliojunkie

  31. Pingback: Review: The Rose Trilogy by Jennifer Donnelly | Life … With Books

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