December 30, 2010

The Top 10 of 2010

The time has come to list my top 10 reads of 2010 - and the process wasn't actually as hard as I thought it was going to be. I did have to cull a few books to get the list down to only 10 but I think my top reads really stood out for me this year. My list is not necessarily a list of the "best" books or what would be considered literature - but they are all books that have stayed with me long after reading them.
So, my top 10 read of 2010, in the order in which I read them:

1. Mrs Dalloway - Virginia Woolf - My first Woolf read and I was captivated by her writing style and characterisation straight away.

2. The Hours - Michael Cunningham - Following on from my new found love of Woolf and Mrs Dalloway I was excited to read this homage by Cunningham - almost as good as the original for me.

3. The World Beneath - Cate Kennedy - The only Australian novel and author on my list this year.

4. The Help - Kathryn Stockett - I had stayed away from this book for a long time because of the hype surrounding it but I was pleasantly surprised to find that the hype and praise was well deserved.

5. The Hand That First Held Mine - Maggie O'Farrell - I have yet to read a book by this author that has let me down although I think this may be my favourite of hers so far.

6. Hearts and Minds - Amanda Craig - This is probably the book that has stayed with me the most this year - a brilliant story.

7. Great House - Nicole Krauss - I was eagerly awaiting this new book by the author of The History of Love and I was not disappointed at all.

8. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert - This book opened my eyes to the importance of translation in literature - a beautiful edition of a brilliant book.

9. The Portrait of a Lady - Henry James - My first Henry James novel but definitely not my last.

10. The Age of Innocence - Edith Wharton - Another classic read that captured me this year.

Happy new year everyone - may 2011 be another fantastic year of reading!


Unknown said...

I loved Hearts and Minds and The Help. I have a copy of The Hand that First Held Mine and hope to read it in the next few weeks. I'm looking forward to Great House being released in the UK later in the year. What a great list! Have a wonderful 2011!

Astrid (Mrs.B) said...

Great list! The Help also made mine and The Age of Innocence made my list last year. I see you're reading The Far Cry. It's not the best Persephone but images do stay with you long after you've read it.

Joan Hunter Dunn said...

I've so enjoyed reading everyone's Top Ten. I nearly bought The Help today as I'd seen it recommended elsewhere but other books fought to the top. And indeed happy reading in 2011.

verity said...

Hearts and minds is one that will stay with me too

Anonymous said...

What a great list. I've only read the Hand That First Held Mine, which I loved,and the Age of Innocence years ago, but all the reast were already in my TBR or my wishlist.

Karen said...

Hi Jackie - I really want to read The Hand again very, very soon - I loved it so much - hope you do too!

Hi Mrs B - I'm struggling to get into The Far Cry a bit at the moment but I do love books about India so I'm sure I will get into soon.

Hi Joan - I hope you get to The Help very soon - I think a movie based on it is coming along soon??

Hi Verity - it is an amazing book isn't it? I would love to read more of hers but I haven't come across any as yet.

Hi Fleur - I hope you are able to get to some of them this year!

Anonymous said...

I am so going to read an Edith Wharton this year! And probably another James. The Portrait of a Lady is the only James I've read and it stayed with me. I really love your list, Karen. Looking to read Maggie O'Farrell this year too, and Great House. (Also eager to know how you're liking The Far Cry..) Happy new year, dear Karen!

Karen said...

Hi Claire - so great to hear from you at BookBath! I am hopinh you will like Great House as much as I did - I'm not sure that it is quite as magical as The History of Love but it is still an incredible book in my eyes.

Iliana said...

Wonderful list. I really want to read Hearts and Minds. I've only read good reviews for that book.

Marg said...

The Help is on my list for this year as well!

Karen said...

Hi Iliana - it really is a fantastic book - I hope you like it! I think it would make a great movie too...

Hi Marg - I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

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