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!