2010 Reading Survey

Monday, December 13, 2010


Here's a few fun reading questions that I saw at Literary Musings and The Perpetual Page-Turners. How about we all just agree from the start that I’m going to cheat and list two books on some (most) of these. I tried, I just can’t narrow it down. That being said, here we go…

1. Best book of 2010? The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro and I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith – A British butler who has lived a detached life and is coming to terms with his regrets; a British teen who is completely in love with life. Two absolute gems that I will definitely be rereading in future years. 



2. Worst book of 2010? For One More Day by Mitch Albom – Seriously, why do I keep reading his fiction? It’s awful!

3. Most Disappointing Book of 2010? A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick – So overrated, I expected a mystery and got a wannabe romance novel. 




4. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2010? Maus I & II Art Spiegelman – Pulitzer-Prize winning graphic novel about the Holocaust featuring Jews as mice. I didn’t really know what to expect, but it was wonderful.

5. Book you recommended to people most in 2010? Still Alice by Lisa Genova – A brilliant woman’s descent into the final stages of Alzheimer’s disease, from her own perspective. I’ve found myself recommending it to just about everyone.

6. Best series you discovered in 2010? Percy Jackson and the Olympians Rick Riordan and The Dark is Rising Susan Cooper – Why are all the good series for young adults? Obviously that’s an exaggeration, there’s some great adult stuff too, but these two are my two favs this year and they both fall in that category. So does the Hunger Games, though I discovered that one last year.

7. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2010? Sarah Waters, Willa Cather and Terry Pratchett – Masterful Victorian twists, quiet farmers in Nebraska and clever British quips, each author left me wanting to devour everything else they’ve written.


8. Most hilarious read of 2010? The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby and Carry On, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse – Hornby writing about reading, but in his own hilarious way and Jeeves and Wooster will never fail to make me laugh. 



9. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2010? The Girl Who Played With Fire Stieg Larsson – I loved the rest of the series too, but this one never slow down for a second.

10. Book you most anticipated in 2010? Great House by Nicole Krauss and The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon – These two authors wrote two of my all-time favorite books. When they both released new novels this year I could hardly stand the wait until I had them in my hands.


11. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2010? Other than the glorious Penguin classics, Zeitoun by Dave Eggers, Juliet, Naked Nick Hornby and The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley (see picture above)

12. Most memorable character in 2010? Flavia de Luce from the Alan Bradley mysteries and Aibileen from The Help by Kathryn Stockett. One is a precocious 11-year-old British girl, the other is a stoic black maid in Mississippi during the Civil Rights movement. Such different creations, but both stayed with me long after I finished the books.

13. Most beautifully written book in 2010? Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann and Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert – New York City in the 1970s, provincial France in the 19th century, luscious prose in both. 




14. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2010? The Haidmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood – What a book! Go read it immediately.

15. Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2010 to finally read? Great Expectations by Charles Dickens – I just loved this one and though I’ve read a lot of Dickens in the past, I’ve never had that reaction before.

How about you guys? New favorite authors, best book you read, how was your 2010 in reading?

23 comments:

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

This was a great survey. I enjoyed reading your answers. I need to try this IF I can find time.

LifetimeReader said...

Lots of terrific choices in there! So many people are recommending Still Alice to me. Perhaps it needs to go on our winter holiday with me...

Alexandra said...

Interesting you chose Aibileen, i did too when we were discussing favorite character in The Help, but almost everyone went for Minny.

I also love the cover of Sweetness and would also vote for Let the Great World Spin for category 13.

How come The Angel’s Game is not in your favorites list?

Avid Reader said...

Lifetime - I hope you read it, but keep some kleenex close by.

Alexandra - Minnie is great too, but Aibileen was such a powerful character.

The Angel's Game definitely deserves a spot on the favorites list. I was trying not to be too repetitive with the titles and I used it in the Most Anticipated category. It really fits in both.

Kristi said...

I've been patiently waiting on the reserve list for four months for Remains of the Day. I'm dying to read it after seeing how many people love it. I may just have to give in and buy it.

I too loved Great Expectations! I didn't want to put it down and I remember taking it with me to read at the hospital while in labor with my second child. It is one that I want to reread soon.

Avid Reader said...

Kristi - You took it to the hospital when you were in labor! That's beyond awesome. That's a reading experience you won't soon forget.

p.s. Check used book stores for Remains of the Day. It's an old enough book, that I always see it for $1 or so.

Brenna said...

Great list! I added The Remains of the Day and I Capture the Castle to my TBR because I feel like we have very similar tastes in books. I love Krauss and Zafon!

Sofi Stellar said...

Oh, goodness. This is a great list, but it makes me feel like I need to up my reading!

Bybee said...

Excellent roundup...I was busily taking notes.

Kristi said...

Thanks for the tip! I'll have to hit some used books stores to see if I can find it.

Yvonne said...

Great roundup of reading for 2010. If you don't mind I'd like to add "The Tender Bar" by J.R. Mohringer. Really great memoir about a young man that believe it or not, sort of grew up in a bar. I always enjoy your posts and have found wonderful titles to check into. Thanks!

Avid Reader said...

Brenna - I think you'll love those, esp I Capture the Castle.

Yvonne - I'll have to check that one out. Thanks for the recommendation!

booksploring said...

Excellent list! I'd have to agree with Flavia de Luce as most memorable character and The Girl who Played with Fire as most thrilling 0f 2010!

Jenners said...

Oh I loved reading this!! I'm going to have to do this one ... it makes for a great wrap-up post for the year!

Elisabeth said...

I was surprised to see that I have read almost all the great books you listed. We must have similar taste in reading. One of my favorites this year that I did not see on your list was Saving Cee Cee Hunnicut.

Vaishnavi said...

I loved The Remains of the Day too! I read it only this year although I watched the movie quite a while ago. The book has gone into my hall of favourites :) Yours is a great list!

Avid Reader said...

Elisabeth - Thanks for the recommendation. I added it to my TBR. After reading Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, I'm a sucker for books set in Savannah.

Vaishnavi - I had the same experience. Somehow I saw the movie first, years ago, and then finally read the book. I loved it immediately.

Charley said...

I Capture the Castle is so lovely.

Captain Nick Sparrow said...

I want to do this survey on my blog too! Thanks!

Amanda said...

Ha! I just finished Great Expectations this morning (my warm-up for War and Peace). I read 200 pages on Sunday and had been avoiding finishing the last 40; I just wasn't ready to say goodbye.

Avid Reader said...

Amanda - Wasn't it wonderful! Another blogger is hosting a War and Peace read-along and I'm on the fence. I really want to read it though, so I may cave and buy myself a good edition and dig in.

Trish said...

Great survey! I agree with you on Handmaidens Tale. I read it years ago and it still resonates with me today - very powerful, very memorable!

Avid Reader said...

Trish - I have a feeling it will be one I remember for a long time.