Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Top 10 Tuesday: Best Books Meagan Read in 2010

It's time for another Top 10 Tuesday post from The Broke and the Bookish and the topic this week is my (Meagan) list of the ten best books I read in 2010.

For me, choosing the 'best' book ranks right up there with choosing my 'favorite' book in terms of ease, so I'm going to edit the topic a little bit and list ten books I read this year that were interesting in one way or another. They're not ranked, and may not be the best, but they stuck out in my mind and thus made the list (:

1. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee - So this wasn't my first trip to Maycomb, but after I identified Atticus Finch as a character I'd like to be best friends with, it made me want to revisit, and it was as good as it always is!
2. Far from the Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy - This book was the December pick for one of my book clubs, and I'll admit I wasn't too excited to read it as Tess of the d'Urbervilles was seriously depressing to me. However, not only was I pleasantly surprised, but I actually stayed up until 3 a.m. to finish it! (I think it had something to do with the chapter titles being mini-summaries of what was coming next and I'm a slave to cliffhangers :)
3. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Agatha Christie - I actually went on a huge Agatha Christie kick in the fall of this year and listened to about 20 of her books on the tube to and from the British Library while writing my dissertation. I know some of Christie's work can seem a bit outdated, but I love that she created a lot of the modern plot lines mystery writers still use today. The most famous of which is in this novel, and it was so revolutionary at the time it was published that Christie was almost kicked out of the Detection Club for breaking the club's oath.
4. One Day, David Nicholls - I picked this book up for a little bit of beach reading this summer. Although the read was humorous and breezy, I'd rank it as a little more substantive than your average British Chick Lit. I also just found out there will be a movie version out in 2011.
5. The Help, Kathryn Stockett - This was another book club read and one I absolutely loved. If you haven't read it I definitely suggest picking up a copy. The characters are so realistic and the storyline will have you laughing and crying by turns.
6. A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini - Another book club read and another novel I can't recommend enough. The relationship between Mariam and Laila is riveting and the treatment of modern Afghan history is amazing.
7. The Beautiful Lady, Booth Tarkington - For those of you who are a fan of F. Scott Fitzgerald's work, this novel is really reminiscent of The Great Gatsby, but was written about twenty years earlier and doesn't have the same level of darkness. It's also a really short read that you can easily do in one sitting.
8. The Wordsworth Book of First World War Poetry - As an English major, I'd say I probably enjoy poetry more than the average Joe, but even so I can rarely make it through an entire volume in one go. That was not the case with this volume though. I should probably mention that I have a somewhat unhealthy obsession with WWI, but even so, the poems in this novel by poets such as Edmund Blunden, Rupert Brooke, G.K. Chesterton, Rudyard Kipling, Wilfred Owen, and W.B. Yeats are incredibly moving in their own right.
9. The First World War, John Keegan - So I guess this second WWI entry proves my obsession, but this book was a re-read for one of my papers and is an excellent starting point for anyone interested in a broad study of WWI. John Keegan is a celebrated military historian, but the book practically reads like a novel.
10. The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman - Love Neil Gaiman. Love this book. End of story.

I'm excited to see all YOUR lists. My book stack needs serious replenishment!