The Books I Read in 2010
As I've been doing for the last five years or so, I'm keeping a log of what books I read during a given year. Here are the prior years, should be just that bored:
The Books I Read in 2009
The Books I Read in 2008
The Books I Read in 2007
The Books I Read in 2006
In all those lists, as with the one below, In those lists, as in the one below, the following may be informative:
Books marked with blue are ones I really enjoyed.
Those marked in orange are titles I didn't even finish, for one reason or another.
The rest...somewhere in between.
|Book Title||Author||Rating (out of 10.0)||Thoughts|
|Freedom||Jonathan Franzen||9.5||Wow. There may be a few pages in this epic tome that don't work brilliantly, but otherwise it's an astounding, important and FUN novel that is a worthy successor to The Corrections.|
|The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks||Rebecca Skloot||7.5||A good but not quite great detailing of the HeLa cells and how the Lacks family learned about their contribution to society and wealth, while living in abject poverty and, often, ignorance. Not as amazing as some have said, but a really interesting and important story.|
|Operation Mincemeat||Ben Macintyre||8.5||Incredible, true story about a covert operation in WWII that helped deceive Germany and Italy into being caught unaware for the attack on Sicily. Sometimes, the stuff of spy novels turns out to be true.|
|A Visit From The Goon Squad||Jennifer Egan||9.0||Outstanding and incredibly moving novel by Egan. Longer review here.|
|Moonlight Mile||Dennis Lehane||9.0||A return of my favorite Lehane characters, this is seriously fun, poignant and a terrific read. Highly recommended.|
|SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance||Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt||7.5||First off, look at the last four books here - I have to stop reading books with colons in the title. But this was a nice follow-up with the only negative a long spiel on global warming that felt very out of place and a bit polemic.|
|The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee||Sarah Silverman||7.0||Decent, but it turned out to be less witty reflections on life as an actual memoir - and it also turns out I don't care enough. A review here.|
|In Fifty Years We'll All Be Chicks: And Other Complaints From an Angry White Middle-Aged Guy||Adam Carolla||7.0||Not bad, often funny - great for fans of Carolla, even if they've heard many of these rants before. A fuller review here.|
|The Machine: a Hot Team, a Legendary Season, and a Heart-Stopping World Series: the Story of the 1975 Cincinnati Reds||Joe Posnanski||7.0||Posnanski is an amazing writer - his blog is outstanding as are his SI articles, and here he writes on one of the first baseball teams I can remember, the Big Red Machine. Well done, perhaps I'm just not quite passionate enough about the subject matter to love it instead of liking it.|
|Sunset Park||Paul Auster||9.0||Outstanding - the full review here.|
Also the first book I've ever read on a Kindle, which seems worth recording.
|Stretch: The Unlikely Making of a Yoga Dude||Neal Pollack||N/A||Did Not Finish -- Pollack usually spews dark commentary, so this seemed teed up -- but, turns out it's just about Pollack trying to find "his best self." Eeks.|
|Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays||Zadie Smith||N/A||Did Not Finish -- Newsflash: I'm not as erudite as I thought. Reading essays about books I haven't read, authors I don't recognize, etc., turns out to not be all that interesting to me.|
|The Amateurs: A Novel||Marcus Sakey||7.0||Yes, I read two books of the same name back-to-back. This one was about four friends who decide to rob a safe, and predictably, things go bad quickly. Fun, but very light and not as developed as Sakey's other novels.|
|The Amateurs: A Novel||John Niven||7.5||Full review here.|
|Total Access||Rich Eisen||6.0||I didn't expect much from this book about the beginning of the NFL Network, but it still was even thinner than I'd thought. Fun, but not special.|
|Reality Matters||Anna David||7.5||It sounds great - a series of essays by respected writers about the various reality TV show they're addicted to. And often it is - and others fall flat. Enjoyable to be sure, and nice to know I'm not alone.|
|God Save The Fan||William Leitch||7.5||Leitch, editor of Deadspin, writes a humorous and compelling series of essays about why sports isn't as good as it should be but it shouldn't matter - and, sports are still basically awesome anyway.|
In some ways, his writing on steroids in the book opening, "Please, God, No, Not Another Essay About Steroids," is as good as anything written on the subject. And the rest? Always amusing, if in varied degrees.
|The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest||Steig Larsson||7.0||Certainly enjoyable, but by far my least favorite of the trilogy. It felt the least clever and sloppiest of the three -- but I did enjoy spending more time with Blomkvist and Salander. I'd love to have been able to read the next six books that were planned for the series.|
|The Unnamed||Joshua Ferris||7.5||Ferris writes a compelling book about a man who can't stop walking - literally. It's about the battle between the body and the soul, religion, greed and love ... and lots of other things I'm not quite sure I understood. Still, quite enjoyable and haunting.|
|Nine Dragons||Michael Connelly||7.5||Connelly could probably roll out of bed, write a book with Harry Bosch in it, and I'd give it a 7.5. So, this is just an average rating because it's not better than his basic effort - but still, enjoyable as always.|
|The Big Short||Michael Lewis||9.0||I really should do a full review on this because it deserves it - but no other book I've seen so elegantly sums up the financial crisis - by focusing on those who screamed loudly about it, realized no one was listening, and instead chose to profit from it. Brilliant, engaging and infuriating.|
|Men With Balls||Drew Magary||7.0||Because you can't bring Dostoevsky on a bachelor trip. From Kissing Suzy Kolber writer, and just as funny.|
|Everything Is Wrong With Me||Jason Mulgrew||6.0||Full review here.|
|The Brothers Karamazov||Fyodor Dostoevsky||9.0||Full review here.|