Saturday, December 11, 2010

End of 2010 Survey!

From The Perpetual-Page Turner comes this fun survey reflecting on a year in books!

1. Best book of 2010?
Um, tough one! I'm going to steal Jamie's idea and divide this into (a) Best YA book of 2010 and (b) Best adult book of 2010! It was still so hard to get just one...but I knew if I started listing it just wouldn't stop (no self-control!).

(a) Pegasus by Robin McKinley
(b) The Manual of Detection by Jedediah Berry

2. Worst book of 2010?
I have been lucky this year, the worst reading I attempted in 2010 was only "meh" and not horrible. A few "just ok" books were: Flower Children by Maxine Swann, Tennyson by Lesley M. Blume. There were other books I read that were "just ok" but...I started them knowing they would be, so it wasn't disappointing (i.e. Charlaine Harris, Meg Cabot, etc.)

3. Most disappointing book of 2010?
Pricksongs & Descants, Fictions by Robert Coover. I really did want to love it. It's supposed to have fairy tale motifs, unique short stories; it was highly recommended to me. I'm just glad I didn't buy it, instead got it through Link + at the library. At first I thought my expectations were too high (I had been hearing about it for a few years before finally reading it), but then I decided no, it was just not at all what I wanted to read. I felt so dirty and uncomfortable reading it, even during the stories that weren't about pedophiles or sawing people in half. It wasn't necessarily the content that made me feel that way either...just the very sensual and gripping way it was written. I can see it's appeal, but it was not for me, big disappointment.

4. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2010?
This one might be a two-way tie. The first is The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry. I admit, it's the first Lowry I have ever read, but it was so biting and amusing and clever that I fell in love when I was expecting a "just ok" kid's book. The second was Battling the Inland Sea by David Igler. This is an environmental history monograph about Miller and Lux's influence in the environment of the West coast in the late nineteenth century. Intriguing, well written, and well...and interesting topic with lots of neat old photos. I read this for class (obviously no high hopes) but really got into it.

5. Book you recommended to people the most in 2010?
There were two books I recommended a lot this year. Not all of them I actually read this year. The first: The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, which I read last year and LOVED. I also recommended Pegasus by Robin McKinley to all my immediate family once I read it (we all love YA).

6. Best series you discovered in 2010?
Well I started the Percy Jackson series, but it was just ok. I did read Patricia C. Wrede's The Thirteenth Child, which is the first in a planned series called Frontier Magic. I really enjoyed it, it was slightly steampunk, slightly swords and sorcery fantasy, all sorts of entertaining.
7. Favorite new (to me) authors you discovered in 2010?
Tanith Lee, first. But also fell in love with Jedediah Berry, Lois Lowry, Ellen Kushner, and Patricia C. Wrede.

8. Most hilarious read of 2010?
This one is a toughie too! Probably Sense and Sensibility and Seamonsters by Jane Austen and Ben H. Winters. Just imagining the situations and characters...hilarious in a bizarre and contrary way.

9. Most thrilling, unputdownable book of 2010?
The Man from Saigon by Marti Leimbach definitely had thrilling moments, and I believe I read it in one I couldn't put it down. The Birthgrave by Tanith Lee was also jam-packed with adventure, and after reading it I read about a million of her other books (starting with the other two in that trilogy)!

10. Book you most anticipated in 2010?
I love, love, love Robin McKinley's books. Pegasus was sort of a big deal for me, I was so looking forward to it, then I was lucky enough to win it on LibraryThing's Early Reviewers (um, pretty sure it was destiny!). Luckily, the book itself didn't let me down.

11. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2010?

I am a sucker for good, or at least interesting, cover art. A few favorites from this year included Berry's The Manual of Detection, Wrede's The Thirteenth Child, and Stefan Brijs' The Angel Maker.

12. Most memorable character in 2010?
Zenia from Margaret Atwood's retelling of Bluebeard/The Robber Bridegroom, The Robber Bride. Zenia is a duplicitous vamp who steals her "friends'" men and son, and likes to play games over decades (apparently).

13. Most beautifully written book in 2010?
Arabian Nights and Days by Naguib Mahfouz, even in translation it is lyrical and poignant.

14. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2010?
This would probably have to be The Birthgrave by Tanith Lee, since it so heavily influenced most of my pleasure reading in 2010. It also inspired me to read her entire collection of writings. I also read Summers at Castle Auburn by Sharon Shinn, and still find myself thinking about the world she created in that novel.

15. Book you can't believe you waited until 2010 to finally read?
Villette by Charlotte Bronte. Considering a read Jane Eyre in grade five, and was first introduced to Villette in the introduction, I feel that it's fair to say that I should have read this much sooner. I have read that Villette is the under-appreciated masterpiece from Charlotte Bronte, one over which she slaved and was immensely personal. The story is familiar enough, being of a destitute but intelligent young woman who seeks employment at a girls school and falls in love with an aloof and rude professor. But it was so well written and heart-felt, I wish I had read this sooner so that I could be re-reading it by now.

1 comment:

  1. Mmmm...Thirteenth Child sounds good. Must add to my wishlist.

    Here's my Best Of list: