I don't usually give too much thought as to which books are my favorite because often it's whatever book I most recently enjoyed. But with book bloggers everywhere putting up their lists of 2010 favorites I decided to give it a try and see if I could manage to pick out my own favorite reads from this past year.
Just a note: The books listed are ones that I've read this year but were not necessarily published in 2010
Since the majority of the books that I read are fantasy I wasn't surprised to see that most of my favorite books fell into this category. But since of all the books I read only seven of them really stuck out in my mind, I decided to list them all.
Soulless by Gail Carriger
The Adamantine Palace by Stephen Deas
The Magicians and Mrs. Quent by Gale Beckett
The City and the City by China Mieville
Cold Magic by Kate Elliott
First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Looking over my list of science fiction reviews I was disappointed to see how few scifi books I really got around to reading this year. Of those that I did read I chose the three below as my favorites because these are the books which made me realize that reading science fiction doesn't have to me a mental struggle but it can actually be fun and entertaining, with the right kind of book.
Gateway by Frederik Pohl
Diving into the Wreck by Kristine Rusch
The Warrior's Apprentice by Lois McMaster Bujold
While I don't read as many young adult books as adult books I did read a lot more YA this year than I have since my own YA years, though most of the books I read didn't impress me that much. Perhaps I just need to try more of them but of those that I did read (and managed to finish) those were by far the best of the bunch:
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
I had the most trouble with this list because half-way through the year I kind of gave up on reading urban fantasies since most of the ones I tried I couldn't even finish. I had already established that Ilona Andrews and Patricia Briggs were my favorite UF authors and since they each came out with books this year it seemed easy enough to settle on those for this list. But then I recalled one other book that I had a lot of fun reading, and that one usurped the place of Brigg's Silver Borne, which I didn't enjoy quite as much as the previous Mercy Thompson books.
Tempest Rising by Nicole Peeler (for some reason I didn't review this one)
Bayou Moon by Ilona Andrews
I really didn't get to read as many non-genre books as I would have liked this past year and I think I'm definitely going to have to make more time for them next year.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise by Ruth Reichl (review coming soon)
Best Audio books:
This was the year that I discovered the pleasure of audio books and I am so happy for that discovery since it really allowed me to squeeze in some extra "reading" time, as well as to make chores and work more enjoyable. It was hard to decide which of the audio books were the best because almost all of the ones that I listened to were really well done. There were a few that I didn't finish because the books themselves were too complicated for me to follow while listening to them, but it rarely had to do with the way the books was read. But as for the best, I'm going to settle on the two below because I think I actually enjoyed these books more by listening to them than by reading them myself.
Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch
Storm Front by Jim Butcher (hmm, can't find the review..)
Melissa at My World...In Words and Pages has a New Year's reading resolution post to which she has invited other bloggers to participate and so I thought I would throw together a list of some of my reading goals for the upcoming year.
1. Read more science fiction. I had been trying to read the classic stuff but this bogged me down because I just didn't enjoy a lot of it. This year I'm going to try some of the more modern scifi and see how that works for me.
2. Experiment a bit more with Urban Fantasy. As I mentioned above, I had given up on UF because I couldn't find anything that I enjoyed but I think I should probably give this genre another try and see if any new authors have emerged recently whose books I might enjoy more.
3. Read more short story anthologies. I had dipped into a couple of short story anthologies this past year and ended up enjoying them more than I had expected to and so I'd like to dedicate a bit more of my reading time to trying some other short story collections.
4. Make time for my non-genre reading. I had almost forgotten how much I enjoy reading other types of books, especially non-fiction, since reviewing scifi and fantasy has left me very little extra reading time for other kinds of books. But this year I am going to make more of an effort to make time for all the other books that I have been wanting to read, especially those books whichI already have on my shelf.
And that should keep me busy for the next year. I'll be interested to see next January how well I succeeded in accomplishing my reading goals.
If you would like to participate in Melissa's reading resolutions, visit her blog here