Compared to previous years, I read a lot in 2010 - about 30 more books than I read in 2009. Last year, I posted a run-down of the memorable books of the year, and I'm doing something similar for 2010. Once again, these aren't books that were necessarily published in 2010, just ones I read in 2010.
Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness
This was an easy pick - it's both the best book published in 2010 and the best book I read in 2010. No other book even comes close to its combination of spectacular writing, important themes, and fascinating plot (I often say that these three things make up the Best Book Trifecta).
The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex
Published in 2007, this book was such a delightful and refreshing surprise. It's interesting and oh so funny. It's not often I laugh out loud while reading, but this one made me do just that page after page. I can still recall favorite lines, even though I've yet to read it more than once. Do yourself a favor: read this book and be happy.
His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman
2010 was the year I decided to give the audiobooks of my most favorite books ever a try, and I'm glad I did. Pullman narrates and the dialogue is brought to life by a full cast. All the characters sounded right and everything just worked perfectly. I'll definitely be listening to these again soon.
Bog Child by Siobhan Dowd
So lovely and heartbreaking - a coming of age story that breathes new life into the coming of age genre. Wonderful combination of beautiful writing and excellent narration.
Feed by M.T. Anderson
The story was good, but the audio production was amazing. It's also the only audiobook I've listened to that was able to use sound effects without sounding incredibly cheesy. In fact, the sound effects made the audiobook. Kelly raved that it was the "best audiobook ever," and that's pretty close to the truth. Read her Twitter-style review here.
Tie: First Light by Rebecca Stead and Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson
Both pretty good stories (First Light in particular) made almost unbearable by poor narration - bad accents, voices that sound much too old for the characters, hokey inflections. Too bad.
Fables by Bill Willingham
2010 is the year I really dove into graphic novels. There have been some definite clunkers (Scott Pilgrim) but also some definite winners (Brain Camp). My favorites by far, though, have been the Fables comics by Bill Willingham. They're full of clever ideas and interesting, three-dimensional characters, and I've been so impressed by how the story has developed.
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
This one doesn't publish until 2011, and I'm so excited to be able to tell my patrons about it. It's a book whose subject matter (dystopian love story) is so in style right now, but it's also not predictable and the writing is excellent. Look for more on the book from us at STACKED in 2011.
Across the Universe by Beth Revis
It wasn't a bad book, but I was so psyched to read it after the stellar first chapter and so let down by the rest of it. The concept is interesting and the cover is, in my opinion, terrific, so I know this one will sell itself, but I wanted so much more from it.
Going Bovine by Libba Bray
So bad. Just so so bad. I know many who love it, but no one could convince me that the book has any redeeming qualities. The poor narration (I listened to it on audio) made it worse, but I would have disliked it intensely in print format as well. Honorable Mention goes to Last Summer of the Death Warriors.
I loved the Abhorsen Chronicles when I was a teenager and am so thrilled that a prequel about Chlorr of the Mask is planned for release in 2011. Looks like I'd better get started re-reading.
Who knows when this will be published. Sigh. At least I have the (what looks to be) awesome HBO series to look forward to in the spring.