Thursday, December 30, 2010

End of 2010 Survey

I've seen this survey by The Perpetual Page-Turner everywhere so I thought I'd join in the fun.  I've been naughty and haven't posted about any books lately.  I was hit with the flu and was in bed for a week.  I'm on week two, and this lingering cold/cough just won't go away!  I have finished several books, but I can't get my thoughts organized enough to put together a decent post.  On to the survey!

1. Best book of 2010?  East of Eden by John Steinbeck blew me away!  The prose is beautiful, and the characters are incredible.  It is now in my top 5 favorite books of all-time. 

2. Worst book of 2010? I read Many Bloody Returns, a short story anthology edited by Charlaine Harris.  If it hadn't been for the fact that I read it for a challenge, I would never have finished it.  It was so boring.  It was about vampires, and I guess I discovered that genre just isn't my thing.

3. Most Disappointing Book of 2010?  I feel so blasphemous saying this, but I was so disappointed in The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.  I really expected to love it, but I couldn't stand Clare.  I just couldn't connect emotionally with the book when I had no sympathy for one of the main characters.  

4. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2010? The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins really surprised me.  I didn't expect to get sucked into it as much as I did.  So much drama and suspense.  The book was much more sensational than I expected.

5. Book you recommended to people most in 2010? I don't really have anyone in my life that asks for book recommendations.  Sad, right?  If I did, I would recommend Daddy-Long Legs by Jean Webster.  It is so cute and sweet.  I just loved it.  It would be a good book to recommend to someone who may not love reading.  It's short so there isn't too much of a time commitment.

6. Best series you discovered in 2010? I read Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan.  I haven't reviewed it, but it was a fun read.  I have Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters on my shelf.  Hopefully I'll get to it in January.

7. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2010? Nick Hornby, Kazuo Ishiguro, and Wilkie Collins.  I'm looking forward to reading more from each of these authors during 2011. 

8. Most hilarious read of 2010? I didn't read very many funny books this year but The Guinea Pig Diaries by A. J. Jacobs was pretty funny.  It wasn't the best book I've ever read, but there were definitely times when I was laughing out loud.

9. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2010?  I wouldn't say it was thrilling, but I didn't want to put down Never Let Me Go by Kazou Ishiguro.  It was horrifying watching it unfold, but I was really invested in reading it.

10. Book you most anticipated in 2010? I don't think I really anticipated anything in 2010.  I don't usually read books when they first come out.  I'm always late to the party, reading everything two to three years after everyone else.

11. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2010? I have to cheat on this one because I didn't read anything this year with a really great cover.  I just bought these two books for myself and I'm reading them next year.  The Vintage Classics covers are very cool!


12. Most memorable character in 2010?  Cathy from East of Eden.  Hello sociopath!  She is by far the most evil character I have ever read about.

13. Most beautifully written book in 2010? I hate to bring this book up again, but East of Eden had the most beautiful prose of any book I read this year.  Can you tell it's my favorite?

14. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2010? This is a tough one.  I really think A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens was the most moving.  I've known the story forever, but this year was the first that I actually read Dickens' words.  I thought the message so powerful when reading it.  Next year, I hope to read it to my children throughout December.

15. Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2010 to finally read? Here I go again--East of Eden.  I wouldn't bring this up again if it weren't completely true.  I checked this book out from the library so many times over the years and kept returning it unread.  I'm so glad I finally read it.  Now I can't wait to re-read it.


  1. YES!!! It's always so wonderful to see someone else feel the same way I did about the Time Traveler's Wife! I admit, that went from disappointing to downright loathing after about 9 of the worst books I've ever read. I couldn't believe in either of the characters at all.

    Whew. Now that I've gotten THAT off my chest. :D I loved East of Eden, though I admit I liked The Grapes of Wrath better.

  2. Amanda--I'm so glad I'm not the only one that hated The Time Traveler's Wife. I agree that the more I think about it the more I loathe it.

    I haven't read The Grapes of Wrath since high school. I loved it then, but I'd love to read it again.

  3. Cathy is something else, what a villain! East of Eden is a powerful book. I love that cover of Don Quixote.

  4. Avid Reader--I'm glad you liked East of Eden also. It's definitely a book I want to read again sometime.

    I love the Don Quixote cover. I didn't realize until I looked at the back of the book that it is a drawing by Pablo Picasso.

  5. Oooh, East of Eden. That's on my "intimidating" list but everyone keeps saying how they love it. Maybe this year I'll get to it. I'm mostly just intimidated by the length.

    Wasn't Woman in White great? I didn't expect it to be so unputdownable either.

    Hope you have a wonderful 2011 and I"m glad you're feeing better.

    In terms of a return comment you left that I didn't have a chance to respond to--I think we're reading Ulysses in February! Trisha (eclectic/eccentric) will be hostessing, so I don't know any more of the details.

  6. Dangit--forgot to subscribe to follow up. ;) Need.More.Coffee.

  7. Trish--I was surprised by how quickly I was able to read East of Eden. I'm not a fast reader, and I read it in two weeks. I was pretty busy then with tax season and didn't have much reading time. It really didn't feel like a 600 page book. The Woman in White took me a lot longer to read than East of Eden. That said, your liking it probably depends on how you feel about Steinbeck.

    Good luck with Ulysses. I was debating participating, but if it's in February and March, I'll have to pass. Tax season will be kicking my butt. By March my brain will be fried. :)

  8. So you really liked East of Eden, hmmm? : )

    And I know what you mean about "Never Let Me Go." IT wasn't thrilling but you couldn't stop reading it.

  9. Jenners--Haha! You caught that I like East of Eden? :)

    Thanks for posting about Never Let Go. I wouldn't have picked it up without your review.

  10. I am so excited to find someone who shares my love of East of Eden! It has been a few years since I read it, but I was absolutely enthralled with it. Perhaps it is time for a re-read! :)

  11. Carey--Another lover of East of Eden! It is definitely one I want to read again. I need to read more Steinbeck. I just love his writing style.