I didn't read as much as I wanted to in 2010, but I guess I say that every year. (I have a crazy goal for 2011 to try to remedy this. More on that later.) I did manage to keep a list of the books I read all year, though, so that's something. I think the most important thing in my reading life this year was my discovery of YA urban fantasy, especially the works of Sarah Rees Brennan, Cassandra Clare, and Melissa Marr.
Anyway, here are my top ten, with some notes following:
1. The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan
2. Girl at Sea by Maureen Johnson
3. Scarlett Fever by Maureen Johnson
4. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
5. Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell
6. Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
7. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
8. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
9. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
10. Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
1. Three of these books - Scarlett Fever, Mockingjay, and Beautiful Darkness - were published in 2010. The rest are older but I read them for the first time this year.
2. If I went strictly by the number ratings I gave to each book after reading, two more books by Maureen Johnson (13 Little Blue Envelopes and The Key to the Golden Firebird) would have made the list. But in the interests of including more great authors, I limited each author to two titles. I hope she understands.
3. I realize YA looks wildly overrepresented here - the only non-YA is the great Swedish mystery Faceless Killers. You may be wondering if I just read YA this year. Not quite. While a slight majority of the books I read - about 53% - were YA, that's far lower than the 90% representation they have on this list. So I will just go on saying that a lot of the best contemporary writers are writing YA, and if you're avoiding it because it's "for kids," you're missing out.
4. Anecdote for those who claim that Twitter doesn't drive book sales: six of these books I read primarily because of Twitter (either reading recommendations there or seeing the authors' tweets and then going to find the books). And there were at least another sixteen books I read this year for which I hold Twitter responsible.
5. I only read two of the Times's top 100 books of the year, but neither of them made my top 10, or even my top 20.
6. These books were all read in paper form (and half were from the library). Will something I read via ebook make the list next year? We'll see!