Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Top Ten Books I've Read in 2010

How can I possibly limit myself to
ten favorite reads this year???

I read 255 books this year!
The ten best?
Tough call.

So I'll do ten lists of favorite books.
How about that?

Best Books About Happiness
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
The How of Happiness
The Way to Stillness
59 Seconds
Joie de Vivre
The Pocket Therapist
Hector and the Search for Happiness

Over Hyped
Sarah's Key
Who Moved My Blackberry?

Thoughtful and Spiritual
Same Kind of Different as Me
If the Church Were Christian
Mystically Wired
Celebration of Discipline

Best Children's Chapter Books
The Iron Giant
Stuart Little
Amazon Adventure

Best Children's Picture Books
The Church Mice and the Ring
Mister Magnolia
The Boy Who Grew Flowers
The Tiger Who Came to Tea
Come Away From the Water, Shirley
Mr. Fox
The Elephant and the Bad Baby

Brilliant Books I'm Not Cool Enough to Appreciate
This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
Selected Works of T. S. Spivet

Best Travel Books
Country Driving
The Lunatic Express
A Year in Provence
The Lost Girls

Favorite Fiction
A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore
Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro
The Stone Angel
The Spare Room
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
The Three Musketeers
Gone With the Wind
Let the Great World Spin
Midnight's Children

Odd (But in a Good Way) Books
The Interrogative Mood: A Novel?
The Tattooed Map
And the Pursuit of Happiness

Memorable Nonfiction
Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
At Home by Bill Bryson
Serve It Forth by M.F.K. Fisher
Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
The Library at Night

Okay, okay!
Because you are begging me,
here it is:
a rather random list,
Top Ten Books I've Read in 2010:

And the Pursuit of Happiness by Maira Kalman

Skellig by David Almond

Serve It Forth by M. F. K. Fisher

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

Amazon Adventure by Willard Price

Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie

Mister Magnolia by Quentin Blake

Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sunday Salon: The Best of 2010 in Books

1. Best book of 2010?
Three-way tie:

Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie

2. Worst book of 2010?

Old Gringo by Carlos Fuentes

3. Most Disappointing Book of 2010?

Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love)

4. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2010?

How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu

5. Book you recommended to people most in 2010?

Skellig by David Almond
6. Best series you discovered in 2010?

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

7. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2010?
Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake, Michael Morpurgo, David Almond, Salman Rushdie

8. Most hilarious read of 2010?

The BFG by Roald Dahl

9. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2010?

Amazon Adventure by Willard Price

10. Book you most anticipated in 2010?

And the Pursuit of Happiness by Maira Kalman

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

The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney (Caldecott Winner 2010)

12. Most memorable character in 2010?

Oscar, the cat who anticipates when an elderly person is
about to die in Making Rounds With Oscar by David Dosa
13. Most beautifully written book in 2010?

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

14. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2010?

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

15. Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2010 to finally read?

Nancy Drew: The Secret of the Old Clock (first Nancy Drew!)

If you want to fill out this survey, head over to The Perpetual Page-Turner and add your link to the list!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Quiet Masterpieces

Here is a question from The Blue Bookcase
designed to provoke discussion:

What literary title (fiction or non-fiction) do you love that has been under-appreciated?
We all know about the latest Dan Brown, and James Patterson isn't hurting for publicity.
What quiet masterpiece do you want more readers to know?

Most of my all-time favorite reads are literary reads.
Most of my all-time favorite reads are quiet masterpieces.

To choose my favorite quiet masterpiece,

I shall visit my list of favorite reads.

My All-Time Favorite Reads

 So, what shall I choose as my small favorite,
my favorite quiet masterpiece?

How about
Mrs. Bridge by Evan S. Connell?
The story of Mrs. Bridge is the story of an ordinary person.
Mrs. Bridge is just an average
upper-middle class white housewife
living in America in the middle of the last century.
But it is an extraordinary story.
The book is written in little chapters,
almost like long poems, little snapshots,
about the everyday events in Mrs. Bridge's life.
No sensationalism.
No Big Awful Traumatic Problems.
But a powerful story of
a little life,
a person who lived, in the words of Thoreau,
a life of "quiet desperation."
A quote: 
"They had started off together to explore something
that promised to be wonderful,
and, of course, there had been wonderful times.
And yet, thought Mrs Bridge,
why is that we haven’t — that nothing has — that whatever we — ?"
There's a Mr. Bridge, too,
but I like Mrs. Bridge best.

I'd love to hear your recommendations.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Top Ten Books I Hope Santa Brings

Here they are (in no particular order):

Siberia is terribly intriguing,
though I'd never really want to go there.
Too cold.

A history of Paris told through the lives of Parisians.

I'm reading this in January.
(Maybe I should say,
I'm starting this in January.)

I've been coveting this since
the 2009 Texas Book Festival.

An upcoming group read.

Love travel narratives.

In the spring,
I'm taking a photography class.

Continuing my pursuit of all things French. 

I will learn Spanish in 2011.

I know it will be a brilliant novel.
I also know it will be a depressing novel.
Haven't been in the mood for depressing,
but maybe next year....

So that's it...ten books I hope Santa brings.

What do you hope Santa brings to you?

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list complete with one of our bloggers’ answers. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND post a comment on our post with a link to your Top Ten Tuesday post to share with us and all those who are participating. If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. If you can't come up with ten, don't worry about it---post as many as you can!

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Every Christmas, our town
does something wonderful.

People walk from church to church
in the heart of our town.

(Literal heart.

And metaphorical heart.)

This year, the Episcopal Church was the first stop.
Quiet. Peaceful.

Next was The Rock.
Amazing singing and dancing

And then we were off to visit
Templo Cristo Para Todos,
the Baptist Church,
and three more churches.

Songs. Scripture. Prayer.
Cookies, too.

A lovely night.

What Christmas traditions do you celebrate?

I hope you will stop by the others on the tour today:

Krissi @ LightingMyLight