Posted on Saturday, January 1st, 2011 by Zoe
Every year, I try to keep a list of the books I’ve read. I’ve lost my lists from when I was in high school, and in college my reading was so sporadic that my record-keeping failed. 2010 is the first year that I have a complete list for in a long time. Without further ado, here is the complete list of books I finished in 2010.
01. Rebel Angels by Libba Bray
02. The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray
03. The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory
04. Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb
05. The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls by Emilie Autumn
06. The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig
07. The Masque of the Black Tulip by Lauren Willig
08. The Luxe by Anna Godbersen
09. Rumors by Anna Godbersen
10. Envy by Anna Godbersen
11. Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
12. Dragon Haven by Robin Hobb
13. Soulless by Gail Carriger
14. Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
15. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
16. Splendor by Anna Godbersen
17. Winter Rose by Patricia A. McKillip
18. The Poison Eaters by Holly Black
19. The Good Neighbors: Kin by Holly Black & Ted Naifeh
20. Going Bovine by Libba Bray
21. Wolf Tower by Tanith Lee
22. White Cat by Holly Black
23. Pretty Dead by Francesca Lia Block
24. Wolf Star by Tanith Lee
25. Wolf Queen by Tanith Lee
26. Wings by Aprilynne Pike
27. Wolf Wing by Tanith Lee
28. Spells by Aprilynne Pike
29. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
30. Evermore by Alyson Noel
31. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
32. A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
33. Blue Moon by Alyson Noel
34. Shadowland by Alyson Noel
35. Tempest Rising by Nicole Peeler
36. Tracking the Tempest by Nicole Peeler
37. Tempest’s Legacy by Nicole Peeler
Of these 37 books, only two were rereads, which I find quite the accomplishment, as I adore rereading my favorite books. In reading so many new books, I discovered some new favorites that I will definitely be reading again in the future.
Top 10 of 2010
(With somewhat vague comments, as I am hazy on the plots of a few of these!)
The Gemma Doyle Trilogy
For Christmas in 2009, my boyfriend gave me a $100 gift card to Borders. (I was ecstatic! Permission to spend ungodly amounts of money on books? Yes please!) One of the first books that I purchased was A Great and Terrible Beauty, the first book in the Gemma Doyle trilogy. I had heard a lot about it online and wanted to see for myself what it was like. When I opened it up, I was surprised to find a story very different than the one I had imagined. (I guess I hadn’t paid that close attention to what people were saying about it.) At first I found the first-person present tense that the story is told in jarring, but I was quickly captivated by the setting (a Victorian boarding school for girls) and the mystery surrounding it. I found out after reading the last book that there had been a lot of criticism of the way the series ended. I guess I’m just sappy, because I thought it was perfect.
Dragon Keeper/Dragon Haven
Robin Hobb’s Farseer trilogy is my very favorite fantasy series, so naturally I was excited to find that her latest pair of books was set in the same universe. These books take place in the Rain Wilds, which were not heavily featured in her other books and were portrayed in a mysterious light. It was interesting to learn more about them, and meet a whole new host of characters. The ending left me hoping that she’ll decide to write a third book.
The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls
As an Emilie Autumn fan, I had been anticipating this book for a number of years, yet when I finally got my copy, it took me several weeks to crack it open and start reading. The story is split into two alternating narratives: one told by Emilie about her time in a modern asylum in California, and one told by Emily, a violinist from the 1800s who is brought to an insane asylum. I was looking forward to reading Emilie’s tale, but was surprised to find Emily’s story captivating as well. The book is sprinkled with photographs, artwork, and doodles, and is completely gorgeous. The only complaint I have is the font it’s set in: Courier is not what I would have chosen for a 200-page novel. There were also a few passages that were cut off, but it was easy enough to figure out what was going on. Despite these flaws, I enjoyed The Asylum far more than I had expected I would.
Despite steampunk’s current popularity, I consider this to be one of the only “true” steampunk books out there right now. The story was suspenseful, exciting, gritty, and brought many popular steampunk tropes together without making them seem clichéd — the story felt real to me.
I must admit, I chose this book from the library based purely on the cover art. Kinuko Craft is one of my favorite artists, so I was drawn to this based on that. I found it refreshing to read a fantasy book that was not part of a long series, and one that was not a thousand pages long. I fell in love with Patricia McKillip’s dreamy and poetic language in this book. Shamefully, I am unfamiliar with the story of Tam Lin, which apparently the story was based on, so I cannot compare it with that.
This was one of my most highly anticipated books of the year. I’ve read and loved Holly Black’s Dark Faerie series, as well as the Spiderwick Chronicles. I was interested to see the non-faerie side of her, and White Cat did not disappoint. The story combined urban fantasy with mystery and con artists/mobsters, which I thought was unique. The book ended with a twist that made me excited to read the next in the series, Red Glove.
The Wolf Tower series
I remember seeing Wolf Tower at my local bookstore when it first came out in 1998, but I did not get around to reading it until I discovered it at the library over the summer. The story is told in diary form, though the main character Claidi frequently remarks that she does not expect anyone to ever read it, and actually fears that certain people will, going to great lengths to keep the book upon her person at all times. Claidi was a very likeable character, and her amazement at the things she comes across in her travels is conveyed with enthusiasm.
This was a book I had almost been avoiding, based on the cover art and the title. It looks and sounds like the typical teenage vampire story, which I’ve read more than my fair share of in the last several years. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Beautiful Creatures was nothing of the sort. The setting, the South, plays and important role throughout the story, and manages to feel gothic and creepy throughout. The relationship between Ethan and Lena, combined with the magic involved, reminded me of Cassel and Lila in White Cat, but I still felt that the stories were quite different.
The Jane True series
Tempest Rising was another one of the books I bought with my Borders Christmas gift card. The fun tattoo-like art on the cover caught my eye, and when I read the blurb on the back, I knew I had to buy it. “Living in small town Rockabill, Maine, Jane True always knew she didn’t quite fit in with so-called normal society.” A book set in Maine?! I had to have it. While much of the series is spent traveling, I still feel a special connection with Jane, as a fellow Mainer. The series is fun and fast paced with lots of action of both the fighting and steamy varieties. I just finished Tempest’s Legacy a few days ago and was happily surprised to find that it was not the last book in the series. I had assumed it was a trilogy, but there is more to come in 2011. I’m looking forward to it!
A Song of Ice and Fire
A Game of Thrones was one of my only rereads this year, which I picked up again after hearing that HBO is basing a TV series on it. This is the type of series that you can get totally caught up in. There are characters I love and characters that I love to hate. There are characters that I feel like I should like, but don’t, and characters that I feel like I should hate, but don’t. Each chapter focuses on a different character, and there are a damn lot of characters to keep track of. I read the first two books quickly, but got bogged down in A Clash of Kings due to attempting to read it during Nanowrimo. I hope to finish it sometime in 2011, but for now, I’ve moved on to other things.
I’m hoping to read even more books in 2011. I got a Kindle for Christmas, so I am anticipating being able to read new book releases right away! I haven’t had much time to read on it yet, but as soon as I do, expect a post expounding the wonders of the Kindle. ;)