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Good Reading 2010

As always, the list is drawn from all the books I've read this year, not just those published this year. Envelope, please...

1. Arthur Koestler: Darkness At Noon [Review]
2. Studs Terkel: Working [Review]
3. Kent Haruf: Eventide [Review]
4. John McGahern: Amongst Women [Review]
5. Matt Bell: The Collectors [Review]
6. Patrick Hamilton: Hangover Square
7. Nelson Algren: The Last Carousel [Review]
8. Ben Tanzer: 99 Problems [Review]
9. Andrew Ervin: Extraordinary Renditions [Review]
10. Tim Hall: Full Of It: The Birth, Death, and Life of an Underground Newspaper [Review]

Honorable Mention: George Ade: In Babel: Stories of Chicago; Mel Bosworth: Grease Stains, Kismet and Maternal Wisdom; Austin Kleon: Newspaper Blackout; Jamie Iredell: Prose.Poems.

Asterisks: Seamus Heaney (translator): Beowulf [Review]; Walt Whitman: Leaves of Grass [Review].

Re-Readings: Ring Lardner: The Portable Ring Lardner; O.E. Rölvaag: Giants in the Earth [Review]; Tarjei Vesaas: The Birds; Pär Lagerkvist: Barabbas [Review]; Jonathan Swift: Gulliver's Travels; Nelson Algren: Chicago: City on the Make.

+ Koestler's novel was remarkably powerful, and managed the rare feat of being both bleak and beautiful.
+ This year I made a concerted effort to read more micropress books, three of which made my top ten.
+ The asterisked books might have otherwise made my top ten, but Beowulf technically qualified as a re-reading (I've read an earlier translation) and my reading of Leaves of Grass remains unfinished for now.
+ The re-read books deserve a particular place of honor. Given my ever-lengthening list of books to be read, for me to go back to something I've read before (in several cases, after a few decades) is a real testament to their greatness.

2009 List
2008 List
2007 List
2006 List
2005 List
2004 List
2003 List
2002 List

December 21, 2010 in Books | Permalink


I loved "Darkness at Noon" as well. It's something I'll re-read in the future.

I've also been re-reading books this year. I re-read "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe," which I hadn't read since I was a kid. (I'll re-read the rest of the Narnia books over the next few months.) I also revisited "Something Wicked This Way Comes" and "Rising Sun." I can't explain "Rising Sun." It's not a good book, and there are definitely better crime novels out there. But it's enjoyable and fits when I want something light and fast.

Posted by: Brandon at Dec 21, 2010 2:31:16 PM