Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Notable Books in 2010
Although we are three weeks into the New Year (sorry life and work got in the way) here is my list of notable books (for one reason or another) for 2010.
1) The book I didn't expect to like, but did: Abraham Lincoln Vampire Slayer. One of my favorite things about book reviewing is the opportunity to read outside my normal genres. And while vampires are not usually my reading fare, when I was offered this mash-up I jumped at the chance because I love reading about Abraham Lincoln. I'm glad I did!
2) The book I most wanted to talk to someone about after I read it: Letter to My Daughter. Do not be deceived by the size of this novella. It might be slender, but each page carried me to the next page until the story's conclusion. By the end of the novella I couldn't stop thinking about what I had just read. Truly an emotional read!
3) The book every woman should read: When Everything Changed. They say that those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it. As a woman I don't want to forget how far we have come and how much my mother, grandmothers, and great grandmothers had to endure for me to be able to live the life I do.
4) The best "travel is hell, but I'm glad I did it anyway" travel book: Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven. On a post-college trip to China, author Susan Jane Gilman nearly dies and her friend/traveling companion suffers a mental breakdown. I shed many tears while reading Gilman's book, but the tears were from laughing so hard that I couldn't contain myself. I highly recommend this memoir!
5) The book I would give to anyone feeling overwhelmed and needing emotional support. The Pocket Therapist. Written by a woman who has struggled with mental illness for most of her life, but who is also loving wife, mother and successful author. Each page provides practical advice for how to live between therapy appointments.
6) The best book about dogs that I read in 2010. Dogtown As a dog owner/lover, I enjoy reading about dogs -- a lot -- so this was a tough call for me, but the stories in Dogtown make me want to sell all my possessions and move to the preserve to volunteer for this incredible organization.
7) The cookbook that non-cooks will love: The I Hate to Cook Book. You don't have to cook a single recipe from Peg Bracken's cookbook to enjoy her writing. In my opinion, Bracken was a humorist in the tradition of Will Rogers -- humor for the everyday, harried homemaker. Fifty years later the jokes still reach the punchline.
8) The story I wouldn't believe if it weren't a memoir: The Eleventh Hour Can't Last Forever. Author Alison Johnson's father was a modern day King Midas who hoarded silver and gold coins -- in coffee cans, in books, in the attic, buried in the back yard and nearly everywhere else -- amazing!
9) The book that yielded my favorite line in 2010: Men and Dogs. "Why are dog years out of sync with human years?" Amen!
10) The "you worked where memoir?" Running the Books Avi Steinberg dishes on working as a prison libriarian. Check it out!