Best Books Of 2010 And Recap

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I’ve read about 170 books this year, which is slightly less than last year (180). Interestingly enough, last year I was working and this year not, so it cannot be said that I spent most of my days reading on the sofa this year!

What I did (also) do this year, is discover blogging, Bookmooch, and re-discovering Twitter. I have two blogs, this one (Leeswammes) I started in April, and my Dutch-language blog, De Boekblogger, I started in September.

I have started reviewing books for publishers and given away books, won books, and exchanged books so that now I have definitely more books than I started with last year. The number of unread books is manageable but also quite stable, at 31. My aim this year is to at least read those 31 books from 2010 as well as join some challenges. Whether I will manage another 170 books, I don’t know as blogging seems to take at least some of my reading time.

I’ve posted over 300 posts on Leeswammes’ Blog since April, and I hope to be able to continue posting at least one post a day next year.

Now, here’s my list of 10 Best Books of 2010, in no particular order.

  • The Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami. A man in Tokyo is looking for his cat and ends up in strange situations.
  • The Passage by Justin Cronin. Humans try to protect themselves from agressive, man-eating creatures in a post-apocalyptic world.
  • Blindness by Jose Saramago. People start to get blind one by one and are moved into an institution where they have to fend for themselves.
  • The Crysalids by John Wyndham. Another post-apocalyptic world in which a boy who has a genetic deviation has to keep quiet about it or face severe consequences.
  • The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell. Historical fiction about a Dutch trading post in Japan.
  • The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (but not the third book in the series!). Teenagers have to fight to death in the Hunger Games but friendship intervenes.
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett. In 1950s America’s South, the black helps of white women tell their story to a small-town journalist.
  • The Last New Year’s Eve of Humanity by Niccolò Ammaniti (title translated from the Dutch, not available in English). In brief situation sketches a number of people prepare for a (what turns out to be) catastrophic New Year’s Eve.
  • The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro. An English butler in the 1950s tells about his work for a rich American.
  • Under the Skin by Michel Faber. A woman travels the Scottish countryside looking for muscular men to abduct.

At least four of these books fall into the dystopian category and this is because I explored the dystopian genre with 20 books this year during the Dystopian Challenge. I love dystopia!

Did you read any of these books? Which books were your favorite this year?


About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

39 Responses to Best Books Of 2010 And Recap

  1. Suzanne says:

    170 books? Wow I am impressed!

    The Help is one of my favorite books ever — I still have to get to The Passage and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet.

    The Last New Year’s Eve of Humanity does sound like a good read — hopefully there will be an English translation sometime.

  2. chasing bawa says:

    The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and Remains of the Day are two of my favourite books of all time:) I’m also dying to read The Passage and The Hunger Games. I love your one sentance summaries of the books! And congratulations on reading 170 books – very impressive!

    • leeswammes says:

      Chasing Bawa, I already read Wind-up Bird before and it is also one of my favorites ever. The Remains of the Day will surely join it.

      The one-sentence summaries were easy to do somehow. I wanted to briefly explain what the book’s about in case people find it interesting.

  3. Julie says:

    Wow! 170 books is a lot. I have a few of the books you mention on your list sitting on my TBR shelf.

    Have a wonderful week…..

  4. Gnoe says:

    Great list! Which means you had a great reading year. 🙂

    If I’m strong enough I’ll be only choosing THE best book of 2010 (as usual). It’ll either be ‘Jacob de Zoet’ or The Wasted Vigil by Nadeem Aslam. Won’t post about the books I read this year until January, because you never know whether I’ll finish one more..? Probably not though. 😉

    • leeswammes says:

      I’ve heard you rave about The Wasted Vigil. It’s not a book I’ve come across but I will keep an eye open for it.

      I will definitely finish another book or two, but I don’t think they’ll make it to the Best Book list so I felt safe making the list now. 🙂

  5. Tricia says:

    170 books is a great accomplishment and it looks like you have read quite a few gems! There are quite a few novels on your best of list that I’d like to read…(The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles and The Help especially).

  6. Dorte H says:

    No, I have not read any of these.

    I just took a peep at your Dutch blog. I can read most of it, and I have sometimes thought about trying a crime novel in Dutch, but I am afraid I am too lazy to jump right into it.

    Don´t you find it very time-consuming to blog in two languages? Ever so often I make up my mind to translate more of my posts into Danish, but I just feel it steals the time I need for writing fiction.

    • leeswammes says:

      Dorte, I can read a little of the Danish on your blog too. However, Danish speech is totally incomprehensible for me. You could try a crime novel in Dutch but you might not “get” the nuances. But, why not try?

      I find it time-consuming to blog on the Leeswammes’ blog. The Dutch blog is just a besides, I only do one post per week on it. Mainly because I don’t read so many Dutch books – I don’t want to write two reviews of each book, one in Dutch and one in English, so I keep it separate most of the time (but not always).

  7. lucybirdbooks says:

    Wow that’s a lot of books, and I was proud of my 50-odd.

    I’ve only read The Wind-up Bird Chronicles from your top 10, it was one of my favourites last year.

    The Help is on my TBR pile.

    The Passage doesn’t sound like my normal read but I’ve heard a lot of good things about it.

    • leeswammes says:

      Lucybird, The Passage has “vampires” but they are nothing like Dracula. They are pretty inhuman and the humans mainly try to stay as far away from them as possible. If you see them as predators that are after the humans, then it becomes just another interesting post-apocalyptic story. I loved it!

  8. Bailey says:

    I loved The Help! I read it pre-blog, but it was still one of my favorites of 2010 as well.

  9. That Murakami is on my TBR list. I see other good books too.

    I could read only 96 books. But that’s ok. I was in a reading slump for more than four months.

    Here are my Best Reads of 2010.

  10. JoAnn says:

    The Help was one of my favorites last year and is my all-time favorite audiobook. So glad you liked it, too!

  11. Nymeth says:

    300 posts in less than a year is certainly impressive! I hope 2011 is a great year of reading and blogging for you. Also, having recently finished and really liked Black Swan Green, I need to read more Mitchell.

  12. woordenaar says:

    I read The Passage, it’s on my top ten of this year. I still want to read The wind-up bird chronicle, but I did read After Dark, A wild sheep chase and part 1 and 2 of 1Q84 (which I found very disappointing). And I saw the movie of Blindness.

    • leeswammes says:

      Woordenaar, good to hear that The Passage made it high on your list too. It’s the sort of book that I wasn’t sure about but when I finally read it, I loved it.

      What a pity that 1Q84 was so disappointing. I will wait for the paperback version or maybe get it from the library.

  13. Rachel says:


    WOAH! Very very impressive.

    Great choices by the way.

    • leeswammes says:

      Thanks, Rachel. Yes, 170 books this year. Not much different from last year or the year before. Since I’ve been doing challenges and “meeting” likeminded people on blogs and on Shelfari, I’ve been reading like a train!

  14. Tes says:

    You are my inspiration! 170 books are really a lot! I wish I did at least your half. I can’t wait to see your new selection in the next year 🙂

  15. Nadine Nys says:

    170 books! Wow! I only read Blindness, but there are some on my wishlist. By the way, I tried NetGalley for Dead Politician Society and the next day I could dowload it to my iPad (Kindle-app) as e-book. So, that’s another book to read.

    • leeswammes says:

      That’s great, Nadine. I’m still reading Dead Politician Society (ebooks go a bit slower as I need to sit at my computer for them). It’s a fun book. Hope you’ll enjoy it too.

  16. amymckie says:

    Congratulations on such a great year! I’ve only read 1 of your favorite list, but a few others look interesting. All the best in 2011.

  17. Interesting list! Blindness is one of my favourite books and I love The Help and Murakami. I also loved The Hunger Games, but I wasn’t keen on Catching Fire or Mockingjay.

    I hope to try Ammaniti in 2011 and to get to Remains of the Day too. Thanks for writing such a wonderful blog. I look forward to sharing many more bookish recommendations next year.

  18. I read less this year too, which kind of surprised me!

  19. Pingback: Het laatste oudejaar van de mensheid van Niccolò Ammaniti « De Boekblogger

  20. How do you manage to read so many books? I swear I would never be able to sleep or eat to fit that many books in.

    Just added the Faber book to my TBR list 🙂

    I love John Wyndham books! Have you read The Midwitch Cuckoos? That’s my favourite so far.

    • leeswammes says:

      I don’t know The Midwitch Cookoos, never even heard of it. I need to read more by John Wyndham given that I loved The Crysalids.

      How I read so many books? Well, I read at the table, in front of the tv, in the bath, in the train/car, in bed. Eh, about all the time? And I mix quality (“slow”) books with more easy going reads.

  21. Trish says:

    The only ones I’ve read are Hunger Games and Remains of the Day. Enjoyed the first and loved the second. I have Wind-up Bird Chronicles on my shelf but am a bit intimidated by the size of it! 😉 I hope to read The Help this year as a readalong with my mom.

    What a great reading year for you! Hope 2011 is just as great!

    • leeswammes says:

      Thanks, Trish. Hope you have a good 2011 too! I found the Wind-up Bird Chronicle quite a quick read (relatively) but yes, it’ll take some time to read. For me, it was definitely worth it.

  22. The Remains of the Day is on my I-Must-Read-Before-I-Die list! For some reason, although I LIKED “The Passage”, I didn’t love it – I couldn’t find it in me enough to really care about any of the characters, but lots of others LOVED it, so I guess I’m the odd duck out there. The Help – still on my “should I buy” list. The Hunger Games – the first two books – once I started, I couldn’t stop and spent all weekend until they were both finished (I didn’t have Mockingjay at the time, or it might have joined in – I like the 3rd book as well, just not as much as the first two). Great list!

    • leeswammes says:

      Thanks Julie. You seem to like (or want to read) a lot of the same books as me. I didn’t get attached to the characters in The Passage much either, but I loved the story and the novel ideas the author put into it.

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