My Favourite Reads in 2010

Earlier in the year I revealed my favourite books published in 2010, but what about all the ones older than that?

Narrowing down my favourite reads of the year to just ten books was very hard. I read a lot of wonderful books in 2010, but here are the ones at the very top of my list.

The Prestige – Christopher Priest

The Dark Side of Love – Rafik Schami


The Kindly Ones – Jonathan Littell

Cutting for Stone – Abraham Verghese

The Road – Cormac McCarthy

When I Was Five I Killed Myself – Howard Buten

The Siege – Helen Dunmore

The Day of the Triffids – John Wyndham

The Book of Negroes – Lawrence Hill

Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro

Are any of these your favourites too?

Thank you for following my blog in 2010 – I wouldn’t be here without you all. Let’s hope we can find many more great reads next year.

I hope that you have a wonderful 2011!

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  1. Long-time reader, first-time commenting!

    I really want to read “the Road” and “Never Let Me Go.” Have you seen the movie versions of both?

    1. Jackie says:

      Donovan, Thank you for commenting for the first time :-)

      I haven’t seen the movie versions of either. I hope to watch Never Let Me Go at some point, but I’m scared that The Road will ruin the powerful images in my head and lessen the impact of the book. I might get to it one day, but am in no rush.

  2. Amanda says:

    Good choice in Never Let Me Go!

    1. Jackie says:

      Amanda, I’m looking forward to reading the rest of his books in the future :-)

  3. Kathleen says:

    Happy New Year Jackie. Thanks for entertaining me all year with your thoughtful, insightful comments about books and reading.

    1. Jackie says:

      Kathleen, Thank you for the kind words :-) Happy New Year to you too!

  4. stujallen says:

    Happy new year Jackie just reminded me I must get to kindly ones next year at some point ,all the best stu

    1. Jackie says:

      Stu, I’m sure you’ll love The Kindly Ones. Enjoy!

  5. Laura says:


    I loved The Siege. I also liked Never Let Me Go and The Road, and if memory serves you liked these even more than I did (still trying to figure out our magic formula). Yours is the second “best of” post where I’ve seen Cutting for Stone, so I’m adding that one to my wishlist right now !!

    Happy New Year!

    1. Jackie says:

      Laura, I think you’ll really enjoy Cutting for Stone but as usual I’m unsure as to whether your reading taste will match mine. I think it is the one from my list most likely to appeal to you. I look forward to seeing your thoughts on it :-)

  6. Amy says:

    Wow what a fantastic list. I really loved Cutting for Stone last year – it was definitely a favorite. A few here that you definitely added to my wish list for coming years as well!

    1. Jackie says:

      Amy, I really hope that you enjoy the books as much as I did. Have a great New Year!

  7. Melissa says:

    I really enjoyed Never Let Me Go and The Prestige too. Great books.

    1. Jackie says:

      Melissa, I’m really looking forward to trying more books from these authors in 2011. I hope they are just as good. :-)

  8. I think Never Let Me Go and The Road are some of the best books ever. I haven’t read the other ones, but given our similar tastes, I obviously should!

    1. Jackie says:

      Judith, It is quite an ecclectic mix of books but I would love to see you read them. I’m sure that you’d enjoy most of them as much as I did.

  9. Jessica says:

    “the Road” and “Never Let Me Go.” would be in my top ten f I could be bothered to do one.

    Funnily enough I did get a couple of the other books on your list for Christmas so I’m glad their good.

    1. Jackie says:

      Jessica, Please do a top ten – I’d love to see what you include :-)

      It is nice to know you get books for Christmas – no one will buy me one as they don’t know what to get/think I have too many already :-( I hope you enjoy the ones you have.

  10. TERESA says:

    Cutting for Stone and The Book of Negroes made it into my Top Ten this year and I have The Prestige, The Kindly Ones and The Road still all TBR – so many good books out there! :-)

    1. Jackie says:

      Teresa, I’m a bit behind with my blog reading so haven’t seen your post yet *heads off to see what you’ve picked*

  11. cbjames says:

    I was moved by The Road and I think The Day of the Tryffids is an excellent book. I’ve not read the others you list here, but several look interesting.

    Happy New Year.

    1. Jackie says:

      cbjames, Both are wonderful books. I hope you like any of the others you decide to try :-) Happy New Year!

  12. Karen says:

    Thanks for sharing your list Jackie. I have read two from it – The Siege (which I found fantastic too) and Never Let Me Go which I was disappointed by – but am still eagerly awaiting the movie! Happy reading for 2011!

    1. Jackie says:

      Karen, I’m looking forward to watching it too. The trailer looks as though it is going to be quite a faithful adaptation. Not long until the DVD release….

  13. Sandy says:

    I really loved The Road…I read it right when it came out. And I bought The Kindly Ones on Kindle because of your review, and I am hoping to get to it this year (but boy it is long!). This is a great list. I need to bookmark it for my shopping needs next year!

    1. Jackie says:

      Sandy, The Kindly Ones is very long and very disturbing, but I think you will find it interesting. Good luck!

  14. Bibliophile By the Sea says:

    Cutting for Stone was my # 1 book of 2009. I also enjoyed the Road and Never Let Me Go. I’ve jotted down a few of the others you mentioned for the future Jackie. You had a terrific year!

    1. Jackie says:

      Bibliophile by the Sea, I think you were the person who persuaded me to buy Cutting for Stone in the first place. Thank you for highlighting such a wonderful book :-)

  15. Iris says:

    Haha, we share a book: Cutting for Stone! We seem to read so differently from each other, but I always enjoy your posts anyway. I hope you have a good 2011!

    1. Jackie says:

      Iris, Yes. There is a big difference in the books we decide t read, but I think there is more overlap than you think :-) I look forward to seeing what you decide to read in 2011.

  16. Bina says:

    That’s a great list, Jackie! Never Let Me Go is one of my absolute favorites. Happy New Year!

    1. Jackie says:

      Bina, Happy New Year to you too!

  17. LizF says:

    I have only read The Day of the Triffids (enjoyed it so much that I went on and read all of John Wyndham’s other books that I could find) but I have a lot of the others on the list on my shelves – another reason why I really will have to make 2011 a year of reading from home!
    Currently reading (among others) The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and finding it absolutely fascinating even though ‘the science bit’ usually has me running for cover. I will be interested to read your review of it.
    I hope that you and your family have a Happy New Year and I look forward to reading your blog in 2011!

    1. Jackie says:

      Liz, I am slowly collecting all the Wyndham novels I can find. I hope to read my second one soon and am sure I’ll get to them all at some point, but I don’t want to rush the experience.

      I’m listening to Henrietta Lacks at the moment and am loving it – it might even become the best non-fiction I’ve ever read!

  18. Shannon says:

    Glad to see The Book of Negroes there. That was my top read of 2009 and one of my all-time favourites!

    1. Jackie says:

      Shannon, It is a wonderful book! I’m quite surprised that I haven’t seen it more frequently in the blogging world. I think it is the sort of book that would be widely loved if given the chance.

  19. JoAnn says:

    Hurray! Cutting for Stone made my list, too. The Dark Side of Love was added to my wish list after your review. It sounds like a book I’d love, but am a little intimidated by it’s length. Happy New Year, Jackie!

    1. Jackie says:

      JoAnn, The Dark Side of Love is quite an intimidating read. It is very long and the first half is quite slow, but I think it is well worth it in the end. Good luck!!

  20. joanna says:

    Never Let Me Go is a favorite of mine too, not only this year but in general. I’ve added the others to my wishlist, I’ll bet I’ll like most of them! Happy New Year Jackie!

    1. Jackie says:

      joanna, I think Never Let Me Go is one of those books that grows on you over time and I can see it becoming a favourite as more time passes. I hope you have a wonderful 2011!

  21. JoV says:

    I really would like to read The dark side of love and Cutting for Stone. They appeared on your favourite list only goes to show they should be good. ;)

    I however indifferent to Never Let me Go and The Road. Not sure why, but it’s just the way it is. I went to Bracknell again today on new year’s eve and bought 4 books. Dr. Thorpe – Trollope, Pride and Prejudice, The Constant Gardener (hint, hint) and The Opposite of Fate by Amy Tan. ;)

    Happy New Year Jackie!!

    1. Jackie says:

      JoV, You are in for a real treat with The Opposite of Fate – I loved that book! I’m not sure I’m going to take your Constant Gardener hints, but perhaps you’ll wear me down in the coming months ;-)

  22. Violet says:

    I don’t think we share the same taste in books, but I did enjoy The Kindly Ones. Now, if only you would reconsider Beatrice and Virgil. HaHa.

    1. Jackie says:

      Violet, LOL! Well the fact I still remember every scene in Beatrice and Virgil perhaps suggests it is a fantastic book – just a shame I think of rage not pleasure when I remember them ;-) Have a great 2011!

  23. Beth F says:

    I am a fan of McCarthy but I couldn’t finish the only Ishiguro book I tried. I have Cutting for Stone on my mp3 player, where it’s been since 2009 . . . unlistened to (I hope to get to it in 2011).

    Have a super new year.

    1. Jackie says:

      Beth, I have heard some Ishiguro books are harder to get into than others. I hope to try another one in 2011 – perhaps you’ll discoer you love one of his books at some point? Either way I hope you have a wonderful 2011!

  24. Andi says:

    Ahh, so many books on my TBR. Glad these made your Best of for 2010!

    1. Jackie says:

      Andi, A neverending TBR pile is a good problem to have :-) Happy 2011!

  25. I’m excited to see The Siege make your list! Several others (The Road, Never Let Me Go, and Cutting for Stone) are on my TBR too. I’m impressed you read so much backlist this year. I’m hoping to use my spare reading time from not being in graduate school to expand my backlist reading and stay up with the award lists. Happy 2011!

    1. Jackie says:

      Carrie, I have actually been quite poor at reading older books this year so am surprised (but pleased!) by your comment. I hope to have a better mix in 2011, but shiny new books always seem to call louder. Good luck keeping up with the award lists and I hope you have a wonderful 2011 too!

  26. I haven’t read a lot of the books on your list, but I have heard many good things about Cutting for Stone. Happy 2010, and have a great 2011!

    1. Jackie says:

      Kim, I think Cutting for Stone is one of those books loved by the majority. I hope you enjoy it if you decide to give it a try. Happy New Year!

  27. Great picks!

    I read 95 books, not bad, considering I was in a reading slump for more than four months.

    Happy New Year to you and your family. Have a great reading year in 2011!!!

    Here are my Best Reads of 2010

  28. I’ve never read The Prestige but The Glamour, The Separation and The Affirmation are all v. good.

    You know how I feel about The Kindly Ones (I wonder what his next book will be)

    The Road did nothing for me.

    I have Never Let Me Go…haven’t read it

  29. roym says:

    Terrific list, but must disagree about the kindly ones. I found it dreadfully indulgent I am afraid to say

  30. Olduvai says:

    Ah the Day of the Triffids! What a treasure Wyndham is! I really have to start collecting his books. Great list! Happy reading in 2011!

  31. Stephanie says:

    Cutting for Stone was on my list too! It was one of the last books I read in 2010.

  32. Anna says:

    Glad to see The Road on your list. I remember when I picked that book up a few years ago that I thought it was going to be boring, just some guy and his son walking down a road. I gave it a chance because of all the buzz, and it really blew me away.

  33. Sakura says:

    A nice selection of books Jackie! You’ve reminded me of how much I enjoyed the film version of The Prestige which means I must read the book as you’ve said it’s much better!

  34. Erin says:

    Cutting for Stone and Never Let Me Go are near the top of my 2011 reading list! So glad to hear more good things about both.

  35. Hm, quite a few of these are already on my to-read list, some of them no doubt thanks to you (The Siege for one). I’ve read The Road and Never Let Me Go – I even think that I read them both in the same year as each other, and they were standouts then too.

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