Amanda Gates

Best Books I Read in 2010

Well, 2010 was much slower in the reading department for me, which kind of sucks when you have a book blog that you like to keep up with. But, for three months out of the year I didn’t pick up one book, let alone a magazine. Newborns tend to have that affect on you. I had no idea what was going on in the world. Things still pop up in random conversations and I’m like, “What? When did that happen?” Oh, it happened in April, May or June… That’s why I don’t remember. And then, after you become a parent, things like reading on a snowstormy Saturday goes out the window too. I remember when I read Deathly Hallows and Breaking Dawn over 24-hour periods the weekends they came out. Yeah, never doing that again, until perhaps age 50. Anyway, when the only time I have to read is on the bus and the occasional lunch hour, it’s slow going. However, each December I’ve compiled a roundup of my favorite books of the year, so here it goes:

The Help. One of my first books of 2010 and I’m so glad I read it. This book was touching, educational, funny, sad, joyful, vengeful and moving all at once. I fell in love with Skeeter and Aibileen, and I grew more and more embarrassed of our past. I laughed, I cried. Two things that always guarantee I’ll like and remember a book. I’m very interested in the movie, too.

Millennium Trilogy. Yep, I was one of the millions who got sucked into Lisbeth Salander’s three-book adventure. While the books could be quite detail-driven and it was easy to get lost in side stories that were overwhelmed with information and Swedish-sounding surnames, there was enough action and female kick-ass-ery in these books to keep me flipping the pages. Plus, being a journalist, I very much enjoyed the evolution of Millennium magazine. They were tough, conscious-driven editors – we don’t have enough of those these days. But, in the end it was all about Lisbeth and she’s definitely a character for the ages.

Where Men Win Glory. Once again Krakauer taught me a bunch of things I didn’t know. He did it with Under the Banner of Heaven and Into Thin Air and once again with this book. I learned so much more about the wars we’re fighting, basic training, friendly fire, the (despicable) marketing of war, and a man who was truly unique. Pat Tillman was a thoughtful, generous, caring person whose life ended much too early. The book made me mad and sad and depressed about our current situation, but it also made me a bit hopeful that perhaps there are more men like Pat Tillman out there. God knows we need them.

So, what were your favorite books you read in 2010?

End of the Year, 2009
A Look Back 2008
Top Books 2007


We finished the rest of Jane

We finished the rest of Jane Austen's books this year. She holds a special place in my heart. And thank goodness for book club because most of my reads were book club reads.

We also read The Secret Garden, which was a first for me. It made me so happy, and I still can't wait till my two favorite babies are old enough that maybe I can read it to them!

Finally, I read the Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less, by Barry Schwartz. I go back to my notes on it often when I need a reminder to stop comparison shopping and to just pick something!

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