22 December 2010

Best of 2010 -- Top Ten Books of the Year

The moment you've all been waiting for -- The Word Nerd team picks their top 10 books they read in the past year.

We didn't even try for consensus on this one because while we're both readers and read much of the same stuff, it's different enough that one list would be impossible. And of course, what one person really loves, the other might despise.

So, drumroll please --

Bethany's Top Ten Books of 2010
10. One Hit Wonder, Charlie Carillo
9. Chimera, Rob Thurman
8. Shades of Gray, Jasper Fforde
7. Her Fearful Symmetry, Audrey Niffeneger
6. Changes, Jim Butcher
5. Weeping Underwater Looks a lot Like Laughter, Michael J. White
4. The Serialist, David Gordon
3. Thieves of Manhattan, Adam Langer
2. Dracula in Love, Karen Essex
1. Son of Laughter, Frederick Buechner

It took me several tries to come up with a top 10 list I was satisfied with and it wasn't until I put "Son of Laughter" in the #1 slot that I had it. I love this book and the powerful retelling of the Biblical narrative of Jacob. Several of my top-pick titles were all read in the last quarter of the year -- I hit a literary fiction streak.

This year's dark horse picks for me -- Changes and Chimera. Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden series hasn't made my top 10 in the past, but this latest one was even more amazing than the rest. Also, I'm a big fan of Rob Thurman and I thoroughly enjoyed Chimera and her foray into a sci-fi thriller from her usual urban fantasy bent. The characters in both are as complex (if not more so!) that their counterparts in traditional fiction, so these genre picks had to get the nod.

Stacie's Top Ten Books of 2010
10. The Trouble with Magic by Madelyn Alt
9. Thieves of Manhattan by Adam Langer
8. Outliers by Malcom Gladwell
7. Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
6. Alice I have Been by Melanie Benjamin
5. The Harrowing by Alexandra Sokoloff
4. The Program Management Office by Craig J. Letavec, PMP
3. The Big Short by Michael Lewis
2. Side Jobs by Jim Butcher
1. The Postmistress by Sarah Blake

I've never created a top ten list for the year's reading before. Doing so made me realize two things:
  1. I'm willing to read anything.
  2. Not every book is memorable.

The characters in The Postmistress by Sarah Blake still move me. Choosing between the three women and the antics of Harry Dresden was tough. The fate of Sarah Blake's character is set, but there is more to come for Dresden. Ergo, this couldn't be the best for Jim Butcher.

The Project Management Office by Craig Letavec, PMP, was from one of my classes. It's probably the first coursework book I have enjoyed enough to recommend it to others at work. It also gave me an idea of where my career could be headed as well. (Considering the extreme lack of planning occurring in that arena, guide posts are a good thing.)

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