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End of year-ing December 28, 2010

Posted by therealtinlizzy in Uncategorized.

It’s that delicious week between Christmas and New Year’s when everyone’s scurrying around doing year-end reviews and posting best/worst-of the year lists, reflecting back and looking forward. I say delicious because it’s my chance to pull my head out of my particular patch of sand and graze through things (to) which everyone else has been following, eating, reading, listening, tracking, noticing and/or otherwise paying attention this past year. Not that I’m not always doing that throughout the year, months, weeks, days and moments – but given my autodidact, look-it’s-a-pony, rabbit-holing tendencies, I appreciate the focus and compilation of lists and reviews at the end of the year, sort of reorients me and jogs me (at least temporarily) from the severe in-the-moment syndrome through which I perpetuate.

And while I’ll leave the best/worst of lists to others to write and for me to enjoy, I will post my reading list from this past year. I won’t whittle it to best/worsts, that would take more attention and focus than I possess presently – I get a gold star just for tracking what I’ve read this year,  although truthfully – Amazon really deserves the gold star as most of what I’ve read has been on my Kindle and is magically listed out for me to simply cut/paste here. But – I did manage to get lots of my reads into LibraryThing and Shelfari (I haven’t 100% committed to either yet…), even got some (highly subjective, not-even-remotely-professional-type) reviews in as well.

So without further ado…wait – now that I’m actively ruminating on my reads from this past year, I could easily list a couple of best and worst reads of the year without too much strain or agony.  So those first, then on to a full list of my reads for the year.

Best reads of 2010:

  • The Gone Away World – Nick Harkaway
  • The Name of the Wind – Patrick Rothfuss
  • The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements – Sam Kean

Worst reads of 2010:

  • The Gods Drink Whiskey – Stephen T. Asma
  • Pillars of the Earth – Ken Follet (I know – I should’ve KNOWN better! Just thought the architecture content would make it worthwhile. It was better than my other worst two books in this list, so I guess that makes it least worst?)
  • Waters of the Dancing Sky – Janet Kay (it’s about Int’l Falls, and my mom recommended it. It’s terrible.)

Ok on to the full list of my reads from 2010 (check my profile on LibraryThing for specific reviews, which I have for some but not all), roughly in order from most recent to earliest in 2010 :

  1. Madam Secretary – Madeleine Albright
  2. The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements – Sam Kean
  3. Side Jobs: Stories From the Dresden Files – Jim Butcher
  4. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest – Stieg Larson
  5. The Girl Who Played with Fire – Stieg Larson
  6. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larson
  7. Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre: The Best of H. P. Lovecraft – H.P Lovecraft
  8. Waters of the Dancing Sky – Janet Kay
  9. A Grand and Bold Thing – Ann K. Finkbeiner
  10. Holy Rule of St. Benedict – St. Benedict
  11. The Pillars of the Earth – Ken Follet
  12. Within the Law – Bayard Veiller and Marvin Hill Dana
  13. The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science – Norman Doidge
  14. Spellcrash – Kelly McCullough
  15. Crow Planet: Essential Wisdom from the Urban Wilderness – Lyanda Lynn Haupt
  16. The Gone-Away World – Nick Harkaway
  17. The Passage: A Novel – Justin Cronin
  18. The Help – Kathryn Stockett
  19. On Basilisk Station (Honor Harrington Series) – David Weber
  20. Angelolgy – Trussoni, Danielle
  21. This Book Is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All – Marilyn Johnson
  22. Changes (Dresden Files, Book 12) – Jim Butcher
  23. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – Rebecca Skloot
  24. The Lost Symbol – Dan Brown (yeah what, wanna make s/thing of it?! You should, egads.)
  25. In the President’s Secret Service: Behind the Scenes with Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect – Ronald Kessler
  26. The Vicar of Wakefield – Oliver Goldsmith
  27. Newton and the Counterfeiter: The Unknown Detective Career of the World’s Greatest Scientist – Thomas Levenson
  28. The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America’s Favorite Planet – Neil deGrasse Tyson
  29. The Gods Drink Whiskey – Stephen T. Asma
  30. The Name of the Wind – Patrick Rothfuss
  31. Swan Song – Robert McCammon (re-read – this is one of my occasional guilty pleasure re-reads)

My New Year’s goals reading-wise? Well let’s save that for another post. In the meantime, you want to read up on someone whose reading-habits (and her meanderings thereabouts) are really worth following – check out my friend Stef’s So Many Books blog. I am an inarticulate review/summarizer/critique-r of books (trust me), however Stef is marvelously eloquent and cohesive and articulate and concise in her book summaries and critiques. Worth your time/attention, I promise you!

Enjoy your end of the year-ing, and happy reading in the New Year!


1. Stefanie - December 28, 2010

You’re such a sweetheart! You’ve got a nice booklist for the year even if it does have Dan Brown on it 😉 As for Ken Follet, we’ll let him slide since so many others fell for him too. Have you thought about GoodReads as a booktracking place? I’m bad at keeping up on it there but I’m trying to get better because WorldCat pulls reviews from GoodReads for all the world to see and I’m such a library geek it makes me giddy to look up books in WorldCat and see my review show up there.

therealtinlizzy - January 3, 2011

I haven’t eval’ed GoodReads yet, I will take a look! I end up liking the layout/function/features of Shelfari better, but LibraryThing is where more ppl I know are, so I float between the two (when I’m on the ball enough to get my reads entered!). I will peruse GoodReads and see what I think – I love having such a library nerd in my life :).

2. Ginny G - January 10, 2011

Hi! Mi esposo found you on the interwebz.

What did you think of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks? Everybody keeps raving about it, but I’m not sure I’d be entertained. I also see that you plan to re-read Cryptonomicon, which I am currently reading for the first time. I’ve enjoyed it well enough, but I don’t think Stephenson is one of my favs.

therealtinlizzy - January 14, 2011

Hi Ginny – nice to run into you here! (am assuming this is the Ginny who knows my sig and whom we met up with recently:)?) Sorry for being a slow panda on responding, got buried there for a few days with other things.

I found the Henrietta Lacks book really enjoyable. It was engaging enough a narrative to be readable and keep moving, while having a lot of good info/history packed into it. Given my undergrad is in biology, I found it particularly fascinating to learn the history of this HeLa cell line I was very familiar with back in the day. I also found it very engaging and worthwhile for Skloot to cover parallel story threads exploring/telling both Henrietta Lacks’ story from so many years ago, and her descendants’ stories in present day. So yeah – I definitely recommend it!

Ginny G - January 14, 2011

Ja, same Ginny 🙂

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