Here are my top ten picks of the books I read in 2010, and a brief explanation of why they made the list:
Under the Dome by Stephen King - This is a monster of a book (1072 pages), with a gargantuan cast and multiple sub-plots weaved together to create a massive story. It's about small town politics, secrets, drugs, greed, families, power...It's a mini-series in a novel!
The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard - Mrs. Pickard captures the essence of a small Kansas town where major crimes are rare, and the impact on those who, by no choice of their own, are caught in the middle of the biggest thing that ever happened there.
Gunn's Golden Rules by Tim Gunn - Mr. Gunn champions old-fashioned etiquette and classic good taste without giving up personal rights or space. (Review pending)
The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen - A beautifully written fairy-tale for adults, complete with a handsome prince, a friendly giant and a moral -people can change, the past can be healed, and we're all really not so different, after all.
Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins - Roman Gladiators meet Reality TV. Everyone's heard of this trilogy and it lives up to the hype. (Review pending)
House Rules by Jodi Picoult - An inside look at life with Autism. This is the kind of book I usually avoid: overflowing with emotion and real-life drama. Add the continual hopping between five different narrators, and I was guaranteed not to like this book. Wrong! Loved it and learned from it. What more can you ask of a book?
Is It Just Me, or Is It Nuts Out There? by Whoopi Goldberg - Echoes my own thoughts. Similar to Gunn's Golden Rules, but with a tougher twist. (Review pending)
Julie and Julia by Julie Powell - One woman finding an outlet for her creativity, skills she didn't know she had, and a connection with the past. Inspiring.
The Leisure Seeker by Michael Zadorian - The story of an elderly couple looking for one last adventure before the succumb to Alzheimer's and cancer. There is subtle humor found mostly in the experiences that all couples and/or parents share. I believe that everyone will get something slightly different from this story, depending on age and perspective. The lessons to be learned, however, are universal.
Moonlight Mile by Dennis Lehane - New author to me. Thrillers without blood-and-guts. What a find!
Favorite line of the year: From The Leisure Seeker - "I'm sorry that we worried the children, but I've spent most of my adult life worrying about them, so I'm gonna call it even."