Well my total books read took a drastic dive this year. I guess a newborn cut back on my reading time (basically I exercise way less and take quicker baths, my two primary methods to sneak in reading - call me crazy). My list was pretty slim, but there were still some great reads. So without further ado, here are my 5 favorite books from 2010 - in no particular order.
1. What the Dog Saw: If you haven't tried non-fiction this is a great starter. Malcolm Gladwell writes for 'The New Yorker' and this book is a compilation of some of his best articles. He is one of my favorite authors. I love the questions he asks and how he can turn everyday things like ketchup and birth control into fascinating stories. This book is great because you can read one chapter then not touch it again for months and jump right into the next chapter. Give it a try.
2. 1421; The Year China Discovered America: Fascinating, although not going to win any literary awards. This book is worth reading on the merit of the information alone. The evidence in support of China discovering America well before Columbus is overwhelming. It also made me wonder about other groups of people that may have made it to America that history in general doesn't acknowledge. A thought provoking read.
3. Undaunted Courage: An account of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Sounds droll, I know, but I loved it. Maybe it helped that I read it while we did so much driving this summer and I saw a lot of the territory they explored. Or maybe it has to do with all the animals in it...but I thoroughly enjoyed it and think about it often. I have even found it slipping into conversations with people. For example, when the food was plentiful the men ate 9 lbs. of meat each day, per person. Can you imagine. I want to throw up just thinking about it. And they were the first white men to see a coyote. Before they killed all the wolves coyotes didn't live in the east at all - fascinating.
4. The Lost City Z: This reads more like fiction as it weaves the story of Percy Fawcett, a legendary British explorer, with the the life of the author. Fawcett spent most of his life exploring the Amazon but became fixated with searching for a lost treasure city and eventually disappeared in the jungle. The author retraces Fawcett's path and carries the reader along with him.
5. Pride and Prejudice and Anne of the Island: Okay did I mention my numbers were down...I have read both of these books too many times. Every now and again I just need a little thrill that only fiction can give - but if I jump into a new book I neglect my family - so instead I pick up an old favorite and just reread it. There is no pressure to find out what happens, because lets be honest, I could tell the story of Elisabeth and Darcy backward...I digress. The reason these two make my list is because reading them makes me happy. I can't help but smile when I'm done - so there it is. Non fiction makes me think, helps me feel more educated, and doesn't carry me away to neglect my duties - but fiction makes me smile and there is real value in that.
There are my top 5 - give one a try.