Books in 2010

by david

(Wrote this on Facebook at a friend’s request, figured I’d post it here, too.)

I read less this year than any in a decade, possibly since middle school. Combination of baby, car commuting, more time online, more time rehearsing shows, who knows. So the total list of books to draw from was much shorter than usual. Here’s the best of what I read, in order I read them, other than the first one.


Skippy Dies, Paul Murray

Best book I read this year, and easily among the best of the decade. Read the first 10 pages. If you like them, stay with it because it only gets better.


Magic for Beginners, Kelly Link

These short stories are fantastic, in both ways the word can be used to describe a book.


The Ask, Sam Lipsyte

I actually preferred his previous book, Home Land, but that’s not a knock on The Ask.


People Like Us, Joris Luyendijk

A great memoir/media analysis from a longtime Middle East reporter who has serious concerns about the fundamentals of international news reporting.


Ill Fares the Land, Tony Judt

So sad that he died, so great that he got to write this before he went.


Mrs. Bridge, Evan Connell

I’d been meaning to read this for over 10 years. Glad I waited. Not sure I’d have appreciated it in my 20s.


Don’t Point That Thing At Me, Kyril Bonfiglioli

If a morally degenerate Wodehouse sounds like your kind of thing, head to the local library.


So Much for That, Lionel Shriver

I’d never read her before, but if this is any indication, I’m likely to read more soon.


Ablutions, Patrick DeWitt

A dark, relentless book about miserable people doing terrible things. With the exception of only a few sentences, though, the writing is stunning. Very much a “one more page” sort of book. Or, if you’re squeamish, a “put it in a drawer and try to forget it exists” sort of book.