100 Notable Books




The New York Times recently published their list of the 100 notable books of 2010, which will run in this Sunday’s edition of their Book Review.  Scanning the list, I see that sadly, I’ve only read 5 of their 100 recommended books (Freedom by Jonathon Franzen, Mr. Peanut by Adam Ross, Room by Emma Donoghue, Sourland: Stories by Joyce Carol Oates, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell).  And if it counts towards anything I bought and intend on reading Travels in Siberia by Ian Frazier (which is a gorgeously illustrated book) and The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman.  I won’t even pretend to have heard of some of these titles though many of the authors are very well-known and  some of the books were short-listed for various literature prizes this year.  Of the books I read that were included, I have to say that I don't think Sourland belonged.  As much as I'm an unabashed fangirl of JCO's short stories, I thought this collection was pretty weak and very unmemorable.  Two of the non-fiction picks jumped out at me and I immediately put them on my wish list: Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition by Daniel Okrent, thanks to my new found obsession with prohibition-era cocktails and Parisians: An Adventure History of Paris by Graham Robb since I'm going back to Paris in December!

However, Flavorwire pointed out that lots of awesome books were left off the list including one of my personal favorites of the year: Skippy Dies by Paul Murray.  Also, shockingly, the wildly popular non-fiction National Book Award winner Just Kids by Patti Smith was not included. They recommended 10 awesome books that DIDN'T make the NYBR list and I instantly found ANOTHER book that I am heaping on my wish list pile (because I'm all about grim Ozark and Appalachian tragedy since seeing Winter's Bone).

What have you guys read from these lists?  Anything you would add?


2 Responses so far.

  1. Jon K says:

    Wow only 3 for me. I definitely feel bad about myself now. Totally agree about Skippy Dies, too. That was one of my favorites this year, easily. At least I've got some new ideas.

    As for left out books, I'd have put Big Machine by Victor LaValle and Citrus County by John Brandon on my list. I thought both were fantastic.

  2. Wow I've only read one! Guess I should keep this list so I have some ideas of what to read next.

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