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BookSnob’s Best Reads 2010–Or Your Money Back Guaranteed

You’ve seen everyone’s list of the top 5 fiction, top 100 books, this and that. Even your local bookstore is likely getting in on the action telling you what to buy or read.

It’s been an amazing year for great books.
So I’ll keep this short and sweet.

If your holidays are busy and you’re hoppin’ to find a great book for a great reader–keep this handy on your iPhone. But better yet, if *you* are really the BookSnob, here are five that should not have escaped you in 2010:

Freedom, by Jonathan Franzen
* You don’t need to trust me; you can look at every major publication telling you to read this book. They’re right.

The Invisible Bridge, by Julie Orringer
I’ll take this as one of my sleeper finds; Orringer’s first novel is delicious.

Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel
*Gave me faith again in the Booker. Fascinating and rich.

A Visit From the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan
* Weeks later, this writing is still sticking with me. Egan has wowed reviewers.

Let the Great World Spin, by Colum McCann
*Technically 2009, but hands down one of the best, if not the best book from last year. Superb.

If you don’t love them, your money back, guaranteed : )


But here’s a list NO ONE does.
These are the five books NOT TO READ.

Because friends don’t let friends read bad crap. Time is precious.

Your book club, at some point, will try to talk you into these.
Resist, people. I’m serious.

1. Little Bee, by Chris Cleave
* I’m most serious about this. The first 100 pages will enthrall you and then you will fall off a cliff.

2. Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, by Helen Simonson
* Great premise, insanely trite characters. Potential unrealized.

3.  Brooklyn, by Colm Toibin

4. La Lacuna, by Barbara Kingsolver
* Barbara, where did your good writing go?

5. Anything with “A Girl” in the Title
* Do we really need to endure these all going to paperback next year and living on another year? Sheez.

Any others to add?
Share the love!

And happy holidays BookSnobs!

9 Comments Post a comment
  1. Peter #

    Oh, such harshness toward Major Pettigrew! He’s a gent who surprises at every turn (as a good gent should). Yes, the plot is fanciful; yes, the machinations are a bit much. But, whether it’s the author’s first novel (which it is) or her third, it’s a lovely distraction and an absolute pleasure to read. Book Snob: recant!! 😉

    December 19, 2010
  2. Why did I know I was going to get this post???? I lined them all up from last year and it didn’t deliver. So sorry, I.can’t.recant !!! But we agree on so many other books–why let this divide us? : )

    December 19, 2010
  3. Peter #

    Completely agreed! Can’t wait to see what the New Year brings (and what else you recommend)!

    December 20, 2010
  4. Avery Sargent #

    Taking for granted different strokes, etc, it borders on complete consternation that Booksnob dismisses Tinkers (your bad review kept me from this wee gem for too long..shame on ME) and Cutting For Stone. Really? Wow.
    You may want to crack open The Glass Room, I’d be interested in your take.

    Happy Holidays!

    December 27, 2010
    • Avery,What fun if we can’t be slightly controversial??? I’m still not *finished* with Tinkers. Admittedly, I had trouble concentrating and I think I owe a complete restart on this one (your comment motivated me!). But Cutting for Stone just wasn’t better than the five I listed. Entertaining and good, but…didn’t make my cut. Love your suggestion on The Glass Room. Thanks!

      December 27, 2010
  5. Avery Sargent #

    May I share another must read for any year? Into The Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea. He is a wonderful craftsman with a lively sense of humor. As we say in NH, frickin’ good read……

    December 28, 2010
  6. Holly #

    Let the Great World Spin??? Yuk — totally predictable and boooring! Was really excited to find you after reading your tale on Cutting For Stone — but with your review of LTGWS not so sure!

    April 18, 2011
  7. nomdeplu view #

    Perhaps a snob, but don’t be a snob without intelligence to realize popular can also be great. Cutting for Stone is perhaps one of the best written stories in decades. The Dragon Tattoo books are fabulous and again perhaps the best trilogy in decades. Snob??? or just nose in the air to seem aristocratic?

    April 7, 2012
  8. Hello there! Very helpful post! I am very glad that I was able to come across your site during your search Search engines. Koodles with this great post!

    August 13, 2013

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