The Best Books in 2010

Click this icon to see my other top-5 list

I hope it’s not too early to write another top-5 post. I don’t want this post to be too far apart from my previous post titled Book I have Read in 2010 where I list all the books I have read in 2010 (obviously).

If you are too lazy to click the link, I’ll summarize it a little. I have read 32 books and 10 mangas. Those books are 6 Stephen King’s books and 1 novella, 9 books by Japanese authors, 12 books by British and US authors, and 4 books by Indonesian authors. As for manga, I read 2 Mangas by 2 new-to-me authors, 7 reread Mangas and (of course) my annual Onepiece reread.

It is very difficult to choose only 5 books out of those many books and mangas, each has something more to offer. Because of this difficulty, I decide to write a prelude before my top-5 books of 2010. The prelude is choosing top-3 of each category.

The 1st category is Stephen King’s books: (excluding his novella)
#1 On Writing
, an amazing book that shows what an amazing author Stephen King is.
#2 Under The Dome
, SK’s new book is really amazing, I love every page of it. Thrill exists in every page.
#3 The Shining
, haunted hotel sure has its undeniable attraction.

The 2nd category is Japanese Literature:
#1 The Square Persimmon
by Takashi Atoda, love and nothing but love toward this book. I borrowed it from the library and planning to buy it one day so that I can reread it whenever I feel like doing it.
#2 Tokyo Zodiac Murder
by Soji Shimada , one of  the best mystery books I have read in past few years.
#3 Deep River
by Shusaku Endo, I love the connection between each character and things they found in India.

The 3rd category is native English books:
#1 The Lord of the Rings Series
by J.R.R Tolkien, I read The Two towers and The Return of The King. Even though it was my 4th time reading it, I still find this series better than any books I read for this category.
#2 Jurassic Park
by Michael Crichton, I have seen the movie countless time and yet the book still has stronger grip than the movie.
#3 Chicken Soup for The Cat and Dog Lover’s Soul
, my first (and probably the only) Chicken Soup book that I read gave such a big impact on pet lover like me. Too bad they don’t have stories on turtle, I have to write my own story in my Turtles’’ Blog.

The 4th category is Indonesian books, since I only read 4 books, I am only going to write the best of those 4, that is Cinta di Dalam Gelas (Love Inside a Glass) by Andrea Hirata.

The last category is Manga, however I am not going to include it in this top-5 .

Making top-3 from each category really making it easier for me to choose only 5 books out of those lists.

So, without any more delay…. here are the 5 books that will be unforgotten for years to come.

#5 Cinta di Dalam Gelas (Love Inside a Glass) by Andrea Hirata

Andrea Hirata has once more proven himself as a great author. I love his way of describing chess tournament seems like a real intense battle. The love that he shares in this book is not the kind of love you see in woman and man relationship, it’s a grandeur kind of love.

A glimpse from my review:

Love Inside Glass talks more about Maryamah’s struggle to beat his ex-husband in a chess match and how Ikal learned human psychology through glasses of coffee. I enjoy reading every page of this book, the struggle and the humor are mixed in a very good way.

#4 Tokyo Zodiac Murder by Soji Shimada

This book kept me glued till the end of the story. It feels like Japanese version of Sherlock Holmes. The story somehow felt so real. The mystery is really interesting and far from being boring.

A glimpse from my review

As I have said before, I like reading about the 2 detectives’ relationship and the case, but the book also has another interesting part. Shimada-san challenged us, the readers, to solve the case before the final curtain is lifted. He puts his note in page 183, he said that he has given all the clues and the details of the case, he hopes that we can solve it before Mitarai reveals the real murderer.

#3 The Square Persimmon by Takashi Atoda & Under The Dome by Stephen King

Please forgive me for choosing 2 books for number 3 because I just couldn’t put any of those books outside my best 3. The love I have toward those 2 books are equal.

The Square Persimmon by Takeshi Atoda is without a doubt one of the best short stories collection I have ever read. I checked and saw that not everyone was as fascinated as me toward the book, but then again everyone has different taste.

A glimpse from my review:

Each story in this book left the word ow in the tip of my mouth…either it’s an ow for that’s awesome, or an ow for that’s so beautiful, or an ow for that’s so sad, or an ow for o I see, or an ow for that’s a nice story. I have to put down the book after I finished reading one story, NOT because I want to clear my head and prepare for the next story, BUT because all the stories are beautiful and powerful and I want to let it sip into my mind and my heart, let it lingers there for a while before I let in another story to start playing trick on my mind again. I just can’t let another story ruins the feeling that I’ve received from the previous story….although that story is going to be another great one.

Under The Dome by Stephen King is the 3rd thickest book he has ever written, a more than 1000pages book and I finished it in a world breaking record speed (for my slow reading pace). I couldn’t put the book down, I even read it while standing on the bus. For me, UTD is one of SK bests

A glimpse from my review

I could easily say that this is one of Stephen king’s best. In my opinion, UTD is not a horror book (there is no monster and ghost in this book), it is more like a physiological thriller. I could be wrong because people’s perception in horror is sometime different with my perception. UTD is about survival, survival from dictatorship and survival from the worst case scenario of global warming.

#2 On writing by Stephen King

Another Stephen King’s book shows in my list. This one is a non-fiction book where he shares his knowledge in writing books. A lot of critics praised this book (ironically, those same critics butchered SK’s other books). I’m not a writer but I can assure you that this book is worth reading if you ever dream to become a writer.

A glimpse from my review

The second part is called Toolbox. In this part, he writes about the tools needed by every all writers. On the top shelf, you need vocabulary and grammar…but don’t worry!! The grammar thing is not about naming them but about using them. He also mentions how he hates adverb. He tries not to use lots and lots of unimportant adverb because adverb tends to weaken the sentences. To know more about SK’s toolbox, you need to read the book by yourself.

#1 The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers & The Return of The King by J.R.R Tolkien

It is impossible not to put this book as my number one reading 2010!! Would I bother my self reading this series 4 times if it isn’t one of the best fiction books ever written in this world?

A glimpse from my review

For me, The Lord of the Rings is the greatest fantasy epic of our time. I love this series so much. I haven’t read a lot of series in my life, but as far as all the series I have read, none  can  overthrown The lord of The Rings from my heart. TLoTR has EVERYTHING!! Great story written in beautiful language and it ends gracefully.

I have shared my top-5 book I reading 2010. I would love to know your version of top-5 book in 2010, please share them with me 🙂

23 thoughts on “The Best Books in 2010

  1. Whew. Wasn’t expecting this kind of top 5. Again, I needed Goodreads’ help for this. I opened my account there and looked back on all the novels I’ve read in 2010. Turns out I only read a few, so I didn’t have a lot of choice. I have no one to blame but myself, obviously 🙂

    #5. My Best Friend’s Girl by Dorothy Koomson

    A quick glimpse of this novel:
    When Kamryn Matika gets a call from college friend Adele Brannon, she reluctantly heads to the hospital where Adele is dying of cancer. The two had been best friends since college, but their friendship did not survive Del’s admission of an affair with Kamryn’s fiancé Nate Turner, which also ended Kamryn’s relationship with Nate. The affair did result, however, in the now-five-year-old Tegan, and Del has called Ryn to ask her to adopt the adorable girl.

    This novel got my attention because it got that Jodi Picoult-ish ring to it, which I like. Since I wasn’t familiar with Koomson’s work, I didn’t have high expectations. But overall, it deserves a place in this top 5 because of the sweet chemistry Kamryn had with the 5 year old Tegan.

    #4. Mr.Darcy’s Diary by Amanda Grange

    I’ve always been obsessed with Jane Austen’s works, especially Pride & Prejudice, so it didn’t take much to persuade myself to buy this novel. I love Grange’s retelling from Darcy’s point of view and this novel made me love the beauty and ellegance of English literature even more.

    #3. The Naked Traveler 2 by Trinity

    To be honest, I didn’t realize I read this novel in 2010 until I checked my Goodreads. It felt like years ago. But anyway, I’ve always loved Trinity’s way of telling her exciting experiences. Hilarious and informative and the same time. So it certainly deserves a spot here.

    #2. Do You Come Here Often
    by Alexandra Potter

    This is probably my 4th Alexandra Potter’s novel. I adore her works so much! Everytime I read her works, I feel like I’m watching a romantic comedy movie, so I couldn’t help but think of all those actors and actresses that would be perfect for the characters. I read 2 Alexandra Potter’s novels alone this year, but this one takes the spot because it made me laugh the most. And it’s also the first time I see Potter using the male’s point of view in the story, which is kinda nice. 🙂

    #1. Shiver
    by Maggie Stiefvater

    About a year ago, we were introduced by a phenomenon called: Twilight. Almost every freakin creature in the world fell in love with the vampire saga. It was so famous that I’m curious the word Twihards is not included in the updated version of English dictionary yet! I personally didn’t get all the hype. I saw the movies, of course, but I didn’t get why everyone was so….obsessed.

    But then I stumbled upon Shiver.

    And now I understand why people can get super duper excited over a story. A fantasy story, at that. Because I’m now OBSESSED and head over heels with this werewolves saga!!! I can’t get enough of them! Ever since Harry Potter, these Mercy Falls werewolves are probably the only series that have managed to make me sit on the edge of my seat, craving for more and waiting for the continuation of the hero/heroine like an addict. Can’t wait for the final chapter of this saga, which will be out this summer. Yippie!!!!

    There you go, my top 5 books of 2010! 🙂

    1. Thank you for being so enthusiastic with all my top-5 posts Wulan 🙂

      The only one I have read in your list is Naked Traveler. Is she going to write the 2rd book anytime sooner?

      I’ve read about Shiver in many book blogs, it seems that the series is quite famous. Is this werewolf kinda like Twilight? I mean with a lot of love involve?

      1. Hell yes! There’s a whole lot of lovey dovey feelings involve, hahahaha…

        Somehow I just don’t get Twilight. Maybe because I haven’t read the books and the movies didn’t really get to me.

          1. I enjoy it, sure. I enjoy the experience of watching it in cinemas. But I’m not obsessed.

            Hahahaha, i figured you’d pass! 😀

  2. Thanks for sharing your list. When someone totally loves a book and you start to read it too there is always this little fearful moment… I got The Square Persiommon last week and started it right away… What happened? I LOVE it! It is so wonderful. Thank you for introducing me to this great collection. I haven’t finished it yet, I want to make it last… I will write a review maybe next week… I am not buying any books for the moment or I would probably have ordered Tokyo Zodiac Murders… Still got Out…
    I read wulaaan’s list and Shiver sounds quite interesting.
    My one list? Difficult. As you know I posted a slightly longer one. Only 5? I will choose 7 from the ones that have been translated:
    Niccolò Ammaniti: I am not scared
    Ayelet Waldman: Love and other impossible pursuits
    Ruth Rendell: A Judgment in Stone and Rosamund Lupton: Sister
    Harper Lee: To Kill a Mockingbird
    Jennifer Johnston: The Gingerbread Woman and Meg Rosoff: What I Was

    1. Yeaaa…I’m glad you LOVE it 🙂
      You’re now officially the third person out of 3 people I know who loves the Square Persimmon, as I said before I always try to promote this book to anyone I know, 2 of my friends bought it immediately and love it. And now, you bought the book based on my recommedation and you also love it. I wish more people will read the square persimmon too.

      Thank you for sharing your list Caroline 🙂
      I know you have plenty of great books…glad you can narrow it down to 7.
      I have To Kill a Mockingbird ready to be read this year

  3. One of these days I’m going to get to LOTR I will! Not sure if it’s gonna be this year since I’m wanting to read His Dark Materials (also a trilogy). Have you read that by the way?

  4. waduh kalo yang ini gw malu deh. gw ga banyak baca buku di tahun 2010. kebanyakan nonton. and it’s partly because of you. haha teteup. ngga deng. gw nya aja lagi males baca buku.

    anyway kalo komik masuk itungan ga? kalo ngga, yah yowes gw kasih listnya cuma 3 buku, karena taun kemaren emang cuma berhasil tamatin 3 buku. haha..

  5. I suddenly wondered (it’s you regretting there’s no ‘chickensoup’ about turtles): have you read Timothy’s Book, by Verlyn Klinkenborg? It’s been high on my wish list for AGES now..

    I totally lost count with all the books in your top-5, but I’m glad to hear you’ve had such a great reading year!

    1. Timothy’s book? what is it about? and what does it got to do with me regreting there’s no turtle story in chicken soup?
      I know it’s easier if I google it my self, but that has to wait till tomorrow…googling in mobile is not fun 🙂

      Thank you, I’m glad I always found great books each year.

      1. Okay, I’ll oblige 🙂 Could it be about anything different than a turrrtle?

        “Timothy, a wise and eloquent tortoise, has spent some fifty years amongst humans, living in their midst in the lovely Hampshire village of Selborne, the occasional object of study for his host, Gilbert White, whose letters famously comprise The Natural History of Selborne. But Timothy is inclined to study too. His observations of the natural world that surrounds him can match those of his master for aptness, precision, illumination and beauty – his gaze falls with equal aplomb on the flitting martins and swallows, trooping frogs, mating harvest mice, hares nibbling at the cabbage and, above all, on those ‘tottering, stilt-gaited beasts’, their instincts so derelict, who tower over Timothy and make their odd ways known to him. Who would guess that a tortoise marooned in the heart of old England could tell us so much?”

        It was a REAL turtle!

        1. Whuaaaa…..I want to READ that book!!!! Will search every book stores from now on. If only I have more spare time to go hunting for that book.

          I’ve seen books on cat and dog, but never knew there is a book about turtle…well tortoise. I really really want to read it *excited*
          Maybe I can also write one, Kame & Kroten’s book … as they already have Kame & Kroten’s blog 😉

          Thank you so much for letting me know about this *big-hug*

  6. mbak noooov, thanks for sharing those books’ reviews! you are great reading that so many! to be honest, i’m curious of the square persimmon, as you have ever suggested me once, but i haven’t got it yet 😦
    I spent most of my free time for watching DVDs rather than reading like mbak Yana hehehehe…I read a few:
    Hearts in Atlantis: Stephen King
    The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon: SK
    The Naughtiest Girl in the School: Enid Blyton (I love the way she described something)
    The Kite Runner (English version, we had taken turn reading translated one @28 🙂
    To Kill a Mockingbird: Harper Lee
    The Footprints of God: Greg Iles
    then I have Four Past Midnight, Gerald’s Game, Desperation by SK are waiting for me. those are old books indeed but I fallin’ love to SK’s pieces of writing because of your recommendation…thanks
    anyway if you find the Square Persimmon don’t forget to grab one for me 😉

    1. You’re welcome 🙂

      Hehe I spent my free time for online, I only read while riding on buses.
      Whoa you read lots of SK, that means I had spreaded the SK virus wisely 😉
      Isn’t he great or what? He never makes me bored even though I kept reading at least 3 of his books each year…I want to read ALL his books.

      Looking forward to read To Kill a Mocking Bird this year.

  7. Hello again!
    Here’s my list (They are not the best, tho. They are (the only) books I’ve finished to read in 2010. Only four books. yeah, shame on me):

    1. The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown – Before I read it, I suspected the plot would be similar with previous Brown’s books. And it’s right, very typical of Dan Brown. However, I enjoyed some of the mystery and puzzle in the story.

    2. Hate List by Jennifer Brown – I had to read it, coz it’s one of my editing work. haha. Fortunately the story is good. It’s about a teenage girl who suffered psychological pains. She felt she doesn’t belong in school, a place where students only care about their physical appearance. She doesn’t feel right at home, too coz her parents often have a fight. She also got bullied by some students. But then She met this guy who apparently very much alike to her and they became inseparable couple ever since. They secretly made a list of the people and things they hate. But unexpected thing happened. One day her boyfriend showed up in school with a gun in his hand. Then He shot people in the ‘Hate List’ one by one and ended it by shooting himself. Very intriguing, eh? hehe. There are some moral lessons in this novel. I think it’s a good reading for teenagers, teachers and psychiatrists.

    3. Fatima’s Good Fortune by Joanne and Gerry Dryansky – It’s my second editing work, hehe. What attract me at first was its authors. A collaboration writing. And the result is great. I wondered how they collaborate on it. The story is rather drama-romantic-funny. It is set mostly on Paris. Many characters involve in it and have multicultural backgrounds as well. More or less I could imagine how to live in such neighbourhood in Paris. Nice story. The moral lesson: if you sincerely do something good to other people, regardless their backgrounds or how bad they are to you, someday good and happy things happen to you in return.

    4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – I don’t have to explain this any further. It’s a great story. Wait until you read it. My comment is just… Atticus is a perfect resemblance of justice. He would have made a great leader/President if such person exist in this world 🙂

    I have one more book. But I haven’t finished it. I’ll tell you anyway to complete my list into 5. hehe.

    5. Honeymoon with My Brother by Franz Wisner – It’s about a guy who was left by his fiancee just days before the marriage. He is extremely broken heart, sad and kind of depression. But his brother came to cheer him up and suddenly they made a crazy plan. Its purpose is to make a difference, an act to improve their own lives. They were making a trip around the world with minimum budget. Well, I just read until that part. hehe sorry. The story is very interesting. And I asked my self why I couldn’t finished it. May be because I read the Indo translation version. But I promise to myself I’m gonna finished it soon. Wish me luck!

    1. Thank you for sharing your short book list Yan 😉

      You should number it by order of preference, which one you like the most. I believe To Kill a Mocking Bird will be your best book in 2010, right?

      Wulan recommend Honeymoon with My brother to me, but I understand why you can’t finish it,book really lost their charms once they are being translated. I understand that ever since I started reading in English.

      Was it Hate List or Fatima’s Good the ones that has bad translation?
      Has the book you edited come out yet?

      1. Ah! sorry nov, I forgot to put it based on preference. My bad. Oh yes, I like to kill a mocking bird the most 😉

        The one that got bad translation is Fatima’s Good Fortune. Both books haven’t published yet. Huhu, I’m looking forward to it. Hopefully both would be best-selling *fingers crossed*

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