2010 Year in Books

1. Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris. Mystery.

“I’d been waiting for the vampire for years when he walked into the bar.”

2. Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris. Mystery.

“At some point between eight o’clock, when Andy had arrived at Merlotte’s, and ten the next morning, when I arrived to help open the bar, Andy’s car had acquired a new passenger.”

3. Club Dead by Charlaine Harris. Mystery.

“But the pain in my middle was the unmistakable pain of rejection. I knew the feeling so well, it was like a second skin.”

4. Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris. Mystery.

“I just hope not to be beaten up . . . . My resolution is to stay out of trouble.”

5. Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris. Mystery.

“I knew my brother would turn into a panther before he did.”

6. Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris. Mystery.

“After all the years of wanting people to take me seriously, understand my freakish talent, I found I didn’t enjoy being taken seriously after all.”

7. Little Nothings: The Prisoner Syndrome by Lewis Trondheim. Comics.

“Today I learned about Prisoner’s Syndrome. It’s when someone’s locked up and isn’t doing anything. By not doing anything, he gets more and more tired and has less and less desire to do anything. It also happens in ordinary life. To ordinary folk . . . to artists . . . with old people especially . . . I think I’m going to agree to do more festivals all over the place.”

8. Everard’s Ride by Diana Wynne Jones. Novella/children’s.

“The strange things began to happen just before Christmas, when Cecilia turned sixteen.”

9. Twelve Sharp by Janet Evanovich. Mystery.

“Sometimes people are a big surprise . . . . Sometimes the surprise turns out to be good. And sometimes the surprise turns out to be bad. And sometimes the surprise is just friggin’ confusing.”

10. Lean Mean Thirteen by Janet Evanovich. Mystery.

“For the last five minutes, I’d been parked outside my cousin Vinnie’s bail bonds office in my crapola car, debating whether to continue on with my day, or return to my apartment and crawl back into bed. My name is Stephanie Plum, and Sensible Stephanie wanted to go back to bed. Loco Stephanie was thinking she should get on with it.”

11. Truly, Madly by Heather Webber. Mystery.

“There comes a time in every girl’s life when she realizes her father isn’t perfect.”

12. The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart. Children’s.

“Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?”

13. Romancing Miss Bronte by Juliet Gael. Fictionalized biography.

“When she finally decided to send out [the manuscript] again, she was in a defiant mood; she scratched through Newby’s name om bold, inky strokes and wrote to the side of it:’Smith, Elder & Co., 65 Cornhill, London.’ Charlotte disliked untidiness in all its forms, and such carelessness was against her nature; but it seemed to her, disheartened as she was, that her Professor was not good for much more.”

14: Little Nothings: Uneasy Happiness by Lewis Trondheim. Comics.

“Finding happiness in these extreme conditions is feasible, but knowing that one has it and yet anguishes over the attempt to preserve it, isn’t that proof of a nice bit of mental deficiency?”

15. The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey by Trenton Lee Stewart. Children’s.

“Everyone looked at the envelope then, wondering where in the world–and into what unknown dangers–it was to take them.”

16. The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly. Fantasy.

“Before she became ill, David’s mother would often tell him that stories were alive. They weren’t alive the way that people were alive, or even dogs or cats. People were alive whether you chose to notice them or not, while dogs tended to make you notice them if they decided that you weren’t paying them enough attention. Cats, meanwhile, were very good at pretending people didn’t exist at all when it suited them, but that was another matter entirely. Stories were different, though: they came alive in the telling. . . . They wanted us to give them life.”

17. Motor Mouth by Janet Evanovich. Mystery.

“Happens to me all the time…People are always underestimating my dumbness.”

18. All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris. Mystery.

“The Shreveport vampire bar would be opening late tonight.”

19. Enchanted Glass by Diana Wynne Jones. Fantasy (young adult).

“He had not realized that such a simple thing could be so powerful.”

20. From Dead to Worse. Charlaine Harris. Mystery.

“I want to be first. I know that’s selfish, and maybe unattainable, and maybe shallow. But I just want to come first with someone. If that’s wrong of me, so be it. I’ll be wrong. But that’s the way I feel.”

21. Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones. Fantasy (young adult).

“It is not easy to plan a campaign against a man who lives in another world and organizes his tours from there.”

22. Year of the Griffin by Diana Wynne Jones. Fantasy (young adult).

“Nothing was going right with the wizard’s university.”

23. In A Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson. Travel.

“This is a country that is at once staggeringly empty and yet packed with stuff. Interesting stuff, ancient stuff, stuff not readily explained. Stuff yet to be found. Trust me, this is an interesting place.”

24. Soulless: The Parasol Protectorate #1 by Gail Carriger. Fantasy.

“Miss Tarabotti was not one of life’s milk-water misses–in fact, quite the opposite. Many a gentleman had likened his first meeting with her to downing a very strong cognac when one was expecting to imbibe fruit juice–that is to say, startling and apt to leave one with a distinct burning sensation.”

25. Sabriel by Garth Nix. Fantasy (young adult.)

“‘I am the Abhorsen,’ Sabriel said, reluctantly. ‘Enemy of the Dead.'”

26. Lirael by Garth Nix. Fantasy (young adult).

“Lirael closed her eyes, screwing them tight as she willed herself to See the future. Everyone else her age had the Sight. Many younger children already wore the white robe and the circlet of moonstones. It was unheard of not to have the Sight by fourteen.”

27. Abhorsen by Garth Nix. Fantasy (young adult).

“It was three hundred years since a King and a Queen had been slain on the streets of Corvere.”

28. The Gates by John Connolly. Fantasy (young adult).

It sounds like this portal has some of the qualities of a black hole, and some of a wormhole. Theoretically, again, it shouldn’t exist, but then demons shouldn’t exist either, and yet one is drinking tea with us at this precise moment”

29. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. Travel.

So I decided to [hike the Appalachian Trail]. More rashly, I announced my intention – told friends and neighbors, confidently informed my publisher, made it common knowledge among those who knew me. Then I bought some books… It required only a little light reading in adventure books and almost no imagination to envision circumstances in which I would find myself caught in a tightening circle of hunger-emboldened wolves, staggering and shredding clothes under an onslaught of pincered fire ants, or dumbly transfixed by the sight of enlivened undergrowth advancing towards me, like a torpedo through water, before being bowled backwards by a sofa-sized boar with cold beady eyes, a piercing squeal, and slaverous, chopping appetite for pink, plump, city-softened flesh.”

30. The Crimson Petal and the White. Michel Faber. Literary fiction. Historical.

“Watch your step. Keep your wits about you; you will need them.”

31. The Apple. Michel Faber. Literary fiction. Historical.

“Reading, by its very nature, is an admission of defeat, a ritual of self-humiliation: it shows that you believe other lives are more interesting than yours.”

32. Under the Skin. Michel Faber. Literary fiction. Science fiction.

“Isserley always drove straight past a hitch-hiker when she first saw him, to give herself time to size him up. She was looking for big muscles: a hunk on legs. Puny, scrawny specimens were no use to her.”

33. Eat. Pray. Love. Elizabeth Gilbert. Travel. Memoir.

“I wish Giovanni would kiss me.”

34. Charmed Life. Diana Wynne Jones. Children’s. Fantasy. (re-read)

“But you’ve been awfully careless–four gone already, and only five left. You must take more care. you’re in danger from at least two directions, did you know?”

35. Carmilla. Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. Gothic. Horror. (novella)

“I am now going to tell you something so strange that it will require all your faith in my veracity to believe my story. It is not only true, nevertheless, but truth of which I have been an eyewitness.”

36. Writing Fiction for Dummies. Randy Ingermanson and Pete Economy. Writing Reference.

“So you want to write a novel?”

37. The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure. William Goldman. Fiction (fantasy).

“True love is the best thing in the world, except gum drops.”


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