With the exception of number one, which I started in 2009, this is the archive of the books I read (or started) in 2010. For the books I’ve read or am currently reading, check out The Reading List.
I’ll put an X behind those that I recommend and a XX behind those that I highly recommend. Books with one X will likely only be popular with those who are fans of the genre, while XXs are those I’d recommend regardless of genre preference.
35. Towers of Midnight
by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson (23 Dec 2010) – XX (but read the first 12 first) —–This is the thirteenth volume in The Wheel of Time series — the whole series is fantastic. I am eagerly awaiting the fourteenth and final book.
—–A great collection of four stories by the Master, who gets his Dark on. As the title implies, there is not much happy happy, joy joy here.
—–Kind of difficult to get into this as it was written in 1859 and that English and style of writing doesn’t flow as easily to my eyes. Taking a break for my new Stephen King book at no. 34. Will likely come back to this one at some point.
—–Year Seven –but mostly not at Hogwarts. A fantastic finish to a grand series of adventures.
—–Year Six –Another great book brings the death of a main character and a discovery of a way to potentially defeat Voldemort for good.
—–Year five –Have you seen the 101 Dalmations with Jeff Daniels where the little kid tells him that a good villain in a video game doesn’t just make you dislike him, he makes you want to utterly destroy him? D. J. Umbridge fits that role of villain perfectly.
—–Year four –The introduction of other wizarding schools, The Tri-Wizard Cup, murder, and “He’s” back… in the flesh.
—–Year three — things are getting a bit darker. Still good stuff.
—–Year two for Harry at Hogwarts. Doesn’t matter how many times I read these, they are great stories.
—–Michael Crichton tells very good tales –this one based on real people. Once the action gets started, it’s one thing after another for Captain Hunter and his crew.
—–The Haunted Lands trilogy is off to a good start. Good fighting, multiple plot lines. While I’m not crazy about his writing style at times, it’s worth reading if you’re into D&D-based fantasy.
—–Fantastic book that launched the 7 book series and introduced “The Boy Who Lived” to the world.
—–17 Essays on Stephen King’s writing through about 1985 with brief commentary between essays by Mr. King. He also provides the foreward. Interesting to read what these folks had to say over 20 years ago about Stephen King, his writing, and the movies made from those works.
—–I read this first about 10 years ago when it was newly published and I’d love to give this two Xs, but the casual reader probably isn’t going to find this exciting. Honestly, it won’t have much appeal to fans of Stephen King’s work unless they are also writers/aspiring writers. I liked it very much, though.
—–I almost didn’t give this book an X as a recommended read. My problem is that there seemed to be a lot of repetition in this book. There weren’t many times that struck me as “hadn’t thought of that” or “good point” moments. There are lots of exercises at the end of every chapter, a Do and Don’t chapter, and a checklist with which to gauge your dialogue. I don’t usually have a difficult time with dialogue. Maybe that’s why I didn’t find a lot of “Aha!” moments. I can see that it might be helpful to those looking for tips on how to use dialogue, though, which is why I went ahead and gave it an X.
20. Duma Key
by Stephen King (31 Aug 2010) – XX
—–A great read, or should I say, another great read by Stephen King. The master of horror slowly builds the tension until it snaps and the horror is released. It’s like you can see the train coming, but can’t get off the tracks fast enough.
—–I really like this series. It is great for showing kids that they don’t have to be the big, strong, captain of the football team, type of guy to be a hero. This may be my favorite of this series so far.
—–This is a very interesting read. It is a series of articles grouped together by subject to discuss a number of philosophical issues and how they can be argued for/against based on J.K. Rowling’s best-selling Harry Potter series. There were a couple articles that I found dry and rather pointless, but overall, the article selection was thought-provoking.
—–William Shatner’s autobiography is both frank and funny.
15. Emerson (3 July 2010)
—–This is a collection of his writings and essays and speeches and …it wasn’t doing much for me. While some of it was thought provoking, the parts I read were rather dry. Maybe I’ll come back to this some time, but for now, I’m done with it.
14. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes (29 June 2010) – X
—–I’ve read less direct translations of Don Quixote’s exploits and I thoroughly enjoy the stories, but this particular book seems to be a very direct translation and I just couldn’t get into the style of writing. Maybe it’s the translation. Either way, I recommend Don Quixote, but not this version.
by Stephanie Meyer (23 June 2010) – X
—–I re-read this book because the movie (when I read the book) was getting ready to be released. I like to read the books again before I watch the movies so that I can better identify where the book and movie diverge. Like the other books in the series, this one is well written and folks who like the first two will likely enjoy this one, as well.
—–This is the fourth book in the Fablehaven series and I think I like it better than the first book. The first book was great, too, but I like the pace, plot, and twists of this one better.
—–Another good horror story from Simmons. While not really a sequel, it follows up about 40 years after the events in Summer of Night.
—–Good horror story. Kind of reminds me of Stephen King’s ‘It’ in the way it flows and builds suspense.
—–The final chapter that began with Hyperion does a good job of bringing things to a close. Like the third book, Endymion, this story flows much better than the somewhat disjointed tales of the Hyperion Cantos. I liked it.
by Dan Simmons (21 Apr 2010) – X
—–The writing in this book is consistently good throughout. The story was good, as well. While it is beneficial to have read the previous two stories to understand a number of references, it wouldn’t be critical.
—–It’s an interesting book about Dracula, his real life, and how that life has influenced the fiction about him.
6. Hyperion Cantos by Dan Simmons (23 Feb 2010) – X
—–I’m not sure whether to recommend this book or not. It has some great moments, but it also has some very tedious, not-overly-original moments, as well. If you check out the reviews on Amazon they range from best Sci-Fi book ever to burn it. It was ok. I’ve now read it twice and will continue before long with the two others that follow it. All of this having been said, I do like Dan Simmons as a writer.
—–Very good and, although it is over 1,000 pages, it moves along well.
—–An entertaining read. Early teen is probably the target age, but I could probably let my (almost) 9 year old read it.
by Christopher Paolini (18 Jan 2010) – X
—–This is the third book in The Inheritance Cycle –don’t let the movie (Eragon) fool you, the story is great.
—–This is a good installment in the series. It moves the story along well and has some good action.
2. The Gathering Storm
by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson (5 Jan 2010) – XX (but read the first 11 first)
—–This is the twelfth volume in The Wheel of Time series — the whole series is fantastic.
—–I would have to read the series again to be sure, but I think this may be my favorite, so far. I actually got a bit misty-eyed very near the end.
—–if you’ve read the first two, and they’d both be XX, as well