Nathan Bransford, Author


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What Was Your Favorite Book Published in 2010?

It's been a great year in books, whether you were reading pixels or ink, and it's always fun to look back at the year that was.

Two books that were of great significance to me in my former life as an agent (and current life as major fan of my former clients) were released in 2010, Jennifer Hubbard's The Secret Year and Lisa Brackmann's Rock Paper Tiger, and both belong on every best-of year-end list ever anywhere as they're quite thoroughly awesome.

If I had to choose a non-former-client book that was my favorite of 2010, well, I'd have to go with the overdog and cast my vote for Jonathan Franzen's Freedom.

What about you?






135 comments:

Amy said...

Song of Scarabaeus by Sarah Creasy was my favorite book released in 2010

Ben said...

Sean Ferrell's Numb.

kellye said...

2010 has been a great reading year, and it's always hard to choose just one, but I will: The Sky Is Everywhere, a debut contemporary YA by Jandy Nelson. I read it months ago and it's still bubbling inside me.

Emily White said...

Crescendo, by Becca Fitzpatrick.

Anna Brakoniecka said...

Amalia Angellinni's "Lovefool - I(m)mortal" (part II in the Lovefool's trilogy).

Andrea said...

Oddly, the only book I read this year that was also published this year was 'The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World'...so I guess my answer is that.

Shelley Watters said...

The Hunger Games Series.

Stephanie said...

So so SO easy! "Rules of Attraction" by Simone Elkeles. I am in love with the "Perfect Chemistry" series. I can't wait for "Chain Reaction" to come out in 2011.

Lisa said...

ROOM

or

I'D KNOW YOU ANYWHERE

wishy the writer said...

The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall (liked it much more than Franzen's Freedom)

Jenny said...

Yay to Jennifer Hubbard's The Secret Year!

Mockingjay was probably the other standout for me.

Lisa said...

Oh - and ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS for YA!

Layton Green said...

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

minawitteman said...

REVOLUTION by Jennifer Donnelly.

Rachel said...

Clockwork angel- Cassandra Clare, a YA novel with BRILLIANT dialouge.

Ciara said...

I think I'd have to go for True Things About Me by Deborah Kay Davies.

Lena Coakley said...

Hmmm. Just sticking to books that were published in '10, I'd have to go with Erin Bow's debut, Plain Kate.

Tchann said...

Gail Carriger's Blameless.

The woman makes me rabid about reading.

christine said...

I HATED Franzen's Freedom.

Loved Stockett's 'The Help'.

abc said...

Right near the end of of Freedom and I can't imagine it not being my favorite. I also loved Mockingjay.

Jared X said...

How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu. I'm not quite sure how he pulled it off.

MJR said...

It's so tough picking one...

I loved FREEDOM also. I was one of those Jonathan Franzen skeptics, but decided to read it anyway.

I also liked THE IMPERFECTIONISTS by Tom Rachmann (Funny/sad novel)

I just read ROCK PAPER TIGER last week--loved that one, too.

I read a bunch of great nonfiction books and memoirs, including THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS (not sure if that's exact title) and JUST KIDS by Patti Smith

swampfox said...

Didn't read any book this year. I spent every spare minute writing.
And it feels great!

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld. Although Holly Black's White Cat was awesome as well.

Michelle Miller said...

First Changes by Jim Butcher. Second Blackout and All Clear by Connie Willis.

MLZ said...

My absolute fav was CAPTIVE SPIRIT by Liz Fichera. Very different from the usual historicals. I loved it.

Tracy said...

LAST SACRIFICE by Richelle Mead.

Sad to see the series come to an end, but can't wait for the next to start!

Rick Daley said...

Dave Barry's I'LL MATURE WHEN I'M DEAD.

I loves me some funny.

zehra said...

Just Kids by Patti Smith

Kathy said...

I loved Cassandra Clare's Clockwork Angel. It made me laugh and almost cry.

I also enjoyed Mackingjay, though I can't say I loved, I was still glad to finally get closure with the trilogy.

I am also sure I will love Behemoth when I finally get to read it. You can't go wrong with Scott Westerfeld.

Fadzlishah Johanabas said...

I can't believe no one mentioned "The Half-Life of Planets" by Emily Franklin & Brendan Halpin. The book's an absolute blast!

Oh. Loved reading "The Secret Year". Bought it in hardcover, too.

Reading "Towers of Midnight" right now. The year's not over, and there are plenty more amazing books published is year out there.

Book I read this year that made a huge impact: "Th1rteen R3asons Why" by Jay Asher. Brilliant. Wrote to Jay Asher to thank him for writing it, and he actually replied!

Weronika Janczuk said...

ROOM by Emma Donoghue, hands down. :-)

Also really loved THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE by Jandy Nelson.

The Red Angel said...

House Rules by Jodi Picoult. :)

Frankie said...

Kraken by China MiƩville

About solving the heist of a giant squid corpse and stopping Armageddon. How can you not love it?

Shopgirl said...

The Help wins it for me.

Though I do also love

"The Imperfectionist" and
"The Lonely Polygamist"

Bryan Russell (Ink) said...

The Tiger, by John Vaillant. Which was wonderful.

Though it should be said (not to take anything away from that book) that I often seem to be a year or so behind in my reading. Stuff that first comes out, often in hardcover, in 2009 will be stuff I'm reading in trade pb in 2010 -- fabulous books like Shayne Jones' Lightboxes and Dave Eggers' Zeitoun.

Bryan Russell (Ink) said...

Oh, and it should be a given, Rock Paper Tiger!

Scott Marlowe said...

Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey comes to mind.

lora96 said...

Mockingjay. I liked the first two books but I thought Collins' conclusion was elegant. Never have I read a book I anticipated so excitedly and not been disappointed...until now.

Runner Up: The Girl Who Chased the Moon

Kathleen said...

Room by Emma Donoghue. It was compelling and a beautiful commentary on a mother's love.

Stephanie Garber said...

I also really liked Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Claire. I think I liked this better than any of her books in the MI series.

And I'm kind of embarrassed to admit it, but I also thought Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter was a very fun read... highly entertaining.

Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

Easy. Kings of the Earth by Jon Clinch.

lexcade said...

probably The Windup Girl. it's pretty freaking brilliant once you figure out what's going on.

Nicole said...

Hands down Towers of Midnight by Brandon Sanderson (and Robert Jordan).

hellis72 said...

My favorite read of 2010 was BREAK by Hannah Moskowitz. That book made me want to write again.

Stephanie McGee said...

I have two:

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
Cinders by Michelle Davidson Argyle

The latter is a novella which she self-published. This led to a contract with a small press for her debut novel. Which has in turn led to her announcement today on her blog about a further opportunity in her publishing life.

Chuck H. said...

Since the last book I read was published in 1967 (H.Beam Piper's Little Fuzzy) I'm a bit behind in my reading. Maybe I can recommend something next year.

Debbie said...

ROOM by Emma Donoghue. I'm still thinking about it 2 months later. So much that I wrote a blog post about what I learned from it about writing on my blog: www.theyremakingmeblog.blogspot.com

As a writer, I want to have that kind of effect on my readers.

Kristi Helvig said...

In YA, I loved BEFORE I FALL by Lauren Oliver.

Lexi said...

Remix by Lexi Revellian - yup, that's me, but after a year of submissions, I've self-published, and since August have sold 3,500 copies, mostly for Kindle in the UK.

How could that not be my favourite book?

Kathryn said...

"The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake" by Aimee Bender or "Sum: 40 Tales From The Afterlives" by David Eagleman. Also, "The Hunger Games" books.

Gryvon said...

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
Sandman Slim by Richard Kadry

literating said...

well, it's not a book, but it's the only 2010 publication I've purchased this year.

This was the first year I subscribed to the new yorker.

Gretchen said...

I read Freedom based on your recommendation. I'm apparently just not a Johnathan Franzen fan. I do think he's a brilliant writer, but I can't say I enjoyed the book. I appreciated it from an intellectual standpoint, but not really in an "I love this book!" kind of way. I felt the same way about The Corrections.

I think The Secret Year sounds more like my thing. I still need to read it!

kourtneyheintz said...

Paige Shelton's Farm Fresh Murder. Great mystery. Awesome writing.

kourtneyheintz said...

Paige Shelton's Farm Fresh Murder. Great mystery. Awesome writing.

reader said...

I just finished A FRIEND OF THE FAMILY, by Lauren Grodstein.

Hands down, best I've read all year.

Pam Harris said...

Room by Emma Donoghue of The Absolute Value of -1 by Steve Brezenoff.

Wild Child said...

Quite honestly, I haven't read it yet, but it's set in a place I know well. OLD WORLD MURDER by Kathleen Ernst. I hope to read it soon. It's very cool that the setting is an actual real place I know every inch of.

Kathleen said...

yay! I love this Q - I always get such good recs.

My fave this year was How To Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu

totally awesome and brilliant. hilarious and heartbreaking.

K. M. Walton said...

Adult best: It's a tie
ROOM by Emma Donoghue
and
THE MAGICIANS by Lev Grossman

YA best: THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE by Jandy Nelson.

Kathryn Packer Roberts said...

That's a tough one to answer. I have read so many great books this year. I guess I would say Mary E. Pearson's THE ADORATION OF JENNA FOX. That was pretty great. But I love James Dashner's work as well.

Kimber Leszczuk. said...

Room by Emma Donghue

Dust by Joan Francis Turner

Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

and Punk Minneapolis by Peter Joseph Swanson

Tim Riley said...

I have to agree with you Nathan-Freedom was the best book I read this year. I think it lived up to the hype and then some.

T. E. said...

I'm telling everyone I know about WHO FEARS DEATH by Nnedi Okorafor. A must-read for its compelling and strong female protagonist.

D.G. Hudson said...

I read several books this year but only one was published in 2010 - a writing book - Showing & Telling by Laurie Alberts. Scenes and summaries are discussed in detail in this informative book.

For writing purposes, I was gathering data for a future novel while travelling this year. My fiction reading only included a few 2009 books, but I'm thinking of perhaps picking up Franzen's FREEDOM in the near future.

I still have one Hemingway, one M. Atwood, and D. Galbaldon waiting to be read. Eventually, I'll catch up.

Laura said...

I'm kinda over the whole Franzen writing the best book ever thing. I tried the Corrections and hated it.

I'd have to say Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver was brilliant and I'm surprised it hasn't shown up here yet. She's an amazing writer and her next book Delirium will totally put her in the top of her game.

She's one to watch.

Rebecca Stroud said...

Don't know if it was published in 2010, but the best book I read this past year was The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (and the two follow-ups). Fabulous author who is no longer with us...sad.

Jen Albin said...

Mockingjay !

robin said...

THE CANDIDATES, by Inara Scott (YA paranormal)

I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU SOMEONE ELSE, by Erin McCahan (YA contemporary)

THE VEIL OF NIGHT, by Linda Howard (confession: I only read a couple of adult books this year -- adult romantic suspense)

Thad said...

Uh, did you read Freedom? Terrible book.

John said...

This year, the best read was Parrot and Olivier in America by Peter Carey. It's become an all-time favorite.

Other awesome books were Memory Wall by Anthony Doerr and Bloodroot by Amy Greene.

Gina said...

Linger by Maggie Steifvater. It's the second in her Wolves of Mercy Falls series, and they are the kind of books you run out and buy for anyone you think might read them, because you know they're missing out if they don't.

Also, I read The Secret Year and thought it was phenomenal. It's a keeper.

twittertales said...

Scott Westerfeld's YA steampunk adventure trilogy book 2, "Behemoth" (the first is "Leviathan").

Louise Curtis

Kate said...

Nic Pizzolatto's Galveston. Hands down.

Mira said...

I'm not done with Rock, Paper, Tiger yet, but it's wonderful. Wow.

And I'm waiting for A Secret Year to come out on e-book format.

I really enjoyed Terry Pratchett's Unseen Academicals. Supposedly it was published in 2009, but I read it in 2010, so that counts. I also re-read all of Jane Austen's books. They were pretty good too.

Kathleen B. said...

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan. No question. I've read that book four times since Amazon delivered it to my dorm the day it came out.

T. Anne said...

I agree THE SECRET YEAR by Jennifer Hubard was a great book! I can't wait for Jen's next book to come out.

I enjoyed so many great novels this year I can honestly say it was a good year for books.

Ronnie said...

Kings of the Earth by Jon Clinch

E.Maree said...

"Mockingjay" wasn't the ending I was hoping for, but I read it as a whole with the other two books and the Hunger Games trilogy just blew me away. Definitely the books I've burned through fastest this year.

GhostFolk.com said...

SKIPPY DIES. Paul Murray.

aardvarkian.com said...

The Passage, by Justin Cronin. Enough said.

Porter Anderson said...

In a Strange Room by Damon Galgut, published in 2010 and a Booker finalist. Stunning first/third-person narrative, disturbing and unapologetically intelligent.

Jennifer R. Hubbard said...

I always have a hard time picking favorite books, especially over as long a time as a whole year. I read so many novels and nonfiction books.

But poetry doesn't get as much attention, so I'll call out an outstanding poetry book and an excellent verse novel I read this year:

BORROWED NAMES, by Jeannine Atkins
THREE RIVERS RISING, by Jame Richards

I agree about ROCK, PAPER, TIGER.

And finally, thank you not only for mentioning THE SECRET YEAR, but for supporting it from the beginning. It's been a book of great significance in my life as well! And I so appreciate the kind words from the commenters on this thread.

Jen said...

Hmm, toss up between Mockingjay and Rick Riordan's The Red Pyramid.

Gina R. said...

PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ by A.S. King (YA fiction) was a huge hit both with my teenage son, his friends and me.

CindyLou said...

Changes by Jim Butcher. Harry & Mabs...nuff said.

lahn said...

Emma Donoghue's ROOM -- brilliant!

J. T. Shea said...

We still have two weeks to go, Nathan! Who knows what might be published before New Year's Day?

I can't make up my mind yet, but I agree with Susan Kaye Quinn and Twittertales that Scott Westerfeld's YA steampunk novel BEHEMOTH is excellent.

Lady Jane said...

You know, I don't think I read a single book that was published this year. I had enough books to read simply by going through my 2009 list that more books wasn't an option.

Jil said...

The Horse Dancer by Jojo Moyes and Cutting for Stone. I don't know when Stephenie Meyers' "The Host" came out but I just listened to it and, against expectations, really enjoyed the idea that the invaders were a better and kinder race than the humans.

Caroline Starr Rose said...

LIVES LIKE LOADED GUNS: EMILY DICKINSON AND HER FAMILY'S FEUDS

Jil said...

OOps, The Help was great!

LynnFC said...

All the Girl Books...Tattoo, Fire through Hornet's Nest along with all three movies...

Bree D said...

Loved The Poisoner's Handbook... by Deborah Blum and The Help. Didn't love Freedom.

Sally Jo said...

Mockingjay.

The first two books blew my mind--the third was disappointing, but it was still a great book and the most eagerly anticipated title for me in YEARS.

Bill Az said...

Empire of the Summer Moon (NONfiction of course).

Merri Royce-Kadetsky said...

I was disappointed in more than I liked (The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo, Freedoms, Mockinjay was so-so and sorry Nathan but I think Rock,Tiger was good but not great). I'm reading Grisham's The Confession now & it's really good but I think the surprise was I found a fantastic indie (sorry again Nathan!) and it was so good I just bought 2 paperbacks for Christmas gifts for friends of mine in Chgo (I read it as an ebook) because it's set in Chgo (I used to live there so that was fun too) and I even pd extra for faster shipping. It's January Moon and it was really very good. My husband is reading it now and he agrees.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but I want to write about my non-favorite book. I know I am in the vast minority, but I think Freedom sucks, starting with the lame title. No question Franzen can write, but given how short and difficult life is, do I really need to spend countless hours reading about such uninspiring characters? The answer is no. We need writers who
lift our spirits, not depress them.

sally apokedak said...

The Charlatan's Boy, by Jonathan Rogers.

MG frontier fantasy that is great for a the whole family as a read aloud.

laurasibson said...

I can't do favorites. I can never choose just one. So it has to be a three-way tie between Matthew Quick's SORTA LIKE A ROCK STAR, Jandy Nelson's THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE and Jennifer Donnelly's REVOLUTION.

Jim Bessey said...

My vote goes to Lee Child's latest Jack Reacher novel, "Worth Dying For".
Pure it's-a-guy-thing pleasure to read.

Terin Tashi Miller said...

Can't help weighing in on this one. You did leave it wide-open, and at least one commenter mentioned a self-published novella.

So. My favorite book that came out in 2010?

"Down The Low Road," by me.

Watch out, Franzen...:)

Beckony said...

2010 was a really good year, but my favorite was Finny by Justin Kramon. It was gorgeously written, a joy to read, and only the third book ever to make me cry.

Susan Cushman said...

"The End of the World As We Know It" by Robert Goolrick and My Reading Life by Pat Conroy. For 2009: Lit by Mary Karr and The Help by Kathryn Stockett.

Donna Weaver said...

"The Towers of Midnight" by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson.

Joanna van der Gracht de Rosado said...

There were many great books written in 2010 and mine (Magic Made in Mexico) can't hold a candle to most but nonetheless, it was absolutely my very favorite! The "best" book? ROOM gets my vote.

wendy said...

I've read nada books that were published this year. Too busy being a full-time carer for my mother. Some of those mentioned sounded my thing, though. Freedom, I'm curious about.

Myrna Foster said...

I love getting recommendations from the comments. It looks like I need to read ROOM and FREEDOM. My favorite was ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS, by Stephanie Perkins, but there were a lot of great ones this year.

hannah said...

HER AND ME AND YOU by Lauren Strasnick.

hannah said...

Oh, and hellis72--BREAK was 2009, but thank you so, so much.

Dan Holloway said...

The Dead Beat by Cody James
http://eightcuts.wordpress.com/collaborate/coming-in-2010/the-dead-beat-by-cody-james/
A heartbreaking, hilarious, humane story of a dead beat trying - and by and large failing - to get his life in order in late 90s San Francisco - given the setting, maybe one you'd enjoy, Nathan

Anonymous said...

Pat Conroy's MY READING LIFE. Conroy knows how to put a word in its place.

Timothy Fish said...

Whosoever Will from B&H Academic.

Elena said...

"Just Kids" by Patti Smith

Anonymous said...

Going Rogue: An American Life by Sarah Palin

Anonymous said...

My favorite was the Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell. The breadth of it was amazing. Plus, it had a monkey named William Pitt.

Laurie Boris said...

The Help was stultifyingly good (although I think it came out last year?) I wanted to love Freedom. I enjoy Franzen's writing style but I hated all of the characters. Just wanted to slap them. And I felt he was making fun of a couple of characters...looking down on them. That really turned me off. On the bright side, I'm getting some great ideas for what to read next from all of these comments!

Michelle said...

My favorite book of 2010 is the one that I've written, but you did say "published"....

I'll have to go with "Scumble," by Ingrid Law. It's the second book in an MG series.

M.E. Pickett said...

I guess I'll have to put in a plug for the book I'm reading right now:

THE PASSAGE by Justin Cronin

It's the first book that has ever made me miss by subway stop.

Layla Morgan Wilde said...

Only one? After reading and posting photos of 200+ books over the past year, it's all a blur. I'm currently reading The Help and loving it.

Random Chick said...

You get so many damn comments not sure you'll even read this one but here's mine:

"Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary" By David Sedaris

Lyn Miller-Lachmann said...

One Crazy Summer, by Rita Williams-Garcia.

N. Gemini Sasson said...

A DOG'S PURPOSE, by Bruce Cameron.

chloe said...

THE LAST DAYS OF PTOLEMY GREY by Walter Mosley. FREEDOM was two hundred pages too long, full of unlikeable characters and a wee bit too much in love with itself. Sorry.

cwsherwoodedits said...

For adult books, a tie between The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender and Room: A Novel by Emma Donoghue.

For YA, The Death Day Letter by Shaun David Hutchison.

For MG, Palace Beautiful by Sarah DeFord

Anonymous said...

Like you, Nathan, I loved "Freedom"--the story, the characterizations, and was blown away by the brilliance of the writing in handling the time frames. What a talent! Also loved "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay" for the same reasons, which I also read in this year. But then I like BIG books. Unfortunately, publishers don't.

Clare WB said...

I wrote the comment about
"Freedom" and "Kavalier and Clay". Not sure why my comments published as anonymous. No doubt my lack of skills with anything technical. Have a Happy Holiday, Nathan. Thanks for keeping up your blog. We miss your agent tips, but still enjoy hearing from you.
Clare WB

Other Lisa said...

Thanks for the kind words for ROCK PAPER TIGER. As Jennifer said, that was a pretty meaningful one for me too! It wouldn't have happened without you (Nathan) and I am continually gratified by the responses the book has received.

Loved THE SECRET YEAR, and Jenn, one of these days I'm going to come to your neck of the woods and get it autographed.

I want to read FREEDOM and ROOM but haven't yet. I am terrible at remembering what I read and favorite anythings, but a book that made a big impression on me this year (though not published this year) was NEVER LET ME GO. Powerful like a depth charge...

Geoff said...

I'm really loving China Mieville's KRAKEN, but I haven't quite finished it yet.

Francy said...

The Poet-John Serpent-available on Kindle-Amazon or http://stephenstoller.com
I became hysterical crying at the end-I had no idea that a book can do this anymore/I traveled with the Poet M THROUGH TWO-HUNDRED PAGES-past/violence/ hope and futility/Aids/drugs/sex /it sings and I appreciate when an auther can ring the reader out.

Steve Bradley said...

"Elegies for the Brokenhearted" by Christie Hodgen. I bought it on a whim after reading a short blurb about it on a blog. I was intrigued by the fact it is written in second person. It's not the sort of material I usually read, but I loved it so much I read all of Hodgen's back catalog and enjoyed it as well.

Denise said...

I've read so many great books this year, but the one that still lingers is FINNY by Justin Kramon. An incredible debut novel by such a talented young writer. The book made me laugh and cry--all on one page. I'll be recommending this one for a long time.

Marjorie said...

The "marjorie-cartoons":

http://marjorie-cartoons.blogspot.com/2010/12/happy-holidays.html

Barrywrites.blogspot.com said...

My best read, by far, is The Fountain Head by Ayn Rand

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