Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Which is the Chinese zodiac Year of the Bookworm?

Lots happened to me in 2010--I got a job, for one, though I think we've already been over that--but I'm pretty sure I will always remember it as the year of reading. I typically read about 120 books a year, so it's not like 2010 was the year I learned to read for fun or anything, but still, having a job did wonders for my reading time, and my 2 hour daily commute certainly didn't hurt. (I read new book every day for the first two months at my job, a reading pace that eventually had me looking around for new hobbies.)

After that introduction you're probably expecting some amazing stat about books completed, but really, I only finished 150 books in 2010, and I didn't even come close to completing my life goal of reading every novel that has ever won a Booker prize. (29 down, 15 to go.) I did, however, complete my goal of reading every single article in every single issue of my year's subscription to
The New Yorker, which, frankly, was exhausting: it's a weekly magazine. Weekly!

(On the plus side, I can add "I read a New Yorker article about that once" to my list of most-spoken phrases; whenever I say it now, Mike just laughs and replies, "Of course you did.")

I can't name a favorite New Yorker article, besides "anything by Anthony Lane or Adam Gopnik," but since I keep a list of all the books I read, I thought it would be fun to look back at what I've read and play favorites; plus, I'm obsessed with end-of-year lists and wanted to clutter the internet with my own version...even if it doesn't happen until February. Without further ado, then, I give you the best books I read in 2010, with no particular order to the lists, as that would be too hard.

Fiction Top 10
Matterhorn, by Karl Marlantes
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, by David Mitchell
Sacred Hunger, by Barry Unsworth
A Visit From the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan
Let the Great World Spin, by Colum McCann
The Lonely Polygamist, by Brady Udall
The Post-Birthday World, by Lionel Shriver
A Good Scent From a Strange Mountain, by Robert Olen Butler
The Believers, by Zoe Heller
March, by Geraldine Brooks

Fiction Honorable Mentions

Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi, by Geoff Dyer

Then We Came to the End, by Joshua Ferris

The White Tiger, by Aravind Adiga
Cloudsplitter, by Russell Banks

Non-Fiction Top 10

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot

Kitchen Confidential, by Anthony Bourdain

Game Change, by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin

The Big Short, by Michael Lewis
Delusions of Gender, by Cordelia Fine
Bonk, by Mary Roach
Complications, by Atul Gawande

Manhood for Amateurs, by Michael Chabon

Zeitoun, by Dave Eggers

John Adams, by David McCullough

Non-Fiction Honorable Mentions

The Wisdom of Whores, by Elizabeth Pisani

The White Man’s Burden, by William Easterly

How Women Got Their Curves, by David Barash and Judith Lipton

Discuss amongst yourselves.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Yeah, I Guess

I secretly love it when the New York Times describes my life.

Or do I secretly hate it?

Either way, this article is clearly me, drifting off to Facebook. (In my defense, I have to keep myself in a job, right?)

My apologies, dear readers. Someday I will blog again, I swear.