I hope Santa found all of you and that you’ve been enjoying a wonderful and relaxing holiday surrounded by family and friends. My blogging (and commenting) has been limited due to the fact that I’m at home visiting my family and friends in Nova Scotia. Each day has consisted of sleeping in, eating, watching holiday movies, drinking with friends, eating, hanging out with my folks and more sleep.
As the end of the year approaches, I always look forward to the year-end countdowns on the radio and the articles that mention the books that we should have read in 2010, so in fine form, I thought I’d include a list of my top 1o books that I loved and recommended to all of you and my book club, the KIRBC. Feel free to include a list of your top 10 books of 2010 in the comment field.
Izzeldin Abuelaish’s story will make you realize that the little things that we all take for granted can seem somewhat immaterial. Dr Abuelaish spends countless hours crossing back and forth to practice medicine from Israel to his hometown of Gaza. Even though Dr. Abuelaish is allowed entry into two countries, it is on very special circumstances due to the fact that a war breaks out between Israel and Gaza. This war takes the life of 3 of his children and his niece. Dr. Abuelaish describes it as a haunting experience but through it all expresses his urge to bring awareness to the events happening in third world countries. His story is heart wrenching and powerful and one I won’t forget for years to come.
Another powerful and shocking book, “Little Bee” will leave you with your hand covering your mouth in shock and despair. This is the story of Little Bee and Sarah, who first meet on a Nigerian beach and experience an event that will leave you horrified. Chris Cleave doesn’t explain the events that took place on that beach until the end of the story, after we follow Little Bee to England where she and Sarah are reunited. The two women form a bond unlike any other and relive the events that took place every time they look in one another’s eyes. It is a story that is navigated beautifully and after reading it, you’ll understand whole heartedly why it had to make the top 10.
First things first, can I just say that I’ve always been a fan of Sheree Fitch, she’s delightful and she’s written memorable children’s books like “Toes in my Nose” and “Sleeping Dragons All Around“, so when a coworker recommended I read her newest YA novel, “Pluto’s Ghost” how could I resist? In Fitch’s newest novel, she tells the story of Jake who has just learned through the rumour mill that the love of his life, teenager Skye is pregnant with his child. Before Jake has the opportunity to discuss this with her, he hears that she has travelled to Halifax Nova Scotia to abort the child. We then go on a trek with Jake to find Skye and what we find out leaves the reader surprised. It was charming and you’ll come to develop a soft spot for Jake within a couple of pages.
Terry Fallis’ novel had to make the top 10, because it was by far the funniest book I read this year. This is the story of Angus, Daniel and a world of politics. As a stipulation to leaving the world of politics, Daniel is requested to find a candidate to run as the newest leader of the Liberal Party. Knowing that his landlord (and friend) Angus doesn’t have a hope in hell of winning, he urges him to run as an easy out. However, things take a drastic turn when the shoe in winner is caught in a huge scandal and Angus is now in a seat of power. Together, Angus and Daniel both head into a world that neither of them had bargained for and what happens will not only leave you smiling, but will leave you laughing out loud on more than one occasion.
On the first page of this novel, we enter a newfound friendship between Major Pettigrew (a respected man in his town) and Mrs. Ali. The two form a friendship that revolves around past experiences, literature and love. Even though the two find instant happiness with one another, their town and families are not happy about the union, because of the differences between them when it comes to class and race. Feeling like they are being forced to choose between their worlds and love, the two flip things up in such a way that it leaves you feeling bewildered and a little bit in awe. It definitely deserves a spot in the top 10 for Helen Simonson’s charming wit and unconventional story of love.
By now I’m sure most of you have seen “The Social Network” staring my boyfriend, Justin Timberlake, but did you know that the story of “The Social Network” was based on Ben Mezrich’s book, “The Accidental Billionaires”? I read “The Accidental Billionaires” before I ever knew there was going to be a Facebook movie and I loved this novel! It is the story of the rise to fame and success from the dorm room of a Harvard resident. Mark Zuckerberg, “Time’s Person of the Year 2010“, created the phenomenon known as Facebook and this is the depiction of what went on in the beginning and when it started to gain success. Although, Zuckerberg didn’t contribute to the events that take place in this novel, many of the people who were involved with the world of Facebook, happily provided their version of the events for Ben Mezrich and it made it one of the most interesting reads that I’ve read this year.
David Nicholls hit it out of the park when he came up with the concept of his novel, “One Day”. On July 15th of every year (beginning in 1988) we are brought into the life of Dexter and Emma, a pair that meet after a one night stand and continue to keep in touch over the years. They go through the trials of tribulations of any friendship, but the beauty of their relationship is that they both love one another and what ends up happening will require you to keep a box of kleenex nearby. This book is also going to be adapted into a movie and will be theatres in the fall of 2011. It will star Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess.
This is one of those books, that no matter what paper you read and what bus you got on, everyone was reading this book. After hearing all the rave reviews, I bought a copy for my sony reader and read the book in one sitting, because I couldn’t put it down. It was one of the most gripping and nail-biting stories I’ve ever read. This is the story of Jack and Ma, who live in Room. Room is a small shed in the back of a child abductors home and Ma and Jack live a life of solitude in this small shed. When Jack gets old enough to help Ma escape, they work together to escape Room even though Jack has never stepped a foot outside Room and basic concepts are foreign to him. It’s a brilliant novel that is unlike anything I’ve read before!
This book is a great Christmas read as well as a great YA novel. After both Dash and Lily have been left at home for the holidays, they get in touch with one another in a very unconventional way. Lily places a red Moleskin book filled with a note and a dare for whoever finds it, thus beginning the story of Dash and Lily. Both travel the city streets of New York city over the holidays daring the other’s to go out of their comfort zone and try something new. A whirlwind romance begins in the note pages of the red notebook and I’ve been recommending it to everyone over the holidays because it’s an enchanting story that makes you smile as you turn each page.
Was it any surprise that this was going to be my #1 choice of 2010? I loved this book and I’ve been recommending it to everyone since I read it in August. It is the story of Old Man Hung who is a hard-working man living in Vietnam. He makes pho for the local people and he is a respected not only for his food, but because he has a kind soul that goes far beyond the call of duty. He is quite close to a middle-aged man named Bing, who he’s known since he was a child and their relationship is like father and son. He is also quite close to Bing’s son Tu. This unconventional family has been faced with numerous obstacles over the years, but together with Maggie, a US resident, once from Vietnam, they form a team of sorts that is able to face anything that comes their way. This book will make you think about what’s really important and to always treat others with love and respect.
So there you have it readers, my top 10 favorite books of 2010. It was a great reading year and I’m excited to continue to share book reviews in the year 2011. As mentioned before, I’d love it if you all participated in sharing your favorites of 2010.