Discussion Forums - Mystery & Thrillers

Topic: Top Reads of the Year: Having a Heck of a Time!

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Top Reads of the Year: Having a Heck of a Time!
Date Posted: 12/28/2010 8:38 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
Back To Top

It's almost the end of the year, and every year for the past few, I spend this week between the holidays looking over my reviews for what I've read throughout the year and try to come up with a Top Ten. UGH! This year, it's not going to be easy as I had a LOT of excellent reads and by Friday I'll have finished exactly 200 books. A few years ago, I actually had to do separate lists with a Top Ten Mysteries (since that's the primary genre I read) and then a Top Ten Overall, which is usually mostly 'other' stuff, with a couple of the really stellar mysteries making both lists.

First I go through and make a list of all the books I rated at A+. I admit, I'm an easy grader so this usually is about 20 books or even more. Then I have to think about those and weed out the ones that I am not so sure about with the passage of time. And then I usually end up doing an "honorable mention" list because I'm a wimp and don't want to leave any good ones off. LOL

Anyone else do this? If so, please reserve a spot to post your Top Tens of 2010 here. Or even if you don't do a formal list, but remember a couple of your favorites from the year, post 'em here too. I also do a Bottoms list, but it's usually fairly short as I simply DNF books I'm not liking. The bottoms are anything I slogged through for whatever reason and graded with a C or below.

I'll post my lists when I finally get them done later this week.


Date Posted: 12/28/2010 10:26 AM ET
Member Since: 9/30/2006
Posts: 7,005
Back To Top

Great idea, Cheryl!  I keep a record of the books I read on my public profile each year.  My goal was 115 books, I'll be close by Friday, but won't get to that number.  I should have 111 or 112 done.  I never thought of grading the books after reading them.  I'll try that for next year.  It sure would help come up with the top ten.  I'll work on mine and put them here as soon as they are done.

Date Posted: 12/28/2010 11:36 AM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
Back To Top

I have never done this before because my reading, while copious and steady, is pretty lacksadaisical.  I read a book and then move on.  This year, I kept track on Shelfari, starting in March, and that says that I have read 121 books right now.  I'll probably have a couple more by Friday since I'm listening to one and I picked up a new bedside book last night.

Having said that, I'll look through my Shelfari list and see if I can come up with a list to post by Friday!

Date Posted: 12/28/2010 1:02 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2009
Posts: 2,920
Back To Top

My goal was to read 365 books for the year, but to date I have only read 333, so I will miss my goal by a bit. But I use Goodreads to keep track of mine, so I have them under catagories and could probably come up with a list. 10 of the best though that will be hard!  as I have read so many great books this year.

Date Posted: 12/28/2010 8:56 PM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2008
Posts: 364
Back To Top

Wow, I'm nowhere near those numbers..somewhere between  35 and 50 or so I think... Since mom got sick I haven't read as much as I was.  I'll have to think on the tops ones though...

Date Posted: 12/31/2010 9:57 AM ET
Member Since: 9/30/2006
Posts: 7,005
Back To Top

Here are my top ten for 2010.  I had a difficult time, of course, picking just 10, but I finally decided to pick new authors I particularly enjoyed, as well as a couple favorite authors.  In no particular order (no way I could have come up with that!)

  • The Diva Runs Out of Thyme  -  Krista Davis
  • One Bad Apple  -  Sheila Connelly
  • Spackled and Spooked  -  Jennie Bentley
  • Stork Raving Mad  -  Donna Andrews
  • Farm Fresh Murder  -  Paige Shelton
  • A Timely Vision  - Joyce & Jim Laverne
  • Dead as a Scone  -  Ron & Janet Benvey
  • Buzz Off  -  Hannah Reed
  • Sprinkle With Murder  -  Jenn McKinlay
  • God of the Hive  -  Laurie R. King

I ended up reading 112 books - not too bad!

Date Posted: 12/31/2010 10:51 AM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
Back To Top

Okay, I have a top 10 list as well.  The first one on the list is definitely my favorite book of the year but the rest are in no particular order.  Each of the books on the list was chosen because it was particularly well written and I found it to be interesting.  Each one touched me in a way that was particularly memorable.

  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa
  • Nowhere to Run by C. J. Box
  • The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King
  • Junkyard Dogs by Craig Johnson
  • A Beautiful Place to Die by Malla Nunn
  • The Calling by Inger Ash Wolfe
  • A Nail Through the Heart by Timothy Hallinan
  • Still Midnight by Denise Mina
  • A Darker Domain by Val McDermid

Last Edited on: 12/31/10 10:53 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/31/2010 4:12 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
Back To Top

 I track my reading in several places (GoodReads and Shelfari and LiveJournal) so of COURSE I had to do a top 10. It's actually a top 15 though, because I read some amazing books this year. However, it's all science fiction and fantasy, because those are my primary genres; out of 112 books read this year I only read 12 that were strictly mysteries (the twelve for the challenge) even though I love SF/F novels that also feature a mystery plot. So my main top 10 is here if anyone's interested; and my top 5 mysteries (including those cross-genre mysteries) are as follows:

1. The Moonstone, by Wilkie Collins

2. New Amsterdam, by Elizabeth Bear (Review)

3. Ha'penny, by Jo Walton (though Farthing, which I read at the tail end of 2009, was better)(Review)

4. The City and the City, by China Mieville

5. A Free Man of Color, by Barbara Hambly

Date Posted: 12/31/2010 5:13 PM ET
Member Since: 9/30/2006
Posts: 7,005
Back To Top

LeAnne, I hope you continue with Laurie King's series.  I've read them all (and have the next one on my wish list) and just love them.  I'm an old Sherlock Holmes fan, and I find this particular take on Holmes fascinating. 

Date Posted: 12/31/2010 8:53 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
Back To Top

Joy, I have the second one in the series sitting here waiting for me.  I'm sure this is a series that I will continue with. :)

Date Posted: 12/31/2010 11:30 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
Back To Top

Okay, I did my lists...although I admit I cheated a little. And oh--my math was wrong before. i only read 198 books this year, not 200. (That's down from 234 last year....I blame FaceBook. LOL)

TOP TEN MYSTERIES: (in no particular order)

1. Moonlight Downs by Adrian Hyland
2. Finding Nouf by Zoe Ferraris
3. Raven Black by Ann Cleeves
4. The Unquiet Bones by Melvin R. Starr
5. A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny
6. A Nail Through the Heart by Timothy Hallinan
7. Junkyard Dogs by Craig Johnson
8. Let the Dead Lie by Malla Nunn
9. The Calling by Inger Ash Wolfe
10.Medicus by Ruth Downie
11.Blacklands by Belinda Bauer
12.An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear
13.Missing Mark by Julie Kramer
14.Dog On It by Spencer Quinn
15.Christmas Mourning by Margaret Maron

Yes...I know. Math was never my strong suit. :)

TOP TEN "OTHER" (anything not a mystery):

1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
2. Hood by Stephen R. Lawhead
3. Kushiel's Avatar by Jacqueline Carey
4. The Map of True Places by Brunonia Barry
5. Changes by Jim Butcher
6. Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
7. The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
8. Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie
9. Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin
10.Sleepless by Charlie Huston


Our Lady of Immaculate Deception by Nancy Martin
The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson
Mercy Falls by William Kent Krueger
The Stolen Blue by Judith Van Gieson
A Fountain Filled With Blood by Julia Spencer-Fleming
Death of an Englishman by Magdalen Nabb
Stalked by Brian Freeman

The bottoms are just books I finished that were my least favorite, graded C or below. The ones I really didn't like I just didn't finish.

Overall, I think my favorite of the year was a non-mystery, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, first of a YA fantasy trilogy. I just finished that series up, and as a whole was quite a powerful story, but the first one was by far my favorite.


Date Posted: 1/2/2011 11:03 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,633
Back To Top

Okay, I'll give this a try but I also read a lot of good books this year, so this is tough.

My top ten favorites:

1. River of Darkness by Rennie Airth

2.One Last Breath by Stephen Booth

3.In the Blood by Jack Kerley

4.What Remains of Heaven by C S Harris

5.Heresy by S J Parris

6. The Calling AND the Taken by Inger Ash Wolfe (I know - 2 books -but I just can't separate them)

7.The Coroner's Lunch by Colin Cotterill

8.Heartstone by C J Sansom

9.The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets' Nest by Stieg Larsson

10. The Sweetness at the Bottomof the Pie By Alan Bradley

Runners up:

Dog On It by Spencer Quinn

Hypothermia by Arnaldur Indridason

A Murderous Procession by Ariana Franklin

Assassin in the Greenwood by P C Doherty

The Man on the Balcony by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo

Date Posted: 1/2/2011 2:52 PM ET
Member Since: 1/24/2009
Posts: 9,499
Back To Top

I read 96 books this year, which was down from last year.

Top 10 mysteries (order read):

  1. The Watchman by Robert Crais
  2. Blown Away by Shane Gericke
  3. Abby Cooper: Psychic Eye by Victoria Laurie
  4. 61 Hours by Lee Child
  5. Sworn to Silence by Linda Castillo
  6. Death of a Dissident by Sturat Kaminsky
  7. Nowhere to Run by CJ Box
  8. In the Bleak Midwinter
  9. Pray for Silence by Linda Castillo
  10. Lori Armstrong's PI Julie Collins series (Blood Ties; Hallowed Ground; Shallow Grave; Snow Blind)

Non Mystery (no order)

  1. I Am Nujood by Nujood Ali (probably my all time favorite of the year)
  2. The Kitchen Boy by Robert Alexander
  3. Department of Lost and Found by Allison Winn-Scotch
  4. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  5. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  6. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
  7. Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer
  8. Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog by Lisa Scottoline
  9. The Coffee Trader by David Liss
  10. Demon Princess by Michelle Rowen