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Random Reads of 2010

AnnH "Random Reader"
The list author says: ""To open a book voluntarily is at some level to remark the insufficiency either of one's life or of one's orientation toward it."
("The Gutenberg Elegies" by Sven Birkerts) DISCUSS"
The Little Stranger
The Little Stranger
"Stephen King - What were you thinking when you said this was your favorite book in 2009? A very long shaggy 'ghost' story."
Fall from Grace (Crime, Penguin)
Fall from Grace (Crime, Penguin)
"There seemed to be loose ends at the conclusion of this story, which is 4/9 of the Karl Alberg mystery series. Still recommended."
The Grave Maurice
The Grave Maurice
"The writing is quotable but the plot is unfinished. Don't read this Richard Jury mystery first."
Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity
Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity
"A cartoon/blogger's creative life discoveries. Insightful enough to spend the short time it takes to read and contemplate."
Just Kids
Just Kids
"Patti Smith fulfills her promise to Robert Mapplethorpe 'to tell their story' of how they grew into artists in the 60s/70s. Worthy."
The Lost Symbol
The Lost Symbol
"A page turning thriller with lots of information about ancient secrets and too much torture. (But I still devoured it.)"
I Capture the Castle
I Capture the Castle
"A charming coming of age story set in a small village in England in the 30s is told through the journals of Cassandra Mortmain during her seventeenth year."
Backwards & Forwards: A Technical Manual for Reading Plays
Backwards & Forwards: A Technical Manual for Reading Plays
"This is an important book for anyone interested in directing, playwriting, or dramaturgy."
The American Theatre Wing Presents the Play That Changed My Life: Americas Foremost Playwrights on the Plays That Influenced Them (Applause Books)
The American Theatre Wing Presents the Play That Changed My Life: Americas Foremost Playwrights on the Plays That Influenced Them (Applause Books)
"If you are passionate about theater, you should read this book. It will help you recall when you first fell in love."
Still Midnight
Still Midnight
"Denise Mina unmasks her characters layer by layer while spinning a police procedural that had me up past my bedtime."
Magic City: A Novel
Magic City: A Novel
"Jewell Parker Rhodes has written historical fiction so compelling and moving that you wonder why you didn't know about the dreadful Tulsa Race Riots of 1921 before."
Leonard Maltin's 151 Best Movies You've Never Seen
Leonard Maltin's 151 Best Movies You've Never Seen
"I had only seen two of the 151 movies recommended so now I have a list of 30 more I have to watch. Check this book out! It's fun to read even if you don't see the movies!"
The Black Cat: A Richard Jury Mystery (Richard Jury Mysteries)
The Black Cat: A Richard Jury Mystery (Richard Jury Mysteries)
"A great escapist read with the caveat that the Richard Jury mysteries build upon earlier books and are better read in some order."
The Lake Shore Limited
The Lake Shore Limited
"Overlapping voices tell the story of a play written in response to 9/11. An engaging story of love and loss."
The Same River Twice
The Same River Twice
"A fascinating tale of intrigue set in Paris with amoral characters who aren't always what they seem to be. A compelling, well-plotted and well-written story. Reminded me a bit of Patricia Highsmith's work."
The Monster in the Box (Inspector Wexford, Book 22)
The Monster in the Box (Inspector Wexford, Book 22)
"An aging Inspector Wexford has begun to dwell on unsolved crimes that haunt him and somehow seem connected to Eric Targo."
The Last Time I Saw You: A Novel
The Last Time I Saw You: A Novel
"A charming fortieth high school reunion tale that tells us how we were, how we are, and how we might be. A lovely read."
One Day (Vintage Contemporaries Original)
One Day (Vintage Contemporaries Original)
"THE BOOK OF THE SUMMER OF 2010 traces, on one specific day of each year, the separate but converging lives of Em & Dex, who are best friends but meant to be together."
The Invisible Bridge
The Invisible Bridge
"A beautifully written, epic love story set before and during World War II in Hungary. You will never forget what ordinary Jewish people were subjected to and the randomness of who survived."
Faithful Place: A Novel
Faithful Place: A Novel
"The third novel of the Dublin Murder Squad after "In the Woods" and "The Likeness". Another excellent story to devour."
Twelve Rooms with a View: A Novel
Twelve Rooms with a View: A Novel
"How do families handle the death of a parent when there is a fabulous apartment overlooking Central Park up for grabs? Unpleasant characters that you can't get enough of!"
Never Look Away: A Thriller
Never Look Away: A Thriller
"Thank you Stephen King for wondering why we hadn't found Linwood Barclay until now. A man takes his wife and 4 year old to the amusement park on a warm summer day and his life begins to unravel. Warning: This book is a page turner!"
I'd Know You Anywhere: A Novel
I'd Know You Anywhere: A Novel
"An unexpected letter from the man who kidnapped her the summer she was sixteen, changes Elizabeth's life again. Why did he let her live? Lippman writes an amazingly suspenseful tale."
The Shadow of the Wind
The Shadow of the Wind
"If you are a passionate reader, you will fall into this story and follow Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer's son, in his quest to learn more about the author of The Shadow of the Wind, a book he has pledged to protect. The phrase "an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love" doesn't completely do justice to this magical tale."
The Angel's Game
The Angel's Game
"A loose connection with the Cemetery of Lost Books brings back the familiar city of Barcelona for this Gothic tale of intrigue and death. Not quite as good as "The Shadow of the Wind" but still worth reading."
The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule
The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule
"A scary, angry book (matching the stridency of the Conservative Right) from the liberal left. You may (or may not)agree with everything Thomas Frank says but the book is well written and researched."
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter: A Novel
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter: A Novel
"A highly literate and well written novel of two boys - one white and one black - who spend a summer together in the late 70s in rural Mississippi. Years later the only way forward is by telling the truth of what happened to them. EXCELLENT!"
Bury Your Dead (Chief Inspector Gamache, Book 6)
Bury Your Dead (Chief Inspector Gamache, Book 6)
"How did it take me so long to discover Louise Penny's Chief Inspector Gamache? One of my top ten for 2010. Quebec becomes a character in this story about the aftermath of a terrible event where mistakes were made."
Index to Murder: A Miss Zukas Mystery (Miss Zukas Mysteries)
Index to Murder: A Miss Zukas Mystery (Miss Zukas Mysteries)
"Another charming addition to the Miss Zukas mysteries and if you know a little about what it's like to work in a library, these books are even more fun. Cozy, humorous stories about librarian Helma Zukas and her artist friend Ruth."
The Hunger Games (Book 1)
The Hunger Games (Book 1)
"A gripping story that is more than just a young adult series. A future world of haves and have nots, requires young people to fight to the death."
Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache Mysteries, No. 1)
Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache Mysteries, No. 1)
"Back to book one of Louise Penny's Chief Inspector Gamache mysteries that I am informed are best read in order. Highly Recommended."
The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration
The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration
"The author, a Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist, has crafted an account of the Great Migration of blacks to Northern cities that is compelling, thoroughly researched, and absolutely readable. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED."