Historical and Contemporary Romance Author

My Favorite Books of 2010

So, everyone’s been posting their “best reads” lists for the year. I kept putting mine off because I hoped to finish a couple more before the end of 2010 so they could be included on this list. Alas, it’s only five days until the end of the year and I am 99.9% sure I am not going to finish any more books before then. So, without further ado, in no particular order, here are my favorite books of 2010. (No, it’s not a top ten list. It’s a top eight list. That’s not because there couldn’t have BEEN ten I liked enough to mention, but because I’m a slow reader and there are still a LOT of unread 2010 books in my TBR pile!)

I also have a ringer list of a few books pubbed before 2010 that I read this year and wish I’d read long ago:

  • Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell

    Masterpiece Mystery has been airing adaptations of Mankell’s Wallander series, starring Kenneth Branagh in the lead role. I LOVED the first series, which was on back in 2009, so when I saw this book (the first Wallander mystery published) in Barnes and Noble, I bought it on impulse. My husband and I have since been sharing the remainder of the series. I love the spare but evocative writing and the way Wallander solves mysteries not with great flashes of intellect and insight, but through slow and careful thought. If you like mystery novels, you should definitely be reading Mankell!

  • The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer

    Faced with the prospect of losing my “historical romance reader” card for never having read a Heyer, I asked around and was told by several people that this was one of her best. I positively ate it up. I had a few niggles with some of the elements in the story (particularly the evil Jewish money-lender), which I mostly allowed to pass on the grounds that it was written in the 1950s. Overall, though, it was about the most fun I’ve had reading a book in a very long time. (And why isn’t PBS adapting Heyer for Masterpiece Theater, huh? Seems like a natural!)

  • Hank the Cowdog by John R. Erickson

    Yes, a kid’s book made my list of favorites. We’re now reading the second book in this very long series, and, holy cow(dog), I adore them. They are hilariously funny, and it’s absolutely impossible to read them aloud without adopting a “countrified” accent. Now that’s what I call “voice,” people! A special thank you to author Margaret Mallory, who mentioned the series on Twitter. If it weren’t for that tweet, I’d never have known these books existed and that would have been a major loss!


  • Colleen December 27, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    I agree about Henning Mankell – I discovered his books this year, and like his writing very much. (Love it when an author has a long backlist!)
    I started watching the Swedish TV series – and like it much better than the Kenneth Branagh version! Look for it on PBS as “International Mystery.” Highly recommended!

  • Clisby December 28, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    I haven’t read The Grand Sophy – but Heyer is one of the few romance writers I enjoy.

    I think her mysteries are much better, though.


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