The Bergsons, Swedish immigrants who have settled in Nebraska at the turn of the twentieth century, are determined to survive the wild prairie. Even as many of their friends and neighbors, such as Alexandra’s only friend Carl Linstrum, give up and move away, the Bergsons have become too invested in the rugged land to give up now.
Though I’ve read and reviewed many good books this year, there are several that stood out for me, so I’ve decided to compile a list of my top five books of 2010—enjoy!
Sixteen-year-old John Grady Cole has grown up on his grandfather’s ranch in San Angelo, West Texas. His connection to the land—and to its horses—runs deep in his blood; his family has raised and ridden horses for decades.
The theme of symmetry, of identical identity, is the prevalent them of the book. The relationships between the twins, their aunt and mother (who were also twins), and their neighbors take center stage.
Chef Michel Richard, owner of Citronelle restaurant in downtown D.C., is known for his savory yet unfussy cuisine. But he started out as a pastry chef, and he has returned to his roots in this book of elaborate-looking but surprisingly simple desserts.
I probably don’t need to explain what today’s post is about. I love books, and I love holidays, so… bring on the gifts!
This is probably the best nonfiction I’ve read in 2010. It doesn’t take long to be convinced that the author is someone we should listen to (this man is clearly OBSESSED!!), but more importantly, the book is extremely readable.
Joe Abercrombie’s inaugural work was The Blade Itself in 2006. He followed this up with Before They Are Hanged in 2007 and Last Argument of Kings in 2008. The three books form the First Law Trilogy.
This book gorgeously illustrates love, loneliness, and loss. Niffenegger’s approach to time travel is unique. She uses it to explore the miscommunication and sense of distance that can occur in any relationship, while also discussing the larger issue of what it would be like to live life completely out of order.
How to Read the Air is about failed relationships and imperfect people, and about the lasting effect of relationships on identities—for better or worse. Unfortunately, between the slow plot and the flat characterization, there was very little to draw me into this story, and even less to keep me hanging on. As a big fan of Mengestu’s first book, The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears, I was disappointed in this, his sophomore offering.
The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears is a powerful story of loneliness and loss, but also of renewal and self-discovery. The spare, efficient prose is slow-moving at times, but that only showcases a narrative that is simultaneously rich and raw.
Coraline envelops you in the mystery and magic of a resourceful and imaginative child’s world. It is an excellent modern-day fairy tale that incorporates countless elements of folklore and fantasy.
This was an odd month for me, as you can probably tell by my low reading statistics.
The kit’s contents are snarky and fun if you need a pick-me-up, but you shouldn’t expect any life-changing advice. Baty attempts to prepare you for a month-long writing endeavor with equal parts humor and advice, but the whole thing feels corny. Stick to November, or get a crowd of friends to write with you some other month, and leave this kit on the shelf.
Saturday, November 27, 2010 3:00 p.m. I was planning on making some progress on my books this morning, but I ended up playing outside instead. I’m now on page 130 of The Lotus Eaters, and I’m hoping to get to the halfway point by tonight. Wish me luck!
Happy Thanksgiving weekend, all! Today I’m reading The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli, and so far I’m enjoying it quite a bit.