Mephistopheles of Pancakes (gruyere) wrote,
Mephistopheles of Pancakes

Books of 2010

The books I read in 2010
Title, Author (Translator and Language, where applicable). Genre. Source format. Start date-End date. Page count.

Items with asterisks were read for B&N Recommends. I didn't read anything for school this year.

  1. Four Freedoms, John Crowley. Novel. New hardcover. 1/1-1/8. 389 pages.
  2. The Snow Fox, Susan Fromberg Schaeffer. Novel. Used paperback. 1/2-1/15. 440 pages.
  3. Complete Stories, Roald Dahl. Short stories. New hardcover. 1/9-2/10. 877 pages.1
  4. "The Tornado Bandit," Anne Corbitt. Issue 129 of One Story. 1/15. 25 pages.
  5. Here, Bullet, Brian Turner. Poetry. New paperback.1/16-3/18. 73 pages.2
  6. Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, Seth Grahame-Smith. Novel. New galley. 1/16-1/19. 336 pages.
  7. The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil, George Saunders. Novel. New paperback. 1/20. 130 pages.
  8. In Sunlight, in a Beautiful Garden, Kathleen Cambor. Novel. Used paperback. 1/20-1/25. 258 pages.
  9. The Swan, Elizabeth Egloff. Play. New paperback. 1/21. 47 pages.
  10. Twelve Dreams, James Lapine. Play. New paperback. 1/22. 57 pages.
  11. Bone in the Throat, Anthony Bourdain. Novel. Used paperback. 1/26-1/29. 290 pages.
  12. Grasses of a Thousand Colors, Wallace Shawn. Play. New paperback. 1/29-1/30. 88 pages.
  13. A Changed Man, Francine Prose. Novel. Used paperback. 1/30-2/5. 429 pages.
  14. Prophet, Thomas Bradshaw. Play. New paperback. 2/5. 41 pages.
  15. *The Red Thread, Ann Hood. Novel. New galley.2/6-2/9. 306 pages.
  16. *Girl in Translation, Jean Kwok. Novel. New galley. 2/9-2/12. 290 pages.
  17. *The Scent of Rain and Lightning, Nancy Pickard. Novel. New galley. 2/12-2/14. 319 pages.
  18. Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. Novel. Used hardcover. 2/14-2/15. 183 pages.
  19. The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Mohsin Hamid. Novel. Bargain hardcover.2/16-2/17. 18 pages.
  20. The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, Tom Angleberger. Novel. New galley. 2/16. 141 pages.3
  21. Saving Fish from Drowning, Amy Tan. Novel. New hardcover. 2/18-2/24. 480 pages.
  22. The Haunting of Hill House, Shirley Jackson. Novel. Used paperback. 2/18-2/23. 246 pages.
  23. Nothing But a Smile, Steve Amick. Novel. New hardcover. 3/24-3/4. 320 pages.
  24. Outlaw School, Rebecca Ore. Novel. Used paperback. 2/26-3/5. 310 pages.
  25. The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet, Reif Larsen. Novel. New hardcover. 3/26-3/20. 376 pages.4
  26. The Dechronization of Sam Magruder, George Gaylord Simpson. Novel. Used paperback. 3/7-3/9. 149 pages.
  27. Bad Dirt: Wyoming Stories 2, Annie Proulx. Short stories. Used paperback. 3/9-3/11. 219 pages.
  28. Revolutionary Road, Richard Yates. Novel. Used paperback. 3/11-3/16. 337 pages.
  29. Sinatraland, Sam Kashner. Novel. Used paperback. 3/16-3/21. 192 pages.
  30. The Dark Volume, Gordon Dahlquist. Novel. New hardcover. 3/21-3/30. 508 pages.5
  31. The Left Left Behind, Terry Bisson. Novella and a play. New paperback. 3/22. 121 pages.
  32. Everything Here Is the Best Thing Ever, Justin Taylor. New paperback. 3/22-3/27. 185 pages.
  33. The Birth of Venus, Sarah Dunant. Novel. Used paperback. 3/27-4/5. 418 pages.
  34. The Manual of Detection, Jedediah Berry. Novel. New hardcover. 3/31-4/7. 278 pages.
  35. A Pale View of Hills, Kazuo Ishiguro. Novel. Used paperback. 4/6-4/7. 183 pages.
  36. The Lost City of Z, David Grann. History. New paperback. 4/8-4/18. 329 pages.
  37. Phantom Pain, Arnon Grunberg (translated from the Dutch by Sam Garrett). Novel. Used paperback. 4/8-4/13. 277 pages.
  38. Haussmann, or the Distinction, Paul LaFarge. Novel. Used paperback. 4/13-4/27. 382 pages.6
  39. Drinks Before Dinner, E.L. Doctorow. Play. Used paperback. 4/14-4/15. 67 pages.
  40. Jerusalem, Jez Butterworth. Play. New paperback. 4/18-4/19. 109 pages.
  41. Pygmy, Chuck Palahniuk. Novel. New hardcover. 4/20-4/25. 241 pages.
  42. A Very Common Procedure, Courtney Baron. Play. New paperback. 4/25-4/26. 44 pages.
  43. Jennifer Love Hewitt Times Infinity, Kevin Fanning. Short stories. New chapbook. 4/28. 27 pages.
  44. *Red Hook Road, Ayelet Waldman. Novel. New galley. 4/29-5/5. 343 pages.
  45. Shit My Dad Says, Justin Halpern. Autobiography. New galley. 4/29-4/30. 158 pages.
  46. Twenty Grand and Other Tales of Love, Rebecca Curtis. Short stories. Clearance paperback. 5/4-5/9. 258 pages.
  47. Manhood for Amateurs, Michael Chabon. Autobiography. New hardcover. 5/6-5/12. 306 pages.
  48. The Bucolic Plague, Josh Kilmer-Purcell. Autobiography. New galley. 5/9-5/12. 304 pages.
  49. Looking for Alaska, John Green. Novel. New galley. 5/13-5/14. 237 pages.7
  50. The Marrowbone Marble Company, Glenn Taylor. Novel. New galley. 5/14-5/21. 358 pages.
  51. Mathilda Savitch, Victor Lodato. Novel. New hardcover. 5/15-5/16. 292 pages.
  52. Awkward 1, edited by Clay McLeod Chapman, Jeffrey Dinsmore, and Kyle Jarrow. Fiction anthology. New paperback. 5/17-5/19. 83 pages.
  53. A Lie of the Mind, Sam Shepard. Play. Used paperback. 5/17-5/18. 157 pages.
  54. Everything Was Possible, Ted Chapin. Theatre history. New paperback. 5/21-5/28. 336 pages.
  55. Matterhorn, Karl Marlantes. Novel. New galley. 5/22-6/3. 599 pages.
  56. The Roaches Have No King, Daniel Evan Weiss. Novel. Used paperback. 5/28-6/5. 249 pages.
  57. Dutch Heart of Man, Bob Glaudini. Play. New paperback. 6/3. 88 pages.
  58. Nocturnes, Kazuo Ishiguro. Short stories. New hardcover. 6/5-6/6. 221 pages.
  59. Legend of a Suicide, David Vann. Short stories. Used paperback. 6/5-6/10. 250 pages.
  60. Friends Like These, Danny Wallace. Autobiography. New hardcover. 6/7-6/11. 402 pages.
  61. Duck Duck Wally, Gabe Rotter. Novel. Used paperback. 6/11-6/13. 306 pages.
  62. Andromeda Klein, Frank Portman. Novel. New hardcover. 6/12-6/19. 424 pages.
  63. The Case of the Missing Books, Ian Sansom. Novel. New paperback. 6/16-6/25. 329 pages.8
  64. I Drink for a Reason, David Cross. Humor. New hardcover. 6/20-6/21. 240 pages.
  65. The Sheriff of Yrnameer, Michael Rubens. Novel. New hardcover. 6/21-6/25. 271 pages.
  66. Walks With Men, Ann Beattie. Novel. Ebook read at work. 6/23-6/25. 102 pages.9
  67. Homer and Langley, E.L. Doctorow. Novel. New hardcover. 6/26-6/28. 208 pages.
  68. And Another Thing..., Eoin Colfer. Novel. New hardcover. 6/28-7/2. 274 pages.
  69. Total Oblivion, More or Less, Alan DeNiro. Novel. Used paperback. 6/29-7/3. 306 pages.
  70. Mr. Dixon Disappears, Ian Sansom. Novel. Promo paperback. 7/3-7/9. 256 pages.10
  71. A Merry Band of Murderers, edited by Claudia Bishop and Don Bruns. Fiction anthology. New hardcover. 7/3-7/9. 314 pages.11
  72. Voss, or How I Come to American and Am Hero, Mostly, David Ives. Novel. New hardcover. 7/10-7/12. 200 pages.
  73. The Fourth Sister, Janusz Glowacki (translated from the Polish by the author and Eva Nagorski). Play. 7/12-7/13. 89 pages.
  74. The Book Stops Here, Ian Sansom. Novel. New paperback. 7/13-7/16. 307 pages.12
  75. Strange Attractors, Rebecca Goldstein. Short stories. Used galley. 7/16-7/23. 285 pages.
  76. Liar, Justine Larbalestier. Novel. New hardcover. 7/17-7/19. 376 pages.
  77. Stories, edited by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio. Fiction anthology. Ebook read at work. 7/22-10/1. 428 pages.13
  78. An Object of Beauty, Steve Martin. Novel. New galley. 7/23-7/25. 292 pages.
  79. Horns, Joe Hill. Novel. New hardcover. 7/26-7/31. 270 pages.
  80. The Professor's Daughter, Emily Raboteau. Novel. Used paperback. 7/27-8/3. 276 pages.
  81. There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor's Baby, Ludmilla Petrushevskaya (translated from the Russian by Keith Gessen and Anna Summers). Short stories. Promo paperback. 8/3-8/6. 213 pages.
  82. Collected Stories, Lydia Davis. Short stories. New hardcover. 8/4-8/30. 733 pages.
  83. *Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, Tom Franklin. Novel. New galley. 8/12-8/14. 335 pages.
  84. *The False Friend, Myla Goldberg. Novel. New galley. 8/15-8/16. 253 pages.
  85. *City of Tranquil Light, Bo Caldwell. Novel. New galley. 8/17-8/19. 290 pages.
  86. The Birthday Party, Stanley N. Alpert. Autobiography. Used paperback. 8/19-8/25. 324 pages.
  87. The Bad Book Affair, Ian Sansom. Novel. New paperback. 8/27-9/1. 348 pages.14
  88. *The Neighbors Are Watching, Debra Ginsburg. Novel. New galley. 9/1-9/5. 321 pages.
  89. *The Sherlockian, Graham Moore. Novel. New galley. 9/6-9/9. 351 pages.
  90. *Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand. Biography. New galley. 9/9-9/16. 408 pages.
  91. The Hound of the Baskervilles, Arthur Conan Doyle. Novel. Used paperback. 9/17-9/18. 208 pages.
  92. The Spiderwick Chronicles: Completely Fantastical Edition, Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black. Five novels. New hardcover. 9/19-9/25. 569 pages.15
  93. Dogfight: A Love Story, Matt Burgess. Novel. New galley. 9/19-9/25. 290 pages.
  94. Charlatan, Pope Brock. History. Used paperback. 9/26-10/3. 302 pages.
  95. 36 Arguments for the Existence of God, Rebecca Goldstein. Novel. New hardcover. 9/27-10/9. 402 pages.
  96. I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, Tucker Max. Autobiography. Ebook read at work. 10/3-11/15. 330 pages.
  97. White Apples, Jonathan Carroll. Novel. Used paperback. 10/6-10/12. 300 pages.
  98. Book of Clouds, Chloe Aridjis. Novel. Used paperback. 10/12-10/14. 209 pages.
  99. Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk, David Sedaris. Short stories. New hardcover. 10/13-10/15. 159 pages.
  100. Glass Soup, Jonathan Carroll. Novel. Used paperback. 10/15-10/19. 309 pages.16
  101. Awkward 2, edited by Clay McLeod Chapman, Jeffrey Dinsmore, and Kyle Jarrow. Fiction anthology. New paperback. 10/16-10/19. 104 pages.17
  102. The Great Typo Hunt, Jeff Deck and Benjamin Herson. Autobiography. New hardcover. 10/20-10/24. 269 pages.
  103. How to Read the Air, Dinaw Mengestu. Novel. New galley. 10/21-10/30. 308 pages.
  104. Leviathan, Scott Westerfeld. Novel. New hardcover. 10/26-11/5. 440 pages.
  105. Room, Emma Donoghue. Novel. New galley. 10/30-11/3. 321 pages.
  106. Lovesick, Jake Coburn. Novel. Stripped paperback. 11/4-11/5. 228 pages.
  107. I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President, Josh Lieb. Novel. New hardcover. 11/6-11/7. 303 pages.
  108. Free for All: Joe Papp, the Public, and the Greatest Theatre Story Ever Told, Kenneth Turan and Joseph Papp. Theatre history. New hardcover. 11/8-11/19. 574 pages.
  109. One Day, David Nicholls. Novel. New PB galley. 11/8-11/20. 437 pages.
  110. I Killed, edited by Ritch Shydner and Mark Schiff. Humor. Used paperback. 11/22-11/24. 182 pages.18
  111. Aspects of Love, David Garnett. Novel. Used paperback. 11/22-11/24. 182 pages.
  112. When They Come for Us We'll Be Gone: The Epic Struggle to Save Soviet Jewry, Gal Beckerman. History. New galley. 11/23-12/6. 539 pages.
  113. Mountain Man Dance Moves: The McSweeney's Book of Lists, edited by John Warner. Humor. Ebook read at work. 11/24-12/1. 224 pages.19
  114. Bee Season, Myla Goldberg. Novel. Used paperback. 11/27-12/7. 275 pages.
  115. Pump Six and Other Stories, Paolo Bacigalupi. Short stories. New paperback. 12/7-12/11. 239 pages.
  116. Girl in Hyacinth Blue, Susan Vreeland. Novel. Used paperback. 12/12-12/14. 252 pages.
  117. The Oracle of Stamboul, Michael David Lukas. Novel. New galley. 12/15-12/17. 300 pages.
  118. Enigma Variations, Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt (translated from the French by Jeremy Sams). Play. New paperback. 12/17. 51 pages.
  119. House of Sand and Fog, Andre Dubus III. Novel. Used paperback. 12/18-12/22. 351 pages.
  120. American Woman, Susan Choi. Novel. Used paperback. 12/22-12/30. 369 pages.
  121. Murderers, Jeffrey Hatcher. Play. New paperback. 12/30. 37 pages.
  122. The Steward of Christendom, Sebastian Barry. Play. New paperback. 12/30-12/31. 53 pages.

  1. Technically not complete, as it doesn't include the stories that make up The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More, nor the two that composed Two Fables.
  2. Yes, a book of poetry. I read poetry this year. I blame Nicholson Baker. Also Michael Silverblatt.
  3. Adorably, this galley actually came with an origami Yoda.
  4. Elaborately illustrated by the author, but not a graphic novel.
  5. Sequel to the underrated (if a little overwritten) Glass Books of the Dream Eaters. And, it would seem, there's at least one more volume to go, judging by the end of this one.
  6. LaFarge's father Tom was my English teacher in my senior year of high school. His course on experimental writing is effectively the reason I love Oulipo and other experimental work as much as I do.
  7. "New" does not necessarily mean "recent."
  8. First volume of the Mobile Library Mysteries.
  9. The ebooks were all read on the store's Nooks during my shifts at the table.
  10. Second volume of the Mobile Library Mysteries.
  11. An anthology of short mysteries by authors who are also musicians--or is it a CD of songs by musicians who are also authors? Either way, the contributors include Rupert Holmes, Val McDermid, Jeffrey Deaver, and a variety of other writers known and less-known.)
  12. Third volume of the Mobile Library Mysteries.
  13. A collection of original short stories by a ludicrous selection of writers: Roddy Doyle, Joyce Carol Oates, Joanne Harris, NeilGaiman, Michael Marshall Smith, Joe R. Lansdale, Walter Mosley, Richard Adams, Jodi Picoult, Michael Swanwick, Peter Straub, Lawrence Block, Jeffrey Ford, Chuck Palahniuk, Dianna Wynne Jones, Stewart O'Nan, Gene Wolfe, Carolyn Parkhurst, Kat Howard, Jonathan Carroll, Jeffrey Deaver, Tim Powers, Al Sarrantonio, Kurt Andersen, Michael Moorcock, Elizabeth Hand, and Joe Hill.
  14. Fourth volume (the last so far, but I'm hoping for more) of the Mobile Library Mysteries.
  15. All five books of the series in one volume with plenty of bonus material--cut chapters, concept art, et cetera.
  16. I actually started this one a few weeks earlier, but abandoned it when I realized that it was the sequel to White Apples, so I grabbed a copy of that one and read it first. Glad I made Glass Soup slightly less impenetrable.
  17. Neither volume of Awkward contains any authors of particular note other than Chapman and Jarrow--which doesn't mean that the stories aren't good. Many are very good indeed. Thus, the other authors: Heather Clitheroe, Matthew David Brozik, Nadja Stokes, Joshua Citrak, Ben Langhinrichs, Shari D. Frost, Paul Kavanagh, Jennifer Gravley, Jeffrey Dinsmore, Wayne Scheer, Michael Cipra, Lynnette D’Amico, Robert Cole, Joanna Whitmarsh, Ben Bush, Greg Pierce, John Harrower, James Veitch, Bruce Harris, G.K. Wuori, Rachel Lieberman, Vinnie Penn, Joseph Carfagno, and Honor Rovai.
  18. A collection of comedians' "stories from the road," with more contributors--famous and less so--than can possibly be named.
  19. The pagecount for this one is taken from Amazon--unlike with the other books I read on Nook, I didn't have a physical copy of this one to refer to.

Various Tallies

Individual books read: 122
Books read for the first time: 122
Books read partly or wholly for school: 0
Titles from: Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter through White Apples
Authors from: Alpert, Stanley N. through Yates, Richard
Books read in translation: 4

Source Count
  • Bargain: 1
  • Clearance: 1
  • New: 77
  • One Story: 1
  • Promo: 2
  • Strip: 1
  • Used: 35
  • Read at Work: 4

Format Count
  • Chapbook: 1
  • Ebook: 4
  • Galley: 26
  • Hardcover: 31
  • One Story: 1
  • Paperback: 58
  • Paperback Galley: 1

Genre Count
  • Autobiography: 5
  • Biography: 1
  • Essay Collections: 1
  • Fiction Anthologies: 4
  • History: 3
  • Humor: 4
  • Miscellaneous: 1 (This is The Left Left Behind, which is a novella and a play.)
  • Novels: 74 (78 if you count each volume of The Spiderwick Chronicles separately.)
  • One Story: 1
  • Plays: 13
  • Poetry: 1
  • Short Stories: 12
  • Theatre History: 2

Total pages read: 33,772
Average Pages per Day: 92.53
Average Pages per Book: 276.82
Average Days per Book: 2.99


Eight Books That Could Make Good Musicals: The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil, Twelve Dreams (I tried, and I'll probably try again), Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist (after a fashion--the film would adapt much more effectively), The Haunting of Hill House, Nothing But a Smile (despite the complete lack of an ending), Revolutionary Road, Glass Soup and White Apples (sort of--borrowing elements of the plots and characters and reforming them into something more coherent would work)
One Book That's Already Been Made Into a Musical: Aspects of Love
One Book That Could Make a Good Opera: House of Sand and Fog (I have half a mind to start working on a libretto, actually)
My New Favorite Thing, Maybe, 2010 Edition: The books of Ian Sansom. His Mobile Library Mysteries are a complete delight. His earlier books aren't in print in the US, alas.
It's Hilarious, I Swear: Pygmy. You just have to get past the fact that it's nearly unreadable, thanks to its being written in pidgin English.
It's Hilarious, But I'm Ashamed to Say That: I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell. Tucker Max is a terrible person who should probably be put to death for crimes against humanity. He also makes me laugh uncontrollably.
Ten Other Books That Are Extremely Funny, Rather More Comprehensible, and Rather Less Embarrassing: The Left Left Behind, Jennifer Love Hewitt Times Infinity (for a certain value of comprehensible), Shit My Dad Says, I Drink for a Reason, The Sheriff of Yrnameer, Voss, The Great Typo Hunt, I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President, I Killed, Mountain Man Dance Moves
Not Bad, But Needed Another Pass: Nothing But a Smile (see aformentioned comment about the lack of an ending), Mathilda Savitch (the first three quarters are extraordinary, but the last chunk is both disappointing and creepy) The Oracle of Stamboul (the actual plot is less than a third of the book, which is otherwise occupied by exposition and description).
Biggest Discrepancy in Quality Between Cover Art and Book: Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, which has an awesome cover and is a sadly mediocre book--an ordinary vampire adventure that just happens to star Abraham Lincoln.
Notable Authors I Read for the First Time This Year: Ann Beattie, Anthony Bourdain, Susan Choi, Lydia Davis, Emma Donoghue, David Nicholls, George Saunders, Amy Tan

Top Ten Books (Alphabetical by Author)

  • Dogfight, A Love Story, Matt Burgess
  • Homer and Langley, E.L. Doctorow
  • Room, Emma Donoghue
  • Bee Season, Myla Goldberg
  • 36 Arguments for the Existence of God, Rebecca Goldstein
  • Horns, Joe Hill
  • An Object of Beauty, Steve Martin
  • One Day, David Nicholls
  • Everything Here Is the Best Thing Ever, Justin Taylor
  • Revolutionary Road, Richard Yates

With special citations for the books that made the longlist: Pump Six and Other Stories, Jerusalem, The Birth of Venus, Looking for Alaska, The Bucolic Plague, Liar, Matterhorn, A Changed Man, The Professor's Daughter, The Mobile Library Mysteries (considered as a unit), Saving Fish From Drowning, and Friends Like These.

For the record, the top four, in order, are Horns, Dogfight, Room, and One Day--the remaining six aren't ordered.

Notably Lousy Books (also alphabetical by author)
  • Book of Clouds, Chloe Aridjis: I've read this book before. Not literally, I just feel like I have.
  • Drinks Before Dinner, E.L. Doctorow: A bunch of characters in a room spouting interchangeable blather. Doctorow's only play, thank god. (And yes, this is sort of like when Brian Helgeland won the Oscar and the Razzie in the same category in one year.)
  • Aspects of Love, David Garnett: At long last, I understand why the musical is so terrible: the book is a pile of crap.
  • Girl in Translation, Jean Kwok: Were you aware that some children of Asian immigrants are overachievers? Congratulations, you just got all there is to get out of this whinefest.
  • Outlaw School, Rebecca Ore: Incoherent. I think that it might have had some sort of deep message, but god only knows what it was.
  • Duck Duck Wally, Gabe Rotter: The only thing worse than a comic novel with no laughs is a comic novel with a few scattered laughs to remind you that you're supposed to be laughing.
  • The Dechronization of Sam Magruder, George Gaylord Simpson: Contains an enormous amount of detail on how one might survive if one were accidentally transported back to the late Cretaceous period. Does not contain plot, character, or prose worth reading.
  • Red Hook Road, Ayelet Waldman: On page 30, I knew exactly where every plot and subplot would be going. By page 300, I had been proven right.

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