My Favorite Books of 2010

Just like movies in 2010, there are five books that received the coveted 5-Star Stegmaier rating. It’s actually been a really good year for books. There were two huge disappointments (Frederick Reiken’s Day for Night and Suzanne Collins’ Mockingjay), but aside from those two, I loved pretty much all of the 14 books I read. Here are my top five:

1. The Passage by Justin Cronin: This is the book that I found the hardest to put down this year, and by chance it’s also the biggest. This is an extremely well written, expansively constructed book about a virus that pretty much ends the world.

2. City of Thieves by David Benioff: Who knew that you could write a buddy comedy set during the Siege of Leningrad? Benioff does the opposite of what Cronin did–he wrote a slim, sparse, focused novel about two Russians on a mission to find a key object.

3. The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell: What would it mean for religion if we discovered that aliens were real and reachable? Russell explores this topic in this magnum opus.

4. Rework by Jason Fried: It took an amazing book by the 37signals founder to trump Dan Ariely’s Predictably Irrational, and this is that book. This is the business book that I want to pass around to everyone I know.

5. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood: This may be the best constructed book I’ve read in a long time. You know the ending as soon as the book begins, but it opens up so many questions about how it happens that you have to keep reading. Atwood reveals the answers at the perfect times.

2011 portends be a big year in books, with both Patrick Rothfuss and David Anthony Durham coming out with new novels. I can’t wait!

What were your favorite books of 2010?