My Favorite Books of 2010

I won’t speak for the best books of 2010 (if you’d like to read some people who do, read lists here, here, or here), but I can speak for my favorites, and here they are:

Two Serious Ladies – Jane Bowles

This novel is now one of my favorite books. I wrote extensively about how much I loved it right after I finished it this spring.

Here – Wislawa Szymborksa

I love this collection of poetry. I’ve been reading and rereading it for weeks now, and I’m thoroughly looking forward to having it with me for years to come.

Both Ways Is The Only Way I Want It – Maile Meloy

This is a terrific collection of short stories. Achingly intense situations, spare writing that spares no one (least of all the reader), this is one of the books I recommended most to people this year. I hope some of them read it and that at least a few loved it as much as I did.

King Lear – Shakespeare.

I don’t know why I’ve read King Lear so many times in 2010 (by so many, I mean I’ve read through it completely twice and returned to parts of it far more often) but somehow this play has been integral to the fabric of my thoughts this year. So many of its themes (self-knowledge, loyalty, friendship, madness, fools and foolishness, aging, loss) have played important roles in my thoughts and writing over the past twelve months.

———–

Oh So Honorable Mentions: The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner; Sirens of Titan, Kurt Vonnegut; The Savage Detectives, Roberto Bolano; The Idiot, Fyodor Dostoevsky; Just Kids, Patti Smith; The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis; Sakura Park, Rachel Wetzsteon; The Open Road, Pico Iyer; The Complete Julian of Norwich; 9 Stories and Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters, by J.D. Salinger; Sonnets from the Portuguese, Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

I also really loved 36 Arguments for the Existence of God, The Anthologist, the writings of Marcus Aurelius, Don Paterson’s Rain, A House and Its Head, Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking, and rereading Milton’s Paradise Lost. I could go on, but I won’t.

I haven’t kept up with this blog very well over the past few months. Most of the major blog-related projects I attempted were abandoned rather speedily. But I actually think that’s for the best. I guess we’ll find out in 2011. Happy New Year!

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2 thoughts on “My Favorite Books of 2010

    • Yes – – actually I watched it again this year after reading the play for the second time. I don’t like the 3rd season as much as the first two, but the scenes from Lear are incredible. “Devastating and beautiful” indeed. Even though it only shows bits of the play, every time William Hutt (the actor who plays the actor who plays Lear – ha! that was fun to write) delivers Lear’s lines, I got goosebumps. I also watched the Ian McKellan version, and my favorite, Grigori Kozintsev’s Russian film version. Maybe I’ll try and find one of the scenes from Slings and Arrows on youtube, to post here. Also, how are you Karyn? Happy New Year!

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