The 2010 Almost Made My Top Ten Reads List
Although these ten books didn't make my top ten list for a variety of reasons (which I'll explain as I go along), they're are all books worth mentioning.
Believing in Faeries by Marcia Niger Mager
I bought this book because the concept of a fairy book for grown ups intrigued me. I wasn't sure what I'd end up with, I half expected to find out I'd wasted my money. Au contraire, I was pleasantly surprised. I was delighted. It didn't make my Top Ten because it was edged out by The Faeries' Oracle and because it's obviously not a book for everyone, but it's full of natural whimsical wisdom.
Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
These next two books vied with Bones of Faerie for the Top Ten list in my YA spot. Any of the three could have been picked, they're all worth reading. This one was offered to me by a friend and I thought it would be friendly of me to accept it. I assumed I would like it well enough. I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did. It's set in the most fantastical steampunk alternate history, circa WWI Europe. It's book one of a trilogy. The second book, Behemoth, was just as exciting. The third book won't be available until Autumn 2011 - oh, the impatient waiting!
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordon
This book has had more than it's share of positive reviews. A movie was made from it, which was fun as well. I prefer the book, as I usually do, and look forward to reading the rest of this series. It uses ancient Greek mythology in urban fantasy adventures.
Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire
This is my favorite new urban fantasy series. There are so many of them out there these days, I'd love to try many of them. This one I picked up as I thought I'd enjoy the San Francisco Bay Area backdrop. I do. And I enjoy the characters. Really well rounded and quirky and not just another "more of the same" magical creatures. I just finished the second book in the series, A Local Habitation. I think there's a third book just out now as well. It didn't make it into my top ten because... well, series books usually don't. On rare occasion. Perhaps a stand alone book has to put all it's punch in at once and makes a bigger impression.
Real Murders by Charlaine Harris
Another new series I started and enjoyed this year. You all know this author from her more well known Sookie Stackhouse series, which made it big after it was picked up as the basis for the HBO show Trueblood. Unlike Sookie's paranormal plots, these are vampire free cozy whodunits. Don't expect too much depth, they're like potato chips - lots of satisfaction, quick to get through, easy to read a bunch at a time. I finished the entire Aurora Teagarden series this year. Real Murders is the first book.
Turn Coat by Jim Butcher
The Dresden Files is one of my favorite series. This is the latest in paperback. I'm all caught up now and reduced to waiting impatiently for a new book to come out to get my Dresden fix. I know it's in poor taste to complain that the author isn't cranking them out fast enough but... hurry, hurry, write more Harry Dresden! If you want to start this series, the first book is Storm Front.
Murder in the Latin Quarter by Cara Black
And another of my top favorite series, waiting for my yearly fix of the protaganist Aimee Leduc as she races around Paris discovering bodies and fleeing danger. The first book in this series is Murder in the Marais.
Trader by Charles de Lint
This didn't make my top ten because it didn't knock the top two or three of my favorite de Lint titles out of their place. Otherwise I'd just automatically put all the de Lint I read in my top list. And it's nice to mix it up a bit, let some other authors have a turn. Still, this one squeezes up pretty close to my favorite de Lints. Several people warned me it was a good read but NOT one of their favorites by this author because of it's darker plot. I found just the reverse, that was what made it a great read.
French by Heart by Rebecca Ramsey
This one I considered, up with Traveling with Pomegranates. But it was clear Traveling with Pomegranates would get the first slot as I had a much stronger personal connection to the themes in it and it had both the pleasure of the travel experience plus a second layer of spiritual meaning. Still, French by Heart was a delightful read. I read it because I wanted something for my Francophile appetite, I wasn't expecting much more than a fun set of family escapades set in France. It was much more than that though - I really loved the people I "met" and the stories were endearing and tender. If she came out with another book I'd grab it up!
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
This one fought for the top list in place of Her Fearful Symmetry. It really could have gone either way. I think Her Fearful Symmetry won out because it haunted me more - ooooh bad pun. The Forgotten Garden wasn't quite what I expected from reading the back cover description. It was a touch more standard multi-generational saga, not something I usually read although I'm not sure why, I've enjoyed the ones I have tackled. Maybe because they tend to fall in the romance genre. But it was intriguing and rich and full of interesting characters. Although I was pretty sure I'd figured out some of the mysteries, it still had me uncertain until the end.