Five years ago I started blogging, and very soon after I discovered the amazing Top Ten Tuesday prompt that was started by The Broke and the Bookish, and more recently moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. I’ve been doing it off and on, and have really enjoyed finding incredible new books thanks to all of the other bloggers who participate. I’ve decided to do the The Best Books I Read During Each of the Last Ten Years prompt. I’m going to change it a little to “The Best Books I Read That Were Published in the Last 10 Years” since I haven’t been tracking my reading for 10 years and therefore have no idea when I read some of them.
Best of 2010 – The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot – This was one of my very first Staff Picks when I started working at the bookstore. The cover intrigued me, and even though I don’t usually read non-fiction, I needed to learn more about this story. It’s crazy to think that Henrietta had no idea that her cells, taken and used without her consent, would go on to save millions of lives and continues to be used in medical research to this day.
Best of 2011 – Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti by Genevieve Valentine – I picked this book up from a bargain table on a whim because I liked the cover, and fell in love with the very twisted and flawed characters and the poetic nature of the writing. I usually prefer books with a clear plot that moves things ahead, but this book wasn’t like that at all. It was the language that pulled me along and kept me engaged.
Best of 2012 – A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman – I love a good quirky character, and Ove kind of sounded like a lot of the men I know. They are hard working, do-it-yourself, emotionally distant, but ultimately deeply caring men who have a hard time expressing themselves with words. Actions are their Love Language, and sometimes they don’t even recognize how much they care about other people until it is pointed out to them.
2012 Honourable Mentions: Wonder by R.J. Palacio, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson
Best of 2013 – The Palace of Curiosities by Rosie Garland – This is another book that I loved the cover before ever knowing what the book was even about. I found this Victorian circus-esque book while everyone else was freaking out about The Night Circus, and this is the book that captured my heart. The characters are wonderful, the writing is evocative, and the story is incredible. The romance and wonder in this book just make you want to hug it tight when you are done reading.
Best of 2014 – The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers – No, I will not stop talking about this book! I have read it 4 times now and always come away learning something new. This is a sci-fi book for people who love multi-faceted characters whose lives you become invested in and who feel like friends when you are done. This book covers race, sexuality, politics, religion, and so much more in the most accessible way possible.
2014 Honourable Mention: The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld
Best of 2015 – The Life and Death of Sophie Stark by Anna North – I really loved this book when I read it, and definitely should read it again some day. Told through the recollections of family, friends, and coworkers, this book is about a young film-maker who uses her movies as a way to express her feelings and tries to understand the world around her. Odd, occasionally off-putting, flawed Sophie crashes in and out of people’s lives, leaving destruction in her wake, but it feels like a privilege just to have known her for a short time before she disappears again.
2015 Honourable Mention: George by Alex Gino
Best of 2016 – A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas – I read the first book in this series because it was a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, so I wasn’t sure what to expect with this second book. And dang, did SJM deliver! This is one of the few times that a second book is actually the best in the series. This has all the intense romance, world building, and sexiness that anyone could hope for, all while being its own story. It was nice to not be able to anticipate the character’s next moves in this book, which was a fatal flaw of the first.
2016 Honourable Mention: The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
Best of 2017 – The Alice Network by Kate Quinn – I have always enjoyed historical fiction but rarely read much about WWI and WWII. Perhaps it’s not far enough in the past for me? Perhaps it’s because there hasn’t been that many books about female war heroes before this? Anyway, I love that so many authors are now writing about the women who played a key role in fighting for our freedoms.
Best of 2018 – Becoming by Michelle Obama – I don’t read a lot of biographies anymore, although I used to read them a lot when I was younger. Anyway, I knew that I had to hear what Michelle was going to say about her life leading up to and within the White House, and her plans for life after. She’s an incredibly strong, talented, and caring woman who made a huge impact on so many people, and she continues to be an inspiration for a lot of young women.
2018 Honourable Mention: Dear Mrs. Bird by A.J. Pearce
Best of 2019 – The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams – I didn’t read a lot of books published in 2019 for some reason, but this one stood out for me as one of my favourites. I really enjoyed the characters and the story, and definitely wanted to keep reading the series. I love that the book shows men just as flawed and self-conscious as women are, since the romance genre usually paints them as either irredeemable womanizers or perfect specimens of manhood.
Best of 2020 – I DON’T KNOW YET!!!!
What prompt did you decide to write about for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday? Leave a comment!
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week a new Top Ten list for anyone to answer. Just add a link to them on your post, and add your name to the weekly linky!