Friday, January 7, 2011

PW's Best Books of 2010

From their site:
This year we took our annual slugfest to the pub underneath our new office and came up with a list of the year's top 100 books that could be our best ever. It wasn't any easier with a drink in hand to pick, and agree upon, the best books of 2010, but we did it. And, as a magazine that's published continuously since 1872 and reviews over 7,000 books a year, we had a lot to consider. The women are back... strong... and we're all over the globe. Before the full list hits in Monday's issue, here's a peek at our top 10. So who made the cut? There's Franzen mining the American family for his canvas; Egan, the music industry; Hillenbrand, Louis Zamperini, a hero from our greatest generation; Lee, the Korean War; Skloot, one African-American woman's experience with medical research in the days of segregation; Wilkerson, the great African-American migration; Udall, a lonely Mormon polygamist; Spencer, a very American moral dilemma; Lewis, our financial crash of 2008; and, of course, Smith- rock and roll idol, whose literary gifts match her musical talent-delved into New York City's in the '60s and '70s and her friendship with Robert Mapplethorpe.
  1. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan (Knopf)
  2. Freedom by Jonathan Franzen (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux)
  3. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (Random)
  4. The Surrendered by Chang-rae Lee (Riverhead)
  5. The Big Short by Michael Lewis (Norton)
  6. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (Crown)
  7. Just Kids by Patti Smith (Ecco)
  8. Man in the Woods by Scott Spencer (Ecco)
  9. The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall (Norton)
  10. The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson (Random)
  1. The Pregnant Widow by Martin Amis
  2. Parrot & Olivier in America by Peter Carey
  3. The Privileges by Jonathan Dee
  4. Tutankhamun by Nick Drake
  5. Extraordinary Renditions by Andrew Ervin
  6. Faithful Place by Tana French
  7. To the End of the Land by David Grossman, trans. from the Hebrew by Jessica Cohen
  8. The Four Stages of Cruelty by Keith Hollihan
  9. Father of the Rain by Lily King
  10. Our Kind of Traitor by John le Carré
  11. Beneath the Lion's Gaze by Maaza Mengiste
  12. How to Read the Air by Dinaw Mengestu
  13. The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell
  14. Sourland by Joyce Carol Oates
  15. Years of Red Dust by Qiu Xiaolong
  16. The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachmann
  17. Invisible Boy by Cornelia Read
  18. Vestments by John Reimringer
  19. Innocent by Scott Turow
  20. Self-Portraits by Frederic Tuten
  21. Agaat by Marlene van Niekerk, trans. from the Afrikaans by Michiel Heyns
  1. The Man with the Baltic Stare by James Church
  2. Love Songs from a Shallow Grave by Colin Cotterill
  3. Bleed a River Deep by Brian McGilloway
  4. Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny
  5. The Insane Train by Sheldon Russell
  6. The Red Door by Charles Todd
  1. The Forbidden Rose by Joanna Bourne
  2. The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook
  3. The Heir by Grace Burrowes
  4. Barely a Lady by Eileen Dreyer
  5. Trial by Desire by Courtney Milan
  1. The Bone Palace by Amanda Downum
  2. Feed by Mira Grant
  3. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms/The Broken Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
  4. Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor
  5. A Special Place: The Heart of a Dark Matter by Peter Straub
  1. X'Ed Out by Charles Burns
  2. Beasts of Burden: Animal Rites by Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson
  3. How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less by Sarah Glidden
  4. Duncan the Wonder Dog by Adam Hines
  5. Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty by G. Neri and Randy DuBurke
  6. Batwoman: Elegy by Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams
  7. Bodyworld by Dash Shaw
  8. Acme Novelty Library: Lint by F.C. Ware
  9. AX: Alternative Manga by Edited by Sean Michael Wilson and Mitsuhiru Asakawa
  10. Weathercraft: A Frank Comic by Jim Woodring
  1. The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them by Elif Batuman
  2. Let's Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship by Gail Caldwell
  3. Composed: A Memoir by Rosanne Cash
  4. Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow
  5. About a Mountain by John D'Agata
  6. Travels in Siberia by Ian Frazier
  7. The Lost Cyclist: The Epic Tale of an American Adventurer and His Mysterious Disappearance by David V. Herlihy
  8. Apollo's Angels: A History of Ballet by Jennifer Homans
  9. Hero: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia by Michael Korda
  10. The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America's Childhood by Jane Leavy
  11. Colonel Roosevelt by Edmund Morris
  12. The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee
  13. The Grace of Silence: A Memoir by Michele Norris
  14. Yellow Dirt: An American Story of a Poisoned Land and a People Betrayed by Judy Pasternak
  15. Let the Swords Encircle Me: Iran-A Journey Behind the Headlines by Scott Peterson
  16. Listen to This by Alex Ross
  17. Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margins of Error by Kathryn Schulz
  18. Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? by James Shapiro
  19. Bomber County: The Poetry of a Lost Pilot's War by Daniel Swift
  20. Autobiography of Mark Twain, Vol. I by Mark Twain
  21. The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival by John Vaillant
  22. Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and the Dawn of the American Woman by Sam Wasson
  23. The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires by Tim Wu
  1. Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion by Gregory Boyle
  2. Nine Lives: In Search of the Sacred in Modern India by William Dalrymple
  3. Fishers of Men: The Gospel of an Ayahuasca Vision Quest by Adam Elenbaas
  4. The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam by Eliza Griswold
  5. Hannah's Child by Stanley Hauerwas
  6. Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years by Diarmaid McCulloch
  7. American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us by Robert D. Putnam and David E. Campbell
  8. Bread of Angels: A Journey to Love and Faith by Stephanie Saldaña
  9. Hillel: If Not Now, When? by Joseph Telushkin
  10. Made for Goodness: And Why This Makes All the Difference by Desmond M. Tutu and Mpho A. Tutu


  1. Food Matters Cookbook: Lose Weight and Heal the Planet with More than 500 Recipes by Mark Bittman
  2. The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion & Cooking Manual by Frank Falcinelli, Frank Castronovo, Peter Meehan
  3. Around My French Table byDorie Greenspan
  4. One Big Table: 800 Recipes from the Nation's Best Home Cooks, Farmers, Pit-Masters and Chefs by Molly O'Neil
  5. Origins: How the Nine Months Before Birth Shape the Rest of Our Lives by Annie Murphy Paul
  6. In the Green Kitchen: Techniques to Learn by Heart by Alice Waters

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