Thursday, January 13, 2011
I’ve been meaning to write about my favorite books I read in 2010, but seeing that it’s already 13 days into the new year, it might be a little late for that. So instead, I’ll just call it some good books that I’ve read somewhat recently (which may or may not have been in the last 378 days). 1) I think my favorite book that I read last year was “The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls. I was hooked from the very first line: “I was sitting in a taxi, wondering if I had overdressed for the evening, when I looked out the window and saw Mom rooting through a Dumpster.” The story is about the author’s unusual childhood, where her family lived a rather unstable, nomadic lifestyle. I had to keep looking at the front cover of the book to see the word, “memoir,” to remind myself that it’s actually a true story. I could not put the book down, and I couldn’t stop rooting for the young girl in the story, who is now the best-selling author today. 2) Of the humorous variety, I loved “When You Look Like Your Passport Photo, It’s Time to Go Home” by Erma Bombeck. If her name sounds vaguely familiar, you might have read her column in your newspaper decades ago, before she passed away. Even though this book was written in 1991, the anecdotes and witty observations about travel are just as funny and true today. I laughed out loud at many points. The more I read her books, the more surprised I am that you don’t hear more about her because she has such a gift for turning ordinary life events into hilarious stories. 3) I already devoted a whole blog post to this book, but I couldn’t go without mentioning “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak. It was a tragic story, but a gripping read that I highly recommend. 4) “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows gets the award for the longest name (I had to look it up because I can never remember the full title), but it’s really a delightful read. It’s written as a series of letters, and I could definitely relate to the book-loving characters. The story takes place right after WWII, and the history woven in was really fascinating, too. 5) Finally, I’m cheating a little because I technically didn’t read this last year, but I never wrote about “Outliers” by Malcom Gladwell. This is a non-fiction book that looks at the scientific side (or the “how”) behind success, and it uses real-life examples of everyone from Bill Gates to the Beatles. I swear that this book changed my thinking, and I wish I could have read it years ago. The bottom line of the book (or at least for me) was that rarely are people “born” with a talent, but most successful people have devoted 10,000 hours or more to their craft. It puts in perspective that we should not give up so easily if a new skill or task is difficult at first. What are your favorites of 2010?