Tuesday, 14 December 2010

The Twelve Days of Christmas - Day One: 12 Favourite Books of 2010

The Twelve Days of Christmas 2010!

So I love Christmas. I LOVE Christmas. I started playing Driving Home for Christmas/Fairytale of New York about two weeks ago and don't intend to stop any time soon. My tree is up, my advent calendar is in full swing and I am well and truly counting down the days.

To share a bit of Christmassy joy and simultaneously round up 2010 I've decided to start a Twelve Days of Christmas feature that will run between now and Christmas Day. Each day I'll be talking about something bookish that I've enjoyed in 2010, from my favourite books to the best events I attended.

2010 has been a brilliant year for me, I started blogging, met so many brilliant people in the blogging community and read some fantastic books. Thanks for the support you've all given me throughout this year - I really appreciate it, you're all fab :).

Each book title links to my review (thanks Candy for suggesting that!) in case you want to see what I thought in more depth.

Day One - My top 12 books of the year:

• The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins

Until the second half of 2010 I have to admit I'd never even heard of Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games series. I KNOW. I'm awful. However, I leaped onto the bandwagon just after Mockingjay was released and read the three books back to back. I adored all of them and suffice to say I'm now a huge fan. Bloodthirsty, brutal and absolutely brilliant.

• Trash – Andy Mulligan

Trash is definitely one of my most memorable books of 2010. Everything from the package I received it in (a trash bag full of shredded quotes proclaiming the book's brilliance) to hosting the blog tour, to attending a gorgeous dinner with the Random House folks (and Andy himself) to celebrate the release of the book made Trash truly unforgettable.

• I Am Number Four – Pittacus Lore

Lately there's bit a bit of controversy surrounding I Am Number Four, what with the whole James Frey shebang but I Am Number Four really excited me. I'm not a huge alien fan (movies - yes, books - not so much) but there was something about Number Four's story that really stayed with me, long after I finished reading. Plus, I cannot wait for the movie release, it looks awesome!

• Boys Don’t Cry – Malorie Blackman

I first heard about Boys Don't Cry when I visited the Random House Book Blogger Brunch earlier in the year and by the time my review copy arrived I couldn't wait to get stuck in. It was the first book of Blackman's that I've read and I fell in love - the masses of hype around her work completely makes sense now and Noughts and I'll definitely be reading and reviewing the Noughts and Crosses series in 2011.

• The Eternal Ones – Kirsten Miller

Oh I loved this one! I was worried it would be a little too Twilight for my tastes but I adored it. The writing was beautiful, I loved the story and I'm so excited that the second installment will be coming soon.

• Half Brother – Kenneth Oppel

Looking back, Random House had a fantastic year this year! Half of the books on this list came from the brilliant publishig house and I'm really excited to see how they top things next year. Half Brother is a stunning story about family, love and acceptance and it's one that I've been passing round to my family and friends - all of whom have loved it as much as I do. If you cry easily then make sure you have tissues nearby!

• If I Stay – Gayle Forman

Yes, this was another one I read a little later than most but I fell in love with Forman's effortless prose within the opening pages of If I Stay. The story is every inch as perfect as the reviews suggest and I absoluteoly cannot wait until Where She Went. Cannot wait. This is another one that's being translated to the big screen so I'm exicted to see what they do with the story.

• Noah Barleywater Runs Away – John Boyne

John Boyne stole my heart in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and he managed to somehow beat this masterpiece with Noah Barleywater Runs Away. A modern day fairy tale that will make you cry even more than Half Brother I recommend this one so highly I don't know what else to say except you MUST pick up a copy of this. I have a spare copy - if you want it I'll gladly send it to you so I can share this gorgeous story.

• Unwind – Neal Shusterman

Terrifying in places, tender in others, Unwind is everything I hoped it would be. I must admit I read this one because of a huge amount of peer pressure being put on me, from bloggers and my non-blogging friends alike. Happily this was peer pressure of the best kind, where my pals forced me into reading a book that I fell in love with, which I otherwise might not have stumbled upon.

• Tall Story – Candy Gourlay

Aside from being one of the sweetest ladies out there in the big wide world of social networking, Candy Gourlay is also a top notch writer. Tall Story is such a heartwarming story and Andi and Bernardo are two characters I really remember from 2010. Plus, the cover art is gorgeous. I have to give a little shout out to Tall Story for being a standalone novel as well. Series seem to be completely taking over at the moment so it's nice to see some great standalones doing so well - the same goes for the others on this list too!

• Gone – Michael Grant

Oh I knew I would love this one before I started reading it. I have to confess I was drawn to this 100% because of the cover. Shallow, me? Yes. So it seems. However, the story is just as great as the cover so sometimes it DOES pay to judge a book by its cover. I raced through Gone, despite the lengthy page count and I'm hooked. I'm almost at the end of Hunger and I'll be getting stuck into Lies straight away. A brilliant series, one of my favourites for sure.

• Entangled – Cat Clarke

Well I waxed lyrical about how much I love Entangled when I reviewed it a couple of months ago so there's not too much else I can say here without repeating myself. I'll keep it brief - Entangled is phenomenal, it's going to fly when it's released early next year and I am RIDICOUSLY excited for Cat, who is awesome.

So that's all for today but check back tomorrow for day two, where I'll be talking about my favourite 11 characters of 2010. What were your favourite books in 2010?


  1. If you are prepared to ship as far as South Africa I would love to get a copy of Noah Barleywater Runs Away by John Boyne.

    If so send my and email and I will let you have my address.

    Have a happy and rlaxing holiday time.

    Carol T

    buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

  2. thanks so much carly (and thanks for mentioning the cover art by david dean - it really is special)! hey - could you link each book to their review? this list has got me itching to go shopping!

  3. This is a fabulous idea. If you don't mind, I'd love to join in and do my own 12 days of Christmas book thing.

  4. No problem Candy :) - I've added the links in as well so the titles should go directly to my review, good idea!

    Kylie - Of course! That sounds lovely, I've sent you an email about it as well.


  5. I'm putting up my list of the best books I read this year toward the end of the month... The Hunger Games tops my list, too! :)

  6. Loving the list, Carly, and I can't wait to see what your other blogs will be. Only problem is, I've wanted to read most of these and haven't managed to this year - so you've given me a LOT of reading to do next year. If only there wasn't another book to write as well ....

  7. Mines up! Happy to be joining in!


Thank you kindly for the comment, you sweet thing.