Top 5 books I’ve read in 2010

I love to read. I’m pretty sure I’ve made this clear over the last while, and if you’re regular reader of my blog you’ll see my many book reviews. I tried to read 26 books in 52 weeks, but it appears that may have been too lofty of a goal – it might have something with me reading books that are 800+ pages too.

Anyway, I think I’ve read enough to compile a serious top 5 list of my favourites. This is a list of the top books I’ve read this year; they didn’t necessarily come out this year. I’ve included a link to the previous reviews I’ve given so as not to repeat myself again and again:

5. The Girl Who Played With Fire

This is the second book in the Stieg Larsson trilogy, and I felt the character development of Lisbeth Salander was much better than the first, where she was still a bit of a mystery. Find out more from my review which I posted on July 23.

4. Gratitude

A great World War II novel that takes place in Hungary, which I liked, because anytime I read something, fictional or non-fictional, that happens outside of countries like Germany, England or the United States, I have a better appreciation of what happened during the war. Here’s my review which I posted on February 24.

3. Secret Daughter

An amazing book about the culture clash that occurs between couples coming from very different backgrounds and how that can affect families as the children of those couples grow and want to adapt to one culture or the other. My review of “Secret Daughter” was posted on September 29.

2. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter

An amazing story about a father who made the decision to give up his first born daughter because she had Down’s Syndrome. He lied to his wife and told her she was a still born, but for years he held the secret, and his wife went into a deep depression, which affected her love for the boy they later had together. You can read the rest of my review, which I posted on May 5.

1. Through Black Spruce

In 2009, Joseph Boyden’s first novel “Three Day Road” made it to number two on my top five list of fiction books, in 2010, he’s improved on that with “Through Black Spruce”.

To steal from my earlier review of the book (my first review of 2010), “This is story is a universal one of self discovery. The path the characters take aren’t ones they’d want to go through, but because of those experiences they have a  stronger understanding of who they are and what’s important to them, in the end.”

I’m anxiously awaiting the planned third book in this series, and who knows, if it comes out in 2011, it may make the top of the pile again!

What is your top book you read this year? Did any of the books I read make it?

My review of “The girl who played with fire”

The 2nd book in Stieg Larsson’s trilogy, “The girl who played with fire” comes in at spot 12 for my “26 in 52 Challenge“. Every time I write one of these posts, I go ‘oh I’m so behind’ etc, and this one will continue that trend. It’s been taking longer to read books of late; though in my defense these two come in at over 700 each, and I’m a notoriously slow reader. Anyway, moving on…

As Lisbeth Salander’s life begins to move to better things, she gets accused of three homicides and there’s damning evidence which makes her the prime suspect. Two of the three murders are colleagues of Mikael Blomqvist, conveniently enough. He doesn’t believe Salander is guilty and tries everything he can to prove her innocence. Unfortunately for him, she hates him and doesn’t do much in the way of help, until later on. So the story continues on as we follow Blomqvist and Salander as they try to uncover the mystery of who shot those three people. They don’t appear together until the end of the book, but they follow parallel paths to figure things out.

I found this one a bit slower than the first, but still quite enjoyable. What I enjoyed most, was learning the background of Salander. Finding out what made her who she is only made her character seem that much more interesting. She seems like the underdog who can’t catch a break in life, so though she’s crass, you want to cheer for her, every step of the way.

The story line seemed a bit over-planned to me. Where the first book felt like the series of events that happened were natural, this seemed like every character that was introduced was just a convenient plant for a plot twist. I know that may sound weird to say because all books are planned, but that’s just how it feels for me.

While I have a few issues with the book, I give this one a 4 out of 5.

Have you read it yet? Thoughts? Here’s the trailer:

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