My favorite books of the past 10 years

So yeah, I Will Dare is going to be 10 on Saturday. To mark this momentous occasion I’m going to be making random Top 10 lists that may or may not have anything to do with the past 10 years. Today’s list, Favorite Books.

It’s a little known fact that I’ve been keeping a list of every book I’ve read since 2002. For that reason alone this list might be weighted toward the books I’ve read since then.

There are many theories on the art of crafting a Top 10 list. Some people come from the school of contemplative thought. Stewing, thinking, pondering, and rethinking — they want to make sure the list is filled with worthy candidates. They want to make sure they haven’t forgotten anything, and the list properly represents the image and persona they want to maintain. These Top 10s are usually filled with stuff you never heard of and stuff you’d never read.

I’m of from the school of make shit up as you go along and apologize after for any obvious gaffes. Sure it’s not a division one school, but you know it still works. I only had one rule for the list, I wanted to include books published in the past 10 years. It’s too late to turn back, here we go.

Short Story Collections
Throw Like a Girl by Jean Thompson: I read this one three years ago and I can still remember scenes from the stories, and how one of the characters called herself the girl you came to when you wanted to wreck something. It’s a devastating and horribly under-rated collection.

Both Ways is the Only Way I Want It by Maile Meloy: The very last story in this collection features a family, a Christmas tree, and some hitchhikers. It is so suspenseful that you’ll be glad it’s a short story and not a novel, because you can’t hold your breath for an entire novel without losing consciousness. This is only the beginning of its greatness.

How to Breath Underwater by Julie Orringer: I read this book three times in 2005. Need I say more?

King Dork by Frank Portman: If you’re new here, you probably don’t remember the summer of aught-six where all I did was blog about reading King Dork.

The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break by Steven Sherrill: This is a book about the Minotaur, the half-man, half-bull from Greek mythology, who works as a short order cook. I haven’t read this since 2002 and it still haunts me.

The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger: I’m including this one not just because it’s good but to prove that’s I’m a reader of the people. I wrote about it, allegedly, but now all you get is my kickass 404 page.

Graphic Novels
Blankets by Craig Thompson: I liked it because it was good, is about the best I could come up with.

Stitches by David Small: This might be one of the most emotionally devastating books I’ve ever read (right up there with Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye).

Scott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O’Malley: Duh.

An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination by Elizabeth McCracken: I don’t read a lot of non-fiction. So this category gets the leftover book. Since I couldn’t include The Giant’s House (which is in my top three all-time favorite novels) because of the date restriction I get to work McCracken onto the list because of her heartbreaking memoir which was the best book I read in 2008.

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  1. Lori 29.Jul.10 at 1:57 pm

    I can’t tell you how happy this list makes me. I’m anxious to start a new book as soon as we move, so to have an entire list to choose from is so exciting. I just finished Halfbroke Horses and The Glass Castle. I can’t remember if I read about those here or not, but they were both good reads, even if I read them in the wrong order.

  2. Jodi 29.Jul.10 at 8:37 pm

    Best of all, most of these books are in paperback now! I hope the move goes smoothly.

  3. tam 31.Jul.10 at 10:37 am

    Happy 10th, I Will Dare!

    (Also, thanks for publishing this list. Now I know what to spend my Amazon gift certificate on!)


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