Top Ten of 2010

Greetings my fellow readers!  I finally  finished up my 2010 reading journal and I am currently preparing my first entry for my 2011 journal. Throughout the year, I keep an ongoing list in a journal of all the books I have read. I have also been keeping track of other items I have taken home from the OWL.  I actually keep a tally of not only the books but also the  movies, magazines and music cds I have brought home. It is fun to look back and see all the great entries I have made. I thought I would share my top ten check outs of 2010 with you–(please feel free to share your top 10 in the comment box below. I look forward to reading them!)


1.Sigh No More by Mumford and Sons: The album is by far my favorite check out of 2010!  The band consists of four young men from West London. Their songs are an eclectic  mix between bluegrass, folk and old world charm. They really make you feel the words and their message. The website sums it up beautifully ” Feel the fire in your belly and the romance in your heart as you listen, let your voice break into rapture – and you too, sigh no more”. Check this album out and you won’t be disappointed!

2. Daughters of Witching Hill by Mary Sharratt: Based on the infamous 1612 Lancashire witch trials, Sharratt’s latest novel portrays the religious turmoil and hard life of 17th-century rural England.  What makes this story fabulous are two main characters: Bess Southerns and her feisty granddaughter Alizon Device. Bess is a healing woman, able to cure animals and people with herbal folk magic. She strives to do only good, but when she teaches her dear friend the witchcraft, she releases a curse of revenge and evil. Years later, Alizon comes into the power herself but denies it, and this leads to tragedy.  The story has you rooting for Bess and cringing at the treatment of the women and their families in the prisons. A great read but not for the faint-hearted! I loved this book.

3. Compromising Positions by Susan Isaacs: Long Island housewife, Judith Singer, is incredibly bored with her marriage and her life. So when her dentist is murdered and the suspect is her neighbor, Judith is only too happy to stick her nose into the investigation. Judith delves deeper into the murder and deeper into the throngs of  an affair she has with the lead police investigator. This book was recommended by a patron and I am glad he did. The read was pure entertainment and a very interesting look into the lives of the 70’s housewives! Did anyone stay faithful?

4. IT Crowd Season 4: In season four, the It Crowd try yet again to socialize with the people upstairs at Reynholm Industries, Jen tries to her talents as the new Entertainment Manager and later pretending that she can act as an Italian translator for Douglas; and Moss proves a whiz on the  Countdown TV game show. I have never laughed so hard watching a show–EVER. The show is hysterical!  (ps the OWL owns all four seasons)

5. Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson: “An international publishing sensation, Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo combines murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue into one satisfying complex and entertainingly atmospheric novel”.  (From the Trade Paperback edition). I really enjoyed the mystery and thrill of this first book in Stieg’s trilogy, however I did not enjoy the 2nd book, Girl Who Played with Fire, as much. I am on the waiting list for last book, Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest . I hear this is the best one yet. I look forward to reading it.

6. Minds Eye by Hakan Nesser: This is the  first novel in the Inspector Van Veeteren series. The series is set in Sweden. Chief Inspector Van Veeteren is a grumpy investigator that has a rather unsettled personal life.  Van Veeteren is philosophical, with a dry wit that makes this an enjoyable read. In this mystery, Chief Inspector Van Veeteren knows that murder cases are never as clear as they appear: Janek Mitter woke one morning with a brutal hangover and discovered his wife of three months dead in the bathtub. Without a clear alibi, Mitter is found guilty of a drunken crime of passion and sentenced to a mental institution. But questions arise of his guilt when Mitter also becomes a murder victim. Now the chief inspector launches an  investigation into the two murders. But it may only be through a mysterious letter that Mitter wrote shortly before his death that will finally allow Van Veeteren to find the real killer. If you like a mystery and are a fan of the hunt- Nesser is for you.

7. The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen: Sarah Addison Allen invites you to a quirky little Southern town. Two very different women, Julia and Emily, discover how to find their place in the world no matter how out of place they feel. They discover that mysteries aren’t solved in Mullaby; they’re a way of life. Allen weaves her fantasy elements into this story through magical wallpaper that changes to suit your mood or lights that skip across the yard at midnight and mystical cakes. Julia  bakes cakes to satisfy the town’s sweet tooth but she also bakes  in the hope of rekindling the love she fears might be lost forever. Can a cake really bring back a lost love? Is there really a ghost dancing in Emily’s moonlight backyard?  Allen writes nice stories that are not too “sweet”. This book is great entertainment.

8. Ruby Blue by Roisin Murphy: Funky, jazzy and electric are words that I would use to describe this album. The songs are a mix of dance rhythms, organic drums and funky piano tunes. It has been described as having a “psychedelic quirky edge and is an entertaining, slightly bizarre solo debut. Lots of fun”(amazon). Good album to listen to while I do my yard and house work.

9.  Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson: In the small village of Edgecombe St. Mary in the English countryside lives Major Ernest Pettigrew (retired), the unlikely hero of Helen Simonson’s wondrous debut. The Major leads a quiet life filled with the proper things that Englishmen have lived by for years: honor, duty, and a of course, a good cup of tea. The Major and a Pakistani shopkeeper, Mrs. Ali are drawn together by their shared love of literature and the loss of their spouses. They soon discover they have romantic feelings for each other. Can their relationship survive the differences of their culture and tradition? Major Pettigrew is a wonderful story. A great read for a cold winter’s night!

10. College Board Book of Majors : This is great resource for those hunting for colleges. The book offers information on over nine hundred college majors, including possible course studies, career paths, and guidance on which high school courses are recommended for the student to take prior to college. The Book of Majors helps narrow the path for the student and offers helpful insights for their future. It was a tremendous help in our house. I brought it home and left it on the kitchen table for perusal. The teenager took the bait 🙂

This post is written by Audra, who is jotting down her first entry of 2011: Florence + The Machine’s album, Lungs

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