And the best book of 2010 is...


December isn’t just a month for office party faux pas and last minute holiday shopping. It’s also “best of” list time! While you wait for EW’s best & worst issue (on sale 12/17), take a look at some of the other lists that have started rolling out.

Earlier this week The New York Times put their Top 10 books of the year online in advance of this weekend’s print edition. It has some usual suspects in fiction: Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom (showing up on just about everyone’s best of list this year), A Visit from the Goon Squad‘s Jennifer Egan (yay!), and Emma Donoghue’s Room in addition to Ann Beattie’s The New Yorker Stories and Selected Stories by William Trevor. In nonfiction, some of our other favorites like Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other Suns and The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee made the cut, as did Jennifer Homans’ Apollo’s Angels, Stacy Schiff’s Cleopatra, and Finishing the Hat by Stephen Sondheim. (Also be sure to check out the NYT’s100 Notable Books of 2010″ which was published last week.)

Publishers Weekly’s Top 10 includes Franzen, Egan, and Wilkerson, but also adds Patti Smith’s Just Kids (National Book Award winner!) and Brady Udall’s The Lonely Polygamist. Amazon editors rank their favorites, as does The Atlantic (with, intriguingly, no Franzen in sight!) and San Francisco Chronicle put Stieg Larsson’s trilogy on the list.

So what about you? What books would you put on your top ten list?

Comments (42 total) Add your comment
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  • Rebecca

    I actually think Franzen is highly overrated. I guess I just don’t understand what others see in him. This year, my favorite writer has to be Danielle Evans for Before You Suffocate on Your Own Fool Self. Great collection of stories.

    • Nurse Love

      Love him and SwedenDatingSite was fantastic

  • nodnarb

    My fave book of the year was The Passage.

    • Nate

      Yeah The Passage was my favorite also. Can’t wait for the next one.

      • kelly

        I agree with the Passage.

    • LariLee

      Definitely my favorite as well. I hope Cronin writes quickly. Very quickly.

  • Anne

    Agree with Finishing the Hat by Stephen Sondheim. Also, Mockingjay!!!

  • Bridget

    Can we please get over this guy already?? Like this pick is surprising to anyone.

  • sock monkey


  • jt

    I know I should pick some literary masterpiece, however, nothing made me laugh so much as Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang. So, save your scorn…I know. But for pure entertainment value this was it.

    • Cory Patrick

      No JT, you shouldn’t put some ‘literary masterpiece’ on your list and that is the problem with all of these elitist lists. They believe they know what is best because this work best mimics some stuffy book the read during their collegiate work, but the truth is a great many of these books are disjointed, poorly told stories that are merely inundated with an ineffective ‘style.’ A style that does nothing more than show off the author’s own self-absorption. I applaud you for picking a book that is, in your opinion, entertainment. That’s how these books were intended and the magazine is called ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY. Bravo JT!

      • Ella

        The most self-absorbed thing I have read this year is your comment.

      • Luis

        couldn’t agree more with you, Ella. “I applaud you for picking a book that is, in your opinion, entertainment.” yes, taste is subjective but there is still a difference between what makes something great and something that is just “entertaining”

      • Brad Adien

        Cory’s just mad because “Penthouse Forum” was snubbed again.

  • Kristina

    My favorites were The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot and Bloodroot by Amy Greene. I couldn’t put either of those books down after I started them. Looking forward to EW’s Best of 2010 edition to see what other books to add to my list.

    • DJ

      I agree…both are excellent books!

  • Maryann Craven

    So happy to see Passage on the list. I enjoyed that book so much. Really can’t wait for the next book in the series.

  • Allie

    yes mockingjay!!

  • David

    My favorite of the year was Skippy Dies by Paul Murray.

    Also Emma Donoghue’s Room and Freedom are up there as well.

    On the flipside, my biggest ‘Don’t Get It’ books of the year were Tom Rachman’s The Imperfectionists and Gary Shteyngart’s Super Sad True Love Story … both are part of genres I should normally like and received tons of praise, but I found it difficult to like either much.

    • David

      Oh, and my non-fiction pick would be Michael Lewis’s The Big Short.

      Also enjoyed Henrietta Lacks & Warmth of Other Suns, which seem to be popping up on most of the year-end lists.

  • Amanda

    I seriously LOVED “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett. Could not put it down.

    • Jenn

      Also my favorite of the year!

  • Jackie

    My favorite book of the year was Rebecca Skloot’s “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.” I hope the author, the book and its subject continue to get the recognition they rightly deserve.

  • Barbara

    My favorite book was The Immortal Life of Henrietta Sacks, hands down. Non-fiction that read like a great mystery novel. Finishing the Hat is also wonderful.

  • clancy

    Man in the Woods by Scott Spencer was the best book I’ve read in years.

  • Gail

    My favorite came out in pb this year: Financial Lives of the Poets by Jess Walter. I had some don’t-get-it’s. Allegra Goodman’s The Cookbook Collector. As I’ve heard others say about Freedom, I just did not care about the characters.

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