I've already blogged about the "best" books published in 2010, but with all the book lists popping up online, I'm inclined to broaden my list to include books that I've read this year (regardless of when the books were originally published).  This is certainly not a complete list, but here are a few titles that provided some of my favorite reads this year.

Manhood for Amateurs (2009) by Michael Chabon
Chabon examines "the pleasures and regrets of a husband, father, and son."  These are wonderfully well-written essays, witty and insightful.  They are, I think, the essays that David Sedaris would have written, if David Sedaris happened to be a heterosexual male with a wife and four children.

The Professor and the Madman (1998) by Simon Winchester
the extraordinary story of the making of the Oxford English Dictionary

Shipwrecks
(2000) by Akira Yoshimura
beautifully written, "a thrilling tale of murder and retribution set on the wild seacoast of medieval Japan"

Hubert's Freaks (2009) by Gregory Gibson
an unusual story (of the "truth is stranger than fiction" variety), three unusual stories really,  connected like siamese triplets, by a series of coincidences that span decades of American cultural history.
 
The Poisoner's Handbook (2010) by Deborah Blum
Charles Norris, New York City's first Chief Medical Examiner, and his Chief Toxicologist, Alexander Gettler, as they set about to create the nation's first modern crime lab nearly 100 years ago.

Hereville (2010) by Barry Deutsch
A graphic novel, a gentle coming of age story, YA fiction, the story of "yet another troll fighting 11-year old Orthodox Jewish girl."

Britten and Brulightly (2009) by Hannah Berry
a wonderfully different graphic novel, a detective story

Double Negative (1980) by David Carkeet
an Edgar nominee for Best First Mystery in 1980, this book would have difficulty getting a publishing contract today (and that's an example of what's wrong with the current state of the publishing industry)

How to Grow Up and Rule the World (2010) by Vordak the Incomprehensible
"Vordak the Incomnprehensible is a world-class Supervillain and the Evil Master of all he surveys.  His previous writing includes his half of witty repartee with various superheroes, as well as numerous ultimatums to world leaders.  This is his first book."

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