Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My Favorite Books of 2010

I am the type of person that always has a book in my bag for my daily public transportation commute and I also make good use of my local library. Here are my thoughts on my favorite books of 2010 in no particular order:

  • If You Have to Cry, Go Outside by Kelly Cutrone. I loved the no-nonsense attitude of Kelly Cutrone. I didn't know much about her until I watched her reality show (is it coming back?) on Bravo. This is a great book for a recent college graduate interested in working in the fashion industry or any teen/young female professional that needs inspiration on 'making it'.
  • My Life in France by Julia Child. I was inspired to read this book after seeing the film Julie & Julia earlier this year. I have to say, reading about Julia Child's interesting years living in France with her husband was much better than the film. I admired her tenacity to keep plugging away toward her goal of completing her timeless cookbook despite setbacks. She seems like someone I would have enjoyed sitting down and having a cup of tea with if she were still alive.
  • B*tch is the New Black by Helena Andrews. I loved Helena Andrews sarcastic humor and the way she described her interesting childhood and experiences dating as a young professional black woman in her essays.
  • Cane River by Lalita Tademy. This historical novel based on the real-life occurrences of a woman's family during slavery in Louisiana was a compelling read. The author spent years researching her family to write this fictional version of her family's story.
  • Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? by Seth Godin. If you need a jump start to get your creative initiative going, this is the book to read. I have read a few of Godin's books and this one is my favorite so far. There are so many gems in this book, I think I might actually purchase it so I can reference it later.
  • Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. This fast-paced and slightly disturbing thriller/mystery captivated me from the first page and I couldn't put it down until I finished it. I've already read the Girl Who Played with Fire and just picked up the final book in the trilogy, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. I'm already sad that there will be no more books from Larsson because he died shortly after completing the first three books in what was planned to be an ongoing series according to Wikipedia.
  • Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. I didn't expect to like this book because (a) I don't really enjoy the circus, seeing animals in captivity makes me sad, (b) I didn't think I'd be able to relate to the protagonist, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book and read it pretty quickly. It was surprising that one of the most compelling characters in the novel was not human, and that's all I'll say in case you haven't yet read it.
  • The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley and William Danko. I'm a little late to the game in reading this book because I have seen so many bloggers reference it over the last few years. Though I personally think the scope of the research of this book is limited, I really liked the major premise of the book; that you don't have to be born with a silver spoon in your mouth to accumulate wealth and that high consumers are not necessarily the rich folks in American society. The data presented in the book did present interesting stories and really made me rethink about how I perceive wealth.
  • I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi. If you love the tone and content of Ramit Sethi's highly popular blog, than you'll like this book. The advice in the book was presented in a fresh way and I liked the slightly irreverent tone of his writing. I would purchase this book for anyone I know that is a recent college grad just learning to manage their money.
  • The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins. After seeing a few bloggers reference these books, I decided to pick up The Hunger Games from the library. I didn't expect to like them because of the somber and disturbing premise of the books and the fact that they were written for an adolescent audience but I found the books very interesting and found myself rooting for the protagonist. I'm currently reading the final book in the series and am curious to see how the series will end.
As you can see, I read across the board from memoirs, to novels, to mysteries to self-help, but I have a penchant for memoirs. In 2011, I plan to read more books on investing and entrepreneurship, but I've gotten through a lot of 'must reads' on my book list in 2010. I recently heard a statistic that I can't exactly recall about the dismal reading rates of Americans which amazes me because I see so many people in D.C. toting around books and e-readers on public transportation. But I personally find that reading for fun (and information) makes me feel more well-rounded and makes for great conversation with friends, associates and colleagues. So, read up!

What were your favorite books of 2010?


FB @ said...

I absolutely cannot start The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo until I get a block of time. I've already seen the movie so no surprises but books are always better.

Also, The Millionaire Next Door is definitely a fantastic starter book for me. So much so, that I picked up The Millionaire Mind and Millionaire WOMEN next door

Will review once I'm done. I am fascinated so far

Small Budget, Big Style Chick said...

@FB I might not make it to the Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest by the end of the year, it will probably be the first book I read in 2011.

I'll definitely check out your reviews of the other 'Millionaire' books.

Anonymous said...

'Slightly' disturbing? Dragon Tattoo was TOTALLY messedup!

Am still waiting on the next installment...the request line is a mile long at the library and I don't buy books.

Just finished the Hunger Games, which was pretty good.

Book of the year was The Bronze Horseman by far. The Vintner's Luck a close second.

Anonymous said...

Kind of similar to the types of books I read. I basically read all types, but I Love memoirs and pf books.

Some books I recommend is A Homemade Life Stories, The Last Lecture, The Glass Castle, Blankets (top favorite), and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (favorite).

Small Budget, Big Style Chick said...

@ee musings Yeah, Girl the the Dragon Tattoo a more than slightly disturbing, but I didn't want to turn anyone off from reading because it's still a compelling read.

@quiettown I'll have to look up some of the books you suggested, I'm always looking for good book suggestions!