10 Best Books I Read In 2010

Before the old year is too, y’know, old, here’s a quick list of the best novels I read last year:

1. The Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks — Dark and gritty fantasy about a pair of assassins that constantly surprised, entertained and even showed a thoughtful spiritual side.

2. The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson — I got into Sanderson big-time this year, and really appreciated his unique takes on magic and clever plotting that left several surprises to be revealed.

3. Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombe — His writing is almost too brutal and crude for my taste, but this spin-off from his First Law trilogy was a gripping ride from start to end.

4. Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull — For a kid’s series involving fairies, Fablehaven was really well-written and imaginative, and even after five books I felt it ended too quickly.

5. The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch — A really promising start to a series about a master thief who ends up fighting the world.  A bit slow at the beginning, but it picks up in a major way.

6. Old Man’s War by John Scalzi — Scalzi’s entire series is great, but this first book about future warfare using senior citizens was just plain fun.

7. Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane — Slightly better than the great movie, the book is a whodunit that doesn’t really tell you the rules of the game.

8. Elantris by Brandon Sanderson — A very unique tale of immortal beings who are broken in a fundamental way, and yet left to live in a prison of their former glory.

9. The Warded Man by Peter Brett — Brett creates a world where mankind is constantly under siege by demons, and only with a rediscovered form of magic can they start to fight back.

10. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss — This wasn’t the first time I read TNOTW, but I’m finding myself drawn back to it on a regular basis.  Cannot wait for the sequel this year!

7 thoughts on “10 Best Books I Read In 2010

  1. Dril(ski) January 4, 2011 / 2:46 pm

    Just started reading a Song of Ice and Fire (finished AGOT in over a long weekend; not bad considering my usual reading times.)

    Best damn book I ever read, and I’ve read a lot.

  2. pkudude99 January 4, 2011 / 4:05 pm

    So you read the 3 Mistborn books and say you’re big into Sanderson, but didn’t mention Warbreaker, Elantris, or The Way of the King? Shame on you sir! 😛

    Good list. I’ve read a few of the others myself and now have more things to add to my wishlist for purchase later in the year. Thanks!

  3. pkudude99 January 4, 2011 / 4:06 pm

    Arg. How’d I miss seeing #8? Shame on me for saying you didn’t mention Elantris when you did.

  4. Norman January 5, 2011 / 9:33 pm

    I enjoyed the Night Angel trilogy, Elantris and The Painted Man as well. The Mistborn trilogy proved an interesting read, but it definitely went downhill with each iteration and culminated in an utterly unsatisfactory, if conclusive, ending. Still, the ending was quite conclusive, so it’s strange to see a fourth Mistborn novel listed for release this year.

    These are some books I read recently that I think you might enjoy:
    – The Desert Spear by Peter V. Brett. The sequel to The Painted Man. Drags a little in the beginning, but gets very interesting shortly thereafter.
    – Dragon Age series by James Maxley. These would be the post-apocalyptic fantasy novels with an ingenious ‘magic’ system, not the so-so tie-ins for BioWare’s fantasy RPG series.
    – Codex Alera series by Jim Butcher. I actually haven’t finished this series yet, but thus far (reading book #4 out of 6) it’s been excellent throughout.

  5. mbp January 8, 2011 / 10:41 pm

    I am currently between books and noticing that I really enjoyed the only two books on your list which I have read (Abercrombie and Scott Lynch) I have decided to trust your judgement and have just bought the first Mistborn book. At least I will have someone to blame if it doesn’t work out 🙂

    By the way It strikes me that you might enjoy George R R Martins Ice and Fire series.

  6. Professor Beej January 12, 2011 / 12:32 am

    I read a lot of those same books, and I agree with you. I’d probably rank “Old Man’s War” a bit higher since it really hooked me with the series.

    I also recommend reading “Feed” by Mira Grant and “Leviathan” by Scott Westerfeld. I thought about using “Feed” in my horror literature class I’m teaching this semester to look at how blogging and the changing technology of our time contributes to how we perceive crises. “Leviathan” was my first steampunk novel, and it was a good introduction; it wasn’t overdone, but it was certainly one of the prettiest books (crisp white paper and wonderful illustrations) I’ve read in a long time. The extras really enhanced the story.

    I’m reading “The Hunger Games” series right now (actually have the second book open on my lap as I type this), and I suggest you run out and get them ASAP. They’re YA, but they’re so well written I am amazed they maintain that moniker. If the protagonist were 24 instead of 16, they’d be marketed as adult SF/F. You can grab the first one for $5 on Kindle right now; they’re why I’ve not prepped nearly enough of my class books since Christmas.

  7. Syp January 12, 2011 / 9:26 am

    Beej – I have Feed sitting on my shelf from back when you first recommended it, and I’m sure Leviathan will cross my Kindle sooner or later. The first Hunger Games book was good, but I heard the second was not so much so I’ve put those off.

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