January 2010

First Edition of The Judas Goat by Robert B. Parker

  • Val McDermid wins the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger Award for outstanding achievement in crime writing.
  • Dutch woman Miep Gies, who brought food to and helped hide Anne Frank and her family during the Holocaust, dies at 100.
  • The Caldecott Medal for the best American picture book for children goes The Lion & the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney.
  • American crime writer Robert B. Parker, best remembered for his Spenser novels, dies at 77.
  • Poet Christopher Reid wins the 2009 Costa Book of the Year award for his collection, A Scattering, a tribute to his late wife Lucinda Gane.
  • Philip Gross wins the T.S. Eliot Poetry Prize with The Water Table - a collection of poetry about the Severn estuary.
  • Erich Segal, the author of Love Story, dies after suffering a heart attack at 72.
  • Reclusive legend of literature J.D. Salinger dies at 91 and The Catcher in the Rye becomes AbeBooks’ bestselling book in January.
  • AbeBooks’ bestselling signed book of the month is The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova.
  • AbeBooks’ most expensive sale of January is Mundus Subterraneus by Athanasius Kircher for $10,000. Mundus Subterraneus was first published in 1664 and suggests that tides are caused by water moving to and from a subterranean ocean. This edition was published in 1678.

February 2010

March 2010

  • American writer Barry Hannah, who won the William Faulkner award for his debut novel Geronimo Rex in 1972, dies at the age of 67.
  • Walmart cancels a series of appearances by Duane ‘Dog’ Chapman, the mullet-haired bounty-hunting star of reality TV, to promote his latest book because of ’security issues.’
  • March’s most expensive sale on AbeBooks is The Works of Herman Melville for $17,250. It’s a complete 16-volume set published in 1922 limited to 750 copies.

April 2010

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson

May 2010

June 2010

Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres
  • Influential Russian poet Andrei Voznesensky dies in Moscow at 77.
  • Louis de Bernieres, the author of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, reveals he is losing the use of his right hand due to Dupuytren’s contracture.
  • Nobel laureate Derek Walcott pulls out of the race to become Oxford professor of poetry. It’s the start of a chaotic series of events involving sexual harassment claims and whispering campaigns. The winner, Ruth Padel, lasts nine days in the job.
  • Portuguese author Jose Saramago dies at 87. He is best known for Blindness, written in 1995. He won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1998.
  • AbeBooks’ bestselling signed book of June is The Passage by Justin Cronin. The Road to Serfdom by F.A. Hayek – featured by right-wing media figure Glenn Beck – is the overall bestselling book.
  • AbeBooks’ most expensive sale of June is Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States by Joseph Story for $14,062

July 2010

  • Canadian author Douglas Coupland designs and launches a line of clothing.
  • British author Beryl Bainbridge dies aged 75.
  • The blood of star Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar is used to create the paper pulp for a deluxe book about his career. Each of the 10 copies costs $75,000.
  • American novelist Anne Rice announces she has “quit being a Christian.”
  • R.J. Ellory, a convicted poacher, wins the Theakstons’ Old Peculier crime novel of the year award for A Simple Act of Violence.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is AbeBooks’ bestselling book in July.  The most popular signed book is once again The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet.
  • AbeBooks' most expensive sale of July is The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas for $7,048 – it’s the first English translation published in 1846 in London.

August 2010

  • J.D. Salinger’s toilet is put up for sale on eBay.
  • A ferry company in British Columbia, Canada, bans The Golden Mean by Annabel Lyon from its shops because the cover features a man’s bare bottom.
  • AbeBooks’ most expensive sale of August is The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon for $27,500. It was published in 1776 in six volumes.

September 2010

October 2010

The Way to Paradise by Mario Vargas Llosa
  • Mario Vargas Llosa, the Peruvian author based in Spain, is awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in literature. The 74-year-old is the first South American winner since Colombia’s Gabriel Garcia Marquez in 1982.
  • Jonathan Franzen’s British tour to promote Freedom is a nightmare - he discovers the UK printers have printed the wrong version and then someone steals his glasses (off his face) at a signing.
  • The Man Booker Prize is won by Howard Jacobson for The Finkler Question. The novelist, who has been publishing books for almost 30 years, says he thrilled to be “discovered at 69.”
  • October’s most expensive sale on AbeBooks is the famous Arion Press edition of Melville’s Moby Dick with artwork by Barry Moser for $28,900.


November 2010

Decoded by Jay-Z
  • India’s Environment Minister blames Harry Potter fans for the dwindling number of wild owls in his country.
  • David Cameron, Britain’s prime minister, reveals his favorite childhood book was Our Island Story by Henrietta Elizabeth Marshall.
  • The Sentimentalists by Johanna Skibsrud wins Canada’s Giller Prize. Nova Scotia-based publisher Gaspereau Press, which hand-prints the books, cannot keep up with demand.
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot wins the Wellcome Trust Book Prize for books about medicine.
  • November’s most expensive sale on AbeBooks is an 800-year-old Islamic manuscript about the words and deeds of the prophet Muhammad for $45,000.
  • Decision Points by George W Bush is AbeBooks’ bestselling signed book in November – books by teenage popstar Justin Bieber and rapper Jay Z also appear on the top 10 list.

December 2010

  • A copy of John James Audubon’s Birds of America sells for $10 million at auction in London.
  • An illuminated manuscript from the 14th century about King Arthur sells for more than $3.1 million at auction.
  • The remake of True Grit, starring Jeff Bridges as Rooster Cogburn, sparks interest in Charles Portis' original novel from 1968.
  • Jonathan Franzen's Freedom is the bestselling signed book of 2010.
  • AbeBooks reveals its most expensive sales of the year.

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