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Beth’s Best Reads of 2010

three-day-road-joseph-boydenSo, the year is almost at an end. Gadzooks and egad, I don’t know how that can be possible, but then, it seems the older I get, the more time speeds up to a comical, whooshing pace.

I read a lot this year. I didn’t keep track of them all like the year before, because it seemed annoying and anal-retentive to do every year, but I now find myself really wishing I had that list to refer to. So, I guess I will do it for 2011.

Of the books I can currently recall (sheesh), my favourites of the year would be:

Tinkers by Paul Harding. It’s a slow, thoughtful book, with unusual flow and pacing, that zooms into the most paintsaking, patient, minute details of life, then zooms out to the most far-reaching, big picture questions we all face. It’s a beautiful and well-written book. The more I think about it, the more I like it.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett. This is by no means a new subject – black oppression and the beginning of the civil rights movement in 1960s southern America. But it’s told from a largely fresh angle (though touched on before by characters such as Harper Lee’s Calpurnia), and is such an engaging story that I found it impossible to put down.

Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden. From the wildest bush in Canada to the trenches of France and Germany in WWI, from traditional folklore and medicines to tanks and sophisticated weapons, Three Day Road gracefully explores Canada’s shameful past in treatment of its indigenous people, at the hands of institutions such as the residential schools and the military. Though the book has stark scenes of appalling barbarism and brutality, it feels less like a “war book” and more like a journal. It was an excellent story.

The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. Pure pleasure to read. This is not life-changing literature, but it’s creative, engaging, fast-paced and highly suspenseful storytelling in an arena reminiscent of The Running Man and Lord of the Flies. I devoured these books and wanted more.

What about you? Leave us a comment and tell us what your favourite reads of 2010 (not necessarily published this year, just books you read this year) were.

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