The UK’s Guardian asked various writers and other public figures to recommend their favorites of 2010. Their responses are strikingly different from the often dry annotations on best books lists. For instance, a book that has received plenty of admiring attention breathes new life from this passionate recommendation,
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell is as enjoyable as a Patrick O’Brian novel and much better written. It’s a brilliantly imagined journey through 17th-century Japan and Holland which is moving, thoughtful and unexpectedly funny.
Curtis Sittenfeld (author of American Wife) recommends Stiltsville, an EarlyWord favorite. Now that she’s won us over with that example of impeccible taste, we’re ready to give her second recommendation a try.
I fell in love with two American first novels. Stiltsville by Susanna Daniel (Harper) is the gorgeously written story of a marriage over several decades, and it takes place in Miami, Florida, a place so vividly depicted you feel like you’ve travelled there while reading. If You Follow Me by Malena Watrous (HarperPerennial) is about a college graduate who goes to teach English in Japan, thinking she’ll end up in Tokyo and instead landing in a rural nuclear power plant town. It’s funny in a sharp, dark, painfully true way.
So, please, help us create a “Librarian’s Favorites” list; tell us what you loved this year, complete with your heartfelt recommendation.