When I finish my current read,the grand total for the year will be 88. Less than in previous years actually but then there have been a number of off-blog diversions that have laid claim to my attention. Not least a growing interest in photography and – er – diet and exercise. While the TBR has not shrunk this year, I have. 2 dress sizes and, quite unexpectedly, a shoe size too! Hence the first award this year, goes to an unreviewed but proven cookery book. After that, the awards revert to categories reflecting threads that have run through my reading during the last 12 months and are restricted to titles I have reviewed, in my own opinion, “properly”. (Apologies once more to Veronique Olmi’s Beside the Sea.)
Of the 88, I awarded 5-stars to only 4 titles – 2 of which were novella rereads: Chronicle of A Death Foretold and Aquis Submersus. I’ve excluded them from these awards but they are the yardstick I’m using to determine my Book of the Year. However, every book in the following list earned at least 4-stars, which puts them all in the excellent bracket.
Without further ado, I present Lizzy’s 2010 baker’s dozen.
Cookery Book of the Year: Weight Watchers Cook Smart Family Food
Best of British published 2010: The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet – David Mitchell
Best Foreign Novel published 2010: Visitation – Jenny Erpenbeck
Best From Spain and Best Comic Read: A Not So Perfect Crime – Teresa Solana
Best of British read on the basis of an awards listing: Hearts and Minds – Amanda Craig (Orange 2010 Longlist)
Best Foreign Novel read on the basis of an awards listing: Settlement – Christoph Hein (IMPAC 2010 Shortlist)
Best Metafictional Novel: Tearjerker – Daniel Hayes
Best Crime Novel published 2010: The Existential Detective – Alice Thompson
Bleakest Crime Novel and Discovery of the Year: Dirty Snow – Georges Simenon
Best Non-Fiction: Effie: A Victorian Scandal – Merryn Williams
Biggest Surprise: Suite Francaise – Irene Nemirovsky
5-star Best Memoir and Audio Book of the Year: Family Romance – John Lanchester
5-star, Best Novella and Lizzy’s Book of the Year: The Sound of My Voice – Ron Butlin