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Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010: The Entertainment Year in Review

With December ending, have you rounded out your collections with the hottest titles of 2010? After consulting numerous year-end lists, I’ve narrowed down the best of the best of 2010. Check out the recommendations below to be sure your library has these top titles from 2010 before the New Year rolls in.

Award Winners
Publishers Weekly reviews over 7,000 books each year, so I trust their end of the year choices. And after reading Rebecca Skloot’s touching yet informative The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks I completely agree with its spot on the Top Ten list. Here are the Weekly’s selections:
  1. A Visit from the Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan
  2. Freedom, Jonathan Franzen
  3. Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand
  4. The Surrendered, Chang-rae Lee
  5. The Big Short, Michael Lewis
  6. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot
  7. Just Kids, Patti Smith
  8. Man in the Woods, Scott Spencer
  9. Lonely Polygamist, Brady Udall
  10. The Warmth of Other Suns, Isabel Wilkerson
These titles along with other notables like By Nightfall, The Postmistress, and National Book Award finalist Parrot & Oliver in America appear on several year-end lists.

Additionally, the late Stieg Larsson’s popular Millennium Trilogy ended in May with the publishing of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest. The Swede’s pulp fantasy earned a spot on the New York Times 2010 Notables list and AudioFile’s Best of 2010 list. Overall, the trilogy, including The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played with Fire, sold over 27 million copies in more than 40 countries.1

Curious as to what other titles earned multiple accolades? Click here for a downloadable spreadsheet of adult best books selections from national reviews.

Adult Authors, Youthful Listens
Meanwhile, some fiction authors started catering to younger audiences. Check out these titles written for young adults by bestselling fiction authors:
Other top children’s stories were New York Times bestseller, Incarceron, Mockingjay, a part of the Hunger Games series, the starred review Will Grayson, Will Grayson, and Keeper, a tale of a young girl looking for her mermaid mother.

These are just a few of 2010’s top titles. To find more outstanding audiobooks from 2010, SmartBrowse: LJ’s Top Book List, LJ’s Best Audiobooks of 2010, NY Times 2010 Notables, and PW’s Best of 2010.

Leaders of the Pack
After snagging 10 Grammy nominations, it makes perfect sense that Eminem’s album, Recovery, was the bestselling album of the year, selling over three million copies. However, when it comes to first week sales, Taylor Swift’s love-laden album, Speak Now, came out on top. Here are the top 10 debuting albums of 2010:
  1. Speak Now, Taylor Swift
  2. Recovery, Eminem
  3. Soldier of Love, Sade
  4. My Dark Twisted Fantasy, Kanye West
  5. Need You Now, Lady Antebellum,
  6. Thank me Later,Drake
  7. Pink Friday, Nicki Minaj
  8. Raymond v. Raymond, Usher
  9. The Gift, Susan Boyle
  10. My World 2.0, Justin Bieber 2
Other prized bands include Montreal indie rockers, Arcade Fire with their orchestral album, The Suburbs, and Vampire Weekend’s 2nd album Contra. New to the scene, folk-rockers Mumford & Sons surprised listeners with their first album, Sigh No More—one of my personal favorites. And electronic pop dance beats from Yeasayer ( Odd Blood), Maximum Balloon (Maximum Balloon), and LCD Soundsystem (This is Happening) hit the right note with listeners and reviewers.

Back in the Saddle
Elton John and Leon Russell rekindled their friendship in 2010, releasing The Union, an impressive compilation of guitars, brass, choir, and standout lyrics. Peter Wolf released Midnight Souvenirs after an eight year hiatus and punk rockers Superchunk released their first album in nine years, Majesty Shredding. Additionally, Sade released Soldier of Love, the first in 10 years—but well worth the wait.

Find more chart-topping CDs from 2010 by SmartBrowsing Best of 2010 – Rolling Stone, NPR’s Favorite Albums of 2010, Best of 2010 – Spin, Best of NPR Classical, and Best of NPR Jazz.

Social Network Finds Fans
It’s hard to say whether it was the sheer popularity of Facebook or the spectacular acting from Jesse Eisenberg that brought viewers in droves to see The Social Network. Regardless, both the average viewer (including myself) and the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures “liked” it. The film grossed $90.5 million worldwide and the board named it the best film of 2010. Additionally, Time Magazine named Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg Person of the Year. 3

The board also awarded best-of-the-year -honorable mentions to the following films:
A number of television shows also impressed in 2010. Racking up multiple Golden Globe nominations were Glee, Mad Men, The Pacific, The Good Wife, 30 Rock, Dexter, and hilarious newcomer Modern Family. Midwest Tape offers a large selection of TV on DVD products that are easy to find on our website, By SmartBrowsing television series, you can find a list of these titles broken down by subcategory.

The Latest Craze
However, perhaps the biggest trend of 2010 was the popularity of 3D entertainment. Throughout the year, over 20 films were released in 3D, including some of the year’s best. Topping the charts this summer were in-your-face-flicks Toy Story 3 ($415million), Alice in Wonderland ($334 million), and Shrek Forever After ($238.4million) 4. These animated pictures, along with Despicable Me and How to Train your Dragon, dominated the box office.

Bye-Bye Harry, Hello Bella
Concluding on a bittersweet note, 2010 was the beginning of the end for Harry Potter and his clan. They became one-step closer to ending their 10-year-reign with the cinematic release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. Still in theaters, it has grossed $244.2 million so far. Another book-based movie, Eclipse, from the Twilight Saga, set a record for the biggest midnight opening in the United States and Canada, grossing over $30 million.5

Did I miss any of your favorites? What titles were popular at your library in 2010? Share your thoughts here as comments and look for News & Views’ upcoming post about what to watch for in 2011.



  1. I love these 'best of lists', makes my job much easier... keep them coming. Thanks for your hard work!

  2. Thanks Jenny,
    Here at Midwest Tape our job is to make your job easier, whether it be through collection development, processing, or cataloging. I’m glad you found our list helpful.


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