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:
- A Visit from the Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan
- Freedom, Jonathan Franzen
- Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand
- The Surrendered, Chang-rae Lee
- The Big Short, Michael Lewis
- The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot
- Just Kids, Patti Smith
- Man in the Woods, Scott Spencer
- Lonely Polygamist, Brady Udall
- The Warmth of Other Suns, Isabel Wilkerson
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:
- Theodore Boone, Kid Lawyer, John Grisham
- The Carrie Diaries, Candace Bushnell
- The Gift and Demons and Druids, James Patterson
- Infinity, Sherrilyn Kenyon
- Virals, Kathy Reichs
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:
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 Film Unfinished
- Joan Rivers – A Piece of Work
- Shutter Island
- The Tillman Story
- The Town
- Toy Story 3
- Winter's Bone
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, www.midwesttapes.com. 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.