ABC’s Favorite Books of 2010, Part The First

Whew, we made it to December 6th!  Sinterklaas is on his way home to Spain to enjoy his well-deserved rest, which means it must be time for us to start posting our colleagues’ Favorite Reads of the past year.  We hope you enjoy reading about what we enjoyed reading the past 12 months, and hopefully we’ll give you some ideas to boot!

This year we would again love to hear from you what your favorite reads were.  Please send us your top 5 (they don’t have to be books published in 2010, just read in 2010).  You can mail them to, and be sure to include your mailing address so we can send you an ABC gift voucher as a thank you.  We’ll publish your lists at the beginning of 2011 so you have all month to mail them in.

Without further ado, here are the first three lists, sent in by Paul, Simone, and Pleun.  Who discovered new authors?  Who met the scariest fictional person ever written?  And who laughed a lot?


1. Naked – David Sedaris
The best laughs I had reading this year were from this book! Hilarious!!

2. Ford County – John Grisham
Nice to read a book by Grisham that’s not about lawyers and law firms, etc. Very nice short stories.

3. 61 Hours – Lee Child
I always love Jack Reacher novels. I Always try to imagine who would play him in the film, maybe Mickey Rourke? He has to be huge!

4. Tell No One – Harlan Coben
Nice book which is very smartly written and is about the pharmaceutical drug abuse among teen kids in the US. Gripping!

5. When You Are Engulfed In Flames – David Sedaris
Liked this book, but no way as much as Naked.


Russian Winter – Daphne Kalotay
This debut novel attracted me because of the cover, and it more than lived up to its expectations! Intrigue, love and loss, historic perspective, and an incredible ending.

A Gate at the Stairs – Lorrie Moore
This novel introduced me to Lorrie Moore, and was a great surprise. The main character has a wonderful voice that grabs you from the start and takes you on a journey. Excellent use of language.

Kill the Messenger – Tami Hoag
A story with speed! Right from the beginning there is no sitting down, no quiet time, a rollercoaster crime novel that you cannot put down until you’ve finished it.

Point of Origin – Patricia Cornwell
Just one of several Scarpetta novels I have read this year, I was kind of hooked for several weeks. Scarpetta is fascinating, and so are all the main characters.

Hundred-Dollar Baby – Robert B. Parker
I was sorry to hear Robert B. Parker passed away this year. He was one of my favourite authors in my teens, and I hugely enjoyed reading this Spencer novel, it took me right back.


1. Serena – Ron Rash
It’s 1929 and lumber king George Pemberton marries the beautiful Serena. After he returns with his bride to the woods of North Carolina a powerful destruction sets in. A destruction of the woods and all its inhabitants and of people both mentally and physically. Serena is, I think, the scariest fictional person I have ever read about. A truly amazing book that shows how evil and destructive people can be.

2. The Observations – Jane Harris
Bessy is a young girl looking for work in Scotland when she is hired by Arabella Reid to work at Castle Haivers. Soon Bessy has to perform all kinds of weird tests by Arabella and Bessy gets caught in a web of lies and deceit. You just read Bessy’s point of view and her voice is so original and sometimes very funny – it is hard to put down this book!

3. My Last Duchess – Daisy Goodwin
If you love The Buccaneers by Edith Wharton you will probably also like this book. Cora Cash, a young American heiress, marries the Duke of Wareham Ivo Maltravers. When they move to the UK after the ceremony life for Cora changes drastically. With strict protocol Cora has difficulty adjusting to her new role as Duchess. When it turns out Ivo has a few skeletons in his closet Cora is forced to look at her life and make a decision.
A perfect read for a holiday!

4. The Japanese Skincare Revolution – Chizu Saeki
A wonderful book about how to take care of your skin. Lots of tips how you can best clean your skin and nourish it. After following the instructions my skin is definitely looking brighter and less dull! A must have if you are thirty-something!

5. Sharp Objects – Gillian Flynn
When there is a girl missing in her small hometown of Wind Gap, Missouri, Camille Preaker gets the assignment from her Chicago-based newspaper to cover the story. Camille left this town with good reason, leaving her unloving mother, silent stepfather and manipulative stepsister behind. With lead in her shoes she comes back and investigates what happened and finds out that the death of this little girl is connected to another death a couple of years previous. While digging deeper into the case she also gets sucked into her dark en and very dysfunctional family. A page turner if I ever read one! Also, Gillians Flynn’s other book Dark Places is a must-read!

Image of book stack: Wonderlane