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2010: A Year in Review and My Favorite Books

2010: A Year in Review and My Favorite Books post image

While I’m not always sure how interesting year in review posts are, I think it’s a good thing to go back over and year and see where you’ve been. It helps give a direction for where you decide you’re going. So here’s a look back at 2010 at Sophisticated Dorkiness, including my favorite books of the year each month.


Favorite Book: The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood because of the way it got me excited about reading to start the year. I flew through this book and did not want it to end.


Favorite Book: The Poisoner’s Handbook by Deborah Blum, but it’s hard for me to be objective about the book.  I think Deb, a former professor, is great, and I loved hearing about the writing process of this book during classes with her.


  • I was a guest on “That’s How I Blog!” — a podcast hosted by Nicole of Linus’s Blanket, where we got to chat about Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven by Susan Jane Gilman.
  • And then school proceeded to kick my butt for the next two months.

Favorite Book: Making Toast by Roger Rosenblatt because it hit just the right note when I wanted to read it. It’s a beautiful little memoir.


Favorite Book: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath because it was one of those classics that felt completely relevant to me when I read it.


Favorite Book: This Day in the Life by Joni B. Cole, Rebecca Joffrey, and B.K. Rakhra because I’ve loved every single one of these collections.


Favorite Book: The Lunatic Express by Carl Hoffman because it was an informative and entertaining piece of travel narrative nonfiction that just worked for me at the time.


Favorite Book: Finny by Justin Kramon, which was another unexpectedly charming and lovely book that hit the spot for me over my 4th of July vacation.


  • I moved in August, so the month was pretty quiet at the blog. I can’t find any posts that I really loved, so we’ll just chalk the month up to being mellow.

Favorite Book: The Tricking of Freya and The Angel of Grozny — I couldn’t pick just one of these since they were both so good, but for very different reasons.


Favorite Book: Candy Freak by Steve Almond because it was the perfect type of nonfiction — entertaining, fun, and informative.


Favorite Book: Hamlet’s Blackberry by Howard Richler, which I haven’t reviewed yet but loved a lot because of the way it made me feel more calm about technology.


Favorite Book: The Odyssey by Homer because it surprised me. I thought it was going to be tense and hard to read, but it was a really fun book for me to read.


Favorite Book: Ummm…. The City and the City… or Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter… or The Weird Sisters… or The Warmth of Other Suns. December has been an awesome reading month.

So that was 2010 in review. I think it’s interesting how many of my favorite books from the year were books I accepted for reviews — 5 of 12. I have to say, I didn’t read a lot of mind-blowing books this year, but I did read a lot of very, very good ones. Overall, a pretty sweet year in my life and my blogging life. Let’s hope 2011 is just as great!

Photo Credit: Crazy Baby via Flickr

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Jen - Devourer of Books December 29, 2010, 10:11 am

    I love the way you organized this! I really, really, really still want to read THE POISONER’S HANDBOOK.

    • Kim January 1, 2011, 3:35 pm

      Jen: Read it 🙂 It goes really fast, actually, and is super fascinating. I bet it would be a good one on audio, too.

  • Lu December 29, 2010, 10:14 am

    Thank you for reminding me about Making Toast! I really wanted to read it when it came out, but had forgotten about it since then. I loved how you did this by month. Can I also say that I’m so jealous of all the book blogger meeting you’ve gotten to do this year? That’s something I want to accomplish in the next year, meeting more of my blogging friends 🙂

    • Kim January 1, 2011, 3:26 pm

      Lu: I had so much fun doing book blogger meetings – this was the first year I did it, and I hope to do some more this year. I love meeting bloggers in person because so many of them are exactly as you expect they would be 🙂 And Making Toast was such a great book when I read it — I hope you like it!

  • Iris December 29, 2010, 10:16 am

    I hope 2011 is just as great for you as well 🙂

    • Kim January 1, 2011, 3:26 pm

      Iris: Thanks, same to you!

  • Trisha December 29, 2010, 10:54 am

    What an awesome way to organize this! Love it – and may have to steal it for next year. 🙂

    • Kim January 1, 2011, 3:27 pm

      Trisha: Thanks! It took awhile to put together, but was fun to go back through posts and see what I’d written about. Steal away 🙂

  • Vasilly December 29, 2010, 11:11 am

    You had an awesome year! I hope 2011 is just as great!

    • Kim January 1, 2011, 3:27 pm

      Vasilly: Yeah, I did. And I agree – yay for a great 2011!

  • rhapsodyinbooks December 29, 2010, 3:20 pm

    Fun month by month wrap-up! I agree with Trisha – great idea for stealing! (with attribution, of course!) :–)

    • Kim January 1, 2011, 3:30 pm

      rhapsodyinbooks: Like I said to Trisha, steal away. I think doing it by month actually helped pick my favorite books.

  • Christina December 29, 2010, 4:48 pm

    I totally understand that some months can be pretty quite around the ol’ blog, but it looks like you had a pretty awesome year. I hope 2011 is just as good to you.

    • Kim January 1, 2011, 3:32 pm

      Christina: Yeah, it happens. Summer is hard, especially with my move, so it’s not too surprising that August was quite. Here’s to a great 2011 to you too!

  • Miss Remmers December 30, 2010, 9:33 am

    What a great post! Hope 2011 is just as fantastic!

    • Kim January 1, 2011, 3:32 pm

      Miss Remmers: Thanks, you too!

  • Amy December 30, 2010, 5:22 pm

    Congratulations on a busy and successful year! You really had a great one and I loved your recap. Happy 2011 🙂

    • Kim January 1, 2011, 3:33 pm

      Amy: 2010 was a really busy year! I’m hoping 2011 is a little more relaxing, but also fun 🙂

  • Unruly Reader December 30, 2010, 10:14 pm

    I love year-in-review lists, and yours is a great one! Wishing you a great 2011 —

    • Kim January 1, 2011, 3:33 pm

      Unruly Reader: I’ve really loved all the year-in-review lists too. They can be a pain to put together, but lots of fun to read.

  • Florinda December 31, 2010, 12:21 am

    I’ve been reading excerpts from The Poisoner’s Handbook this week via DearReader.com (e-mail book club), and it’s fascinating. I think I’m going to go and read the rest of it at some point. Very cool that the author was your professor!

    • Kim January 1, 2011, 3:36 pm

      Florinda: That’s great, I hope you enjoy the book when you get a chance to read it!

  • nat @book, line, and sinker December 31, 2010, 10:55 am

    argghh!! i somehow missed your rant about bill bryson–one of my favorite writers. a walk in the woods is a great book and an annual re-read for me. i’ve read the rest of his books, and while i’ve enjoyed his narratives, i rarely read them to learn about the places he’s visited. rather, i like to see his perspective on the places. he does connect with locals in several of his books–he meets up and has dinner with the mayor while he’s visiting the northern lights–but will concede that he generally spends his nights alone. i enjoy his snark but know that other book blogging friends are turned off by it. maybe you could try a walk in the woods before completely swearing off bryson–it’s part humor, part education. 🙂 happy 2011!

    • Kim January 1, 2011, 3:39 pm

      nat: Everyone that I’ve talked about Bryson with recommends A Walk in the Woods as a great book. It’s on my TBR list because I want to give Bryson a fair chance. I’m reading his newest book, At Home, now, and I’m liking it a lot more than some of the other travel books. Happy 2011 to you, too!

  • Sheila (Bookjourney) December 31, 2010, 10:27 pm

    Wonderful post! I enjoyed reading your breakdown for the year! Happy new year Kim!

    • Kim January 1, 2011, 3:40 pm

      Sheila: Happy new year to you too, Sheila! I had so much fun meeting you in 2010 🙂

  • Bibliophile By the Sea January 1, 2011, 12:53 pm

    You have a great 2010 for books. I also liked Making Toast and the Bell Jar; Happy Reading in 2011

    • Kim January 1, 2011, 3:41 pm

      Bibliophile By the Sea: Loved Making Toast – it was a great memoir. Happy reading to you, too!

  • Andi January 1, 2011, 3:03 pm

    Happy new year!!! Let’s hope 2011 is as bookishly (and professionally, etc.) fruitful! *Heart* your blog always, Kim!

    • Kim January 1, 2011, 3:42 pm

      Andi: Happy new year to you too! I hope 2011 is just as lovely, since 2010 went pretty well 🙂

  • Esme January 1, 2011, 11:54 pm

    BEA was one of my favorite memories from the year-I am glad I got to share a room and meet you.

    Happy New Year.

    • Kim January 4, 2011, 10:40 pm

      Esme: I loved BEA — I cannot wait for this year. And I am so glad to have met you as well.

  • Stephanie January 2, 2011, 11:14 pm

    Great post! I haven’t read any of the favorite books you listed except for The Bell Jar, which I really connected with when I read it as a teen, and The Odyssey. Happy New Year, Kim!

    • Kim January 4, 2011, 10:42 pm

      Stephanie: I think The Bell Jar has connections for women of a lot of ages — we’ve all had those feelings, I think. And I loved The Odyssey, it was so much fun.

  • Anna January 6, 2011, 8:55 am

    I enjoy these recap posts because I always find something I missed over the course of the year. Wishing you all the best in 2011!

    • Kim January 10, 2011, 8:49 pm

      Anna: Same to you! I love skimming the recaps as well for the same reason.