I'm supposed to name my top ten books of 2010, but what I've done is list those I enjoyed reading most during the year, whether newly-published or not. On reflection, I'm rather appalled at the dearth of fiction, but I think you can probably see a pattern or two in the topics that have preoccupied me over the past twelve months.
The order is purely chronological - the sequence in which I read them. I wish I could have stretched it into early January, to include Eamon Duffy's excellent Fires of Faith, about the reign of Queen Mary, or Hitch 22, in which I'm thoroughly absorbed right now.
A couple of interesting facts. First, Bob and I have both included the same Saramago novel, and even more intriguingly, we both read it at more or less the same time (last August) in more or less the same place (the Lisbon coast). Second, I discovered after reading one of the books on this list that I share an office with a close relative of its author (but you'll have to guess which one).
I'm supposed to tag others, but the moment has probably passed. So here we go:
John Adams by David McCullough
Anna Laetitia Barbauld: voice of the Enlightenment by William McCarthy
The Bridge: the life and rise of Barack Obama by David Remnick
The Invention of Air: an experiment, a journey, a new country and the amazing force of scientific discovery by Steve Johnson
The Age of Wonder: how the romantic generation discovered the beauty and terror of science by Richard Holmes
The Lunar Men: the friends who made the future 1730-1810 by Jenny Uglow
Baltasar and Blimunda by Jose Saramago
A Journey by Tony Blair
The Whole Equation: a history of Hollywood by David Thomson
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens