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The Book Club Cheerleader’s Best Books of 2010

January 4, 2011

One of my Reading Resolutions for this past year was to read 50 books. (Yes, I am a snail- s…l…o…w… reader.) And If I cheat and include the whole New Year holiday weekend—which I’ve arbitrarily decided is completely legal—I just made my goal! So you would think it would be easy to choose The Book Club Cheerleader’s Top 10 Book Club Books of 2010—I mean I just have to take the Top 20% of the class, right? Nope. It wasn’t that easy for a couple of reasons…

First, although I read 50 books in 2010, not all of them were published in 2010, so they aren’t technically eligible to make The Book Club Cheerleader’s Top 10 Book Club Books of 2010… (This is even allowing for books that came out in paperback in 2010, since some book clubs wait for this milestone before choosing them as their monthly selection.) So, before I reveal The Book Club Cheerleader’s Top 10 Book Club Books of 2010, it’s only fair that I give a plug to those wonderful books that didn’t make the list simply because I was too slow in getting to them—I mean, really—it’s not their fault is it? Perhaps you’ve already read them—or maybe, like me prior to last year, you have yet to discover them—and that would be a shame…I guess we’ll have to call them The Book Club Cheerleader’s Top 10 Book Club Books NOT of 2010…But, more about them, later in today’s post…

Secondly, since I am such a slow reader, there are many seemingly wonderful books that were published in 2010—either in hardback or paperback—that were still sitting at the top of my To Be Read (TBR) pile when the clock clicked over into 2011. Friends, librarians, fellow bloggers and book club buddies—all whom I respect—highly recommend these books, but Sally-Slowreader here just couldn’t get to them last year…Again, not their fault…So although I plan to read them next in 2011, I can’t personally vouch for their awesomeness as book club selections. But they might be some that you want to look into. Who knows?—you’ll probably get to them before I do… These are The Book Club Cheerleader’s Top 10 TBR Books at the End of 2010…You can look forward to comparing notes on these on Thursday’s blog…

And finally, we’ll wrap up this week’s Best Books series on Friday with the actual and outstanding list of The Book Club Cheerleader’s Top 10 Book Club Books of 2010! Things to look forward to!

So, without further ado—here—for your reading enjoyment—and book club edification—but in no particular order—is The Book Club Cheerleader’s Top 10 Book Club Books NOT of 2010!

The Book Club Cheerleader’s Top 10 Book Club Books NOT of 2010

Better than Fiction:

The following book was only one of two non-fiction books to make the “NOT 2010” list and illustrates the fact that sometimes truth is better than fiction…  

1) The Middle Place, by Kelly Corrigan, Voice (January 8, 2008.) Kelly Corrigan’s wonderful memoir tells a tale of her—and her families—fight against cancer. With some wonderfully funny and poignant flash-backs to her growing up years, the author’s first book is part journal and part love-letter to her family—and especially to her wonderful dad. I laughed, I cried—you get the picture—it’s a must read! My book club and I were lucky enough to hear Kelly read in San Jose last year—great experience! FYI—she follows up in 2010 with a memoirella (a tiny memoir), Lift, which is basically a letter to her two girls.

Hidden Gems:

You may not see the following three books on the NYT best-seller lists, but I found them to all be remarkable in their own way—and wanted to give them a special recommendation to book clubs. 

2) Paper Children – An Immigrant’s Legacy, by Marcia Fine, Hudson House (March, 2007.) The author’s second novel, is a family saga spanning three generations of women struggling with the issue of her day. First we meet Paulina, from an upper-crust Warsaw family—lost to her when Europe closes their doors to the Jews. This character is based on true events from her Grandmother’s life. Her daughter, Sara, although born in America, is also affected by WWII in Europe, but in a different way. And finally, Mimi, raised by a single mother in Miami, struggles with the history of her ancestors in her own quest for identity.

This book earned an Honorable Mention at the Writers-Editors Florida State Writing Competition for 2007, and was a finalist in the Historical Category for ForeWord magazine Book of the Year. Check out Marcia’s Author’s Angle on BCC.com as she talks about visiting book clubs. Also, for any of you NorCal book clubs, Marcia is scheduled to speak at the Woodland Public Library on March 30, at 5:30 PM. Please join us!

3) Seven Laurels, by Linda Busby Parker, Southeast Missouri State University Press (April 2004.) I met Linda at the Pulpwood Queens Girlfriends weekend last year where she taught a writer’s workshop. I so enjoyed her talk, that I bought her book. As did several others in my neighborhood book club and we subsequently selected it as one of our fall reads. It turned out to be one of the best discussions we’ve ever had! While Linda writes in a beautifully lyrical way, she doesn’t sacrifice plot. It is still rich with true history, human drama, and raw emotion. I couldn’t put it down—nor could most of my reading group. I can’t wait to hear more from this talented university professor. This book won the James Jones First Novel Award.

4) Man of the House, by Ad Hudler, Ballantine Books (September, 2008)  A fabulously funny novel, which is both a sequel to HouseHusband ( April, 2004) and a thinly veiled take-off of the author’s own life as homemaker and all around guy-that-holds-the-family-together. Warning: Do not drink Diet Pepsi while reading this book. It is guaranteed to go right up your nose as you spontaneously break out in guffaws! Of course, most book clubs don’t read humor books, per se. However, in addition to the laugh-out-loud humor, it carries some rich themes of family, loyalty, and gender roles, has great character development—and I do mean “characters”—while taking us on a dramatic adventure. It was chosen as a Pulpwood Queens Book Club selection in 2010. Check out Ad’s Author’s Angle piece on BCC.com where he writes about visiting book clubs on his Tail Gate Tour.

Join us tomorrow as we continue with numbers 5-10 of The Book Club Cheerleader’s Top 10 Book Club Books NOT of 2010—including the categories of Long, Long Time Ago, Superb Series, and World War II books…Until then,

Cheers!

BCC

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