1. Worst Book
Ha! I wouldn't actually announce this mainly because I would feel bad if an author saw this and it was theirs. And I mean, we all have different taste in books. But I've seen some "poor sports" when it comes to authors. You can say the nicest things about them or point out all the things you DID like but if you say something bad, there are some that will cause a fuss. And quite possibly the book I would put here is by an author who DID cause a fuss when I posted my review of her book. So I won't say. However, not that this would apparently make that (or possibly any) author feel better, there were many books this year I did not finish, and the one I would place in this category, I DID, so hey, there's something. Anyway, sorry to totally fake you guys out on this one! (Although if you're super observant you may have figured out what book it is.....)
2. Most Disappointing Book
Okay, so this one's a little different. There are various reasons why I would have been disappointed by a book. And my being so doesn't make it a bad book or even one that others don't love. As in therapy... it's my issue, not the author's. The book(s) that most disappointed me this year were The Unnamed by Joshua Ferris and The Postmistress by Sarah Blake. Both were highly anticipated books that really did get tons of great reviews. But I found myself disappointed in both. =(
3. Most Surprising (in a good way!)
Okay, I've got two for this category too, though only one was actually published this year. The one I was most pleasantly surprised by this year was The Outside Boy by Jeanine Cummins. I mentioned it in the review, but I wasn't sure if based on the topic I would be into this one, but I ended up loving it! Every time I see this on a shelf somewhere I smile remembering how I enjoyed that one. I met the author at the book blogger convention too and she was so friendly! I had another pleasant surprise that was a 2009 book: The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. Zombie Book?! Me?! Yup, apparently so.
4. Most Recommended
I tend to be very careful with recommending books if it is to people that don't read much. So I don't do it much. But other readers, here is what I recommended... Malena Watrous's If you Follow Me, the aforementioned The Outside Boy by Jeanine Cummins, and from 2009, the non-fiction book, Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.
6. Favorite New Author
Hmmm... I have two, no three, that I would say are my favorite new authors this year. They would be Jennifer McMahan who wrote Dismantled that I read this year, Margaret Dilloway who wrote this year's How to Be an American Housewife (I love her blog too), and Lauren Oliver who wrote this year's Before I Fall. Looking forward to reading more by all of these authors!
7. Favorite Returning Author
I picked new authors but I wanted to highlight those who aren't new to me who also wrote some great books this year. For me they are Emma Donoghue who wrote Room, Carolyn Parkhurst who wrote The Nobodies Album, Katrina Kittle who wrote The Blessings of the Animals, and Kristy Kiernan who wrote Between Friends. (I also met her this year and she was incredibly friendly!!)
8. Most Hilarious Book
I believe this may actually be a book I just finished last night, so I don't yet have a review to link to... that would be This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper. It is heartbreaking yet hilarious. Dash and Lily's Book of Dares wasn't necessarily the most hilarious but was certainly fun! And I definitely found If You Follow Me pretty humorous! Honorable Mention: Married with Zombies by Jesse Petersen.
9. Best Book about Dysfunctional Families
Hehe, I thought this was a good category to add. I chose Commuters by Emily Gray Tedrowe which was a great debut and The Nobodies Album by Carolyn Parkhurst. But there is also a 2009 book that I just finished last night, This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper (review to come).
10. Most Thrilling, Unputdownable Book
Well, the book I have for this category actually doesn't come out until next year: Delirious by Daniel Palmer. And then I also have two that are 2009 books that I absolutely devoured, and those were Dismantled by Jennifer McMahan and The Wrong Mother by Sophie Hannah.
11. Most Anticipated Book
I really think the book I was most excited about was one I actually didn't find out about until the very first night of BEA when I went to the Editor's Buzz... I ended up getting a copy of the book that night, later had it signed by the author, Emma Donoghue, and started reading it before I left NYC, but I realllly think once I found out about it I was more excited than any other book this year. That book is Room! As for any I knew ahead of time, I think it might be The Blessings of the Animals by Katrina Kittle and Between Friends by Kristy Kiernan because I've really enjoyed their other books!
13. Most Memorable Character
Christy from The Outside Boy and Kimberly from Jean Kwok's Girl in Translation. And clearly, it's not from this year, but Francie (and her brother, Neely) from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.
14. Most Beautifully Written
So many books this year were superbly written, but my pick for this category goes to a book that I would read again just to take in and savor the beautiful writing. That is The Blind Contessa's New Machine by Carey Wallace. Even though it wasn't my favorite book, I can't bear to part with it because when I think of it, I think simply, "beautiful".
15. Book that had the Greatest Impact
This one's rough... I'm not really sure how much of an impact any of the books had on me.... I'm going to go with some non-fiction that I read. I'm going to say Laura and Lisa Ling's Somewhere Inside and Euna Lee's The World Is Bigger Now (you really should read them both), and from 2009, Half the Sky. If for no other reason, each of these reminded me to be passionate about the issues that are pertinent to me. Each of these author's/journalists are inspirational.
16. Can't Believe I Waited until 2010 to Read!
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. For sure! Oh! Also, To Kill a Mockingbird (which I have a review ready for but have not yet posted!)
That's that! Stay tuned tomorrow for The Best of 2010!!