2010 book list
001. Tombs of Atuan - Ursula K. Le Guin* --- fantasy, fiction, 192 pages, 12/28-01/05, rating: 4/5
"When youn Tenar is chosen as high priestess to the ancient and nameless Powers of the Earth, everything is taken away -- home, family, possessions, even her name. For she is now Arha, the Eaten One, guardian of the ominous Tombs of Atuan. While she is learning her way through the dark labyrinth, a young wizard, Ged, comes to steal the Tombs' greatest hidden treasure, the Ring of Erreth-Akbe. But Ged also brings with him the light of magic, and together, he and Tenar escape from the darkness that has become her domain."
002. Slanted and Enchanted: The Evolution of Indie Culture - Kaya Oakes --- non fiction, 256 pages, 01/04-01/16, rating: 2.5/5
"A lively examination of the spirit and practices that have made the indie movement into a powerful cultural phenomenon."
003. The Left Hand of Darkness - Ursula K. Le Guin* --- science fiction, classic, 304 pages, 01/17-03/19, rating: 4.5/5
"Light is the left hand of darkness, and darkness is the right hand of light. Two are one, life and death, lying together like lovers in kemmer, like hands joined together, like the end and the way."
004. The Sparrow - Mary Doria Russell --- science fiction, classic, 403 pages, 03/20-04/15, rating: 5/5
"In 2019, humanity finally finds proof of extraterrestrial life when a listening post in Puerto Rico picks up exquisite singing from a planet which will come to be known as Rakhat. While United Nations diplomats endlessly debate a possible first contact mission, the Society of Jesus quietly organizes an eight-person scientific expedition of its own."
005. Juile and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously - Julie Powell --- fiction, 359 pages, 04/15-04/17, rating: 4/5
"Julie Powell, nearing thirty and trapped in a dead-end secretarial job, resolves to reclaim her life by cooking in the span of a single year, every one of the 524 recipes in Julia Child's legendary Mastering the Art of French Cooking"
006. Juliet, Naked - Nick Hornby --- fiction, 406 pages, 04/18-4/21, rating: 3.5/5
"What happens when a washed-up musician looks for another chance? And miles away, a restless, childless woman looks for a change? Juliet, Naked is a powerfully engrossing, humblingly humorous novel about music, love, loneliness, and the struggle to live up to one's promise."
007. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Philip K. Dick --- science fiction, 242 pages, 01/05-4/21, rating: 4/5
"The year is 2021. Somewhere out there, among the hordes of humans, lurk several rogue androids. Rick Deckard's assignment: find them and then... "retire" them. Trouble is, the androids all look and act exactly like humans, and they don't want to be found."
008. The Farthest Shore - Ursula K Le Guin* --- fantasy, fiction, 272 pages,4/24 -7/7, rating: 3.5/5
"A young prince joins forces with a master wizard on a journey to discover a cause and remedy for the loss of magic in Earthsea. "
009. Eating the Dinosaur - Chuck Klosterman --- non-fiction, pop culture, music, 256 pages, 7/18-7/22, rating: 3.5/5
"Q: What is this book about?
A: Well, that's difficult to say. I haven't read it yet - I've just clicked on it and casually glanced at this webpage. There clearly isn't a plot. I've heard there's a lot of stuff about time travel in this book, and quite a bit about violence and Garth Brooks and why Germans don't laugh when they're inside grocery stores. Ralph Nader and Ralph Sampson play significant roles. I think there are several pages about Rear Window and football and Mad Men and why Rivers Cuomo prefers having sex with Asian women. Supposedly there's a chapter outlining all the things the Unabomber was right about, but perhaps I'm misinformed."
010. Downtown Owl - Chuck Klosterman --- fiction, music, 256 pages, 09/10-09/18, rating: 3.5/5
"Somewhere in North Dakota, there is a town called Owl that isn't there. Disco is over but punk never happened. They don't have cable. They don't really have pop culture, unless you count grain prices and alcoholism. People work hard and then they die. They hate the government and impregnate teenage girls. But that's not nearly as awful as it sounds; in fact, sometimes it's perfect."
011. Up in the Air - Walter Kirn --- fiction, novel turned movie, 320 pages, 10/10-010/18, rating: 3.0/5
"Officially, Bingham is a management consultant, specializing in the lugubrious field of career transition counseling (i.e., he fires people for a living). But what Kirn's airborne protagonist is really doing is pursuing his own private passion, his great white whale: accumulating one million miles in his frequent-flyer account. As Up in the Air opens, Bingham has set out on a final, epic traveling jag. He intends to visit eight cities in six days, thereby achieving his own vision of Nirvana somewhere over Sioux Falls, South Dakota.."
012. Dragon Quartet: Book of Earth - Marjorie B. Kellogg --- science fiction, fantasy, 335 pages, 10/29-11/10, rating: 3.5/5
"In the beginning, four dragons--Earth, Water, Fire, and Air--were raised up to create the world. But long before World's End, something goes wrong and Erde senses it. With no one to protect her from the swiftly spreading madness, Erde flees her father's castle, seeking the dragon called Earth and its mage, the only beings that can save her world."
013. Dragon Quartet: Book of Water - Marjorie B. Kellogg --- science fiction, fantasy, 335 pages, 10/29-11/10, rating: 3/5
"It was Water's call that summoned the dragon Earth and his human guide, the girl called Erde, on a flight through time, transporting them from the war-torn German principalities in the year 913 to the African coast in 2013. Earth's sister, the shape-shifting dragon Water, now waits to greet them in this strange new land. Pursued by enemies in both eras, they soon realize their mission is only beginning and their only hope lies in finding the remaining dragons--Fire and Air--before it is too late."
014. Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch - Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman --- fiction, satire, 412 pages, 11/20-12/6, rating: 4.5/5
"You see, there was a bit of a mixup when the Antichrist was born, due in part to the machinations of Crowley, who did not so much fall as saunter downwards, and in part to the mysterious ways as manifested in the form of a part-time rare book dealer, an angel named Aziraphale. Like top agents everywhere, they've long had more in common with each other than the sides they represent, or the conflict they are nominally engaged in. The only person who knows how it will all end is Agnes Nutter, a witch whose prophecies all come true, if one can only manage to decipher them."
015. Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground 1981-1991 - Michael Azerrad --- non-fiction, music, 522 pages, 7/24-12/4, rating: 5/5
"It was a musical revolution that happened right under the nose of the Reagan Eighties: a small but sprawling network of bands, labels, fanzines, radio stations, and other subversives who reshaped and reenergized American rock music with punk rock's revolutionary do-it-yourself credo. The music that resulted was deeply personal, often brilliant, always challenging, and immensely influential. Remarkably, the stories of these now-legendary bands have never been told in any depth - until now."
- 2010 - Books