My Decade in Books

As I think back on the last 10 years my life looks SO different. Things have *not* gone according to plan (when do they ever?), and I don’t think the person I was in 2010 would recognize me. But the one thing that has remained a constant? Books. Books books books. Though my reading tastes and styles have changed, my love of books stays the same.

Before I jump into the books though, can I give you some personals? Since January 1, 2010 I have:

  • Gotten engaged, then married
  • Graduated college
  • Worked in retail, as a barista, bookseller, substitute teacher, band director, 4th/5th grade teacher, and am now starting as a librarian
  • Had two kids
  • Bought two houses
  • Started graduate school
  • Buried a kitten
  • Adopted a cat and a dog
  • Joined, fell in love with, then mourned Pottermore
  • Started a book blog

Man, to think that in 2010 I was only a junior in college. How life has changed!

Before I get started on the books, I want to mention that I’m doing this almost exclusively from memory. I didn’t sign up for Goodreads until 2014, and I don’t think I actively used it until 2016. I also did not keep any kind of reading log. My memory’s pretty good, but not perfect.

My Bookish Life in 2010

Back in college I mostly read books written before 1900. My reading list was primarily driven by the Barnes & Noble Classics Shelf and lists such as the BBC Top 100. On the rare occasion I picked up something new, it was probably because it was on a B&N display, like the popular paperbacks table. I alternated between reading a “new” book and re-reading a favorite I already owned. I did not use the library, though I think I checked out some seriously random fiction from my college library ONCE in 2011.

Books Read in 2010 (approximately): 20
Favorite Book of 2010 (probably): Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

My Bookish Life Now

I now mostly read books written after 2010. My reading list is primarily driven by books I see other bloggers talking about (or on Instagram). I’ve expanded my reading interests to include graphic novels and comic books. I now rotate between four loose “genres” before I indulge myself with a re-read. And I’ve used the library for probably 3/4 of the books I’ve read this year. These days I typically get a book from the library first, and then buy it for myself only if I loved it enough to probably read it again.

Books Read in 2019: 70
Favorite Book of 2019: Bel Canto by Anne Patchett

Favorite Books of the Decade

Thinking of my favorite books of the decade, there’s definitely some that stand out as having made a big impression. Most of them I’ve read at least twice, and all of them I plan on reading over and over. For the purposes of this list I’m going to go ahead and rule out classic novels, partly because the list would get *quite* long, and partly because I’m not honestly sure when I read a lot of them. Jane Eyre, for example, is definitely a favorite, but I might have read it in high school. So, in no particular order, onwards!

Where’d You Go Bernadette?
Hands down the funniest book I’ve ever read. This book made me reconsider for the first time my relationship with contemporary literature and to start reading more of it. Though none of it has ever held up.

The Night Circus
One of my favorite books. Ever. It’s romantic, and magical, and atmospheric, and lush, and I just love everything about it. I will never stop raving about this book.

Eleanor & Park
This is the first Rainbow Rowell book I read, which started my love affair with her. This is also the first YA book that I read as an adult, and probably my first EVER YA that wasn’t fantasy. This is the book that started making me take Young Adult Literature seriously. Plus, all the feels.

The Goblin Emperor
This was my favorite book last year because it is so utterly unique and because it just makes you feel so GOOD while you’re reading. The world is like nothing else, and the characters captured my heart.

Bel Canto
My favorite book of this year, and the textbook definition of “bittersweet”. God, I just don’t even have the words.

The Hate U Give
I wrote in my review of The Hate U Give that it might be the most important book I’ve ever read, and that I’m a better person having read it. There’s nothing really for me to say that hasn’t been said by everyone, but I strongly feel that this is a book every American should read.

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter
Okay, this seems like a strange one to include on the list. But you guys! It has history AND vampire slaying! I think I’ve probably read this book four times, and I’ve just adored it every time. Just the right combination of actual, good historical fiction (well-researched, my goodness!), humor, and vampire decapitations.

Uprooted
I almost didn’t include this one, and chose Novik’s His Majesty’s Dragon instead, because I read and loved both books this decade. But I think Uprooted made a more lasting impression on my tastes in books and influenced who I am as a reader.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet
This book has literally everything I have ever wanted in a science fiction book. *sigh*

The Hunger Games
Oh. My. God. It has not even been ten years since the first time I read this book. I didn’t find it until the end of 2011, maybe not til 2012. It feels like it’s been forever! This got turned into a movie (which I also adore), had a massive fandom, and has already nearly faded from memory.

Honorable Mentions

These are five-star books (a rarity for me) that didn’t quite make the list for the sake of brevity of the post.

  • Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan
  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • The City of Brass by S.A. Charaborty
  • The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
  • Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
  • Mrs. Queen Takes the Train by William Kuhn
  • His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik

See You Next Decade

As cheezy as it might sound, book blogging has turned out to be one of the most influential things I’ve started this decade, and I’ve started a LOT of hobbies. Thanks for being there for me, guys, and for supporting me and rooting me on. I know I haven’t been around much in 2019, but 2020 is almost hear and it’s going to be a AMAZING year. I can just feel it.

Love you.

13 thoughts on “My Decade in Books

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