Amazon’s Best Books of 2010 List

While most of us spent this week finishing the last of the Halloween candy, Amazon’s editorial team has been selecting their picks for the 100 best books of 2010. In addition to the editors’ choices, Amazon has also compiled a list of 100 customer favorites from 2010. You can see all their lists if you go to

“Whether it was Jonathan Franzen’s reunion with Oprah or the eagerly anticipated final books in blockbuster trilogies, 2010 had everyone talking about reading,” said Daphne Durham, Managing Editor of Books at “Deciding on our Top 100 Books is always a tough assignment, but our choice for the Best Book of the Year, Rebecca Skloot’s ‘The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,’ was unanimous.”

Here is Amazon’s top 10 list:

1. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot: From a single, short life grew a seemingly immortal line of cells that made some of the most crucial innovations in modern science possible. From that same life, Skloot fashions a rich and haunting story that redefines what it means to have a medical history.

2. Faithful Place: A Novel by Tana French: The past haunts in French novels. In this compelling and cutting mystery, Frank Mackey (the beloved undercover guru from “The Likeness”) returns home to investigate the cold case of his teenage sweetheart, and faces down his family.

3. Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War by Karl Marlantes: A breathtaking debut (30 years in the making) by a decorated Vietnam veteran that takes readers deep into the jungle, and offers a new perspective on the ravages of war, the bureaucracy of the military, and the peculiar beauty of brotherhood.

4. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand: As she did with “Seabiscuit,” Hillenbrand has unearthed another unlikely and inspiring tale from our past. Louis Zamperini was an Olympic athlete as a teenager, an airman in World War II, an ocean crash survivor, and a prisoner of war before returning home for another half-century of life.

5. The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson: Through the eyes of three families, Wilkerson gives vivid life to one of the great untold epics of American history: the migration between the two world wars of millions of African Americans from the South to the North and West.

6. Freedom: A Novel by Jonathan Franzen: Franzen’s first novel since “The Corrections,” and a match for that great book, is a wrenching, funny and forgiving portrait of a Midwestern family. “Freedom” is deserving of all the unprecedented attention it received this summer.

7. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson: The finest example of a book that saves the best for last, “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” roars with an explosive storyline filled with revelations that make the end of this game-changing suspense series all the more bittersweet.

8. To the End of the Land by David Grossman: In a fictional story whose events hauntingly parallel the author’s own life, an Israeli mother–one of the most indelible characters in recent fiction–goes on a journey through her past to avoid the news that her soldier son may have been killed.

9. Just Kids by Patti Smith: Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe weren’t always famous, but they always thought they would be. Smith’s memoir of their friendship is tender and artful, with the visionary style of her rock anthems balanced by her detailed memories of their bohemian youth.

10. The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis: Of the many books about our economic meltdown, “The Big Short” is the one to read, told, in Lewis’ usual hilarious and clear style, from the perspective of a few iconoclastic thinkers who saw the collapse coming–and bet big on it.

So what do you think of Amazon’s top 10 list? Have you read any of these books? I haven’t read a single book in the top 10, but I’m definitely intrigued by The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, so maybe I’ll try to read it by the end of the year.

One book I can’t believe Amazon overlooked is Mockingay by Suzanne Collins! Not only is it not in the top 10, it’s not even in the top 100 or the top 10 teen books. What the hell? The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan made the top 100, so it’s not like they didn’t consider YA books. I consider Mockingjay one of the best books of the year and I know a lot of Daemon’s Books readers feel the same way, so it just seems weird to me that they didn’t include it. Oh well, at least Mockingjay is #3 on the customer favorites list.

Follow me on Twitter @kristendaemons

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