I haven't been able to read as much this year. I hope it changes, but I still read some good books and want to feature the best I've read from 2010. The first link is to the book's Amazon page, and the second link is to content here at Spoiled for the Ordinary (SftO).
5. The Skin Map by Stephen Lawhead. The opening salvo in the 5 book Bright Empires series, Lawhead continues his skillful use of British legend for story fodder. StfO discusses it here.
4. Crossing Oceans by Gina Holmes. Good writing is good writing, whether a book is written primarily for a male or female audience. This book is considered "contemporary fiction" even though it may seem geared toward a female audience. Anyone who appreciates well-written fiction will enjoy this tale of a terminal woman making a way for her young daughter in the hometown she left behind years ago. I give it a manly thumbs up in this review.
3. Lost Mission by Athol Dickson. This book sparked a lot of discussion during the CSFF tour, and was one of the most provocative we've reviewed. The book started slow, but those with patience will find a rich tale of faith that wrestles with issues of immigration, legalism, license, and grace set in the Southwest in both the 1700's and modern day in an intricately woven tapestry. There is much more in these posts.
2. Back on Murder by J. Mark Bertrand. This book introduces us to Roland March, a Houston detective nearing burnout. In a gritty, true-to-life voice, Bertrand draws us in to the ups and downs of March's last chance at getting back into homicide investigation. Noted in SftO posts here.
1. Listen by Rene Gutteridge. She has hit the #1 spot in my list before with one of her comedic books. This time she brings a tale of suspense that deals with the power of words. Conversations in a small town start being posted on an anonymous website, causing a lot of strife when private words become public. This is what I wrote in my review this year:
However, the book is more than an entertaining read. The theme of the power of words is well-crafted, and it invites anyone to take a thoughtful look at their own use of language to hurt or heal. Some books try to beat you over the head with a message - this story takes you along for the ride but leaves you pondering it afterwards. It is not preachy, but it is a valuable part of the whole message.---
There was one very near miss that could easily make my list - Wonders Never Cease by Tim Downs. It is different from his usual style, but highly entertaining nonetheless.
Here's to more great books in 2011!