Making up this year’s list of my Top Ten favourite books was hard. I read 88 books this year — 52 fiction, 36 nonfiction. Some other stats that might or might not interest you: 54 were by women authors, 34 by men. 70 were e-books, while 18 were traditional paper books. Among that long list were a lot of really, really great books. I had a very hard time whittling it down to a top 10 — there were a few at the top of the list that were obvious had-to-be-there books, but once I got down to the bottom five, there were many, many contenders.
I finally narrowed it down to 10 books … but I’m not going to tell you what they are. Well, I sort of am. But I’m not. I’m going to give you clues, and you can search around on my book review site, Compulsive Overreader (or anywhere else) to see if you can figure out what the Top Ten books are. The first five people who email me a correct list of all 10 books before 11:59 p.m., NST, on January6, get to pick any book from the top ten list, and I’ll send it to them. I’ve closed comments for this post so no-one can accidentally post their list in the comments: all answers have to be emailed to email@example.com. Include your mailing address and tell me which book you would like to receive, so that if you’re a winner, I can send you your prize! When the contest closes I’ll post the correct Top 10 list here. For now, here’s the quiz:
10. This is the memoir of a woman who walks into a church, takes communion, and finds her life transformed.
9. This major Canadian prize-winner sweeps us away to nineteenth-century Egypt.
8. A haunting portrait of slavery through the eyes of a young African woman kidnapped and sold far from home.
7. Simply the best memoir about parenting I’ve ever read, and also one of the funniest.
6. A novel about a woman who sets out to kill her husband before he kills her, this is the newest release from one of my favourite American writers.
5. This fantasy author is so gifted, she can even make me care about dragons! First in a series.
4. “Quirky” is the obvious word to describe this highly-acclaimed and unforgettable book by a Newfoundland writer.
3. A sweeping epic by my favourite fantasy writer, set in a world very much like 8th-century China.
2. It’s only eleven feet by eleven feet, but a young woman creates a vivid and beautiful world there — as does the author of this Booker-nominated novel.
1. My very favourite book of the year was a historical prizewinner that made me watch The Tudors with new eyes, making me care passionately about a historical character I’d never thought much about before.