ABC’s Favorite Books of the Year, Part the Fifth

Here you are, another part of the ABC Staff’s Favorite Reads of the past year.  We hope you enjoy reading about what we enjoyed reading the past 12 months, and hopefully we’ll give you some ideas to boot!

Only two on this penultimate list:  Tiemen and Aviva.  The former discovered the best ever epic fantasy book he ever read, and the latter had no time to add words to titles (as in all the previous years) – but we’re still grateful for the list!

I just want to say a huuuuuuuuuge THANK YOU to all my colleagues for finding time between the Sinterklaas and Christmas madness (add on the EBM madness if they work in Amsterdam) to send in these lists this year, and often their thoughts on what made the books so special.  I know it hasn’t been easy to find a minute to spare!

This year we would again love to hear from you what your favorite reads were.  Please send us your top 5 (they don’t have to be books published in 2010, just read in 2010).  You can mail them to, and be sure to include your mailing address so we can send you an ABC gift voucher as a thank you.  We’ll publish your lists at the beginning of 2011 so you have all month to mail them in.  Thanks to those of you who have already sent in lists!


Under Heaven – Guy Gavriel Kay

The best fantasy epic I have ever read. Set in a fantasy world that is based on eighth century Tang Dynasty China, this is a novel that has it all: intrigue, murder, battles, seductive courtesans and poetry.

The Windup Girl – Paolo Bacigalupi

With his debut novel The Windup Girl Paolo Bacigalupi is quickly becoming one of the new big names in the science-fiction genre. This is Blade Runner meets Apocalypse Now.

If you like SF that is daring and innovative you really want to read this one.

The Graveyard Book – Neil Gaiman

A charming story that is at its best when read aloud. Gaiman has a knack for creating characters and settings that are weird and wonderful at the same time.

Wired for War – P. W. Singer

Remote controlled aeroplanes, robotic limbs and robot soldiers; it’s as if you are reading science-fiction but except that everything that is described is real. In an insightful and inquisitive manner Singer manages to draw a picture of the ongoing effort of integrating robot systems into the U.S. military.

Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth – Apostolos Doxiadis and Christos Papadimitriou

One would think that a graphic novel about the discipline of logic and the life of Bertrand Russell could never be exciting. Well Logicomix proves otherwise. Even if you are not into math or history Logicomix is one rollercoaster ride of a story.


1) Columbine – Dave Cullen

2) Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It’s So Hard to Think Straight About Animals – Hal Herzog

3) Refresh: Contemporary Vegan Recipes from the Award-Winning Fresh Restaurants – Ruth Tal and Jennifer Houston

4) Blackstock’s Collections: The Drawings of an Artistic Savant – Gregory L. Blackstock

5) Scientific American MIND Magazine

Image of book stack: Wonderlane

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