Monday, January 3, 2011

Eimer's Top Reads of 2010

This year, I didn’t come even close to last year’s record of 46 books.

I only read 27 books.

Due to my 2009 New Year’s Resolution - More Eimer in 2010 - I’ve been drawing more cartoons, working on my novel(s) and children’s books, writing a bit more, watching more movies and running a bit longer than my average of 1.5 miles a day achieved last year.

In any event, I've uncovered more great books this year that I think would make great reads for all three readers of this blog. Some oldies. Some newbies. Some of the best books I’ve ever read.

So here goes...below are my top ten reads of 2010, in no particular order. Click each title to shoot to the respective page (So you can order the damn books!):

Born To Run by Christopher McDougall
If you're a runner, jogger or moderately interested in exercise, you need to read this book. Part-autobiography, part-history, part-anthropological study, part-self-help book, this novel has it all. If you don't run, it will inspire you to get off your feet. If you do run, it's packed with a lot of helpful tips, plus motivation from some of the best ultra-marathoners in the United States, not to mention tips and strategies from the Tarahumara tribe of Ultra-runners who live in the Copper Canyons of the Sierra Madres. Like I said, fantastic book!

Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card
Extremely, thought-provoking, well-written sequel to Ender's Game. It's like a murder-mystery with aliens. Orson Scott Card effortlessly weaves concepts of nature, religion, science, technology and science fiction into his fiction to make a very quick, very entertaining read. If you're a science fiction fan, pick up this book and Ender's Game.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larrson
When it comes to books, I'm not that into mysteries. That said, this book is highly recommended on all fronts. Great writing. This isn't James Patterson crap. This is more comparable to Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie - even somewhat comparable to Thomas Harris (Silence of the Lambs). Being a former journalist, I also found Larsson's world extremely intriguing. Note: The first 50 pages are setting the scene, don't let it dissuade you.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
You know the movie Frankenstein and the Frankenstein's Monster? Well, this book - the original book - is nothing like the movies and the fantastic monsters that Filmland created. No, this book is much darker. The monster is much smarter - and evil. He's not dumb. He's cold, calculated and very, very angry. And the main protagonist Dr. Frankenstein is a tortured soul in every sense of the word. I'm very happy I picked up this book and found out the Mary Shelley's true vision. Highly recommended for horror fans and literatire fans alike.

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
At only 100+ pages Hemingway fills each page with precise language. Highly recommended to any lover of fiction. Which begs a question, why do authors need to write 500+ page books. This is proof enough that a 100+ pager can do the job - if you have the right story.

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
So much to say that I can't possibly touch on all facets of this book. Lets just say that Steinbeck has captured the essence of everyman's dialogue. He's weaved a triumphant story that will stand as the pinnacle of great American literature. Like I said, I need more space to talk about the importance of this book. Yes, it's long. But it's well worth the read.

The Making of Star Wars by J.W. Rinzler
If you're a fan of STAR WARS, or a fan of the film-making process, you'll love this book. It's a long book with very small text. But it kept my enthralled from beginning to end. Great behind the scenes pics and inside scoops on the heartbreak, the triumph and the creativity that was poured into this film. This is the definitive book on one of the most important movies of all time. Highly recommended.

Night by Elie Weisel
After you read this, you truly realize how incredibly lucky Wiesel was. This is a book that everyone should read. Very powerful. A little on the depressing side due to its content (A child and his family trying to survive the holocaust). But, it definitely makes you think how lucky we are to live in the United States. Right here, right now. The train sequence is the most tragic part of book.

Columbine by Dave Cullen
Another tragic novel. Pretty powerful stuff. If you were always wondering the true story about what happened in Columbine, this is the book. Let me warn you, it's not pretty. In fact, it's kind of unsettling. However, if you're a teacher or a parent, I'd say pick it up. Trust me, there is a lot you don't know about the Columbine tragedy. And most of the so-called 'facts' that you read in the newspapers were totally bogus.

Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
This is a book about death, destruction, mutilation, brutality and torture in the wild west. In fact, I would wager that this book averages, at least, one death per page. Truth be told, it's a fascinating book. McCarthy has a fantastic grasp of the English language and weaves a compelling story. This book made TIME's Top 100 books since 1923 and, definitely deserves a spot on your list. Bloody great read.

ADDITIONAL WARNING: Like I said last year, if you're interested in any of the above books, I implore you to not (NOT) visit Wikipedia to learn more. The Wikipedia summaries are filled to gills with spoilers that will ruin these books for first-time readers.

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