Books I Read in 2010 (Part 1/2)

It’s that time of the year again! The end time. The time when we look back because before we know it, we’re head on into the next year with our good intentions and plans and projects that we try to complete before it’s that time of the year again, but next year. If you know what I mean.

At any rate, here’s part 1 of the list of books I read this year. I’ve read 17 books in total.

  • The Burglar Who Studied Spinoza by Lawrence Block
    Quite entertaining as crime novels go. Especially because the protagonist is Bernie Rhodenbarr, a “gentleman burglar”.
  • The Pocket Book Of Short Stories by various authors
    A really old book that cost 35 cents when it first came out. I got it on eBay years ago for maybe 3 EUR including shipping and started reading it and put it away again. I figured it was a good book to travel with, because the stories are all different and I’d also not be too heartbroken to leave it behind once I read it. And I did leave it behind, I think at the King Street Backpackers hostel in Melbourne.
  • The Fellowship Of The Ring by JRR Tolkien
    This is a book I found at the King Street Backpackers hostel in Melbourne. It’s the first part of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and I once started reading this in German but got bored after page 10. I never cared for Lord of the Rings, even though I did watch the movies, but when I found that book at the hostel, I decided to give it a shot again and to my surprise, I liked it a lot. It was easier to read in English I thought, plus they are travelling all the time, which I could identify with at that moment, too. I didn’t find the other two parts of the book, though, even though I know they’re not so much a trilogy as they are one huge book cut up into three, but since I know how it all ends anyway, I’m not too bothered.
  • Point Of Origin by Patricia Cornwell
    Another King Street Backpacker hostel find. I’ve read a few of Patricia Cornwell’s books already, they’ve always been quick and entertaining reads, and this one was no exception.
  • Out Of Darkness: A Memoir by Zoltan Torey
    Another one from the hostel in Melbourne. We stayed there for quite a while, you see. The memoir is by a Hungarian guy who escaped Hungary when the Russians came. He went to Australia, where he wanted to be a doctor or something like that (he wanted to explore human consciousness) but then he had a terrible accident in a factory in Sydney where battery acid splashed into his face, and so he became blind. Instead of stopping being a visual person, he became more of a visual person and just started imagining everything very vividly in his head. It was quite interesting to read about his life and determination and all of that, even though I didn’t care for his style of writing too much. But it was still a good read.
  • The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
    People have recommended this book for years now. It originally came out in 2002 and I knew nothing about it except that it was supposed to be good. This girl at the hostel in Melbourne had the book and I set my eyes on it and was going to ask her if I could read it after she was finished, but then from one day to the next the girl moved out of the hostel. Thankfully, she left the book behind! It might be the best book I read in 2010 and it utterly captivated me. It’s dark and violent sometimes and subtle and sweet at other times and I liked the premise of it and how it was written and you should read it if you haven’t yet.
  • Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction by J. D. Salinger
    I tend to attribute it to J.D. Salinger that I eventually became interested in reading again outside of school, even though that’s probably not completely accurate. But be that as it may, after reading “The Catcher In The Rye” one day, I became interested in Salinger’s work and read all the other books I could get my hands on. I never did find this one, so when I found it at the book sale at Federation Square in Melbourne, I had to buy it. With Salinger, I think the way his books are written are way more important and entertaining than where the actual stories are going. That’s also the case with this book. It’s not a particularly quick read, but it’s good nevertheless. After reading it, I googled Salinger and came to the conclusion that while he may have been a good author, he doesn’t at all sound like a particularly likeable man in general. Not that it really matters, though.
  • Open by Andre Agassi
    This book I found at the Asylum Hostel in Sydney. It’s Andre Agassi’s autobiography, and although I liked him without really knowing why, all I really knew about him was that he was a very good tennis player that was married to Steffi Graf. So when I read the autobiography, I was very surprised to find out what his childhood had been like, what his life in general was like, how much he hated tennis, etc. It’s a very good and engaging read, much better than I had anticipated, too. You’d think his recounting of tennis matches would be boring to read if you are not otherwise interested in tennis, but they’re surprisingly exciting to read, too. All in all a very good book that I recommend.

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