Dymocks Booklovers’ Best of 2010

books in a stack by austinevanFirst of all, a big congratulations to the winner of our Covet giveaway … *drumroll* … angela! To win, Angela had to tell us her deadliest sin, and this was her comment:

Greed…for we are all greedy to some extent but my greed extends from clothes to stationary to bags and especially books. I’ve been collecting books since i was 12, after feeling an intrinsic connection to the world of literature. My aim? To buy a house with rooms that can act as my bookshelf for my sizeable collection.

I think I’m guilty of that sin, too. Angela, your book is in the mail!

Moving on … I got this idea from Marg at The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader (formerly Reading Adventures). Dymocks recently conducted a survey of Australia’s favourite books, and here’s the top 101 list, annotated with my thoughts.

1 The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer – read books 1 (reviewed) and 2
2 The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling – read all and loved books 1, 3 and 4
3 Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – studied the book in year 11
4 The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger – will never read due to tragic ending
5 The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien – read, watched, overdosed
6 The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
7 To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee – still haven’t read but really should
8 The Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson – didn’t get past chapter 1 of book 1
9 My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult – will never read due to tragic ending
10 The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
11 The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons
12 Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte – read a very long time ago
13 Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte – Heathcliff was an arse
14 The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold – good read although didn’t really like the possession thing
15 Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
16 Magician by Raymond E. Feist – the start of a very long series addiction
17 Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell – the reason I started reading the back of the book first
18 The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
19 Cloudstreet by Tim Winton
20 The Host by Stephenie Meyer
21 Mao’s Last Dancer by Li Cunxin – liked the book; must watch the film soon
22 Atonement by Ian McEwan
23 The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien – loved this one
24 Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
25 A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
26 Cross Stitch by Diana Gabaldon
27 Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts – there is no way I’d ever get through all those pages
28 The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas – skimmed; characters too grim for me to read this properly
29 Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell – I preferred Animal Farm
30 Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden – TBR
31 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
32 Tomorrow When the War Began by John Marsden
33 Obernewtyn by Isobelle Carmody
34 The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne
35 The Inheritance Series by Christopher Paolini – read books 1 and 2
36 The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
37 Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
38 The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
39 The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – enjoyed this one
40 Catch-22 by Joseph Heller – got halfway through, then skimmed the rest (but I love M*A*S*H)
41 Ice Station by Matthew Reilly
42 The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay – loved this one in my teens
43 Persuasion by Jane Austen
44 Tully by Paullina Simons
45 Seven Ancient Wonders by Matthew Reilly
46 Breath by Tim Winton
47 The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare
48 Life of Pi by Yann Martel
49 A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
50 The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho – read a long time ago
51 Emma by Jane Austen – HSC text
52 The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
53 The Bible
54 Six Sacred Stones by Matthew Reilly
55 A Fortunate Life by A.B. Facey
56 We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
57 The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald – didn’t particularly enjoy the book, but I have the graphic novel in my TBR
58 Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery – loved this entire series (Gilbert Blythe!)
59 The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
60 The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
61 People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
62 The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
63 The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
64 Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
65 Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
66 The Sookie Stackhouse Series by Charlaine Harris
67 Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom – read it
68 Five Greatest Warriors by Matthew Reilly
69 On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta – read and despite very strange beginning loved the teen romance
70 The Princess Bride by William Goldman
71 The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
72 Wicked by Gregory Maguire
73 Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
74 Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama – tried but didn’t get through it before I had to return the book to the library
75 Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
76 Dewey by Vicki Myron
77 Dirt Music by Tim Winton
78 Marley and Me by John Grogan
79 Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy – there is no way
80 Dune by Frank Herbert – read it
81 The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger – read it
82 The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards
83 Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
84 War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
85 The Road by Cormac McCarthy – one day I’ll read this
86 Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
87 The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis – read a few books
88 The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
89 Possession by AS Byatt
90 Finnikin of The Rock by Melina Marchetta – read it but it’s my least favourite Marchetta book
91 No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
92 Graceling by Kristin Cashore
93 The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
94 The Secret History by Donna Tartt
95 Silent Country by Di Morrissey
96 Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
97 Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
98 The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
99 Still Alice by Lisa Genova
100 The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
101 Gallipoli by Les Carlyon

I read 24 (less than a quarter) of the books on the list, give or take a few from those listed as a series rather than individual books. There are a few more I’ve skimmed or started but didn’t finish. That’s actually better than I thought I’d get.

Any ponderous tragedies from Russian authors are an instant write-off for me, as are books by Tim Winton. I once tried to read Dirt Music but only got through a few pages. The writing was quite beautiful but fairly laborious to get through, and I knew I’d never be able to get big enough blocks of time to read it properly.

Next year I reckon Aussie romance readers should coordinate their votes to ensure we get at least one romance genre book into the list.

You can download the official list from the Dymocks website (PDF).

How many books on the list have you read?

Photo credit: books in a stack by austinevan (via Flickr)

Kat Mayo is a freelance writer, podcaster, Twitter tragic, and compulsive reader. Her reviews have appeared in Books+Publishing, and she was the winner of the 2014 RWA Romance Media Award. She believes in happy endings, and kills fairies with glee.


  1. Kerry says:

    I’ve read 20 (like you with the give or take due to the series listed).

    There are also some I’ve tried to read and just couldn’t finish and some on the TBR.

    An interesting list.

  2. I copied this list to my blog and made some notes about what I had read. You can find it here: http://bookbitesoz.blogspot.com/2010/04/dymocks-booklovers-best-of-2010.html
    Basically I read 22 books or series, am reading or attempted to read seven books or series, and want or plan to read eight books or series. There may have been others I have forgotten as I used to survive on library fodder growing up, and have always been a voracious (and forgetful)  reader. The ones indicated are the ones I definately remember reading.
    Romance readers unite! There were a few paranomal romance or ya pr visible there though.

  3. I’ve only read 11.2 of these (the 0.2 is because I’ve just started Eat, Pray, Love) – have quite a few more of these on my TBR pile/wishlist though. It’s unlikely one individual would ever wish to read (or enjoy) all those in this list.

  4. Marg says:

    It’s been interesting reading the various reactions that I have seen to this list around the blogs. 

    I think Booklover is right in that it really isn’t a list that every reader would like to read through!

  5. Quite poor says:

    Some of those books are quite good, however… Twilight is no. 1?
    Score 1 for the all the lonely women that eat that trash up (it isn’t literature, it is just a pathetic fad ATM). Clones following clones following clones…
    Time Magazine has a far better list (by having books that are actually worthy of merit, and not on there due to an empty and shallow fad).

  6. Kat says:

    Quite poor — While I disagree with Twilight topping the list—my thoughts on Twilight aren’t a secret—I’d have to disagree with your idea of the typical Twilight reader. Not all of them are lonely women—many are young girls, happily married women and, I dare say, men. I’m not sure why people love to stereotype Twilight readers. After all, we don’t do the same for readers of Dan Brown, Stephen King or Patricia Cornwell books.

    Also, it’s worth remembering that Twilight was first released in 2005 and the series is still appearing in bestseller lists. I would hardly call that a fad. Furthermore, as a reader of what I fondly—and others mockingly—refer to as trashy books, I take exception to being called a clone.

    Finally, this is a reader-driven list. In no way does it purport to represent the greatest literary works—just, perhaps, the most popular.

  7. I find it funny that the comment was made on a blog that mainly deals with romance and paranormal romance. That person obviously does not realise that that “fad” has been going for at least 15 years, and has a very strong and vocal readership. I say “at least” because a lot of earlier work precluded the books that started being published in the mid-nineties. Even Dracula can also be argued to be paranormal romance (it is really interesting when you sit down and analyse it within the PnR framework). PnR is no fad! Twilight is just the series that tipped off the media to a sub-genre that has been present for at least ten years before the first Twilight novel was published. A lot of the PnR readers I know have university degrees and happy. fulfilled lives. They just like to read paranormal romance. Nothing wrong with that!

    Kat, I completely agree with your comments.

  8. Kat says:

    What I love about Twilight is that for many readers it’s the gateway book into paranormal romance and urban fantasy. I always recommend The Eternal Kiss anthology to all my Twilight-loving friends to help them find other (and in my opinion better) authors.

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