The 2010 Tony’s Reading List Awards

Welcome, one and all, to the Tony’s Reading List Awards for 2010! Just as occurred last year, I am celebrating the past twelve months of reading, looking at what was read, where it came from, and who the big favourites of 2010 were. We will also be awarding a couple of prestigious prizes: the ‘Golden Turkey Award’ (self-explanatory really) and the ‘Book of the Year Award’ (ditto).

 So, without further ado, let’s begin! Firstly, the ‘Most-Read Author Award’ goes to:

When you decide to read all the Barchester Chronicles, it’s hard to read more of another writer than Trollope!  Once again, two Japanese writers make the list while David Mitchell takes the silver after I read all of his novels this year.
When it comes to nationality, once again England takes out the ‘Most-Read Country Award’:1) England (32)
2) Japan (15)
3) Australia (9)
4) Germany (7)

Very similar to last year’s list – let’s see if anything changes in 2011!  Of the 93 this year, 35 were originally not in English (of which I read 12 in the original language).

The ‘Golden Turkey Award’ goes to the book which was the biggest waste of time this year.  This is a highly subjective decision; basically, this award goes to the book I really, really regret having read!  In 2010, I have been fortunate enough to have enjoyed almost everything I’ve read (a result which justifies my policy of avoiding modern novels unless I’m convinced I’ll enjoy them!), which means that I’m only nominating three books for this prestigious award:

His Illegal Self by Peter Carey
The Wings Of The Dove by Henry James
Purge by Sofi Oksanen

And the winner is… well, it was always going to be Mr. James 🙂  To paraphrase Bon Jovi:

“Bored to the heart, and you’re to blame
Henry, you give literature a bad name”

Book of the Year – Very Honourable Mentions
With such a lot of good books read, this has been incredibly difficult to judge.  I initially intended to give ten honourable mentions, but I just couldn’t whittle down the list any more…  So here are fourteen of the best 🙂

Dead Europe by Christos Tsiolkas (Australia)
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (England)
The Waves by Virginia Woolf (England)
Sanshiro by Natsume Soseseki (Japan)
Drei Kameraden by Erich Maria Remarque (Germany)
Quicksand by Jun’ichiro Tanizaki (Japan)
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry (India)
Le Père Goriot by Honoré de Balzac (France)
Devils by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Russia)
Kusamakura by Natsume Soseki (Japan)
An Equal Music by Vikram Seth (India)
Café Scheherazade by Arnold Zable (Australia)
Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann (Germany)
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (England)

But what gets the big award?

The ‘Book of the Year Award’ for 2010 goes to:

The Barchester Chronicles by Anthony Trollope 🙂

David Mitchell can consider himself very unlucky (although I suspect not being shortlisted for the Booker Prize may have irked him a little more), but you can’t go past Trollope’s magnificent series of pastoral and clerical adventures for great reading.  Yes, by selecting a series I suppose I have cheated (for the second year in a row), but it’s my blog, and that’s all the explanation you’re getting 😉

So thanks once again for your time today, and all throughout 2010. I hope you’ve come away with some more ideas for your reading year in 2011. Happy New Year!


10 thoughts on “The 2010 Tony’s Reading List Awards

  1. I'm liking the breakdown Tony:) I suppose this means I should really attempt reading some Trollope, right? And finally getting down to finishing David Mitchell's books which I've been promising to read all year. Oops.
    Happy new year!


  2. Well, if David Mitchell was pushed aside by Trollope then maybe I should read dear Anthony some time. I don't think I've read anything by him – and more or less all by Mitchell.

    Anything you'd suggest to start with?


  3. Sakura – Yes, you should (and yes you should!). Happy New Year 😉

    Rise – All very good, my discoveries of 2010. 2011 is already looking as good with Oe and Kawabata waiting to be 'discovered'!

    Leeswammes – I always recommend 'The Warden' as a first Trollope (although some find it slow). 'Barchester Towers' has more plot, but it's best to read 'The Warden' first as the characters reappear in the second in the series.


  4. Colleen – Where did that comment come from? It must have popped up while I was replying 🙂

    Happy New Year to you too – may it be free of overcharging landlords, terrible books and carriages full of people reading only Dan Brown novels and 'Twilight' on your train system 😉


  5. I am late in commenting about this one! Love your Golden Turkey award and would never think that you would pick up a book which is anything less than a superb reading experience! Guess we all do have to read few bad ones to get to the good ones, but you score so high in all the good reads that I am adding more of your recommendations into my TBR.

    New Year's Eve today and I went out and bought Dr. Thrope. Since you love him (Trollope) so much, I will give Trollope a go. hmm.. and that Sanshiro too, looks like a must buy! Argghh… you bust my budget Tony!!! 😀


  6. kissacloud – Thanks 🙂 Of course, it's not good to exhaust them too quickly (which is why Trollope – with 40+ novels – is good to get into)!

    JoV – Sorry 🙂 I think you'll have to start lending my recommendations from the library instead!


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