Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ten Favorite Books of 2010

My ten best reads of 2010, heavy on Mr. MacDonald.

10. From Doon With Death by Ruth Rendell (1964)
Her first book, and it's as good as anything she's written.

9. A Man of Affairs by John D. MacDonald (1965)

Is it as good as this cover suggests? Pretty much.

8. Imperial Bedrooms by Bret Easton Ellis (2010)

Is it a detective story? A veiled autobiography? Moral satire? A horror story? I'm not exactly sure but it's pretty close to all of the above. Not for the faint of heart.

7. The Pale Horse by Agatha Christie (1961)

Outlandish, then clever. I have a particular fondness for the Christie novels that initially seem to be about something supernatural but then turn out to have a perfectly logical solution. The prototype for every Scooby Doo mystery by the way.

6. The Pregnant Widow by Martin Amis (2010)

He almost lost me in the muck of his self-conscious prose but the epilogue pulled me back in. Some of the finest writing Martin Amis has ever done.

5. The Deceivers by John D. MacDonald (1968)

A story of suburban infidelity that's as suspenseful as a murder mystery. John D. Macdonald is all about those truthful little details that make the world come alive, and this book is no exception. He really makes you feel both the thrill and the devastation of adultery.

4. The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters (2009)

A ghost story for a cold winter night. Well, several cold winter nights. It's a long book but with a huge payoff.

3. The Soft Touch by John D. MacDonald (1953)

Long before Travis McGee breathed fictional air John D. was writing perfect pulp novels.

2. A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle (1887)

A perfect introduction to Holmes and Watson, and even though the Mormon sequence is historically inaccurate it makes for great pulp fiction.

1. Condominium by John D. MacDonald (1977)

Maybe his greatest achievement.

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