Here are our favorite books published in 2010 (the ones that we read–we can’t read every book, you know).
A dark, elliptical treatise on the mundane and inescapable violence wrought by the Camorra crime syndicate in southern Italy.
Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned — Wells Tower (trade paperback)
Tower’s world is a neatly drawn parallel reality populated by down-on-their-luck protagonists who we always root for, despite our better judgment, even as they inadvertently destroy whatever vestiges of grace are bestowed upon them.
Kertész’s slim novella explores a storyteller’s inability to accurately and properly communicate spirit and truth against the backdrop of an oppressive Stalinist regime.
Shaw’s graphic novel is sardonically humorous in its psychoanalytic/post-apocalyptic visions. It’s a sweet and sour subversion of 1950’s comics and contemporary conformist groupthink politics. Witty and poignant, it advances its medium.
An unexpected historical romance from postmodern poster boy David Mitchell. Thousand Autumns is a big fat riff on storytelling and history and adventure–but mostly, Mitchell’s Shogunate-era Japan is a place worth getting lost in.
“I see what I’m doing as simply plugging literature into other literature,” McCarthy said in an interview this year. “For me, that’s what literature’s always done.” C, our favorite novel of 2010, seems plugged into the past and the present, pointing to the future.
Wolf Hall — Hilary Mantel (trade paperback)
Who knew that we needed to hear the Tudor saga again? Who knew that Thomas Cromwell could be a good guy?
A mean, sad, hilarious novel that simultaneously eulogizes, valorizes, and mocks the American Dream.
Charles Burns does Tintin in William Burroughs’s Interzone. ‘Nuff said.
An epic compendium of, jeez, I don’t know, how do you define or explain what Davis does? Inspection, perception, mood, observation. Tales, fables, riffs, annotations, skits, jokes, japes, anecdotes, journals, thought experiments, epigrams, half-poems, and would-be aphorisms. Great stuff.