Best Books Of 2010: The Complete List

Use the list below to browse NPR's Best Books of 2010 recommendations. Each critic's list is presented separately. Click on the article names to read our critics' comments about the books.


'Favorite Books of 2010'
In which we ask NPR personalities to write about one book from the past year that stood out as a favorite.

Mara Liasson Suggests Actually 'Reading Obama'
Reading Obama: Dreams, Hope, and the American Political Tradition, by James T. Kloppenberg, hardcover, 296 pages, Princeton University Press, list price: $24.95

Guy Raz On The Terror Of 'Freedom'
Freedom: A Novel, by Jonathan Franzen, hardcover, 576 pages, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, list price: $28

Lynn Neary Picks 'Goon Squad'
A Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan, hardcover, 288 pages, Knopf, list price: $25.95

Michel Martin Basks in 'The Warmth of Other Suns'
The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration, by Isabel Wilkerson, hardcover, 640 pages, Random House, list price: $30

Scott Simon Picks Scott Turow's 'Innocent'
Innocent, by Scott Turow, hardcover, 416 pages, Grand Central Publishing, List price: $27.99

Peter Sagal On 'Sex At Dawn'
Sex At Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins Of Modern Sexuality, by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha, hardcover, 416 pages, Harper, list price: $25.99

Bob Boilen On 'Soul Mining'
Soul Mining: A Musical Life
, hardcover, 240 pages, Faber & Faber, list price: $26

Ofeibea Quist-Arcton Picks 'Queen Pokou'
Translated from the original French by Amy Baram Reid. Published by Ayebia Clark Publishing. Distributed in the U.S. exclusively by Lynne Rienner Publishers Inc., Boulder, CO.


'2010's Best Cookbooks: Real-Life Labors Of Love'
Recommended by T. Susie Chang

In the Kitchen With a Good Appetite, by Melissa Clark, hardcover, 464 pages, Hyperion & Co., list price: $27.50

Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan, hardcover, 544 pages, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, list price: $40

One Big Table: 600 Recipes From the Nation's Best Home Cooks, Farmers, Fishermen, Pit-Masters, And Chefs, by Molly O'Neill, hardcover, 880 pages, Simon & Schuster, list price: $50

Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge: The Ultimate Guide to Mastery, With Authentic Recipes and Stories, by Grace Young, hardcover, 336 pages, Simon & Schuster, list price: $35

Flour: Spectacular Recipes From Boston's Flour Bakery + Cafe, by Joanne Chang, hardcover, 320 pages, Chronicle Books, list price: $35

The Gourmet Cookie Book: The Single Best Recipe From Each Year 1941-2009, by Gourmet magazine, hardcover, 176 pages, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, list price: $18

The Essential New York Times Cookbook: Classic Recipes for a New Century, by Amanda Hesser, hardcover, 932 pages, W.W. Norton & Co., list price: $40

Nigella Kitchen: Recipes From the Heart of the Home, by Nigella Lawson, hardcover, 512 pages, Hyperion & Co., list price: $35

The Food Substitutions Bible: More Than 6,500 Substitutions for Ingredients, Equipment And Techniques, by David Joachim, paperback, 696 pages, Robert Rose, list price: $24.95


'People Are Talking...About These Five Books'
Recommended by Heller McAlpin

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen, hardcover, 576 pages, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, list price: $28

So Much For That by Lionel Shriver, hardcover, 448 pages, Harper, list price: $25.99

Room by Emma Donoghue, hardcover, 336 pages, Little, Brown and Co., list price: $24.99

36 Arguments For The Existence Of God by Rebecca Goldstein, hardcover, 416 pages, Pantheon, list price: $27.95

The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, hardcover, 384 pages, Crown, list price: $26


'Oh, To Be Young: The Year's Best Teen Reads'
Recommended by Gayle Forman

The Sky Is Everwhere by Jandy Nelson, hardcover, 288 pages, Dial, list price: $17.99

The Thing A Brother Knows by Dana Reinhardt, hardcover, 256 pages, Wendy Lamb Books, list price: $16.99

Anna And The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, hardcover, 384 pages, Dutton Juvenile, list price: $16.99

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, hardcover, 480 pages, HarperCollins, list price: $17.99

The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney, hardcover, 352 pages, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, list price: $16.99


'Best Books Of Winter: Alan Cheuse Makes His List'
Recommended by Alan Cheuse

Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self by Danielle Evans, hardcover, 240 pages, Riverhead Hardcover, list price: $25.95

20 Under 40: Stories From The New Yorker edited by Deborah Treisman, hardcover, 448 pages, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, list price: $16

Life Times: Stories, 1952-2007 by Nadine Gordimer, hardcover, 560 pages, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, list price: $30

Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff, hardcover, 384 pages, Little, Brown and Company, list price: $29.99

The Poets Laureate Anthology by Elizabeth Hun Schmidt, hardcover, 762 pages, W. W. Norton & Company, list price: $39.95

Man In The Woods by Scott Spencer, hardcover, 320 pages, Ecco, list price: $24.99


'Best Gift Books: Art, Nature, Cute Canines'
Recommended by John McAlley

Natural History: The Ultimate Living Guide To Everything On Earth by Dorling Kindersley, hardcover, 648 pages, DK Publishing, list price: $50

Finishing The Hat; Collected Lyrics (1954-1981) With Attendant Comments, Principles, Heresies, Grudges, Whines And Anecdotes by Stephen Sondheim, hardcover, 480 pages, Knopf, list price: $39.95

Decade by Eamonn McCabe and Terence McNamee, hardcover, 512 pages, Phaidon Press, list price: $39.95

40: A Doonesbury Retrospective by G.B. Trudeau, hardcover, 696 pages, Andrews McMeel Publishing, list price: $100

Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Modern Century by Peter Galassi, hardcover, 376 pages, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, list price: $75

Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters by Marilyn Monroe, hardcover, 256 pages, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, list price: $30

I Lego N.Y. by Christoph Niemann, hardcover, 32 pages, Abrams Image, list price: $14.95

I Found This Funny: My Favorite Pieces Of Humor And Some That May Not Be Funny At All by Judd Apatow, hardcover, 224 pages, McSweeney's, list price: $25

The New Biographical Dictionary Of Film by David Thomson, hardcover, 963 pages, Knopf, list price: $24.95

Barbara Kruger by Barbara Kruger, hardcover, 307 pages, Rizzoli, list price: $65


'Happy Holidays, Voyeurs: Nancy Pearl Picks Memoirs'
Recommended by Nancy Pearl

Blue Blood by Edward Conlon, paperback, 576 pages, Riverhead Hardcover, list price: $17

The Bill From My Father by Bernard Cooper, paperback, 256 pages, Simon & Schuster, list price: $14

The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Family's Century of Art and Loss by Edmund de Waal, hardcover, 368 pages, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, list price: $26

Journey Into the Whirlwind by Eugenia Ginzburg, paperback, 432 pages, Mariner Books, list price: $16

Cakewalk: A Memoir by Kate Moses, hardcover, 368 pages, The Dial Press, list price: $26

Encyclopedia Of An Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, paperback, 368 pages, Three Rivers Press, list price: $13

Half A Life by Darin Strauss, hardcover, 204 pages, McSweeney's, list price: $22

Stuffed: Adventures of a Restaurant Family by Patricia Volk, paperback, 256 pages, Vintage, list price: $13.95


'Book Club Picks: Give 'Em Something To Talk About'
Recommended by Lynn Neary

Parrot And Olivier In America by Peter Carey, hardcover, 400 pages, Knopf, list price: $26.95

Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez, hardcover, 304 pages, Amistad, list price: $24.99

Faithful Place by Tana French, hardcover, 416 pages, Viking Adult, list price: $25.95

The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman, hardcover, 288 pages, The Dial Press, list price: $25

Sunset Park by Paul Auster, hardcover, 320 pages, Henry Holt, list price: $25


'Sex, Drugs, And 'Life' — The Year's Best Guilty Reads'
Recommended by Susan Jane Gilman

Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang by Chelsea Handler, hardcover, 256 pages, Grand Central, list price, $25.99

I Remember Nothing by Nora Ephron, hardcover, 160 pages, Knopf, list price: $22.95

Love, Lust, And Faking It by Jenny McCarthy, hardcover, 256 pages, Harper, list price: $24.99

Late, Late At Night, By Rick Springfield; hardcover, 336 pages; Touchstone, list price: $26

Life by Keith Richards with James Fox, hardcover, 576 pages, Little, Brown and Company, list price: $29.99


'Maureen Corrigan's Favorite Books Of 2010'
Recommended by Maureen Corrigan

Just Kids by Patti Smith, hardcover, 304 pages, Ecco, list price: $27

Franklin and Eleanor: An Extraordinary Marriage by Hazel Rowley, hardcover, 368 pages, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, list price: $27

Big Girls Don't Cry: The Election That Changed Everything For American Women by Rebecca Traister, hardcover, 336 pages, Free Press, list price: $26

Charlie Chan: The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and His Rendezvous with American History by Yunte Huang, hardcover, 354pages, W.W. Norton & Co., list price: $26.99

There is Power in a Union: The Epic Story of Labor in America by Philip Dray, hardcover, 784 pages, Doubleday, list price: $35

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand, hardcover, 496 pages, Random House, list price: $27

Searching for Tamsen Donner by Gabrielle Burton, hardcover, 328 pages, Univ of Nebraska Press, list price: $26.95

Freedom: A Novel by Jonathan Franzen, hardcover, 576 pages,; Farrar, Straus and Giroux, list price: $28

So Much for That by Lionel Shriver, hardcover, 448 pages, Harper, list price: $25.99

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet: A Novel by David Mitchell, hardcover, 496 pages, Random House, list price: $26

Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart, hardcover, 352 pages, Random House, list price: $26


'Fresh Delivery: Indie Booksellers Pick 2010 Favorites'
Recommended by Daniel Goldin

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin, hardcover, 288 pages, William Morrow, list price: $24.99

The Wilding by Benjamin Percy, paperback, 288 pages, Graywolf Press, list price: $23

The Cookbook Collector by Allegra Goodman, hardcover, 416 pages, The Dial Press, list price: $26

Wordcatcher: An Odyssey Into The World Of Weird And Wonderful Words by Phil Cousineau, paperback, 202 pages, Viva Editions, list price: $15.95

My Year Of Flops: The A.V. Club Presents One Man's Journey Deep Into The Heart of Cinematic Failure by Nathan Rabin, paperback, 288 pages, Scribner, list price: $15

Recommended by Lucia Silva

A Week At The Airport by Alain de Botton, paperback, 112 pages, Vintage, list price: $15

Atlas Of Remote Islands by Judith Schalansky, hardcover, 144 pages, Penguin, list price: $28

My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me edited by Kate Bernheimer, paperback, 608 pages, Penguin, list price: $17

The Open Daybook edited by David P. Earle, hardcover, 384 pages, Mark Batty Publisher, list price: $45

Where We Know: New Orleans As Home edited by David Rutledge, paperback, 304 pages, Broken Levee Books, list price: $16

Recommended by Rona Brinlee

The Gendarme by Mark T. Mustian, hardcover, 304 pages, Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam, list price: $25.95

It's A Book by Lane Smith, hardcover, 32 pages, Roaring Brook Press, list price: $12.99

My Name Is Not Isabella: Just How Big Can A Little Girl Dream? by Jennifer Fosberry and Mike Litwin, hardcover, 32 pages, Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, list price: $16.99

The Tower, The Zoo, And The Tortoise by Julia Stuart, hardcover, 320 pages,Doubleday, list price: $24.95

What Is Left The Daughter by Howard Norman, hardcover, 256 pages, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, list price: $25

The Sound Of A Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey, hardcover, 208 pages, Algonquin Books, list price: $13.99


'Us And Them: The Year’s Best Outsider Fiction'
Recommended by Danielle Evans

Three Days Before The Shooting... by Ralph Ellison, hardcover, 1,136 pages,Modern Library, list price: $50

Death Is Not An Option by Suzanne Rivecca, hardcover, 222 pages, W.W. Norton & Co., list price: $23.95

How To Read The Air by Dinaw Mengestu, hardcover, 320 pages, Riverhead Hardcover, list price: $25.95

Vida by Patricia Engel, paperback, 176 pages, Black Cat/Grove, list price: $14

Shahid Reads His Own Palm by Reginald Dwayne Betts, hardcover, 80 pages,Alice James Books, list price: $15.95

The Age Of Orphans: A Novel by Laleh Khadivi, hardcover, 304 pages, Bloomsbury USA, list price: $14


'Otherworldly — The Year's Most Transporting Books'
Recommended by Glen Weldon

Hull Zero Three by Greg Bear, hardcover, 320 pages, Orbit, list price: $19.99

Temperance by Cathy Malkasian, hardcover, 240 pages, Fantagraphics Books, list price: $22.99

Hard Magic by Laura Anne Gilman, paperback, 336 pages, Luna, list price: $14.95

The Passage by Justin Cronin, hardcover, 784 pages, Ballantine, list price: $27

BodyWorld by Dash Shaw, hardcover, 384 pages, Pantheon, list price: $27.95

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, hardcover, 400 pages, Scholastic, list price: $17.99


A Little Bundle of New: Best Book Debuts of 2010
Recommended by John Freeman

Curfewed Night: One Kashmiri Journalist's Frontline Account Of Life, Love, And War In His Homeland by Basharat Peer; hardcover, 240 pages; Scribner, list price: $25

Black Mamba Boy by Nadifa Mohamed; hardcover, 304 pages; Farrar, Straus and Giroux, list price: $25

The Emperor Of All Maladies: A Biography Of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee; hardcover, 592 pages; Scribner, list price: $30

The Silver Hearted by Davide McConnell; paperback, 230 pages; Alyson Books, list price: $14.95

Vida by Patricia Engel; paperback , 176 pages; Black Cat/Grove, list price: $14


Fiction For Piecing This Crazy World Together
Recommended by Pankaj Mishra

Gold Boy, Emerald Girl by Yiyun Li; hardcover, 256 pages; Random House, list price: $25

The Collected Stories Of Deborah Eisenberg by Deborah Eisenberg; paperback, 992 pages; Picador, list price: $22

A Visit From The Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan; hardcover, 288 pages; Knopf, list price: $25.95

Ilustrado by Miguel Syjuco; hardcover, 320 pages; Farrar, Straus and Giroux, list price: $26

Our Kind Of Traitor by John le Carre; hardcover, 320 pages; Viking Adult, list price: $27.95


2010's Best Nonfiction For Winning Family Arguments
Recommended by Michael Schaub

Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow; hardcover, 904 pages; The Penguin Press, list price: $40

The Big Short: Inside The Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis; hardcover, 266 pages; W. W. Norton & Company, list price: $27.95

Game Change: Obama And The Clintons, McCain And Palin, And The Race Of A Lifetime by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin; hardcover, 464 pages; Harper, list price: $27.99

War by Sebastian Junger; hardcover, 304 pages; Twelve, list price: $26.99

The Warmth Of Other Suns: The Epic Story Of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson; hardcover, 640 pages; Random House, list price: $30


Weird And Wonderful Books: 2010's Hidden Gems
Recommended by Rachel Syme

Nox by Anne Carson; hardcover, 192 pages; New Directions, list price: $35

The Orange Eats Creeps by Grace Krilanovich; paperback, 208 pages; Two Dollar Radio, list price: $16

Light Boxes by Shane Jones; paperback, 160 pages; Penguin, list price: $14

Vanishing And Other Stories by Deborah Willis; paperback, 320 pages; Harper Perennial, list price: $13.99

You Lost Me There by Rosecrans Baldwin; hardcover, 304 pages; Riverhead Hardcover, list price: $25.95

Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip With David Foster Wallace by David Lipsky; paperback, 352 pages; Broadway, list price: $16.99


Word Power: The Year's Best Poetry
Recommended by Meghan O'Rourke

Nox by Anne Carson; hardcover, 192 pages; New Directions, list price: $35

One with Others: [a little book of her days] by C.D. Wright; hardcover, 160 pages; Copper Canyon Press, list price: $20

Lighthead by Terrance Hayes; paperback, 112 pages; Penguin, list price: $18

The Cloud Corporation by Timothy Donnelly; paperback, 176 pages; Wave Books, list price: $16

Come on All You Ghosts by Matthew Zapruder; paperback, 96 pages; Copper Canyon Press, list price: $16

The Eternal City: Poems by Kathleen Graber; paperback, 96 pages; Princeton University Press, list price: $16.95

Master of Disguises by Charles Simic; hardcover 96 pages; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, list price: $22

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