8 Favorite Reads of 2010

reading bear

photo by jonno259

One of my favorite annual posts, here are my top reads from 2010. While I read about 50 books a year, only a handful are standouts.

Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine is Making Us Sicker and Poorer by Shannon Brownlee (NF)

Americans have grown to believe that more medicine is better medicine.   When just “4% of treatments and tests are backed up by strong scientific evidence,” there’s no system to appropriately assign effective and cost-effective treatments to any ailments.   With the marketing arms of Big Pharma and medical technology firms working  to build interest in their products long before their release dates, health care has grown as dependent on advertising as most consumer goods producers and retailers.  In outlining the success that the Veterans Administration has had in overhauling their own health system, Browlee outlines some concrete steps that could drive down costs for patients, employers, insurance companies and the government.

61 Hours by Lee Child (F)
Worth Dying For by Lee Child (F)

I have read every book in the Jack Reacher series.  Each book reminds me why I impatiently await the release of each new title.  I can”t put them down.  More so than previous books, readers were let in on some of the details of Reacher’s military past in 61 Hours.   Child’s works are always compulsively readable adventures that leave you guessing, sometimes wildly, as you try to keep up with Reacher’s strides.

Linchpin: Are You Indispensible? by Seth Godin (NF)

It’s no longer enough to be a cog in the machine.   According to German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, “Thus, the task is not so much to see what no one else has seen, but to think what nobody yet has thought about that which everybody sees.”   If you can bring a unique perspective that leads to process improvement, cost savings, increased profit margins, ecetera, you may be on the verge of being indispensable.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (F)
The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson (F)
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson (F)

Let’s be honest. These books are literary crack.  About 1800 pages of reading whips by once the first 100 pages set up the backstory.  I’m crushed that the author died 3+ books into what he envisioned as a 10-book series.   Hopefully the mostly completed fourth book that his lover has on the deceased’s laptop will someday be published.

The Empathic Civilization by Jeremy Rifkin (NF)

I admit it took me three months to read this book because it was so dense and fact filled that it took that long to process.  It was a fascinating read looking at the psychology of human development and the major technological revolutions throughout history that have driven greater self and community-awareness.

Ten minute video summing up the book’s main points here.

Disclaimer: Disclaimer: These books were not necessarily published in 2010. They do not necessarily belong on a list of best books ever, books to read before you die, or best kept secrets.    It’s just a list of the books I enjoyed most in this calendar year.

Related: Favorite Reads of 2008, Favorite Reads of 2009

4 Comments for “8 Favorite Reads of 2010”


I started the year aiming to read a book a week, then life got in the way. To my horror once we got back from France in the summer I’ve hardly had time to pick a book up.

However out of the 20 or so books I have managed to read, I’d recommend The Angels Game by Carlos Luis Zafon.

I had read and enjoyed some of his earlier work, however I was absolutely transfixed with this book. I couldn’t wait to pick it up and read more. I found myself absolutely enthralled in the story. It was very well written and I found it immensely enjoyable to say the least.

I hope you have a good Christmas!


I just read an article slamming mass fiction as a disappointing low brow phenomena, but reading for pleasure means different things to different people. Sometime those heart in your throat reads are just what you need, no disrespect to Steinbeck, Hemingway, Lawrence and friends.

Any reading recommendations for 2011?


I’ve had 61 Hours sat waiting to be read since I went to Italy at the start of the year, I shall make that the next one I read I think.

The Stieg Larsson books were very enjoyable, though difficult to read in parts. It isn’t often I find myself reading a book that I literally don’t want to put down, these three achieved that.