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My Top 5 books read and movies watched this year (TSS)

The Sunday Salon.com Today with it being the last Sunday of the year, I am going to review both what books I’ve read this year and what movies I’ve watched this year, giving you my top five of each. So without further adieu, here are my top five books that I’ve read this year and my top five movies that I’ve watched this year.

Cover of

Cover of Cutting for Stone (Vintage)

Top 5 Books I’ve Read This Year

Honorable mentions: Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, Drowned Hopes by Donald E. Westlake, Kingdom Come by Mark Waid and Alex Ross with Todd Klein, Purple Jesus by Ron Cooper, Charlie Chan novels by Earl Derr Biggers, Godric by Frederick Buechner, Brasyl by Ian McDonald.

Perhaps surprisingly for as many Agatha Christie novels as I read this year (7), none of her books appear on my list, but maybe just as unsurprisingly is the inclusion of two Donald E. Westlake since he is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. I’ve included three graphic novels: two less traditional in Maus and Persepolis in that the stories are based on true stories and one that is more traditional in that incorporates a wide variety of comic book characters. No. 4 and No. 3 are part of a series with No. 4, the first part of a series, which I thought started off with a bang, but then fizzled (if only slightly, it still fizzled, in my opinion). No. 3 was the second part of a series and was my favorite because it moved at such a rapid pace and truly was a page-turner. The first was a little too graphic for my tastes and the third didn’t move along as rapidly as the second one did for me.

As for Verghese’s novel, I have nothing to add to what I said in my original review…other than go read the book.

Top 5 movies I’ve watched This Year

Honorable mentions: The Queen, Maria Full of Grace, 12, Dial M For Murder, How To Train Your Dragon, Sullivan’s Travels, The Wrestler, Waltz with Bashir, Mongol, The Secret In Their Eyes, Winter’s Bone.

In my top five, I’ve include a couple of fun ones, a couple of serious ones and one that just breaks the boundaries of cinema (Inception). If ever there could be a perfect ending to an animated movies series, then TS3 is it. Also included in this list is another graphic novel style of movie in Waltz with Bashir. Let The Right One In, in my humble opinion, blows the Twilight movies out of the water in terms of vampire movies. Ones that might have missed your radar in the last few years include: The Queen, Maria Full of Grace, 12, The Wrestler and Winter’s Bone, all of which are intense drama at its best. Especially noteworthy are the performances of Helen Mirrenย  in The Queen and Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler.

For a full list of books I’ve read so far this year, please click here, and for a full list of movies I’ve watched so far this year, please click here. With a few days left in the year, I might finish another book or two and probably will watch a movie or two, but I haven’t decided yet what they will be.

I’ll leave you with the trailer from my favorite movie of the year:


24 responses to “My Top 5 books read and movies watched this year (TSS)

  1. Pingback: What I plan on reading in 2011 (TSS) | an unfinished person (in this unfinished universe)

  2. Literary Feline

    My husband suggested I read Donald E. Westlake’s books. He really enjoys them. It’s been years since I read Maus, but I still remember it quite well. It made quite an impression on me.

    Inception made my top movie list too. I saw so few movies this year unfortunately so didn’t have a lot to draw from. I do hope to see Toy Story 3 one of these days. I loved the first two movies.

  3. Pingback: My Best of 2010 in Books | an unfinished person (in this unfinished universe)

  4. Yay, to Godric, Maus (an excellent and unusual choice, my friend) and Inception! I haven’t read or seen the rest, though.

  5. It’s been awhile. I hope you enjoyed your Christmas and have a wonderful New Year’s Eve planned.
    Thanks for the book and movie tips – I also loved TS3 and Inception.
    I hope the new year is kind to you.

    • It has been a while. I’ve added you back into my reader. Sometimes I lose track of people and I don’t know why. Unfortunately, you’re one of them. I’ll try to do better in the new year to visit you.

  6. I don’t know why Cutting for Stone doesn’t grab me, especially since I’ve read – and really liked – Verghese’s earlier books (two memoirs), but…it just doesn’t. Maybe I should read an excerpt or something and see if that tempts me, because all the good reviews are just making me feel guilty about not reading it :-).

    Your top two movies for the year are the same as mine.

    • Oh, if you liked his earlier books, I don’t see why you wouldn’t like this one too. His writing is just so…well…wonderful. Yes, read an excerpt. As for the top two movies, for me, it was no contest.

  7. I’ve had Cutting for Stone sitting under my bed since NOVEMBER! Ridiculous.

    Here’s my post: Sunday Salon: The Best of 2010 in Books.

  8. I wish I would have read this post yesterday (of course it wasnt up yet – ha ha) but i was looking at Cutting For Stone as my first book to purchase for my new NOOK and then went with a different choice because I had not read much on Cutting For Stone.

    Love your book choices!

    • So what was your choice? We also got a Nook for Christmas (it was our Christmas gift to ourselves, my wife and I) and we’re loving it so far. In fact, that reminds me I need to go spend some time with it. I haven’t spent any time with it today. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      I can provide other links for Cutting for Stone if you’d like so you know that it’s not just me that liked it. ๐Ÿ™‚ It really is a good book and I think it would be a wonderful addition to your Nook.

  9. I have both Memory and Cutting for Stone lined up to listen to on audio very soon. I loved Toy Story 3 and Inception. Want to watch Let the Right One In, but am afraid it might be too scary. LOL

    • Let The Right One In is incredibly creepy. I watched it late one night on Netflix Instant (our common friend ;)) and I just remember shivering while I was watching it. <- There, does that help in making you want to watch it now? ๐Ÿ˜›

  10. I loved Cutting For Stone though I almost gave up at the beginning because it seemed to drag. I’m so glad I kept with it.
    I didn’t watch a lot of movies this year. They just don’t seem as good as they used to

    • I know some others, including my wife, who thought it was slow to start too. Myself, I loved it from the start. It was just such beautiful writing.

      As for movies, there are good ones out there. You just have to search for them. I use Rotten Tomatoes. That helps a lot.

  11. I haven’t watched many movies this year but Toy Story 3 is definitely one of the best ones. I definitely cried at the end.

    I only read The Hunger Games out of your top-five list. Maus is definitely on my list to read next year. Have a great weekend.

  12. I haven’t read any of these books or seen these movies, but I want to see Inception.

    I’m sure I’ll get around to some of these in the upcoming year.

    Here’s my Salon:

    http://accidentalmoments.wordpress.com/2010/12/26/the-sunday-salon-post-christmas/

  13. How many books did you read this year? Just curious. This looks like a great list.

  14. Of your book choices, I’ve only read The Hunger Games but have seen so many great reviews of Cutting for Stone that it may just percolate to the top of Mt. TBR at some stage. I loved your #1 & 2 films and agree completely about Mirren & Rourke’s performances. Great post!