As the year draws to a close, it’s time to take a look back at the books that impressed us. We editors put our heads together and came up with a Top 40 list of books—fiction and nonfiction—that stood out from the crowd in 2010. From literary novels to memoirs to mysteries, they include established authors, new voices and a few surprises.

 
1. Room by Emma Donoghue
2. Freedom by Jonathan Franzen  
3. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand 
4. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
5. Let's Take the Long Way Home by Gail Caldwell 
6. Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart  
7. The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell
8. Great House by Nicole Krauss 
9. Mr. Peanut by Adam Ross
10. A Mountain of Crumbs by Elena Gorokhova
11. The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman
12. The Passage by Justin Cronin
13. My Reading Life by Pat Conroy
14. Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff
15. The Widower’s Tale by Julia Glass 
16. Faithful Place by Tana French
17. Mr. Toppit by Charles Elton
18. The Privileges by Jonathan Dee
19. So Much for That by Lionel Shriver
20. Skippy Dies by Paul Murray
21. Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow
22. The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall
23. The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee
24. The Surrendered by Chang-rae Lee
25. The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano
26. The Tiger by John Vaillant
27. Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin
28. The Big Short by Michael Lewis
29. Hellhound on His Trail by Hampton Sides
30. The Line by Olga Grushin
31. How to Read the Air by Dinaw Mengestu
32. I’d Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman
33. Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes
34. Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman
35. The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
36. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
37. Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self by Danielle Evans
38. Breath by Martha Mason
39. The Grace of Silence by Michele Norris
40. Hitch 22 by Christopher Hitchens

 

 

 

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