Best of 2010

Here are the books that I read in 2010 that I consider the best of the best.



Jungle Sunrise A unique and captivating novel by a member of the Xtreme Team, who risk their lives and endure unthinkable physical deprivation while assisting native people in the most remote areas of the world. This novel has been written out of the rich background of that experience. It is evident the author has been there! He unlocks the secret of how to begin life anew, as the book s central character moves from a depressing, directionless life to a rewarding and incomparable adventure, discovering the ultimate meaning in life through trials and tragedy. One warning: do not start reading until you have some time because you won’t put it down. (contemporary)

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Imaginary Jesus Is the pleasant robed man at the coffee shop really Jesus—or just Matt Mikalatos’s conveniently created imitation of Christ? With the help of the apostle Peter and a talking donkey, Matt searches Portland—determined to exorcise the impostor, find the real Jesus, and confront him with the question that’s haunted him for years. . . . (allegory)

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By Darkness Hid Half of Er’Rets is locked beneath an impenetrable shroud. On the side that still sees the sun, two young people struggle to understand the mind-communication abilities thrust upon them. It’s called bloodvoicing. Some say it’s a gift. One of the newly “gifted” wish it had never come.

Achan has been a slave all his life. He is consigned to the kitchens of a lord and forced to swallow a foul potion every day. When an enigmatic knight offers to train Achan for the Kingsguard, he readily accepts. But his new skills with the sword do not prepare him for the battle raging between the voices in his head.

Vrell Sparrow is not who she seems. She masquerades as a boy to avoid capture by the powerful forces that seek to exploit her. But Vrell feels called to help a young squire who recently discovered his bloodvoicing gift, even if doing so requires her to work with those who could destroy her.

While Achan learns to use his new ability, Vrell struggles to shut hers down. All the voices strive to learn Achan and Vrell’s true identities—and a different kind of voice is calling them both. (young adult fantasy)  Christy Award for Visionary

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More Than Conquerors True love ignites their passionate pursuit of His call. With violent crime on the rise and the political climate changing throughout certain parts of Mexico, the opportunity for open Christian witness, particularly in some areas of Chiapas State, is rapidly decreasing. Hector Rodriguez pastors a small church in the tourist-popular border town of Tijuana. He also routinely carries Bibles deeper into the hostile areas of Mexico, where he ministers despite increasing difficulty and persecution. Hectors mother accompanied him on one of those trips and felt God called her to stay in the little village of San Juan Chamula, where she uses the Scriptures to teach reading to the families who are open to it. (contemporary)

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No Greater Love Forbidden romance, an unlikely martyr, and an even more unlikely hero. Orphaned four years earlier when their parents, active in the African National Congress ANC movement against Apartheid, were murdered, 16-year-old Chioma and her 15-year-old brother Masozi now live and work on an Afrikaner family’s farm. When Chioma and Andrew, the farm owner’s son, find themselves attracted to one another, tragedy revisits their lives. Chioma escapes to join an ANC rebel band in her effort to survive and gain revenge for her family and culture. When cultures clash in life-or-death struggles, Chioma must choose between violence and revenge or forgiveness and selfless love. Loosely based on historical events and set near Pretoria, South Africa, in the violent upheaval prior to ANC leader Nelson Mandela’s release from prison in 1990 and his ascendance to the presidency of South Africa, this story of forbidden romance produces an unlikely martyr who is replaced by one even more unlikely. (historical)

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A Distant Melody Never pretty enough to please her gorgeous mother, Allie will do anything to gain her approval–even marry a man she doesn’t love.

Lt. Walter Novak–fearless in the cockpit but hopeless with women–takes his last furlough at home in California before being shipped overseas. Walt and Allie meet at a wedding and their love of music draws them together, prompting them to begin a correspondence that will change their lives.

As letters fly between Walt’s muddy bomber base in England and Allie’s mansion in an orange grove, their friendship binds them together. But can they untangle the secrets, commitments, and expectations that keep them apart? (historical romance)

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Here Burns My Candle Lady Elisabeth Kerr is a keeper of secrets. A Highlander by birth and a Lowlander by marriage, she honors the auld ways, even as doubts and fears stir deep within her. Her husband, Lord Donald, has secrets of his own, well hidden from the household, yet whispered among the town gossips. His mother, the dowager Lady Marjory, hides gold beneath her floor and guilt inside her heart. Though her two abiding passions are maintaining her place in society and coddling her grown sons, Marjory’s many regrets, buried in Greyfriars Churchyard, continue to plague her. One by one the Kerr family secrets begin to surface, even as bonny Prince Charlie and his rebel army ride into Edinburgh in September 1745, intent on capturing the crown.

A timeless story of love and betrayal, loss and redemption, flickering against the vivid backdrop of eighteenth-century Scotland, Here Burns My Candle illumines the dark side of human nature, even as hope, the brightest of tapers, lights the way home. (historical)  2010 Reviewers Choice Award Winner/Romantic Times Book Reviews — Best Inspirational Romance


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Sons Of Thunder Sophia Frangos is in love with two brothers. Markos cares for her from afar while battling his thirst for vengeance. Dino wants to forget the horror that drove them from Greece to start a new life in America. One of these offers her a bright future—the other the past she lost. Which will be Sophia’s choice? (historical)  Inspy Award Winner for Romance/Romantic Suspense

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For Time And Eternity Escaping her legalistic upbringing, Camilla Deardon runs away from home to marry and start a family with Nathan, a young Mormon. But when the church elders give Nathan the honor of taking a second wife, Camilla questions this special revelation and remembers her childhood faith. Will she be able to save herself and her children? (historical)  2011 Christy Award Nominee for Historical Novel

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The Waiting Jorie King has been waiting for Benjamin Zook to return home to Lancaster County so they can marry. When news arrives that Ben has been killed, Jorie finds comfort in the friendship of his brother Caleb. That friendship ripens into love, and it seems that they are meant to be together. But when the unexpected happens, their worlds are turned upside down once more. Will Jorie trust God to lead her into the arms of a new man? (Amish)  2011 Christy Award Nominee for Series, Sequels, Novellas

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The Skin Map Kit Livingstone’s great-grandfather has re-appeared with an unbelievable story–the ley lines throughout Britain are not merely the stuff of legends but truly are pathways to other worlds. So few people know how to use them, though, that doing so is fraught with danger.

But one explorer knew more than most. Because of his fear of being unable to find his way home, he developed an intricate code and tattooed his map onto his skin. But the map has since been lost and rival factions are in desperate competition to recover it. What none of them yet realize is that the skin map itself is not the prize at the end of this race . . . but merely the first goal of a vast and marvelous quest to regain Paradise. (fantasy)

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The Charlatan’s Boy As far back as he can remember, the orphan Grady has tramped from village to village in the company of a huckster named Floyd. With his adolescent accomplice, Floyd perpetrates a variety of hoaxes and flimflams on the good citizens of the Corenwald frontier, such as the Ugliest Boy in the World act.

It’s a hard way to make a living, made harder by the memory of fatter times when audiences thronged to see young Grady perform as “The Wild Man of the Feechiefen Swamp.” But what can they do? Nobody believes in feechies anymore. (young adult fantasy)  2011 Christy Award Nominee for Young Adult Novel

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Almost Heaven Billy Allman is a hillbilly genius. People in Dogwood, West Virginia, say he was born with a second helping of brains and a gift for playing the mandolin but was cut short on social skills. Though he’d gladly give you the shirt off his back, they were right. Billy longs to use his life as an ode to God, a lyrical, beautiful bluegrass song played with a finely tuned heart. So with spare parts from a lifetime of collecting, he builds a radio station in his own home. People in town laugh. But Billy carries a brutal secret that keeps him from significance and purpose. Things always seem to go wrong for him. However small his life seems, from a different perspective Billy’s song reaches far beyond the hills and hollers he calls home. Malachi is an angel sent to observe Billy. Though it is not his dream assignment, Malachi follows the man and begins to see the bigger picture of how each painful step Billy takes is a note added to a beautiful symphony that will forever change the lives of those who hear it. (contemporary)  2011 Christy Award Nominee for Contemporary Standalone Novel

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4 Responses to “Best of 2010”

  1. Sherry January 1, 2011 at 7:10 pm #

    I added three of your list to my TBR list and was tempted to add more. You’ve read some good books.

    Like

    • rbclibrary January 1, 2011 at 7:51 pm #

      It was hard to limit the list — I have read some really good books this year. I’m thinking of separating the list into genres to include some others.

      Like

  2. Joel January 4, 2011 at 2:15 pm #

    The Skin Map was one of my favorites as well! Make sure to check out Lawhead’s Facebook Fan Page as well. Lots of great updates on it http://on.fb.me/cYTDHs

    Like

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Saturday Review of Books: January 1, 2011 » Semicolon - January 7, 2011

    […] Janie (Once Blind: The Life of John Newton)34. Alice@Supratentorial35. DebD (Birds in Fall)36. Beckie@ByTheBook (2010 Best Books)37. Fleur Fisher in her World38. Hope (Best of 2010)39. gautami tripathy (Best of 2010)40. Lazygal […]

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