Recommended Reading

Great Books 2010

Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver 

Kingsolver chronicles a year in the life of her family as they eat only what they can grow themselves or buy locally. Funny, smart and filled with good recipes, too.
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick

The Giver by Lois Lowry
The Help by Katherine Stockett
Told from the perspectives of a white woman and two black women who work as maids, The Help is a compelling story of racism and privilege in 1960s Mississippi.This is a good "book club" selection - plenty to discuss but not difficult to read.The inevitable movie is coming out August 2011.
The Home Game by Michael Lewis

Innocent by Scott Turrow
The sequel to Presumed Innocent, Turrow returns to Rusty Savich's messed up personal life. Death and disaster ensue. This is not so much a mystery as an exploration of the ways Rusty is compelled to self-destruct, and the ways he finds solace in the midst of these tragedies.
The Millennium Trilogy by Steig Larsson
If you are looking for an ass-kicking female protagonist, look no further than Lisbeth Salander. The first of these mysteries is the best, by far, I think, but the second and third are pretty much irresistible - You will want to see how Lisbeth gets the best of all the cheats, liars and corrupt men that populate her world. 
A Most Wanted Man by John Le Carre
A high-brow spy story that takes a close look at post 9/11 intelligence agencies and the "terrorists" they are pursuing. Not your run of the mill spy novel.

The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan
The food politics bible - Pollan follows how food gets to your table. Fascinating look at the agricultural and food industries.
The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore

Percy Jackson & The Olympians Series by Rick Riordan
See my post.
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
In this dystopian future, children are raised to be organ donors. Ishiguro, though, is more interested in the relationships between three friends and their strange acceptance of this reality. Beautifully written and very disturbing. The movie came out this fall (2010) and was supposed to be a faithful adaptation.

The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff
A work of historical fiction, Ebershoff alternates between the story of Brigham Young's 19th wife, who ultimately divorced him, and the story of murder within  a radical "Morman" polygamist sect. I found the modern story more interesting, but the book is a good read nonetheless.

Zeitoun by David Eggers
Eggers tells the true story of Abdulrahman Zeitoun and his experiences in the days following hurricane Katrina's destruction in New Orleans. This is an unbelievable view of the city in the midst of this crisis and a disturbing account of injustice and incompetence on the part of government authorities. This is a good book for young adult readers as well.