50 Books You’ll Want to Read in 2010 – The Full List

You may also want to check out 50 Books You May Want to Read in 2011

  1. The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall
  2. The Stars in the Bright Sky by Alan Warner
  3. Even the Dogs by Jon MacGregor
  4. The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ by Philip Pullman
  5. Naming the Bones by Louise Welsh
  6. Known to Evil by Walter Mosley
  7. Monster 1959 by David Maine
  8. Manhood for Amateurs by Michael Chabon
  9. It Feels So Good When I Stop by Joe Pernice
  10. Chronic City by Jonathan Lethem
  11. Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
  12. Nemesis by Philip Roth
  13. Wild Child by TC Boyle 
  14. Three Days Before the Shooting by Ralph Ellison
  15. Solar by Ian McEwan
  16. The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet by David Mitchell
  17. Point Omega by Don DeLillo
  18. The Pale King by David Foster Wallace
  19. The Pregnant Widow by Martin Amis
  20. Parrot and Olivier in America by Peter Carey
  21. IQ84 by Haruki Murakami
  22. The Man From Beijing by Henning Mankell
  23. This Party’s Got to Stop by Rupert Thomson
  24. Beatrice & Virgil by Yann Martel
  25. All That Follows by Jim Crace
  26. The Dead Republic by Roddy Doyle
  27. Little Hands Clapping by Dan Rhodes
  28. Lean On Pete by Willy Vlautin
  29. The Ask by Sam Lipsyte
  30. Zeitoun by Dave Eggers
  31. Castle J Robert Lennon
  32. Imperial Bedrooms by Bret Easton Ellis
  33. The Canal by Lee Rourke
  34. Canada by Richard Ford
  35. The Leaping by Tom Fletcher
  36. Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
  37. King Death by Toby Litt
  38. Light Boxes by Shane Jones
  39. The Unnamed by Joshua Ferris
  40. The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Simm by Jonathan Coe
  41. The News Where You Are by Catherine O’Flynn
  42. The Greek Affair by Simon Van Booy
  43. Nazi Literature in the Americas – Roberto Bolano
  44. Rupture by Simon Lelic
  45. The Art of Pho by Julian Hanshaw
  46. George Sprott by Seth
  47. Taurus by Joseph Smith (author of The Wolf)
  48. The Widow’s Tale by Mick Jackson
  49. The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog, and of his Friend Marilyn Monroe by Andrew O’Hagan
  50. In a Strange Room by Damon Galgut


  1. This seems like a great list & I look forward to checking some of the books out. But why are there only 2 books by women authors out of a list of 50? There needs to be more diversity included for a well-rounded, unbiased list that all people can benefit from.

    • Betty sorry to say but this thing you have for diversity is killing the nation..I suppose you’ll want a diversity reading czar now.. Write to the big “O” perhaps he has one already… ; )

  2. I think a well-rounded, unbiased list would be a different kind of list. This is a personal, ‘here’s what we’re looking forward to’ kind of list. I’m not in favour of crowbarring things in just to retain a good ethnic or gender mix. These are the books we’re looking forward to. It’s as simple as that. By all means compile a list of your own and fire it our way – we’ll be happy to publish…

  3. Found the site following a google alert for Mark Eiztel. What a wonderful find it has turned out to be. Have bookmarked the page on my phone so I can browse it next time I am in a book shop. Keep up the good work.

  4. Not 50 books I would want to read I’m afraid, perhaps the odd one or two on first impression. If it’s a personal list and not a well rounded list to appeal to a wide audience, perhaps it should say “50 books I want to read in 2010” rather than telling everyone else they should want to read the same books as you?

  5. Jackie M: Harsh and a little unfair. The list is 50 books that I think people will want to read. That’s the be-all and end-all. Believe it or not, it isn’t the easiest thing in the world to dig up info on what’s coming out. You tend to be able to find out the big hitters. These are, by and large, the big hitters. If you can find me ten women writers, I’ll gladly add them to the list. In fact, I’ll give you two to start: Andrea Levy & Trezza Azzopardi.

  6. Molescroft: It’s a mixture of the two, I’d say. Yes, I’d like to read mostly all of these BUT they’re all most likely to shift as many copies as literary books sell these days. I’m sorry there aren’t many books on the list that interest you but – and this is crucial – all cultural commentary of any kind is subjective. There isn’t a person alive who could produce a list like this that would please everyone. I tried to please myself (apparently to a little bit of readerly chagrin) in the hope that it would please some others…

  7. Bookmunch: I would not have made a comment if you had headed it up “50 books I would like to read in 2010 how about you?” The title of the list is the issue not particularly what is on it – I like what I like and will read it regardless of what anyone else thinks about it and I would never suggest that something is not worth reading even if I hated it on reading it myself. I like to take recommendations and try authors I have not read before, but not because they are on a list that says I should be reading it next year – if anything, because I am stubborn like that, I would tend to avoid it (smilie face here, because I am being particularly difficult, you just touched a touchy bit with your list title!)

  8. I actually sort-of resent the ‘only like stuff written by men’ – in the half year since Bookmunch relocated to WordPress, we’ve reviewed short story collections by Tania Hershman, Jackie Corley, Sana Krasikov, Elizabeth Baines, Chelsea Martin, Ali Smith, AL Kennedy and Kristiina Ehin, novels by Margaret Atwood, Lorrie Moore, Hilary Mantel, Sarah Waters, AM Homes, Liz Jensen, Sadie Jones, Fay Weldon, Lorrie Moore, Rachel Cusk and Meg Rosoff, debut novels by Eleanor Catton, Evie Wyld, Mari Strachan, Jenn Ashworth, and Charlotte Roche, graphic novels by Rutu Modan and Sarah Herman as well as historical fiction from the likes of Kate Pullinger, Philippa Gregory and Claire Letemendia and nonfiction by Marina Hyde. One thing you cannot say is that we only read fiction by men.

  9. Looks like a fine list to me – I’m sure there are going to be other great reads too – but these look v enticing. The tragedy is I won’t have time to read all of them.

  10. This is when English really needs a ‘tu’ & ‘vous’…

    Goody new Delilo, Martel & Mitchell and Safran Foer (despite everyone else having a downer on him).

    Roth’s knocking ’em out at too rapid a rate and oh dreary me, Litt’s only up to the letter “K” in his drive to get through the alphabet.

    I think 2010 I am going to have to discover Wallace for myself as everyone raves about him.

    Good to see the literary novel appears to be thriving to judge by this list.

    marc nash

  11. @ Jackie M

    bookmunch gave you the option to help change the list, but instead you chose to complain.

    Be the change you want to see comes to mind.

    Complaining is easier than doing something productive, no?

  12. It’s a shame that of 50 books, only two are written by women, especially when you state you’ve reviewed a lot by women over the year. Are there really so few female writers that appeal to you?

  13. Hi Rachel. As I sort of already said above, it isn’t a case that so few women writers appealed when I was drawing up this list – and more to the fact that I couldn’t find any new books by female writers. It isn’t easy tracking this kind of info down (publishers try to resist releasing too much in the way of advance comment). I’d say there were maybe five other books coming out (by the likes of Andrea Levy, Trezza Azzopardi) that I heard about and (sorry) didn’t fancy. By all means try and make a list yourself. I’ll be happy to run it. I should say, though, that I am averse to lists built purely on gender or any other lines as I think that defeats the point of pure enthusiasm. But that’s just me.

  14. Similarly, I would like to know why there are not any notable African American authors on this list as well.

    • Queen of Hearts: this is getting ridiculous! It’s a list of books! Not my entry form for humanitarian of the year! I’ll repeat what I’ve already repeated above: this info is hard to come by! If you can produce a list of forthcoming books by women/African Americans/Irish/animal/mineral or vegetable writers please do so. I’ll post it. This is my last comment on this. Anybody want the final word be my guest…

  15. And incidentally, the ‘you’ll want to read’ is not especially controversial, I don’t think. The chances are that if you’re reading Bookmunch, you have a broad overlap of tastes with Mr Wild and his little wizards, so there are likely to be a fair few titles that will interest you.

    We all have different tastes. Anyone who has followed Bookmunch will know that Peter Wild has a particular penchant for Americana and authors that might be described as ‘quirky’, and that’s reflected fairly enough in this list. If it was my list, I’d have put in more stuff in translation perhaps, esp Europeans (if, as was pointed out, I could find out what they are: there isn’t some central depository of forthcoming book titles, alas): and I definitely would have included Andrea Levy’s The Long Song. But that doesn’t mean I want to quibble with the list that’s here. Indeed, I’m already grateful to it for bringing J Robert Lennon’s novel Castle to my attention, which I’ve since bought in an imported edition and read.

  16. All this bickering over a list of books is hilarious! Love it 😉

    I’ve looked through the list and I can honestly say that I simply cannot find a book in there by a Chilean female author from Puerto Montt, written on a Tuesday whilst holidaying by the banks of Lago Llanquihue! Why IS this?? Tsk tsk, call yourself a bunch of reviewers? Hmmm.

  17. thanks for sharing your list with the rest of ur, it is good to know of places to go when the question what should i read next? comes up, I will bookmark your blog and share it with my cousins,

  18. Wow – are we really a world that can no longer accept opinion, decision, personal taste? Are all of these people demanding a list of 50 made up entirely of 5 white men, 5 white women, 5 black men, 5 black women, 5 asian women, 5 asian men, 5 atheists, 5 priests, 5 nuns, and 5 immigrants from an asian country to an english country?

    How diverse does a list have to be that includes a title like “50 books you’ll want to read”. It doesn’t read “The only 50 books worth reading” The author isn’t excluding any other book. The author is merely saying this 50 might be good…

  19. Clearly, for some people, quibbling is communicating. Whatever happened to simply making a gracious comment when someone makes an effort? News alert: the world is still turning in spite of this heinous oversight.

    The upside: I feel such sympathy for the author of the list (discovered on StumbleUpon) that I now plan to read more of his comments.

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