Last year I posted a list of my favorite books and audio books I'd read through 2009 right here. That was a great year for awesome books read by even better narrators.
Personally I find listening to an audio book or music the best way to chill out and relax while free motion quilting. A lot of quilters ask me how to get past the quilt-clenching-shoulders-lifted-to-your-ears tension that free motion quilting can cause, especially when you're just starting out.
My reply is always the same: listen to something the will distract your brain from thinking too much, from criticizing your first stitches, and from reminding you of all the things you SHOULD be doing like washing the dishes. A glass of white wine also helps with that fear tension too!
So here's my list of the best audio books for 2010:
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - This whole series is awesome, but I think this first book is the best. It's a graphic mystery type novel written by Steig Larsson, an amazing Swedish author and journalist. The cultural and societal differences are intriguing all by themselves, but add a 40 year old murder-mystery and you've got a recipe for a book that will keep you on the edge of your seat!
Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert - This is another memoir from the author of Eat, Love, Pray. This book focuses on Elizabeth's quest to come to terms with marriage in time for her own second marriage to the wonderful Brazilian man she met in her last book.
I personally enjoyed learning about the long, interesting history of marriage, an institution that is quite difficult to define as it is always changing depending on the need and love that binds it together.
The Upside of Irrationality by Dan Ariely - I loved Dan's first book Predictably Irrational which is a wonderful study of how we make irrational judgments (which we also irrationally justify) on a daily, if not hourly basis.
This book focuses on the upsides of our irrationality and how we can take advantage of our sometimes lopsided view of life. It's a book that always makes me ask questions which usually lead to a happier, more contented day.
The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell - This is also a non-fiction book about how ideas or businesses or fashions tip. They go from being rather obscure to being what everyone is talking about or wearing or buying. It's a really interesting book and a great read for any business owner!
The Puppet Masters by Robert Heinlein - I mentioned this book in my Sinkhole Journey post. It's a really neat book with almost the same idea in The Host (parascitic aliens inhabiting human bodies), though these "slugs" are entirely malevolent. The story is intriguing and will keep you on the very edge of your seat!
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy - This really shouldn't me called an audio book, it's really an audio MARRATHON! 38 hours of some of the best narration and dialog I've ever heard. I'm barely 1/4 of the way into this book and I absolutely love it. Please don't tell me how it ends! It will probably be February before I finish it!
Of course, there have been many books I've read such as I Know I'm in There Somewhere by Helen Brenner and Truth Heals by Deborah King that I've actually read rather than listened too. A hard copy is great for dog-earing the pages and writing in the margins and these two books have been extremely helpful to me this year.
So that's the list for this year! I really hope we have some more good fiction come out in 2011. Maybe The Help's Kathryn Stockett will come out with a new book? I sure hope so!
Let's go quilt (and listen to great books!)