NY Times 100 Notable Books of 2010

The recently released list includes some titles of interest to readers of this blog, including (in no particular order):

THE BOOK IN THE RENAISSANCE. By Andrew Pettegree. (Yale University, $40.) A thought-provoking revisionist history of the early years of printing.

LIFE. By Keith Richards with James Fox. (Little, Brown, $29.99.) Reading Richards’s autobiography is like getting to corner him in a room to ask everything you always wanted to know about the Rolling Stones. Included here because of his shared love of libraries. From the book ““When you are growing up there are two institutional places that affect you most powerfully: the church, which belongs to God, and the public library, which belongs to you. The public library is a great equaliser.”

TRAVELS IN SIBERIA. By Ian Frazier. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $30.) Dubious meals, vehicle malfunctions and relics of the Gulag fill Frazier’s uproarious, sometimes dark account of his wanderings.

PARISIANS: An Adventure History of Paris. By Graham Robb. (Norton, $28.95.) This series of character studies — some of familiar figures, some not — is arranged to give meaning to a volatile, complicated city.

THE POSSESSED: Adventures With Russian Books and the People Who Read Them. By Elif Batuman. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, paper, $15.) An entertaining memoir-cum-travelogue of a graduate student’s improbable education in Russian language and literature.

THE LOST BOOKS OF THE ODYSSEY. By Zachary Mason. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $24.) The conceit behind the multiple Odysseuses here (comic, dead, doubled, amnesiac) is that this is a translation of an ancient papyrus, a collection of variations on the myth.

Feel free to add your own notable books to this list.


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