Our blog has moved!

Dear loyal LDSWBR follower:

Happy News - LDSWBR has a new home! Please come visit us, tell us what you think, and let's talk books. Happy reading!

- Shanda, Sheila, Mindy, and Hillary

You should be automatically redirected in 8 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Shanda's Top Ten Reads of 2010

When I suggested to the other ladies of LDSWBR that we use our last posts of the year to list our Top Ten Reads of 2010 it sounded like a lot of fun.

Then it came time for me to choose my top ten. Considering I have read 67 books so far in 2010 (hope to make that 70 by Friday), I don't think I quite realized what I was getting myself into. I've read so many great books this year that it was incredibly difficult to choose. Here are my Top Ten Reads for 2010, in no particular order:

Devil's Food Cake and Key Lime Pie by Josi Kilpack

Okay, technically two books, but they are part of a series, so whatever. What can I say? I absolutely love this series. And the recipes- oh, yum! I'm pretty sure that 2 or 3 of the extra pounds I'm carrying around are from several batches of Sadie's Better Brownies (see Lemon Tart) but they are the best brownies I have ever eaten. Make a batch and see if you can eat just one. Betcha can't. :)

Catholic Roots, Mormon Harvest by Eric Shuster

I don't read a lot of nonfiction, but this book had a significant impact on me. The information is well presented, viewpoints well expressed, and my testimony and knowledge of the gospel were both increased. Eric's next book with coauthor Charles Sale, The Biblical Roots of Mormonism, is high on my to-read list for 2011. If it is anything like his first book, my perspective and testimony will be forever changed.

I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells

Horror is another genre I don't read often, but if there were more books in the genre like this, I would be reading horror a lot more. IANASK was so different than I expected and just... wow. After finishing it, so many things kept swirling around in my head. I couldn't stop thinking about it. For hours. And hours. I hope to get the sequel, Mr. Monster, read before the end of the year.

Murder by the Book by Betsy Brannon Green

I've been a fan of Betsy and her Haggerty series for years now (since Mark & Kate's kiss at the barbecue- sigh...) Betsy's latest series doesn't take place in Haggerty, but there are several familiar characters that make an occasional appearance. There is something about Kennedy I like- probably her spunk. She does her best to please her mother and the Southern traditions of hospitality and obligation, yet she isn't afraid to rebel a little, too. I'm in the middle of reading the second book in the series, Murder by Design, which I believe has the best first two lines in any mystery-suspense I've ever read-

"The day started out bad and went downhill from there. By the time we discovered the body, I wasn't even surprised."

Now that's a bad day I've just got to read about.

Women of the Book of Mormon: Insights & Inspirations by Heather B. Moore

This was another nonfiction book that gave me a significant change in perspective. It allowed me a glimpse of the women in the history of the scriptures that I never had before. I am able to relate more to these women, and they now feel more like my sisters than I ever would have imagined. The artwork is simply beautiful. My favorite is on page 74 and depicts a mother and her two stripling warrior sons. Women of the Book of Mormon is Heather's first nonfiction book, and comes highly recommended by me to all LDS women.

My Ridiculous, Romantic Obsessions by Becca Wilhite

I love a good romance, though the genre is often plagued by cheesy cliches. I was thrilled to read My Ridiculous, Romantic Obsessions- a good romance with significantly less cheese and cliche than one might find in a typical romance. I really do love this book. I wonder if I have time to read it again before the end of the year...

Blink of an Eye by Gregg Luke

First of all, Gregg is one great guy. He's smart, courteous, and a talented author. Every book he writes gets better and better. In Blink of an Eye, Gregg took a story about a man experiencing flashbacks because of a brain injury and turned it into a suspenseful page-turner, with laugh-out-loud humor sprinkled throughout. If a guy in your life thinks there isn't any good LDS fiction out there for men, send him Gregg Luke's way. He won't be disappointed. And then you can read it when he's done. :)

The Rhea Jensen Series by Sheralyn Pratt

I've only read the first two books in this series (the fourth was just released in the past month or so.) I absolutely loved them. I bought the first book before reading it after meeting Sheralyn at a book signing. I can't wait to get the rest of the series. I love a main character with spunk and that is exactly what Rhea has, as well as a collection of cool PI tools and some awesome fighting skills. When that guy followed her into the... well, I wouldn't want to give anything away. You'll just have to read it for yourself.

The Road Show by Braden Bell

The Road Show is a shorter book (do they call them novellas?) that honestly surprised me a little. I wasn't expecting the characters to grab me so quickly, or to be so relatable. I enjoyed the story, the way everything came together, and how the message of the road show affected each character and ultimately me. A good story that I don't mind recommending to everyone.

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

I don't read much YA, but after reading the first six chapters online as part of a promotional event, I couldn't wait to get my hands on Paranormalcy. I find myself avoiding a lot of the seemingly "trendy" paranormal young adult fiction that permeates the market these days because they all kind of sound like each other. Paranormalcy, however, is different. There are werewolves and vampires, but not like you would think. There are mermaids and zombies and hags. There are paranormals that I've never heard of. And then there's Tasey, all pink and bling-y, surprising companion to Evie, the main character with- you guessed it- spunk. I loved that Kiersten White was able to tell this fun, teenage-romance story in such an engaging way without cheap or gratuitous content. Nicely done!

If you'd like to see what else I read in 2010, visit me on Goodreads. As far as next year, I've decided to challenge myself to read 150 books. That's more than double the number of books I read this year, or 2.88 books a week. If I can get three books a week read while walking on the treadmill I can accomplish two goals at once, lol.

I can't wait to see what books 2011 will bring!


  1. Great picks! Excited to see how you do next year :)

  2. Shanda, I am only now noticing this--somehow I missed it. Than you so much for the mention!