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Abbey's Bookseller Favourites for 2010

Posted December 18, 2010

Abbey's booksellers have chosen their favourite books of 2010. Some will be familair, others not so. All were enjoyed. So here are 30 great recommendations for last-minute gift-giving or for a leisurely read over the summer.


The Age of Entanglement: When Quantum Physics Was Reborn

Louisa Gilder

Serious science written in a very lucid polished style.



Chris Womersley

A wonderfully written, beautifully imagined novel.


Common as Air: Revolution, Art, and Ownership

Lewis Hyde

In questioning "intellectual property" Hyde has created a most timely, engaging and well-informed read.


Cultures of War: Pearl Harbor/Hiroshima/9-11/Iraq

John W Dower

The juxtaposition of Pearl Harbour and 9/11 makes for fascinating reading as the shock of having been attacked made it's impact on the American psyche. 


Cycles of Time: An Extraordinary New View of the Universe

Roger Penrose

Whether you are convinced, or just intrigued, it is hard to ignore someone of the intellectual stature of Roger Penrose.


Delicious: More Please

Valli Little

Delicious magazine is one of the best food magazines in Australia, and the books never disappoint. Every recipe is a simple delight. It will literally leave you saying 'more please'


The Diaries of Sofia Tolstoy 

Sofia Tolstoy

Heart-breaking and revealing – being the wife of a great writer and prophet was no easy matter, let alone mother to a large family. 


The Eerie Silence 

Paul Davies

A history of the search for extrterrestrial intelligence and how we can do it differently in the future.


Even the Dogs

John McGregor 

McGregor's unique writing style sucks you in from the first page. Instantly the characters are your friends, your family, you weep for them, you laugh with them, you miss them.  



Jonathan Franzen 

Huge family saga, involving and moving.


The Fry Chronicles: An Autobiography

Stephen Fry 

There isn't an Englishman alive who can compete with Fry and his word wit, wisdom and wry wrangling of woe. I flicked between this and the dictionary - but I wouldn't have had it any other way! Loved the book, Love the man.


Hand Me Down World

Lloyd Jones 

Topical, tragic and ultimately hopeful story of an African mother


Heidegger and a Hippo Walk Through Those Pearly Gates: Using Philosophy (and Jokes!) to Explore Life, Death, the Afterlife, and Everything in Betweeen

Thomas Cathcart & Daniel Klein

Jokes you just want to share with someone, thoughts you will keep for later.


A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years

Diarmaid MacCulloch

An informed and entertaining look at the struggle of ideas, culture, interpretation, and politics that have shaped our predominant religious heritage.


How to Make Gravy 

Paul Kelly 

Not enough that he's the best songwriter in the country, but also a damn fine stylist of the written word as well!


Imperial Bedrooms

Brett Easton Ellis 

A novel of such ambition that it leaves you gasping.  Love it or hate it (Easton-Ellis fans seem to be divided once again on this one….), you wont stop thinking about it for months.


The Lacuna

Barbara Kingsolver

What can you say about a novel featuring Trotsky, Frida Kahlo & J Edgar?

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand 

Helen Simonson 

Gentle, tender, observant comedy-of-manners-and morals.


The Most Powerful Idea in the World 

William Rosen

A very readable account of why the Industrial Revolution happened when and where it did.


Mr Rosenblum's List 

Natasha Solomons 

Quirky novel with a truly deep heart of sadness and joy.


One Very Big Picture: A Short History of the Past that is Shaping our Future

Syd Hickman

A lightning fast journey through history with an interesting point.


The Passage

Justin Cronin

Vampire plague annihilates American society, survivors fight back, awesome.



Gerard Woodward 

Unusual, very funny, satisfying story.


Pathfinders: The Golden Age of Arabic Science

Jim Al-Khalili

Al-Khalili identifies the remarkable achievements of Arabic-speaking scientists and scholars between the 9th and 13th centuries, and their influence on modern Western science.


Storyteller: The Life of Roald Dahl

Donald Sturrock

A book for all tastes – tales of derring-do as well as espionage, love affairs and literary adventures. 



Bonnie Burnard 

Beautifully written novel of friendship, dying and letting go.



Delia Falconer

This perceptive and imaginative book provides a fresh yet familiar idea of Sydney, and an atmospheric portrayal of an elusive subject.


To the End of the Land

David Grossman

A simply glorious novel.


Wait for Me! Memoirs of the Youngest Mitford Sister   

Deborah Devonshire

The Mitfords are always entertaining but in this wonderful book you also get the rebirth of a famous country house – Chatsworth.


Zero History

William Gibson

Very quirky, incident packed alternative fiction with serious societal repurcusions.

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