The Year in Review: Best books of 2010
Friday 24 December 2010
The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson
Three London friends come to terms with their various losses and meet to wrangle, wittily and touchingly, over the deepest questions of belonging and identity. This year's Man Booker winner finds bold and wrenching humour within its solemn themes. However adept at all the skills of comedy, and however immersed in ideas of Jewishness, this novel bristles with a passion and zest that defy all label-stickers.
Life by Keith Richards
So much could have gone wrong with this landmark memoir of wayward rock'n'roll excess and musical artistry. Yet Keith keeps the show on the road with inimitable cool. Aided by co-author James Fox, but with his own sardonic voice well to the fore, the Rolling Stone has raised the bar for this often tawdry genre, and written lasting lyrics for the soundtrack of our age.
The Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk
Stretching over 30 years, but confined to a few Istanbul neighbourhoods, Pamuk's epic novel makes grandeur out of intimacy. A scandalous affair and its long aftermath lets Turkey's Nobel laureate – with the help of his brilliant translator, Maureen Freely – tell the story of his beloved city as it mourns a glorious past and stumbles into a messy modernity.
A History of the World in 100 Objects by Neil MacGregor
Like the British Museum itself, whose wonders fill its gorgeously designed pages, this guide to humanity's material culture gathers the world into one place. Top-quality photography and production values, and the museum's director's learned but companionable style, mark the project's triumphant transition from radio to print as the human family shows its treasures from Mexico to China, and Scotland to Sudan.
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell
Nagasaki 1800: a fragile Dutch trading post on the fringe of Japan's closed empire becomes the site for a culture-clash imbroglio staged with skill and charm by the master storyteller of current British fiction. As young Jacob falls for a Japanese midwife from a fearsome clan, Mitchell writes with unflagging edge and dash. But this dazzling virtuosity never feels cold, and heart always guides hand.
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros
Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awardsTheatre
Grace DentChannel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin file for divorce after 10 years of marriage
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Katie Hopkins and The Sun editor David Dinsmore reported to police for incitement to racial hatred following migrant boat column
- 4 Bookies now say Ed Miliband is more likely to be prime minister than David Cameron
- 5 Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
Safe House, TV review: Plenty of teasers to keep us guessing but spare us the cliches
Britain's Got Talent 2015: RSPCA investigating Marc Metral's miming dog after cruelty complaints
Star Wars: Rogue One trailer: Watch the teaser for the Jedi-less Death Star heist film
Avengers Age of Ultron 'after credits' scene leaks online days before cinema release
Louis Tomlinson is launching his own record label and has already 'signed two acts'
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
Katie Hopkins on LBC: Listen to caller taking The Sun columnist to task over migrant comments