The Year in Review: Best books of 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.

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Nick Frost will star in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special

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Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
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A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
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Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear

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Actor and director Zach Braff

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Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me

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The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife

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Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC

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Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur

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Cara Delevingne modelling

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Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum

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Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

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Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

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Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

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Tom Hardy stars with Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders II

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Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

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Kanye West is on his 'Yeezus' tour at the moment

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    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
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    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
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    Save us from small screen superheroes

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    12 best hotel spas in the UK

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    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

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    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

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    How to make a Lego masterpiece

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    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

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    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

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