Friday, December 30, 2011

The Best of 2011//Books

Hi Friends!

Well, it's that time of year again:  time for my big "Top Ten" list.  Those of you who have been around for a while know that I have been keeping a book journal since 2005.  I record each and every book I read throughout the year and then write a little review and give each book a rating of 1-4 stars.  At the end of each year, I send out my "Top Ten" list of the year to my friends and family.  My mom usually reads most, if not all, of the books on my list.  Sometimes she likes my choices (Straight Man), and sometimes she doesn't (The Girls).  It's always fun when people let me know what they think of my choices, so if you end up reading some of these, please let me know!

Without further ado, here are my Top Ten of 2011(in no particular order):

Rules of Civility, Amor Towles, **** New York in the 30's.  Martinis, 3 swell pals and lots of mischief.  Need I say more?
Auschwitz, Miklos Nyiszli, ****  A Jewish doctor's eyewitness account of his time at Auschwitz.  Haunting.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Ransom Riggs, **** I don't usually like books from the fantasy genre, but this one was pretty darn awesome...and peculiar.

The Paris Wife, Paula McLain, ****  I just gushed about this one, so you already know how much I adored this book.

The Little Giant of Aberdeen County, Tiffany Baker, ****  Oh, Truly, you big-hearted giant.  I'm still thinking about you and your story.

Lottery, Patricia Wood, ****  I still have a little crush on Perry Crandal.  You will too.

If I Loved You, I Would tell You This, Robin Black, ****  Gorgeous set of short stories.  I'm still thinking about the one about the neighbor with cancer.

Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self, Danielle Evans, ****  Another set of amazing short stories.  Fabulous.

The Dirty Life, Kristin Kimball ****  Oh, Kristin;  you had me at your vivid description of the ecstasy of eating fresh deer liver.  Who knew? : )

The Leisure Seeker, Michael Zadoorian, **** Two elderly folks decide they're going to go out on their own terms.  Loved the character of Ella.

Leaving Atlanta, Tayari Jones, ****  Haunting story based on the Atlanta child murders of 1979-1980.  This one made me hold my breath.

Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand, ****  I couldn't leave Louis Zamperini's brilliant story off of my Top Ten list.  The man is a true American hero.

The Family Fang, Kevin Wilson **** Quirkiest book I've read in a good, long while.  Loved it.

And there you have it!  And yes, I realize that I have 13 books on my Top Ten list.  I always have a hard time narrowing it down to just 10 books.  : )   Here's the complete list of what I read in 2011.

1. The Blasphemer, Nigel Farndale, **½
2. The Unlikely Disciple, Kevin Roose, ***½
3. Honolulu, Alan Bernard, **
4. Bloodroot, Amy Greene, ****
5. Half-Broke Horse, Jeannette Walls, **
6. Mathilda Savatch, Victor Lodato, ***
7. How to be Good, Nick Hornby, ***
8. Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self, Danielle Evans, ****
9. The Bucolic Plague, Josh Kilmer-Purcel, ***½
10. Up From the Blue, Susan Henderson, ***½
11. An Object of Beauty, Steve Martin, **½
12. The Dirty Life, Kristin Kimball, ****
13. If I Loved You, I Would tell You This, Robin Black, ****
14. Amaryllis In Blueberry, Christina Meldrum, ***
15. The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien, ***½
16. Lottery, Patricia Wood, ****
17. Rescue, Anita Shreve **
18. Caleb’s Crossing, Geraldine Brooks, **½
19. The Uncoupling, Meg Wolitzer, **½
20. If You Follow Me, Malena Watrous, ***
21. In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror & An American Family in Hitler’s Berlin, Erik Larson, ***½
22. Bossypants, Tina Fey, ***½
23. The Constant Princess, Phillippa Gregory, ***
24. The Boleyn Inheritance, Phillippa Gregory, ***
25. A Discovery of Witches, Deborah Harkness, ***
26. The Little Giant of Abordeen County, Tiffany Baker, ****
27. Tree of Codes, Jonathan Sofer, ***
28. The Leisure Seeker, Michael Zadoorian, ****
29. Room, Emma Donoghue, ***½
30. My New American Life, Francine Prose, **½
31. Anthropology of an American Girl, Hilary Thayer Hamann, ***½
32. Shut Your Eyes Tight, John Verdon, ***½
33. The Borrower, Rebecca Makkai, **½
34. The Stolen Child, Keith Donohue, ***
35. The Hypnotist, Lars Kepler, ***
36. My American Unhappiness, Dean Bakopoulos, ***
37. Angels of Destruction, Keith Donohue, **½
38. Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand ****
39. The Marriage Plot, Jeffrey Eugenides, ***
40. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Ransom Riggs, ****
41. Happy Accidents, Jane Lynch, ***
42. The Paris Wife, Paula McLain, ****
43 Auschwitz, Miklos Nyiszli, ****
44. It Looked Different on the Model, Laurie Notaro, ***
45. Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, Helen Simonson, ***½
46.A Visit from the Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan, ***
47 Rules of Civility, Amor Towles, ****
48. Leaving Atlanta, Tayari Jones, ****
49.  I Knew You'd Be Lovely, Alethea Black, ****
50 The Family Fang, Kevin Wilson, ****
51.  A moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway, ** 1/2
52. The Likeness, Tana French *** 1/2

Happy Reading!


1 comment:

  1. Wow. . . impressive! Thanks for the recommendations!