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Old 18th Dec 2011, 13:56   #1
Colyngbourne
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Default Top 10 Books of 2011

These are more or less in order of preference

1. The Year of the Flood - Margaret Atwood
2. Gillespie & I - Jane Harris
3. The Sense of an Ending - Julian Barnes
4. The Kraken Wakes - John Wyndham
5. Darkness Falls From The Air - Nigel Balchin
6. Alone in Berlin - Hans Fallada
7. The Last Act of Mr Shakespeare - Robert Winder
8. Caribou Island - David Vann
9. Royal Blood: King RIII & the Mystery of the Princes - Bertram Fields
10. The Taste of Sorrow - Jude Morgan

Top 10 YA books of 2011

1. The Fear - Charlie Higson
2. Sleeping Dogs - Sonya Hartnett
3. The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman
4. When You Reach Me - Rebecca Stead ½
5. My Name Is Mina - David Almond ½
6. The Dead of Winter - Chris Priestley ½
7. Fallen Torment Passion - Lauren Kate (three books of a quartet) ½
8. Gullstruck Island - Frances Hardinge ½
9. The Devil Walks - Anne Fine
10. The Dragonfly Pool - Eva Ibbotson

Best re-read of the year
The Cloister & the Hearth – Charles Reade


Worst Book of the Year
The White Queen - Philippa Gregory
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Old 28th Dec 2011, 2:35   #2
Beth
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Default Re: Top 10 Books of 2011

Lists and such drive me batty, unless they're about reading...

Elisabeth Tova Bailey's The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating ---- pure joy

Quote:
Survival often depends on a specific focus: a relationship, a belief, or a hope balanced on the edge of possibility.
Greg Baxter's A Preparation for Death ------ hard, explicit, unforgettable

Quote:
Since I see no bliss in heaven, let me live in hell, and eat ash out of a tree like that which grew in Paradise, and writhe my jaw on soot and cinder. Grant me strength and daring, that among men the adversarial in me is most conspicuous; make fire blaze from my shoulders; urge me to the middle of the fight, where most men are struggling, and I shall writhe a little, and in writhing, discover.
Damon Galgut's In a Strange Room

Jane Harris' Gillespie and I ------ constructed so that it reminds me of nesting dolls, still wondering about Harriet many months later

Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God

Nicole Krauss' Great House ----- working to review this ever since I put it down, my Read of the year

Anne Morrow Lindbergh's Gift From the Sea ---- Yep, it's dated and simplistic. Also timeless, essential.

Quote:
For it is only framed in space that beauty blooms.
Joyce Carol Oates' Blonde

Jane Smiley's Good Faith

Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway ---- I loved the power and playfulness of her style. Every page is loaded and makes me want to read it out loud...

Quote:
Such are the visions which proffer great cornucopias full of fruit to the solitary traveller, or murmur in his ear like sirens lolloping away on the green sea waves, or are dashed in his face like bunches of roses, or rise to the surface like pale faces which fishermen flounder through floods to embrace.
It's been another great year.
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Old 28th Dec 2011, 8:50   #3
Ang
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Default Re: Top 10 Books of 2011

I worked on a reply to this last week and lost it... Will re-do. Beth, lots of women there!
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Old 28th Dec 2011, 13:03   #4
Beth
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Default Re: Top 10 Books of 2011

Yes, I noticed that soon as I finished jotting down the titles of my favorites. Great writers are just great writers! Bring on the list, Ang, these highlights from other readers have a way of shaping the next year's selections, don't you think?
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Old 28th Dec 2011, 16:19   #5
Ang
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Default Re: Top 10 Books of 2011

I'm struggling to rank some of them so I'll just put them in alphabetical order:
  • And Then There was No One - Gilbert Adair
  • The Sense of an Ending - Julian Barnes
  • On Canaan's Side - Sebastian Barry
  • Gillespie and I - Jane Harris
  • The Stranger's Child - Alan Hollinghurst
  • Cedilla - Adam Mars-Jones
  • So Long, See You Tomorrow - William Maxwell
  • Asylum - Patrick McGrath
  • Edwin Mullhouse: The Life and Death of an American Writer 1943 -1954 by Jeffrey Cartwright - Stephen Millhauser
  • Old School - Tobias Wolff
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Old 31st Dec 2011, 19:47   #6
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Default Re: Top 10 Books of 2011

I can't fit in any more books before the end of the year so here are my favourite reads of 2011:

1. Everything Beautiful Began After - Simon Van Booy
2. The Coward's Tale - Vanessa Gebbie
3. The Art of Fielding - Chad Harbach
4. Alone in the Classroom - Elizabeth Hay
5. Annabel - Kathleen Winter
6. Pure - Andrew Miller
7. My Former Heart - Cressida Connolly
8. Natural Order - Brian Francis
9. You Deserve Nothing - Alexander Maksik
10. A Summer of Drowning - John Burnside
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Old 1st Jan 2012, 12:24   #7
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Default Re: Top 10 Books of 2011

I haven't read anything like sufficient volume this year and certainly not enough for a top ten, but here were my reads all the same. I'd add that I'm 30 pages from the end of To Kill A Mockingbird, which will almost certainly receive the same score. In no particular order:

Patrick McGrath - Asylum
Joseph Heller - Something Happened
Philip Roth - Sabbath's Theater
Kazuo Ishiguro - The Remains Of The Day
John Irving - A Prayer For Owen Meany
David Simon - Homicide: Life On The Killing Streets

Looking forward to more reading and Palimping in 2012, where a quieter life will hopefully be waiting for me...
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Old 2nd Jan 2012, 1:39   #8
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Default Re: Top 10 Books of 2011

My two favourite reads of 2011:
  • Outer Dark ~ Cormac McCarthy
  • Stoner ~ John Williams
And the rest of the top ten (in no order):
  • The Turnaround ~ George Pelecanos
  • Butcher's Crossing ~ John Williams
  • Augustus ~ John Williams
  • Hard Rain Falling ~ Don Carpenter
  • Nemesis ~ Philip Roth
  • Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency ~ Douglas Adams
  • Bordersnakes ~ James Crumley
  • Roseanna ~ Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö

Booklist 2011
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Old 2nd Jan 2012, 12:08   #9
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Default Re: Top 10 Books of 2011

In alphabetical order, just because. All books I heartily recommend, if not always for the same reasons. Also, limited to books available in English.

Dawn Over The Kalahari - Berg, Lasse
Adventures In The Immediate Unreality - Blecher, Max
The Hunger Games trilogy - Collins, Suzanne
I'll Never Get Out Of This World Alive - Earle, Steve
The Prague Cemetery - Eco, Umberto
Little Man, What Now? - Fallada, Hans
Skippy Dies - Murray, Paul
Dictionary Of The Khazars - Pavic, Milorad
The Invention of Curried Sausage - Timm, Uwe
Baltics - Tranströmer, Tomas

Three great books not available to most people yet:
Korparna - Bannerhed, Tomas
Orbitor trilogy - Cartarescu, Mircea
Moderspassion - Axelsson, Majgull
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Old 2nd Jan 2012, 18:25   #10
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Default Re: Top 10 Books of 2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by elwood View Post
  • Augustus ~ John Williams
Glad to see this one included. It's the only thing by Williams that I haven't read yet and I've been saving it.
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