Category Archives: Best Books Read in 2011

Lists: Best Books Read in 2011 – # 1

Best Books Read in 2011

1. Room by Emma Donoghue

Not many authors can write well from a child’s point of view, especially when writing for an adult audience. In Room, Emma Donoghue does precisely that. She conveys a haunting tale with beauty and wonder and terror. I was skeptical when I picked up this book. After putting it down seven months ago, I still think of it regularly. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Original Review

2. The Christ-Haunted Landscape by Susan Ketchin
3. Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson
4. The Forever War by Dexter Filkins
5. Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
6. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
7. The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler
8. Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
9. A Great & Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
10. The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett


Lists: Best Books Read in 2011 – # 2

Best Books Read in 2011

2. The Christ-Haunted Landscape: Faith and Doubt in Southern Fiction by Susan Ketchin

The Christ-Haunted Landscape takes its name from a quote by Flannery O’Connor: “I think it is safe to say that while the South is hardly Christ-centered, it is most certainly Christ-haunted.” Having grown up in the South, this rang true. Rarely do I spend so much time thinking about a book while reading it or take 5 months to do so. Comprised of interviews with and excerpts from the works of 12 authors, this book reminded me of where I am from. I recommend it to anyone interested in writing or in the interaction between beliefs and reality.

Original Review

3. Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson
4. The Forever War by Dexter Filkins
5. Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
6. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
7. The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler
8. Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
9. A Great & Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
10. The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett


Lists: Best Books Read in 2011 – # 3

Best Books Read in 2011

3. Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson

This reads more like poetry than prose. Simply put, it is beautiful.

Original Review

4. The Forever War by Dexter Filkins
5. Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
6. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
7. The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler
8. Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
9. A Great & Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
10. The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett


Lists: Best Books Read in 2011 – # 4

Best Books Read in 2011

4. The Forever War by Dexter Filkins

With wars as complicated as those in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is natural that many of the books published dwell heavily on the hows, whys, blame, and credit. The Forever War did none of that. Written by Dexter Filkins, a reporter who spent long stretches of time in both countries and was embedded with troops on multiple occasions, it reads more like oral history than your typical history. It is a story about the people living and fighting in those countries. For that, it receives every bit of praise I can give.

Original Review

5. Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
6. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
7. The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler
8. Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
9. A Great & Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
10. The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett


Lists: Best Books Read in 2011 – # 5

Best Books Read in 2011

5. Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson

For the first hundred or so pages of this book, I did a lot of complaining about the amount of math and the detail into which Stephenson goes about mathematical theory. Somewhere along the way, I managed to be drawn into this many layered story that is at times, humorous, at times tragic, and at times WTF. I ended up loving it.

Original Review

6. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
7. The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler
8. Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
9. A Great & Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
10. The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett


Lists: Best Books Read in 2011 – # 6

Best Books Read in 2011

6. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

An exquisite, unique and very old book, a story that is part truth and part skillful invention, and beautiful writing. Need I say more?

Original Review

7. The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler
8. Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
9. A Great & Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
10. The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett


Lists: Best Books Read in 2011 – # 7

Best Books Read in 2011

7. The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler

I neglected Raymond Chandler for far too long. The Long Goodbye hit that home with a vengeance. What a beautiful, heartbreaking book. I love Los Angeles, but the setting was mere backdrop to the complex, dark, and brilliant story which unfolded. It is rare that I immediately put a book on my favorites list, but this deserved it.

Original Review

8. Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
9. A Great & Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
10. The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett


Lists: Best Books Read in 2011 – # 8

Best Books Read in 2011

8. Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey

Leviathan Wakes is an absolutely fantastic science fiction novel. I was skeptical when I read the description, but emerged a true believer. Without doubt the best scifi of many I read this year, and one of the best out of 200 books overall.

Original Review

9. A Great & Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
10. The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett


Lists: Best Books Read in 2011 – # 9

Best Books Read in 2011

9. A Great & Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

A Great & Terrible Beauty earned its place on this list by showing me that young adult paranormal fantasy can be enjoyable. I remain surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. It’s genuinely good. Unfortunately, the second is kind of awful, but the third is also great.

Original Review

10. The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett


Lists: Best Books Read in 2011 – # 10

Best Books Read in 2011

10. The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett

In this case, The Color of Magic stands in for the Discworld series as a whole. For Christmas last year, my boyfriend gave me the first two and I was hooked. The series is not as consistently good, but I have enjoyed the majority of the books I have read to date. It also has the benefit of each book being able to stand alone or mixed & matched by its dominant characters.

Original Review