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Monday, December 12, 2011

Monday Discussion: Best Book of 2011 (1,000th Post!)

It's the second Monday in December, so we are on to Part 2 of the Best Books of 2011 discussion.  This also happens to be my 1,000th post!

But before we begin talking about your favorite 2011 release, I wanted to recap the numerous responses I got to last week's post on the best books you read in 2011 that do NOT have a 2011 copyright.

Here they are in no particular order.  You can also use this link to read the contributors' comments on why they chose that title:
 This is a great list.  Thanks to everyone who contributed.  And thanks for helping me to remind everyone that an older book can still be a great read!

Now on to the best book you read with a 2011 copyright.

I just went through my Shelfari to look at my highest rated books, and two books clearly stood out, one I will save for another person who I know is posting it today.  The other is Swamplandia! by Karen Russell.  My full review is here, but I have also included an excerpt below:
This novel's sense of place is the next big appeal.  Russell nails the descriptions here.  I could feel, see, smell and hear the Everglades.  She meticulously describes the islands, the waterways, the vegetation, the animals, the humidity....everything.  I felt like I was there.  It is beautiful and secluded, but also sinister and creepy. She relayed that dichotomy perfectly.  It almost made me want to visit.
Okay, now it is your turn.  What is the best 2011 released title you read this year?  I will recap next week when I will be asking what books you are most looking forward to in 2012.

You can follow past Monday Discussions here.


Kathy BPL RA said...

I feel like a read a lot of almost great books published this year. Even my pick for favorite let me down a little at the end but it was so great in every other way that it is still my best. "State of Wonder" by Ann Patchett is just really wonderful. Loved the characters, the lush setting, the layman's science and of course her writing. I also really admired her ability to make such an unlikely scenario believable.

Bobbie said...

My three favorites for 2011 are: Ann Napolitano's A Good Hard Look, a story that was years in the making until the author was inspired to add the character of real-life writer Flannery O'Connor, who Napolitano brings back to life in this fabulous novel about flawed and graced human beings; Gabrielle Donnelly's The Little Women Letters, a must-read for Little Women fans, in which Lulu Atwater discovers a cache of letters written by her great-great-grandmother, Little Women's Jo March, in her mother's attic, and by reading them comes to understand her family at a deeper level; and Kristen Gore's Sweet Jiminy, a suspenseful and thoughtful look at racial hatred in a story about two girls named Jiminy and a civil rights-era hate crime.

Jose said...

Before I Go to Sleep – "As I sleep, my mind will erase everything I did today. I will wake up tomorrow as I did this morning. Thinking I’m still a child. Thinking I have a whole lifetime of choice ahead of me. . . .". Christine is an amnesiac, everyday she struggles with her past, present, and future she wakes every morning not knowing where she is and that her life has propelled forward with out her. This novel is extremely gripping; it plays with your perception of reality and truth, one of my favorite novels of 2011. The year is not over and I am currently reading Night Circus – the extremely vivid images and smells keep you wanting more. I can see these places, taste the food, and feel the rain on my skin.

Anonymous said...

So many great books this year!! In adult fiction, The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, in picture books, E-mergency by Tom Lichtenheld, Bone Dog by Eric Rohman, The Day Tiger Rose Said GOodbye, by Jane Yolen... COngrats of your 1,000 post Becky!

John BPL RA said...

Deadline by Mira Grant. Not only is it better than the zillion other zombie books to come out recently, it's better than Feed (also by Mira Grant).

Mike said...

Mike BPL REF....

My "Best Book of 2011" is Ron
Chernow's "Washington: A Life".
Washington comes alive as a
real person and not a monument.

Donna said...

In nonfiction: "Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President" by Candice Millard It's about the assassination of President Garfield focusing on the really lousy (even for 1881) medical treatment he received.

Kimberly said...

How can I respond to the Best Book of 2011? I still have Murakami’s 1Q84, The Marriage Plot by Eugenides and Kevin Wilson’s The Family Fang in my TBR pile and my best opportunity for reading is that last week of the year. And what’s the Best Book? I loved reading the two 2011 Eileen Dreyer romances, Never a Gentleman and Always a Temptress. Or for mystery, Ruth Galloway in The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths. Or among the oh-so-popular paranormal titles, A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, which if probably my favorite book of 2011 to use as a “sure bet” suggestion. But, even with all the dithering above, I would like to nominate debut author Justin Torres’ book We the Animals for the Best Book of 2011, for its lyrical language and compassionate depiction of love in a family even if one is “different” or a “disappointment” as told through linked short stories that permit a reader to fill the spaces between with a mounting tension until the reader bursts through to the climax like circus dog through a paper covered hoop.

Sarah Elsewhere said...

"Sockology" by Brenna Maloney. I'm not the type to read craft or cookbooks cover to cover, but Ms. Maloney's sense of humor had me reading every word.

Betty said...

I'm having a hard time picking between "State of Wonder" by Ann Patchett and "The Night Circus" by Erin Morgenstern. Both were engrossing, but for different reasons. The Night Circus because it wove a kind of spell in which the reader wanted to be able to actually be in the story. State of Wonder because of the ability Ann Patchett has to make you care about the disparate characters in this story.

Deborah BPL REF said...

My favorite book with a 2011 copyright is 11/22/63 by Stephen King. The book is quite an original concept involving time-travel and what might happen if JFK was not assassinated. The main character hooks you from the start and there is also a great romantic story in the book. LOVED it.

Lorie Hyten, adult services said...

As a public library librarian, I've recommended The Snowman by Jo Nesbo to lots of people. Granted, they may not get back to me if they hated it. But at least among coworkers all who have read it loved it. A chilling mystery story (ha ha. Chilling. Snowman. Get it?) it is has the same kind of appeal as a quality movie thriller. Reading it sometimes had me so agitated I had to put it down and walk around a while before sitting down to read again.