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Saturday, December 31, 2011

What I'm Reading: Becky's Favorite Books I Read This Year

Here are my Top 10 Favorite Books I Read in 2011, in no particular order. Please use the links provided for my full reviews.

  • Swamplandia! by Karen Russell: the descriptions of the Everglades alone makes it hands down my favorite book this year
  • The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta: a favorite author who keeps surprising me by getting better with each book
  • The Known World by Edward P. Jones: again, I am sorry it took me so long to read this masterpiece.
  • Before I Go To Sleep by S. J. Watson: a better suspense story I did not read this year.

  • The Caretaker of Lorne Field by Dave Zeltserman: I read some great horror this year (click here to see more) but nothing stayed with me more than this one.
  • Centuries of June by Keith Donohue: for its ability to be original AND entertaining
  • Full Dark No Stars by Stephen King: not horror, but these four psychological suspense novellas were riveting and frightening, especially in the excellent audio version I listened to.
I have a few overall comments and observations to make about my reading also:
  • There was no nonfiction on my final top 10. I tried to go back and find something I enjoyed enough to bump one of these novels off, but I could not. I really liked both In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson and At Home by Bill Bryson, but I enjoy both authors and expected to enjoy these books.  As a result, my enjoyment did not surprise me as much as it did with the 10 books in the list above.
  • For similar reasoning 2 other novels just missed the cut, Faithful Place by Tana French and Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson.
Finally, I always save at least one title from one of the year's best lists to start the next year off with. Example from year's past in this tradition  Await Your Reply (on most of 2009's Best Lists, made mine in 2010), Olive Kitteridge (on most of 2008's Best Lists, made mine in 2009), The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (on most of 2007's Best Lists, made mine in 2008).  That is a good track record for this year's selection, The Art of Fielding,  to have to live up to.  I will have a report on it sometime in January, but it will be an entire year before I will know how it pans out in comparison to everything else I read in 2012.
Thank for following me on yet another year of reading.