30 January 2012

2011 Superlatives ~ What were your favorite books in 2011?

I've finally compiled my reading list for all of 2011.

Out of a total of 42 books I read:

3 books I rated as 5*
7 books I rated as 4.5*
12 books I rates as 4*

What were your top reads?

Here's a surprise for me; 9 of the books that I read were books I had previously read. I am not a big rereader of books. I generally figure there are so many books out there that I haven't read that I shouldn't spend the time on rereading books.

Did you reread any books last year?

Here are the titles of the books I read in 2011, to which I gave the top ratings.

5* titles
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster (a reread)
Arctic Homestead by Norma Cobb (a reread)
A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz (a reread)

4.5* titles
Looking for Alaska by John Green
The Postmistress bySarah Blake
The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel by Diane Setterfield
A HeartbreakingWork of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
I Am the Messenger by Marcus Zusak
A Lotus Grows in the Mud by Goldie Hawn
Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919 by Stephen Puleo

4* titles
Shakespeare in an Hour by Christopher Baker
Louisa: The Life of Louisa May Alcott by Yona Zeldis McDonough
A Red Herring Without Mustard: A Flavia de Luce Novel
Emma by Jane Austen
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place by Maryrose Wood
Spooky Little Girl: A Novel by Laurie Notaro
At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson
There's a (Slight) Chance I Might be Goingto Hell by Laurie Notaro
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Little Women Illustrated Classic Editions by Louisa May Alcott
The Search for Delicious by Natalie Babbitt
Entombed in Alcatraz by Robert Victor Luke

Authors from the above list who are ones thatI return tofor fresh titles, timeand again, are: Natalie Babbitt, Bill Bryson, Laurie Notaro

Who are your favorite go-to authors?

I also broke my reading down into genres. I have listed only one genre for each title even though many could fall into more than one genre. I chose the genres based only on my own feelings and  not by the publishers' designations.

Classics - 5
Non Fiction or Biography -  8
Fiction - 4
Juvenile Fiction - 9
Historical Fiction -2
Memoir or Auto-Biography - 8
Mystery - 2
Humor - 1
Young Adult Fiction - 3

My favorites, sorted by genre are:

Classic - Emma
or Little Women (because I read it to our five year old daughter)
Non Fiction or Biography - Dark Tide, then At Home
Fiction - Spooky Little Girl (I loved Notaro's jump into fiction)
Juvenile Fiction - Phantom Tollbooth, with Search for Delicious a worthy second
Memoir or Auto-Biography - Arctic Homestead, followed by Heartbreaking Work
Mystery - 13th Tale, followed by Red Herring (I love Flavia de Luce)
Young Adult Fiction - I Am the Messenger rates just above Looking for Alaska

Have you determined your favorites in each genre for 2011?


  1. I'm glad to see Dark Tide made your list!

    I didn't keep a list of what I read this year, but off the top of my head, three favorites were:
    Dark Tide, by Puleo (Yes, there really was a flood of molasses in Boston)
    Unbroken, by Hillenbrand (story of a WW2 POW survivor. My mom gets to hear him speak at church in February. I'm jealous!)
    Lilies of the Field, by Barrett (the book the Sydney Pointier movie is based on. Pointier was the first African American to win Best Oscar and it was for this part.)

    Oh, I also read a couple of Calvin & Hobbes books. Laughter is a good thing!

    --Lisa Donoho

  2. Yes, Lisa, thank you for the recommendation of Dark Tide. I enjoy memoirs and true stories more than most other genres. It was an unbelievable, and unbelievably devastating incident with long-reaching repercussions.


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