1.  Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern – Best Book of 2011

  • Zoo City – Lauren Beukes
  • A Discovery of Witches – Deborah Harkness
  • The Year of the Flood – Margaret Atwood
  • Dirt Music – Tim Winton
  • River of Smoke – Amitav Ghosh
  • The Lonely Polygamist – Brady Udall
  • Rancid Pansies – James Hamilton Patterson
  • Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand – Helen Simonson
  • The Last Resort – Douglas Rogers

Choosing only ten books for the past year’s Best Reads is difficult.  Do you only include the books that kept you feverishly turning the pages into the early hours?

Do you put in the books that you absolutely loved, and wanted to read all over again, the moment you reached those words THE END ?

Do you confine yourself to novels and exclude the non-fiction? My number 10 is non-fiction, although it was a difficult, uncomfortable book to read.

Do you include the magical fantasies that paint dark pictures of dystopian societies, future times, other worlds?

Do you include the historical novels that carry you back through the centuries?

Do you put in the stories that made you laugh – or cry – uninhibitedly?

The answer to all of the above is YES, you do.

As you can see, I had a rich and varied year of reading in 2011.  I hope yours was a good a reading year as mine was, and I wish all of you a 2012 crammed full of more fabulous books!  Read on, and enjoy.


Filed under BOOK REVIEWS

12 responses to “BEST READS : 2011

  1. My goodness I only recognize Margaret Atwood. I must read way too much nonfiction….

    By the way– Atwood can cook too, She makes an incredible lemon custard cake that I have been making for the past four years for dessert at our Christmas Eve dinner.


  2. Wow, Alison! I haven’t been reading much lately – this is quite a list!

    I got two very funny books by Tony Hawks ( for Christmas (Playing The Moldovans At Tennis, and A Piano In The Pyrenees), as well as a stunning book about the Wild Horses of the Namib, and yesterday on our visit to !Khwa-ttu on the R27 bought a fascinating book called //Kara’s Rocks about the San bushmen. So that’s my light reading for the next week or two! 🙂


  3. Enjoy your new books; the Namib Horses sounds great. I knew there were camels wandering around, but not horses.
    My son Tony gave me the Haruki Murakam novel IQ84, and at over 900 pages that’ll keep me out of mischief for a while!


  4. WOW! You’ve been reading a lot! I haven’t even heard of all those authors, except Atwood. I don’t read much, only after I’m in bed in the night, often so sleepy I’m able to read a few pages only. I’m reading old John Irving books and have just finished ‘The Cider House Rules’ and just started ‘Hotel New Hampshire’.
    Wishing you & yours a wonderful, happy & healthy NEW YEAR – and more reading – in 2012!
    PS – Loved reading about that hippo adventure! 🙂



    • Yes, I do read a lot – total for the year is 103 books. But remember, I live alone, and also wake up very early (cursing my cat, who wakes me at first light) so plenty of time to read. I’ve been an avid reader all my life.
      All the best to you for 2012.


  5. I keep getting recommendations for The Last Resort, since I bought When the Crocodile Eats the Sun. I really do need to try it.

    I also keep meaning to try The Lonely Polygamist. Thanks for reminding me!


    • I didn’t want to read Godwin’s ‘Crocodile/Sun’ book; just couldn’t face any more Zim grim. I enjoyed his first book ‘Mukiwa’ and can recommend.
      I loved the Lonely Polyg; have been watching ‘Sister Wives’ – the saga of the Brown family, on TV; Kody and his 4 wives … fascinating. But not for me!


  6. That’s exactly why I haven’t read The Last Resort! After Godwin’s book, I needed to step away from that and read something less grim. I went on a two-book horror binge. It was less disturbing.

    I watched Sister Wives while I was out with the flu. It is most definitely not for me, but I’ll own my voyeurism publicly.


  7. Damn that Margaret Atwood and her mad cooking skillz. Can I counter with a (stolen) cocktail recipe?


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