Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Best Books Read in 2011

Well, I finally tallied up my reading for last year...(drumroll)...

I read 68 books in 2011 (that's 13 less than I read in 2010).  Thirty-six of those were grown-up books and 32 of them were kids' or teen/YA books (check out Great Books for Kids and Teens for a summary of the kids' and teen/YA books).  Of the 36 adult books:
  • 23 were fiction
  • 7 were memoir
  • 6 were non-fiction but not memoir
  • 7 of the adult books I read were audios
That's fewer books than the previous year, but that's OK - I think I read a little less because I was a bit less sick this year, so that's a fair trade.  Now, comes the tough part..which books did I like best?  I read a lot of really good books this year.  Here are my Top Ten Books Read in 2011 (in no particular order):
How was your reading year?  What were your favorite books read in 2011?

I'm ready for a new year and more great books!


  1. Talk to me about The Passage. I read 60 pages and stopped because I'm thinking it is really going to be creepy. I haven't decided whether to keep going. I did like the beginning! Just when they went to get the little girl......

  2. I've read 6 from this list and liked them a lot. A few more are ones I must try.

  3. Oh, Heidi - definitely keep reading! I really loved The Passage and found it hard to put down. Yes, it's definitely creepy, but it's also intriguing and engaging with elements of suspense, romance, post-apocalyptic...all rolled into one. Read my review at the link.

    ...and don't worry - the little girl will be OK :)


  4. Ooh interesting list - I've only read The Lovely Bones and Henrietta Lacks - both of which I loved. I'll have to save a few of the others to be read later this year.

  5. Pillars of the Earth was a huge surprise for me. I loved it. Didn't make my top five, but it was probably close. Fahrenheit 451 is sublime. I'd be curious to see what the "Worst of the Year" included. I always love those lists.

  6. Ryan -

    Actually, I don't read many books that I don't like. I know that sounds strange, but there are so many amazing books that I want to read that I choose what I read very, very carefully. I read books that have been recommended by friends and family who share my tastes, by bloggers who tend to like the same sorts of books I like, or selections from my book groups (which we vote on, so those are usually good, too).

    I don't rate my books in my reviews, but I can only think of 1 book read this year that I didn't like enough to review. That was the memoir Sometimes I Feel Like a Nut, an audio I had requested for review. I don't even write reviews unless I liked a book - I decided when I started my blog it would be for recommending books I like.

    So, no list of worst books of 2011 for me!


  7. P.S. As a friend in my old book group used to say, "Life is too short to read bad books!"

  8. Congrats on your stats :D I also loved Fahrenheit 451 and The Lovely Bones. And I agree, life is too short for reading bad books! Here's to another great year of reading.

  9. 68 books is an impressive number, but including Pillars of the Earth is amazing.

  10. I read Fahrenheit in high school when I was on a Bradbury streak. Your list reminded me to revisit his work. He and Azimov were my introduction into SF lit when I was a teenager with Lewis and Clark close on their heels.

    As you know, I'm a painfully slow reader so my book list is short for this year:

    The Help
    A Discovery of Witches
    Water for Elephants
    Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society

  11. Cozy -

    I read several huge books this summer, and they all made it to my Best of 2011 list!

    Baffled -

    Yes, but they were really great books! Quality over quantity :)

    I was on a Bradbury streak in HS, too - read just about every book he wrote (at least all the books in our public library by him)!


  12. Sue- You amaze me! I love reading your lists/recommendations--as well as the comments/lists/recommendations of the people reading yours!
    I didn't read ant of the books you listed for this year. I read The Lovely Bones a number of years ago and enjoyed it. I didn't read-but watched (Netflix?) Pillars and really liked that story. The prospect of reading the book was a bit overwhelming though.
    I read 4 books on Judaism, 2 on Buddhism, 2 by Ann Patchett. There are more, but I don't have my list handy.
    Keep us reading fans in the know for 2012!

  13. Kate -

    Thanks for the kind words! Pillars of the Earth WAS intimidating - it had sat on my shelf for a long time! But this was well worth the time commitment. I decided to read big books this summer when my two book groups take a break. The other was The Passage and that was amazing, too.

    Sounds like you did some spiritual reading this year - I'm very impressed. As for Ann Patchett, I loved Bel Canto and have State of Wonder waiting on my iPod.


  14. You did great last year! I've only read four of the books on your list so I'm definitely adding a few of these to my TBR list!