Jan 1, 2012

2011 in review, book-wise

Ah, 2011. It seems like you just ended yesterday.

First, I’d like to again apologize for not keeping up the reviews like I should. I’ve had a few personal projects on the go, and I hope to return to a more regular output in 2012. This site may alter itself somewhat, but the reviews will continue.

But now, in lieu of said incisive literary commentary, I’ve had a close gander at what I’ve read over the course of the past 365 days, and I thought it would be a good time to bring the whole thing out into the open for a year-end Best Of list (the reason the Internet was created!).

In 2011, I reached what is probably a personal milestone: 107 books read from cover to cover. I’m not sure when the last time I broke three digits was, but I was likely still in short pants. So, pre-2006. That’s a lot of books, and going over them, I’ve had quite a good year. In 2010 I was intentionally hurting myself through a masochistic desire to read books almost destined to grate on me like steel wool against bare flesh (I weirdly miss the nad-shrinking prose of Chuck Norris, James Patterson, and Stephanie Meyer; what does that say about me?). 2011, I went with what I wanted to read, which was not only more soothing to the soul, but also lent me quite a large list of recommendations today.

So below is a sizable list, divided into sections for easy consumption. I have not paid attention to year of publication, and I have ignored books I reread. I’ve bolded those I’ve reviewed.

Favourite books of the year: 
Novels I’d read again in a second: 
Spectacular short fiction:
Great titles:
Books that would make awesome movies:
Disappointments (not the worst books, just personal disappointment):
  • Damned (2011), Chuck Palahniuk - and that’s it for me, I can’t take another Palahniuk letdown
  • Wet Work (1993), Philip Nutman - heard a lot about it, but it’s only okay
  • The Fall (2011), Guillermo Del Toro & Chuck Hogan - it's a fun ride, but nowhere near as scary or suspenseful as some reviewers have said
  • Amnesia Moon (1995), Jonathan Lethem - from Lethem, almost anything not a masterpiece is a disappointment
  • Robopocalypse (2011), Daniel H. Wilson - killer robots should be fun, not boring

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Proud, if that's the right word, to be on your list! And congratulations on pushing over 100. I had it in the back of my mind as a 2011 goal, but only got to 75. Two books I got a good way in but could not finish, or skimmed, but counted anyway, as one. Even cheating like that, I couldn't get to three digits. -- The list of books I want to -- need to -- really want to read grows beyond my capacity to keep up. Loved The Sisters Brothers too, not all the dead bodies so much but the writing. And others on your list. -- Looking forward to yours as well. Best!

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