2011 was a very good year us and our family: good health, no job loss, and much to look forward to in 2012.
I joined (6) challenges in 2011 and was able to complete them all (posted on left side bar).
I was trying to figure out why I read (46) fewer books in 2011 - 121 in (2011) and 167 in (2010)?? I quickly remembered how I became addicted to the Scrabble App on my iPhone about mid-year. I have played over 2,500 games since, with (2164 wins and 401 losses). I have had fun with this alternate form of mental stimulation so I really can't complain.
I've been having fun reading all of your posts about your favorite reads of 2011, and have added a few more books to my must read list as a result. I've been going back and forth with my own favorites for a week or so now and still keep coming up with (at least the same top 5). Here's my top picks:
- A Kind of Intimacy; Jenn Ashworth - Annie is a whacky gal, who I found endearing in a bizarre sort of way. At times I pitied her, and her desperate attempts for love and acceptance. The story is dark and addictive. An unforgettable birds-eye view of the dark side of a fractured mind.
- A Good Hard Look; Ann Napolitano - a fictionalized version of the life of the late author Flannery O'Connor. An at times heart-wrenching story, which changes everyone, as they quickly understand what the author meant when she said, "the truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it." This book made my go out and purchase all of Flannery O'Connor's books. Loved it.
- The Homecoming of Samuel Lake; Jenny Wingfield - A richly detailed account of good and evil in 1950s Arkansas. It's both heart-breaking and uplifting; simple wonderful.
- 11/22/63; Stephen King - Having been born in the early 50's, reading this novel was like a blast from the past. Whether it was the music references, the vehicles, or the laughable price of gasoline, every detail from that period seemed authentic. It's one of those books that if you allow yourself to suspend belief and just go along for the ride, I think you'll agree it was worth your time.
- Of Mice and Men; John Steinbeck - The story of two drifters, Lennie, a mentally challenged, gentle giant, and George, the man who looks after Lennie. Heart-breaking but wonderful.
- Sing You Home; Jodi Picoult - Having read all of Picoult's novels, this one --her 18th, is probably her most controversial yet. A powerful story about what constitutes a family, and why committed gay couples should be seen no differently from straight couples when it comes to marriage and raising a family.
- The Elegance of the Hedgehog; Muriel Barbery - The Elegance of the Hedgehog is truly a beautiful novel about life, and about looking for the beauty in every person you meet. It gave me so much to think about. It's not the type of story with lots of action, it more philisophical, but don't let that scare you. It's a wonderful character study that examines not only what makes the main characters tick, but it is also a deep exploration of all that surrounds us in the world we live in.
- State of Wonder; Ann Patchett - Pharmaceutical researcher Dr. Marina Singh sets off into the Amazon jungle to find the remains and effects of a colleague who recently died under somewhat mysterious circumstances.Beautiful writing, page turning plot.
- How to Read the Air; Dinaw Mengestu - A wonderful story about the immigrant experience. The writing is beautiful and detailed and the story intimate. If you love introspective stories, this one gets high marks in that area.
- The Easter Parade; Richard Yates - This book too deals with the disenchantment of everyday life, and the longing for something more....the illusive butterfly, that if found, would make our life just perfect. The people in this novel drink too much, make bad choices in relationships and live their lives afraid to share how they really feel. It's wonderful.
- Steve Jobs; Walter Isaacson
- The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer; Siddhartha Mukherjee
- Fuddles; Frans Vischer
- The Magical Christmas Horse; Higgins-Clark and Wendell Minor
- Square Cat; Schoonmaker
Have you posted your 2011 favorites yet?
Happy Reading in 2012! Readers Rock!