Best Books Read in 2011
1. Room by Emma Donoghue
Not many authors can write well from a child’s point of view, especially when writing for an adult audience. In Room, Emma Donoghue does precisely that. She conveys a haunting tale with beauty and wonder and terror. I was skeptical when I picked up this book. After putting it down seven months ago, I still think of it regularly. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
2. The Christ-Haunted Landscape by Susan Ketchin
3. Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson
4. The Forever War by Dexter Filkins
5. Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
6. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
7. The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler
8. Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
9. A Great & Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
10. The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett
Worst Books Read in 2011
10. The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: A Shocking Murder and the Undoing of a Great Victorian Detective by Kate Summerscale
I first encountered The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher in a review a few years ago and loved the idea. Unfortunately, came nowhere near living up to its potential. While the underlying story was fascinating, its telling was dull, had polemic tendencies, and overall fell far short of the English fiction it is said to have inspired.
The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
The Unit is the saddest piece of dystopian fiction I have ever read. Normally the genre leaves me angry or frightened or feeling the need for a good shower, but this made me feel heartbroken. The Unit is a place where women who have reached the age of 50 and men who have reached the age of 60 without having children are sent to live in order to participate in “humane” experiments and act as organ donors for the so-called needed. These people are known as dispensable.