Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Andrew and Donovan's Top Books of 2011

You Win! Not these Trophies Though... Photo by Snap
Before we dive into our lists for the best books we have read in 2011, a brief explanation is in order. Unlike our musical tastes, the books we read span generations. Thus it makes little sense to only create a “best of list” around books published in 2011.

In fact as you will see, Donovan has only read 10 books published this year. Therefore, we have separated our “best of” list into four specific lists.

First, Donovan will present “Top Ten Books Published in 2011” list which will include all ten books he has read published this year.

Second, he will share his ten favorite novels read this year that have been published at any point in history beside 2011.

Third, he will list his ten favorite nonfiction books read this year.

Finally, Andrew will present his favorite 10 books of any genre or publish date that he read this year in a concise list unlike that other guy.

To assist with clarity, we will include objective ratings of each book on a 0-5 scale so that you can see how we view each book on a grand scale. So let us begin:

Top Ten Books Published in 2011

10. Falling Sideways: A Novel by Thomas E. Kennedy 2 stars
9. Boxer, Beetle: A Novel by Ned Beauman 2.5 stars
8. The Devotion of Suspect X: A Novel by Keigo Higashino 3 stars
4. Bright’s Passage: A Novel by Josh Ritter 4 stars
3. The Tiger’s Wife: A Novel by Téa Obreht 4.5 stars
2. The Art of Fielding: A Novel by Chad Harbach 4.5 stars
1. West of Here: A Novel by Jonathan Evison 5 stars

Top Ten Novels I Read in 2011

10. Wolf Hall: A Novel by Hilary Mantel 4 stars
9. A Visit from the Goon Squad: A Novel by Jennifer Egan 4 stars
8. The Sun Also Rises: A Novel by Ernest Hemingway 4 stars
7. All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy 4.5 stars ; The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy 4.5 stars; Cities of the Plain by Cormac McCarthy 4.5 stars
6. Room: A Novel by Emma Donoghue 5 stars
5. Oryx and Crake: A Novel by Margaret Atwood 5 stars; The Year of the Flood: A Novel by Margaret Atwood 5 stars
4. The Poisonwood Bible: A Novel by Barbara Kingsolver 5 stars
3. East of Eden: A Novel by John Steinbeck 5 stars
1. To Kill a Mockingbird: A Novel by Harper Lee 5 stars

Top Ten Nonfiction Books Read in 2011

10. God, Freedom, and Evil by Alvin Plantinga 3.5 stars
9. The Spirit of Food: 34 Writers on Feasting and Fasting toward God edited by Lesle Leyland Fields 3.5 stars
2. The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry by Wendell Berry, edited by Norman Wirzba 4.5 stars
1. Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things by William McDonough and Michael Braungart 4.5 stars

Andrew's Top Ten Books Read in 2011

10. Carte Blanche: The New James Bond Novel by Jeffery Deaver 3 stars
9. Wolf Hall: A Novel by Hilary Mantel 3 stars
8. A Visit from the Goon Squad: A Novel by Jennifer Egan 3.5 stars
7. The Imperfectionists: A Novel by Tom Rachman 3.5 star
5. The Blasphemer: A Novel by Nigel Farndale 4 stars
4. East of Eden: A Novel by John Steinbeck 4.5 stars
3. Moloka'i: A Novel by Alan Brennert 4.5 stars
2. Oryx and Crake: A Novel by Margaret Atwood 5 stars
1. The Magicians: A Novel by Lev Grossman 5+ stars

Well there it is! If any of these books look interesting by title alone, check the links for full reviews. Enjoy!
Posted by: Donovan Richards and Andrew Jacobson

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  1. You've read some good books this year! I like your non-fiction recommendations as I don't read enough non-fiction.

  2. Thanks Sam! I'm enjoying your month-by-month book list as well -- lots of books for my TBR pile.

  3. Agreed! Sam - you've singlehandedly added a lot of books to my library. Keep it going!