Monday, December 12, 2011

My best reads for 2011

It's that time of the year again, fellow book lovers! Now's the perfect moment to round up our best reads for 2011. I had a fabulous year, as I was able to read more than 100 books! Normally, I list my top 10, but it was a bit difficult to do that this year. So I came up with my top 12 favorite books!


Two YA novels struck a chord this year. Schmidt's The Wednesday Wars and Vanderpool's Moon over Manifest. Both are touching reads and are very life affirming. Moon over Manifest definitely deserves the Newbery this year. I'm still waiting for Schmidt to win though.


For classic reads, I highly recommend Williams's Stoner and Hesse's Siddhartha. Stoner has received universal acclaim recently. Williams's story about the life of an academic is pure reading bliss. As for Siddhartha, well, it's simply profound.


2011 is the year that I read a lot of science fiction and fantasy. Rothfuss's The Name of the Wind is recommend to people waiting for the next George R. R. Martin novel. Miéville's Perdido Street Station has elements of steam punk, horror, and fantasy. It's unlike anything I've read before. Bacigalupi's cyber punk The Windup Girl combines aspects of politics, genetic engineering, and sociology. I loved it!


Of course, most of my best reads are in contemporary fiction. I liked two 2011 Booker-shortlisted novels -- Miller's Snowdrops and Edugyan's Half Blood Blues. Tóibín's Brooklyn was shortlisted last year. Rachman's The Imperfectionists is one very funny novel made of stories. And I was floored by the narrative and scope of Syjuco's Ilustrado.


Hmmm... This must be the first year when I haven't listed a non-fiction book as a best read. Maybe I should read more non-fiction next year. How about you, dear reader, what are your favorite books of 2011?

10 comments:

jzhunagev said...

As I said earlier: Yey for Ilustrado!
I kind of wonder though: Where did you got you Hardcover copy of the book?
Thanks! ^_^

Peter S. said...

Hi, jzhunagev! Thanks for dropping by! I asked for my tita, who was in the US at that time, to buy it for me.

C.B. James said...

I'm posting my long list later this week. I loved Wednesday Wars, too. It's a terrific book.

Peter S. said...

Hi, C. B. James! Can't wait for that! I also loved Schmidt's Okay for Now and Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy.

ram said...

im eyeing for ilustrado by miguel syjuco.,.still my budjet is in distress to buy new one.,.hehehe!

Peter S. said...

Hello, ram! I love Ilustrado! It's a very satisfying read.

David Wagner said...

I'm going to assume re-reads don't count? I didn't really read that many books this year (on my 26th book as of now), and of those I did read, 4 of them were when I re-read GRRM's Song of Ice and Fire series right before Dance came out... and another was Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield, which I've read before (and is my favorite all-time book).

That having been said, I believe the best book I read this year was The Heroes, by Joe Abercrombie. While I was pleased by the latest offerings by Rothfuss and GRRMartin, I tore through Abercrombie's latest with unbridled joy. It has everything I love in good fantasy writing.

Honestly, I think what hindered me this year from reading more was my new addiction to downloading free sample chapters of books to my Kindle... I read through a score or more of free samples, assembling a list of books I will get when I have the dough to buy more... spending all my time reading samples cuts into my time to spend reading full books! It's a great way to try new authors for no cost, though... ah, double-edged sword...

Peter S. said...

Hahahaha. David, I'm still holding out on reading an ebook.

Re-readings do count, but the books I re-read this year didn't make that much of an impact.

Have you read Abercrombie's Best Served Cold?

Mrs. B. said...

Great choices! I listed Brooklyn last year I think in my top ten. Funny thing is I plan to also list Snowdrops and The Imperfectionists in my end of year list. Coming soon.

Peter S. said...

Hi, Mrs. B! Brooklyn is just so wonderful, no? I found it very heartbreaking, but in a good way!