Preview of 2011 Booklists #1

SATURDAY December 31st, will be a special edition of the Saturday Review of Books especially for booklists. You can link to a list of your favorite books read in 2011, a list of all the books you read in 2011, a list of the books you plan to read in 2012, or any other end of the year or beginning of the year list of books. Whatever your list, it’s time for book lists. So come back on Saturday, New Year’s Eve, to link to yours, if I missed it and it’s not already here.

However I’ve spent the past couple of weeks gathering up all the lists I could find and linking to them here. I’ll be posting each day this week leading up to Saturday a selection of end-of-the-year lists with my own comments. I’m also trying my hand at (unsolicited) book advisory by suggesting some possibilities for 2012 reading for each blogger whose list I link. If I didn’t get your list linked ahead of time and if you leave your list in the linky on Saturday, I’ll try to advise you, too, in a separate post.

Semicolon’s 12 Best Adult Nonfiction Books Read in 2011.

2011 INSPY Award Winners. I was on the judging panel for the category, Literature for Young People, and I am proud of the book my panel chose. However, I’m especially pleased about the winner in the General Fiction category, City of Tranquil Light by Bo Caldwell. This story of missionaries who feel as if they could be real people is a wonderful read. If any of my readers are interested in inspirational Christian fiction that deals with hard issues, I recommend City of Tranquil Light.

Dani Torres at A Work in Progress: Reading WWI: A Thursday 13. I include Dani’s list because it’s actually a list of the books she would ike to read in 2012, and it dovetails quite nicely with what the folks at War Through the Generations are planning for 2012, a focus on the literature of and about World War I.
My suggestion for Dani: a WWI novel I recently read, Gifts of War by Mackenzie Ford.

A Year in Reading by Mark O’Connell at The Millions. Mr. O’Connell, who lives in Ireland, read and enjoyed a couple of my favorite novels in 2011, Anna Karenina and Gilead. The Millions has an entire series of posts by their staff writers, and by other selected authors and writers, entitled A Year in Reading.
My suggestion for Mr. O’Connell: War and Peace by Tolstoy is just as good as Anna Karenina, if not better.

Amanda at Dead White Guys has a post about what she hearted and hated in 2001. (Language warning) She, too, hearted Anna Karenina, but she hated Doctor Zhivago. Not all Russian novels are created equal.
Suggested Dead White Guys: I think Amanda might like some Trollope, maybe The Warden or Barchester Towers? I could be mistaken, but it’s worth a try.

Jared at The Thinklings: Top Ten Books I Read This Year.. Jared has been reading a little bit of everything from Tom Sawyer to F. Scott Fitzgerald to Douglas Wilson.
For Jared Wilson in 2012 I suggest more Jane Austen and N.D. Wilson’s kinda, sorta tribute to Tom Sawyer, Leepike Ridge.

Reading the Past: Five historical novels published in 2011 have made the shortlist for this year’s David J. Langum Sr. Prize in American Historical Fiction. This list isn’t the work of Sarah Johnson who blogs at Reading the Past, and she only links to her reviews of two of of the five books that made the shortlist. I’d be interested to see what Ms. Johnson thinks are the best historical fiction novels of 2011.

Ten Best Books of 2011 by Brandon Schmidt at Youth Pastor Gear. Unbroken. Check. Son of Hamas. Check. Hunger Games. Check. You’re just NOW reading Lord of the Rings? What a treat–to read these wonderful books for the first time!
I suggest that Mr. Schmidt read The Hobbit, if he hasn’t already, and Divergent by Veronica Roth is a good follow-up to Hunger Games.

Books in Bloom: Kristin’s Top Ten of 2011. Kristin’s tastes seems to run to dystopian and horror-ish sort of YA fiction, not my cuppa. However, I can suggest that she pick up some of John Green’s earlier books, especially An Abundance of Katherines, and she might like Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs.

Erin Reads: 2011 Goals in Review. Erin launched a Classics Reclamation Project for 2011, and as a result she enjoyed Jane Eyre, I Capture the Castle, and The Woman in White, among others. I think Erin might like to read Black Narcissus by Rumer Godden and Nectar in a Sieve by Kamala Markandaya, since she’s also interested in literature set in India.

Pastor Carl Gregg: Top 10 Best Books Read in 2011. Pastor Gregg says he spends most of his available reading time on religion and philosophy. I would suggest Teach Your Own by John Holt, for a homeschooling classic from a completely different, rather libertarian, point of view, and how about Love Your God With All Your Mind by J.P. Moreland or Jesus and the Eyewitnesses by Richard Bauckham as counter-voices to Bart Ehrman?

LitLove: Tales from the Reading Room, Best Books of 2011. LitLove recommends at least one book that I must put on my TBR list, The Rossettis in Wonderland by Dinah Roe, a biography of the four Rossetti children including Dante Gabriel and Christina. I’m wondering if LitLove might like Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry or So Big by Edna Ferber, mostly because of the special litlove for Willa Cather.

Erin at analyfe: The Top Books of 2111, Not Necessarily Published in 2011. For Erin I’m recommending The Declaration by Gemma Malley, since she read two of my favorite dystopian fiction books, Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Unwind by Neal Shusterman, and enjoyed those. She also seems to enjoy the self-help and project books, so she might find something interesting on this list that I made of “project books.” Praying for Strangers by River Jordan fits into this genre, and it was one of my favorite books of 2011.

Kathy at Book Diary: My Best Books of 2011. I wanted to add almost every one of Kathy’s picks to my TBR list, especially Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard and The Report by Jessica Kane. Has Kathy read The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa? She might also like My Enemy’s Cradle by Sara Young for World War II historical fiction.

Bible Geek Gone Wild: 5 Favorites from 2011. From Greek to graphic novels about Martin Luther(?), this “33-year old man who reads an awful lot of nonfiction” might try Athol Dickson’s River Rising or for something old, Basic Writings by Jonathan Edwards.

10 Bad Habits: Favorite Reads 2011. Ooooh, one of my favorites is one of his favorites, The King Must Die by Mary Renaualt. Justin should read the “rest of the story”, the sequel called The Bull from the Sea. Then, he might check out Stephen Lawhead’s Byzantium or Taliesin.

Great Thoughts: Top Books of 2011. I haven’t read a single book on Great Thoughts’ list, but almost all of them look like books that I could enjoy. She says she likes historical fiction and books about other cultures, so I’m proposing that she try City of Tranquil Light by Bo Caldwell or maybe Bel Canto by Ann Patchett.

O.K. enough for today. Come back tomorrow for more links to more book lists and more suggestions from me for more reading in 2012.

7 thoughts on “Preview of 2011 Booklists #1

  1. I just love the fact that you’ve come up with reading suggestions for us – how cool is that? And I think you are onto something, as I have lined up already for 2021 Edna Ferber’s Giant. I’ll definitely look out the Wendell Berry, thank you!

  2. Thankyou for including my Top Books list. I have read Bel Canto but will check out City of Tranquil Light.

  3. litlove, I think you will like Giant, just know that I live in Texas and she’s over-mythologized it just a little.

    Andrea, you’re welcome. Did you like Bel Canto?

  4. Susan

    THANK YOU for this wonderful list of lists! Just one comment – the link to:

    Ten Best Books of 2011 by Brandon Schmidt at Youth Pastor Gear

    points to your Missionary Fiction post a previous list. You might want to change that, though Brandon’s list is easily found with Google (and is one of my favorite lists on your list!).

    I love this delightful time of year when I vow to spend less time online and more time reading this year!


  5. Melissa, those were fascinating, maybe out of my league?

    Susan, thanks for the tip. I fixed the link. It is a delightful time of year with all the listing and the reading time and the new projects in the air.

  6. Thanks for the reading recommendations – that’s awesome! 🙂

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