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.
Melissa at Mental Multivitamin left a link to a list by Trevor at a blog called The Mookse and the Gripes: My Twelve Favorite Reads of 2011. I must admit that, despite the fact that we share an affinity for making lists of twelve rather than five or ten, Trevor is beyond me. I’ve heard of a couple of the authors on his list and of none of the books. He writes, “If this list has a consistent theme it could be quasi-fictional biographies on eccentric personalities.” I am consulting my European correspondent and expert on all things literary and strange. In the meantime, I’ll venture to suggest that Trevor try out Wendell Berry or perhaps Philip Caputo.
Noel DeVries: Reading Resolutions: Realized! 2011. Reading Resolutions 2012. Noel is more of a kindred spirit, of the race that knows Joseph. (Not that I’m dissing Mr. Trevor of the Mookse; it takes all kinds of readers to make a world.) I see that she’s been reading Edith Schaeffer; I agree that What Is a Family? is good, but my favorite book by Mrs. Schaeffer is The Hidden Art of Homemaking. And it doesn’t look as if Miss Noel has read The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic by Jennifer Trafton yet. She should.
Chicken Spaghetti: Norman’s Best Books of 2011. Susan of Chicken Spaghetti, who usually focuses on children’s literature, has asked her husband Norman to share his favorite reads of 2011. Mr. Chicken Spaghetti might like The Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow; it’s classified as YA, but suitable for adults, I think. Atonement by Ian McEwen, if he’s not read it already (probably has), would seem to fit Mr. CS’s reading tastes, too.
Good Books and Good Wine: Top Ten Books of 2011. April has a page called Project Fill in the Gaps with a list of books she wants to read, so I choose to recommend from that list: Katherine by Anya Seton and Hood by Stephen Lawhead because both of those books are great reads and they seem to fit in with what she enjoyed this past year.
A Literary Odyssey: 2011 End of the Year Book survey. Allie has a very long and fascinating list, written in response to this meme at Perpetual Page Turner. Allie is already planning to read Vanity Fair by Thackeray, a book that I love like I love Dickens’ novels, which is a lot. And she’s going to be reading Anna Karenina, which I was going to suggest in light of her Tolstoy discovery this past year. My favorite classic that’s on her TBR list: Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. I predict that Allie will devour it whenever she gets to it.
A Literary Odyssey: Favorites of 2011.
The Blue Bookcase: Christina’s Favorite Books of 2011. Christina enjoyed Geraldine Brooks’ novel Caleb’s Crossing in 2011, and I’m recommending that she read Year of Wonders by the same author. I also wonder if she might like a modern classic, The Chosen by Chaim Potok, if she hasn’t already read it. It gives a wonderful picture of growing up in an Orthodox Jewish culture.
Tina’s Book Reviews: Faves of 2011, The Books. I think Tina would like Chains and Forge, both by Laurie Halse Anderson. I would also recommend to Tina, Connie Willis’s Doomsday Book, based on her love for Waterfall by Lisa Bergren.
Estella’s Revenge: Andi’s 2011 Favoritest Books Throwdown. Andi has The Professor and the Housekeeper by Yoko Ogawa on her list of “The Lustworthy Stacks.” I gave a copy of that book to Engineer Husband for Christmas because I think he will love all the philosophical mathematical subtexts. Ooooh, read it next, Andi. Also, I think Andi would fall for Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh.
Bibliosue: My Favorites of 2011. Suzanne liked Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese, so I wonder if she might enjoy another novel set in Africa, Acts of Faith by Philip Caputo. She’s also participating in the Southern Literature Challenge for which I highly recommend: Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg, Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns, and All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren.
Books in the Burbs: My Best Reads of 2011. Oh, wow, Lisa lives somewhere near me, and she reads neat books, and she has a book club! OK, I fear that I begin to repeat myself, but City of Tranquil Light by Bo Caldwell was one of the the best fiction books I read this past year. I commend it to Lisa. And for nonfiction, how about Little Princes by Connor Grennan?
Evolving Economics: Best books I read in 2011. This list is again not exactly in my area of expertise, but I’m going to take a stab and suggest two books for Jason, the evolutionary economist: People of the Lie by M. Scott Peck and Fewer: How the New Demography of Depopulation Will Shape Our Future by Ben J. Wattenburg. He might find them of interest if only as a counter opinion to be refuted or engaged.
Carrie at Reading to Know: Top 10 Favorite Books of 2011. For Carrie, I’m going to suggest Between Heaven and Hell by Peter Kreeft because I know she’s a C.S. Lewis fan. It’s an imaginary dialog between John F. Kennedy, Aldous Huxley, and Lewis, three famous men with very differing philosophies of life who died on the same day. I also think Carrie would like My Hands Came Away Red by Lisa McKay, a book I very much appreciated when I read it in 2010.