Saturday Review of Books: December 31, 2011

“Books to the ceiling, books to the sky, my pile of books is a mile high. How I love them! How I need them! I’ll have a long beard by the time I read them.” ~Arnold Lobel

Happy New Year to all, and Happy Reading, too!

SatReviewbuttonToday, SATURDAY December 31st, is a special edition of the Saturday Review of Books just 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, a list of all the books you got for Christmas, or any other end of the year or beginning of the year list of books. I’ve already collected a list of those end of the year/beginning of the year lists that I see all over book blogger world, and you can scroll down for those lists. However, I might very well have missed yours, so please come by on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day and add a link to the list of lists.

I’m also trying my hand at a little reader’s advisory, so for every list linked I’ll try to suggest a book or two that you might like to read in 2012. Because all of us need more books on our TBR lists, bedside tables, towering stacks of unread books, etc. If you don’t have a blog or don’t have a book list on your blog, you can leave a list of your favorite reads from 2011 and I’ll try to give you a recommendation for the new year.

Whatever your list, it’s time for book lists. So link to yours for a Happy New Year.

75 thoughts on “Saturday Review of Books: December 31, 2011

  1. melydia at utter randomonium: Doomsday Book by Connie Willis is just the beginning. Next read To Say Nothing of the Dog, Blackout, and All Clear. They’re just as good as Doomsday Book. You also might like Pastwatch by Orson Scott Card.

  2. MJ

    Thanks for the invite, Sherry! You’re going to have quite the task, recommending books to all these readers 🙂

  3. Great idea!!! I’ve added mine 🙂 Thanks for the heads up!

  4. Thanks for visiting Bookstack and inviting me to participate! Happy reading in 2012!

  5. Thanks for stopping by Bookstack! Happy reading in 2012 🙂

  6. Thanks! I can’t wait to see what you recommend for us to read this year.

  7. For Beth @ Weavings: The Hawk and the Dove by Penelope Wilcock and Home Comforts by Cheryl Mendelson. The homemaking book is really more of a reference, but you could get it from the library and skim the parts that apply. I thought it was a nice refresher course for me, and I learned some things, too.

    Emily J. at Back Bay View: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon, Saint Training by Elizabeth Fixmer, and The Passion of Mary-Margaret by Lisa Samson.

    Woman of the House: Keep a Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot, Kristin Lavransdatter by SIgrid Undset, and Earthen Vessels by Matthew Lee Anderson.

    Kristin at This Classical Life: River Rising by Athol Dickson, Clementine by Sara Pennypacker, and The Fances Between Us by Kirby Larson.

    Debbie at Ex Urbanis: For your challnnges:
    TIme Travel Challenge: Connie Willis, natch. Doomsday Book if you like the MIddle Ages, and Blackout and All Clear , if your prefer WW II.
    War Through the Generations: Any of the books mentioned in this post.
    European Reading Challenge: The Fencing Master by Arturo Perez-Reverte
    Awards Winning Reads Challenge: Dicey’s SOng by Cynthia Voigt, A Wrinkle in TIme by Madeleine L’Engle, When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead, Isalnd of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell.
    South Asian Reading Challenge: Bamboo People by Mitali Perkins or Secret Keeper by Mitali Perkins.
    YOu are welcome to any or all of my suggestions. Happy challenging!

  8. This is quite the project to put together, what a great idea! I’ll be spending some time today taking a look at everyone else’s lists, so thanks for stopping by my blog to let me know about it!

    Also, in case you are interested, we are hosting a project to read more Stephen King. If you’re interested, I created a site for it, and here’s the link:

    (Hope that’s ok to leave that link for the year-long project?) Thanks again for inviting me in this fabulous capture of everyone’s best of lists! Hope you had a wonderful New Year!

  9. Wow, lots of lists linked up already — you’ll have a huge job doing recommendations!

  10. Happy New Year and thanks for the invitation! Now I have more lists to go through…

  11. Thanks for the recommendations, Sherry! I’ve added them to my ever-growing wish list, but I have many books here to get through before I can get to them.
    Happy New Year!

  12. Hi Sherry … I have only read that one volume of Louis L’Amour’s … just having discovered him this year. I’ll keep that book in mind. I have read L’Engle’s Circle of Quiet … all her nonfiction is really terrific. Good luck trying The Reapers are the Angels. I encountered it first as an audiobook and that may be the way to go if you had trouble before.

  13. Lisa at Adventures of 2.0: Have you read C.S.Lewis’s “speculative fiction” trilogy beginning with Out of the Silent Planet, then Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength? Perelandra is the best of the three, I think, but they should probably be read in order.
    More classic speculative fiction/scifi: Enchantress from the Stars by Sylvia Engdahl, A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle, and Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.
    More recent sci/fi: For the Win by Cory Doctorow.

    MJ at Wandering in the Stacks: Living thoughtfully. I like that. Check out Chains and Forge by Laurie Halse Anderson, if you haven’t. Also, for your Olympic Challenge, you could check out my pages called Reading Through Africa. I have lots of books from various African countries listed there. I like your list for the Back to the Classics Challenge, especially Rebecca by du Maurier, Wuthering Heights and Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton. I prefer House of Mirth by Wharton to Age of Innocence, however, and if you like her writing, you might want to read House of Mirth also.

    Thoughts of Joy: Back to Murder and Pattern of Wounds by J. Mark Bertrand. Also maybe The Franchise Affari by Josephine Tey or Strong Poison by Dorothy Sayers or The Eight by Katherine Neville.

    Caribousmom: Have you read any books by Torey L. Hayden? One Child and Just Another Kid are both really insightful. Have you read We Need to Talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver? I see it listed at your blog as TBR, but I don’t find a review. I think it would make you think.

  14. Ravenous Reader, Becca: A Severe Mercy by Sheldon VanAuken is the story of the author’s grief over the death of his beloved wife, Davey. You might also like Anna’s Book by Barbara Vine.

    Britni and the other readers at The Book Nook Club: How about Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Burns and Prince of Foxes by Samuel Shellabarger? Both are oldies-but-goodies. For something newer, maybe you’d like Steven James’s The Bowers Files series, beginning with The Pawn.

    Colleen at BookSync: Immigrant stories? Alligator Bayou by Donna Jo Napoli. Gringolandia by Lyn Miller-Lachman. Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate. Diamonds in the Shadow by Caroline B. Cooney. These are all young adult novels, but they’re good stories.

  15. Sherrie: Thanks for the recommendations! I definitely need to read We Need to Talk About Kevin – it has been on my TBR shelf for a long time!!!

  16. Sherry, I love your suggestions for me! Haven’t read any of them. I also enjoyed all your recommendations for others. I see many old friends, and others I want to pursue!

    Thanks again–


  17. Laura@Musings: Old School by Tobias Wolff and Black Narcissus by Rumer Godden (or any book by Rumer Godden).

    Natalie at Coffee and a Book Chick: YA; Divergent by Veronica Roth, science fiction: Blackout and All Clear by Connie Willis, Classic: The Turn of the Screw by Henry James.

    Gnoe at Graasland: Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff and The Flame Tree by RIchard Lewis are both set in Indonesia. My favorite Japanese novels are Silence by Shusaku Endo and The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa.

  18. Gavin at Page247 The best Orange Prize winners I’ve read are Home by Marilynne Robinson (also read Gilead if you haven’t already), We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver, and Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. In fact, those are the only winners I’ve read, but all three are worth recommending. Dickens is so much fun: I think Great Expectations is a good entry point if you’re never read any Dickens before.

    Best at Scarlett’s Silhouettes: From the 1001 Books list, you should try out The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie, Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton, and A Town Like Alice by Nevill Shute. YOu might also like FIieldwork by Mischa Berlinski since it’s set in Southeast Asia.

  19. Diary of an Eccentric: For WW I, I can recommend After the Dancing Days by Margaret Rostkowski, Lord of the Nutcracker Men by Iain Lawrence, Dreadnought and Castles of Steel by Robert Massie, and Winnie’s War by; Jenny Moss. All of those, except for the nonfiction by Massie, are YA or children’s novels.

    I’m looking forward to immersing myself in WW I literature this year. Thanks you for your work at War THrough the Generations.

  20. Sherry, thank you for putting this on. Thank you for the advice. I shall read Moby-Dick, and someday I shall (re)read Les Miserables.

  21. I’m almost afraid to get any recommendations or to look at everyone else’s lists. I must finish Middlemarch first. Then when I’ve finished that project, there are ever so many books already on my piles. But the lure of the lists is too strong. I’m always convinced that the book someone else just finished is better than the one I’ve already got beside my bed. Anyhow, thanks for the sweet, sweet temptations.

  22. Melanie @ The WIne Dark Sea: I like the name of your blog. If you haven’t seen it, I think you might enjoy Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to LIve Fully Right Where You Are. I also suggest, when you finish Middlemarch and all those others in the pile, perhaps you would like Heart of a Shepherd by Roseanne Parry.

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