Tuesday 27 December 2011

Top Ten Tuesday - Best of 2011

This is a book meme over at The Broke and The Bookish. This weeks top ten features our favourite reads of 2011.

It has been some months since I have taken part and I thought the end of the year would be the perfect time to jump back in. Mainly because I can now briefly relax and I want to share my favourite top ten books this year. I am sure I am not the only one but I did have difficulty in narrowing my choices down to just 10. As a result I have given a shout out to a few at the end.

1. The Iliad by Homer. This famous poem has cropped up in a large number of books I have enjoyed in the past. I felt it was about time I read it and when a readalong was organised I decided it was now or never. Glad I did. I loved it. It's not intimidating to read as I initially thought it would be. I preferred it to the Odyssey too which I hear is unusual.

2. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. Okay, I have only read the volume with books 1 and 2 so far but this is without a doubt one of my favourites this year. I waited two years for Murakami to bring out a new book (two impatient years) and he made the wait worth while. If you like surreal you will like this.

3. The Passage by Justin Cronin. This book had been collecting dust on my shelf for over a year before I got round to reading it. This in spite of all the excitement surrounding it. If you like a good vampire story then this is for you. It is on the large side and there are two more parts to be published. Not once did it feel like a slog to read. Also has a touch of post-apocalypse to it.

4. Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut. Okay this one is a bit of a cheat since it was a re-read. However, I did not enjoy it the first time round. A lot of it is based on the authors own experiences of war (well, not the spaceships and aliens). Fantastic book.

5. White Teeth by Zadie Smith. A story of two families in London who face prejudice. A serious story and yet it had me laughing hysterically so many times. I loved the characters. I am sure I will be reading this again in the future.

6. She-Wolves by Helen Castor. A history book about the lives of four women who paved the way for Mary and Elizabeth. Without these four women a woman may never have sat on the throne of England. A fantastic history book which had me riveted from page one. Learnt a lot from it and I have made note of a few more people I want to read more on.

7. Room by Emma Donoghue. This is one of those books that stays with you. I read it earlier in the year and I still find myself thinking about it. Disturbing in many ways and a good read.

8. Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess. This is one of the few books I set out to dislike. It never appealed to me and any film clips I saw put me off it further. I set out to dislike it and in a few pages I couldn't put it down. I love a dystopian and this is now one of my firm favourites. If like me you have been put off by the film give it a chance.

9. The Long Road by Stephen King. Another cheat as this was actually a short story/novella within a collection. I had to have it on here though. This is proof that there is more to King than horror. I would love to see him have another go at dystopian.

10. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins and The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton. The last spot on my list goes to two of my favourite classics read this year. Both are very different and yet I loved them both. Collins for his mystery story and Wharton for her wit. Another cheat as I couldn't decide between them.

Oh and my shout out list; The Railway Children, The Help, When God Was A Rabbit, Into the Darkest Corner, The Kite Runner, A Game of Thrones, The Odyssey, A Tale of Two Cities, Ilium, Revolutionary Road, Shantaram.

Do you have a top ten for 2011?


  1. The Passage was so good! I can't wait for the sequel.

    My Top Ten

  2. There are a lot books in here that I have dreamed of reading for so long: IQ84, Room, Slaughterhouse 5, Clockwork Orange, Age of Innocence, and Woman in White. :) Its more than half of your list!

    I really enjoyed Game of Thrones and Kite Runner just made me cry. A Tale of Two Cities and Shantaram has been on my TBR for a very long time. :)

    Thanks for dropping by my blog! :)

  3. Susanne, I'm looking forward to the sequel too. I doubt I will be able to wait until paperback.

    Jerikavonalexandra, I hope you get round to reading them. They were amazing and all very different from each other. Kite Runner made me want to cry too.

  4. I read The Passage this year as well and loved it. It didn't make my list though. I had too many others I loved even more.

    I still need to read The Woman in White, though I did read his The Moonstone, which did make my list.

    Here's hoping the new year contines to bring great books into our lives.

  5. Hi Ryan,

    The Passage was one of the easier ones to put on my list. I haven't read such a good vampire book in a long time that it had to be there. Some of the others I was on the fence over. So many good books is the problem, lol.

    I think I am going to read The Moonstone next year. The Woman In White really was fantastic. Probably my favourite classic to date.

    I am sure the New Year will bring lots of great books into our lives. Hope you have a good one.