Monday, December 19, 2011

My 5 Favorite (Non-Crime) Books Read in 2011

I feel awkward about mentioning crime fiction titles so these will have to do.

What were some of the books you most enjoyed in 2011?


Anonymous said...

Stewart O'Nan, Last Night at the Lobster
Mordecai Richler, Barney's Version
Lewis Shiner, Collected Stories and Glimpses
Charles Portis, True Grit
Joe R. Lansdale, All the Earth, Thrown to the Sky
Stephen King, 11/22/63

Jeff M.

Anonymous said...

If we're talking mysteries it will be tougher to narrow it down. Here are a handful:

Wallace Stroby, Cold Shot to the Heart
Deon Meyer, Thirteen Hours
Brett Battles, The Cleaner
David Gordon, The Serialist
Frank Bill, Crimes in Southern Indiana (ss)

Jeff M.

Todd Mason said...

Almost all my recreational reading was reported in FFB posts...hard to narrow it to five...

pattinase (abbott) said...

Interesting to see how Bill's novel Donnybrook is.
That means you read exclusively older books, Todd.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I liked EMILY ALONE a lot but RED LOBSTER was his best (IMHO).

Todd Mason said...

Yes. And I came close to doing Jules Feiffer's autobiography (and did post about it and the first volume of the Complete POGO by Walt Kelly), and did do Carol Emshwiller's retrospective collection THE COLLECTED SHORT FICTION V. 1, among my FFB citations, among books issued in the last two years. I'm not quite as flexible as George with my insertions, but like him will bend that rule hard for small-press, particularly brilliant small-press items.

Todd Mason said...

Reading the fiction magazines always gives me a few new folks to look out the copious free time...Alice Sola Kim was one of last year's "discoveries" for me...

George said...

Diane read EMILY ALONE and loved it. I read THE MOVIEGOER years ago and loved it. My choices for FAVORITE BOOKS, MOVIES, etc. will be on my blog next week.

Gerard said...

Non-crime? That narrows my list down to almost nothing.

One Soldier's War (2007) by Arkady Babchenko.
The Silent Men (2002) by Richard H Dickinson.
Chronicles of Prydain (1964-1968) by Lloyd Alexander.
Sarah Court (2010) by Craig Davidson.

pattinase (abbott) said...

These are all new titles for me. Will look into them.

I'll be waiting to see, George.

Steve Oerkfitz said...

The Islanders by Christopher Priest
Devil Red by Joe Lansdale
A Drop of the Hard Stuff by Lawrence Block
The Devil All the Time by Donald Ray Pollock
Wyatt by Gary Disher
Prague Fatale by Philip Kerr
The Drop by Michael Connelly
Regicide by Nicholas Royle
Collected Stories by Carol, Emshwiller

TomCat said...

I began blogging this year, which prevented me from looking at non-crime books, such as the Artemis Fowl series (stuck halfway through it), but allow me to make a recommendation for next year: Michael Ende's The Never-Ending Story. It's simply an amazing story and should be considered as a modern classic.

Note to self: bring back the variety in my reading habits and don't allow my blog/mystery addiction derail me from that. I will be strong, resolute and stalwart!

Charles Gramlich said...

"A Rip through time!:"

Ray Garraty said...

Yes, Roth's Nemesis is a very good novel. Made my last year's top.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I am going to have a nice list when this is done.

Kieran Shea said...

just read WE THE ANIMALS...there's so many others...but that one is definitely in the top 5 along with EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE. so much crime and mystery...gah.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Kieran-how I have missed you!! Haven't heard of this book but I will check on it.
Can't wait to see the movie of EL&IC although Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock have me worried.

Deb said...

Since I subscribe to Jane Smiley's assertion that every novel is at heart a mystery in that something unknown is always being uncovered, I can't really separate my favorites by mystery v. non-mystery, but here are my favorite fictional reads of 2011 (most of them, indeed, "mysteries"):

Patrick Hamilton - 20,000 STREETS UNDER THE SKY (three interconnected short novels about London in the late 1920s).


Louise Penny - BURY YOUR DEAD


Lynn Freed - THE MIRROR

Allison Pearson - I THINK I LOVE YOU (this is a great book for any woman born in the late 1950s/early 1960s who had a crush on David Cassidy of the Patridge Family).



Graham Joyce - THE SILENT LAND


Favorite non-fiction:

Elizabeth Hess - NIM CHIMPSKY

Keith Richards - LIFE (although some would assert that all of Richards's life is a wild fiction).

Jeff Gunn - GO DOWN TOGETHER (about Bonnie & Clyde, the decidedly non-glamorous side).

Jessie Sholl - DIRTY SECRET (memoir of growing up with a hoarder mother).

Judy Collins - SWEET [sic] JUDY BLUE EYES

pattinase (abbott) said...

Have never read that Simenon. If I were to make a list of my favorite crime novels, the Atkinson book would be on it. Jackson Brody is swoon-worthy.
And I forgot about Judy's bio. Thanks for the reminder.

Steve Oerkfitz said...

I left off one.
1Q84 by Murakami-probably my favorite non genre writer right now.

pattinase (abbott) said...

A friend just recommended that to us last night.

Graham Powell said...

I read the first four Factory novels by Derek Raymond, and the first, HE DIED WITH HIS EYES OPEN, was my favorite and probably the best book I read this year.

Now I can't wait for the fifth "lost" novel, DEAD MAN UPRIGHT.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I have the first one. It waits.