Year End Review: The Knitting
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Year End Review: The Books

I read a lot.  Like. . . I typically read somewhere between 45 and 65 books a year.  Mostly, I read contemporary fiction, but I like to mix in some literary classics and non-fiction books for good measure. 

When I look over my book list for 2011, I see that I read 48 books.  I was on track for 52 (my goal this year). . . but my reading-train derailed when my Mom had her accident in mid-December.  (I actually haven't read a page since. . .)  In review, I can see that I was heavy on contemporary fiction this year; a little lighter on the classics; and there were plenty of non-fiction books in the mix.

I'm pretty picky when it comes to reading, and I have my own "star-rating" system for rating the books I read.  Most of this year's reading fell into my 4-star category (which is typical), but 8 of them were 5-star books (not counting Get the F--- to Sleep, which was brilliant, and definitely worthy of 5-stars, but sort of out of my usual "realm" of categorization).

Here are the five absolute-best books I read in 2011:


The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.  I loved this book so much.  It actually may be one of my favorite books EVER.


Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading by Nina Sankovitch.  Fabulous!  Insightful!  AND. . . I now have enough book recommendations to last a good, long time!


Parrot & Olivier in America by Peter Carey.  Delightful.  Such wonderful contrast in perspectives.  (Plus, I sort of have a secret-love for American history.)


On Canaan's Side: A Novel by Sebastian Barry.  Lovely writing; compelling characters; heart-tugging story.


Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safron Foer.  So moving; I just loved this book.  (But I won't be going to the movie.)

So many great books!



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I won't be going to the movie either! It's a little sad to think about a movie, actually. :-( I haven't YET, read "Tolstoy and the Purple Chair", but I agree with you on the other books. I read 59 books last year and hope to reach 62 (or more!) this year.


I didn't realize that "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" was a book. Bad me! Now I can skip the movie and go straight to the book.


The books you like have also been popular in my library. Extremely Loud and The Book Thief are both on my list.


The curiosity is killing me, why won't you see the movie. I had suspicions that it was a book, but hadn't looked it up. I will have to read it.


Since your first and last picks are ones I've enjoyed, I'll have to add your middle three to my list.

The Book Thief is a special favorite -- I think I've read it, read it aloud to my kids (one of our last read-alouds) and listened to a CD of someone else reading it. And it just got richer.


I loved Purple Chair, which I read on your recommendation. Extremely Loud, not so much: I have tried to read it twice and to listen to it once and never get much beyond about 50 pages. Weird.

58 for me this year :-)


Book Thief and Extremely Loud are also two of my favorites. I just re-read Extremely Loud in order to see the movie -so yes, quite curious why you won't be seeing it!

I'm going to check out those other three... have to select a book for my bookclub to read this March and I'm betting one of those will be perfect. thanks for the recommendations!!

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