Pages

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The books of 2011

I read books in 2011.  More than I'm actually listing here, because otherwise this list would include a LOT of children's books, and while I enjoyed the time I spent reading Junie B. Jones books, I'm not listing them all here.  From most-recently completed all the way back to January 2011, I give you the Master List:

  1. I Was Told There'd Be Cake -- Sloane Crosley
  2. The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie
  3. -- Wendy McClure
  4. Lost and Found: A Novel -- Carolyn Parkhurst
  5. Parable of the Talents -- Octavia Butler
  6. The Bitch in the House -- Cathi Hanauer
  7. The Magician King: A Novel -- Lev Grossman
  8. I'm Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59 -- Douglas Edwards
  9. The Blue Cotton Gown: A Midwife's Memoir -- Patricia Harman
  10. Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife -- Peggy Vincent
  11. A Song of Ice and Fire: A Clash of Kings -- George R. R. Martin
  12. The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry -- Jon Ronson
  13. The Submission: A Novel -- Amy Waldman
  14. A Stolen Life: A Memoir -- Jaycee Dugard
  15. Eating Animals -- Jonathan Safran Foer
  16. Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture -- Peggy Orenstein
  17. Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant -- David Tammet
  18. Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith -- Anne Lamott
  19. All is Forgotten, Nothing is Lost: A Novel -- Lan Samantha Chang
  20. BITCHfest: Ten Years of Cultural Criticism from the Pages of Bitch Magazine -- Lisa Jarvis, Andi Zeisler
  21. The Magicians -- Lev Grossman
  22. Waiting for Superman: How We Can Save America's Failing Public Schools -- Participant Media/Karl Weber
  23. Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference -- Cordelia Fine
  24. Pink Ribbons, Inc.: Breast Cancer and the Politics of Philanthropy -- Samantha King
  25. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother -- Amy Chua
  26. Half Life: A Novel -- Shelley Jackson
  27. The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates -- Wes Moore
  28. The Purity Myth: How America's Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women -- Jessica Valenti
  29. Shadow and Claw -- Gene Wolf
  30. Mockinjay (Hunger Games) -- Suzanne Collins
  31. Death is Not an Option: Stories -- Suzanne Rivecca
  32. Red Families v. Blue Families: Legal Polarization and the Creation of Culture -- Naomi Cahn & June Carbone
  33. The Magician's Book: A Skeptic's Adventures in Narnia -- Laura Miller
  34. Battle Royale: The Novel -- Koushun Takami
  35. Room: A Novel -- Emma Donoghue

If I were to color-code the list by highlighting the best (light green = good, bold grass green = omg-good) and the worst (orange = meh, fire = omg-blorf) it would look like this:

  1. I Was Told There'd Be Cake -- Sloane Crosley
    The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie
  2. -- Wendy McClure
  3. Lost and Found: A Novel -- Carolyn Parkhurts
  4. Parable of the Talents -- Octavia Butler
  5. The Bitch in the House -- Cathi Hanauer
  6. The Magician King: A Novel -- Lev Grossman
  7. I'm Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59 -- Douglas Edwards
  8. The Blue Cotton Gown: A Midwife's Memoir -- Patricia Harman
  9. Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife -- Peggy Vincent
  10. A Song of Ice and Fire: A Clash of Kings -- George R. R. Martin
  11. The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry -- Jon Ronson
  12. The Submission: A Novel -- Amy Waldman
  13. A Stolen Life: A Memoir -- Jaycee Dugard
  14. Eating Animals -- Jonathan Safran Foer
  15. Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture -- Peggy Orenstein
  16. Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant -- David Tammet
  17. Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith -- Anne Lamott
  18. All is Forgotten, Nothing is Lost: A Novel -- Lan Samantha Chang
  19. BITCHfest: Ten Years of Cultural Criticism from the Pages of Bitch Magazine -- Lisa Jarvis, Andi Zeisler
  20. The Magicians -- Lev Grossman
  21. Waiting for Superman: How We Can Save America's Failing Public Schools -- Participant Media/Karl Weber
  22. Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference -- Cordelia Fine
  23. Pink Ribbons, Inc.: Breast Cancer and the Politics of Philanthropy -- Samantha King
  24. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother -- Amy Chua
  25. Half Life: A Novel -- Shelley Jackson
  26. The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates -- Wes Moore
  27. The Purity Myth: How America's Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women -- Jessica Valenti
  28. Shadow and Claw -- Gene Wolf
  29. Mockinjay (Hunger Games) -- Suzanne Collins
  30. Death is Not an Option: Stories -- Suzanne Rivecca
  31. Red Families v. Blue Families: Legal Polarization and the Creation of Culture -- Naomi Cahn & June Carbone
  32. The Magician's Book: A Skeptic's Adventures in Narnia -- Laura Miller
  33. Battle Royale: The Novel -- Koushun Takami
  34. Room: A Novel -- Emma Donoghue

If I were to break it down into genre sections, you'd also see some correlations between most-loved and least loved.

Nonfiction that harkens back to beloved books from my childhood:

  • The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie
  • -- Wendy McClure
  • The Magician's Book: A Skeptic's Adventures in Narnia -- Laura Miller
Fiction that harkens back to beloved books from my childhood:
  • The Magicians -- Lev Grossman
  • The Magician King: A Novel -- Lev Grossman
Nonfiction about midwives/midwifery (one I loved, one I hated):
  • Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife -- Peggy Vincent
  • The Blue Cotton Gown: A Midwife's Memoir -- Patricia Harman
Nonfiction about sex, gender, and culture:
  • Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference
  •  -- Cordelia Fine
  • Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture -- Peggy Orenstein
Misc. fiction
  • The Submission: A Novel -- Amy Waldman
  • Shadow and Claw -- Gene Wolf
  • Half Life: A Novel -- Shelley Jackson
Misc. nonfiction
  • I Was Told There'd Be Cake -- Sloane Crosley
  • Eating Animals -- Jonathan Safran Foer
  • A Stolen Life: A Memoir -- Jaycee Dugard
The award for Favorite Book This Year in Fiction goes to Lev Grossman for The Magicians, and it's a tie between Cordelia Fine for Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference  and Wendy McClure for The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie.  YOU HAVE WON ALL THE THINGS, THE WHOLE INTERNETS, HERE YOU GO!  So much win.  

2 comments:

  1. The story of Jaycee Dugard is absolutely unbelievable. How a child could endure the things she endured and end up such a strong women is unheard of. It's a very difficult read and tears were shed, yet it ends with uplifting and inspirational insight.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I don't think it was bad, necessarily, but it just didn't grip me all that much, to be honest. Of course, this may be because I read it out of boredom one day at work rather than out of great interest in the news story. The writing was mediocre/okay, which isn't to say that I expected a literary memoir, of course, but that's just how I took it.

    ReplyDelete