Summing Up 2011 Books – My Favorites

With all that has been going on this year I managed to read 36 books in their entirety. Usually it is about twice as much but my tiny list is here.  Another difference this year is how few I actually reviewed, which is a disappointment, but there just wasn’t time. Several good books were started but put down for one reason or the other. They sit on my nightstand mocking me nightly but I have learned to ignore them. I will add them into my 2012 book list as soon as they are finished. New Years Resolutions would like a review for each book but will stick to a more realistic percentage of say, two thirds, with mentions of the others in Sunday Salon.

Five runners-up for best books of the year:


The Sound of Butterflies by Rachael King

Lady of Quality by Georgette Heyer

Gentleman and Players by Joanne Harris

Jar City by Arnaldur Indridason

Plainsong by  Kent Haruf

Top five books in no particular order:


The Passion of Artemisia by Susan Vreeland – Artemisia Gentileschi was a painter in the 1600’s who led a fascinating life after being raped by her painting teacher and almost lost her fingers in the torture that followed. She rubbed shoulders with many interesting characters including Galileo.

Jesus of Nazareth by Pope Benedict XVI – Tired of Pharisees, Puritans, or Patriarchy? How about those who equate faith with dumb yokel ignorance or the oh so tiresome Christian pop psychology? Where is Jesus in all that malarkey? If you guessed nowhere you are absolutely right. I invite you to meet or reacquaint yourself with Jesus. This unforgettable book will sweep away all the bs and allow you a clear, beautifully insightful picture of who He is.

The Ghost Orchid by Carol Goodman – I love Goodman and her use of atmosphere is like no one else. She highlights her classical education in her stories by her use of Latin, mythology, and fairy tales. The setting for Ghost Orchid is based on a fantasy for me and many other would be writers and artists. Go to a beautiful estate that is dedicated to encouraging these pursuits by giving them a place to work undisturbed for long periods of time. Sit on the veranda and be inspired by the beauty and quiet. But there’s a catch. It’s haunted.

Someone at a Distance by Dorothy Whipple – the breakdown of a marriage by an unfaithful husband is usually more of a cliché than a story. But Whipple weaves an unforgettable tale that I couldn’t put down.

I’d Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman – Harper Collins sent me this book to review just out of the blue. It was outstanding. A man’s appeals are up and he is going to be executed for the murders of several girls. How does this affect his only survivor, now years later?

I have a feeling that next year will be an outstanding reading year. I have put my many unread books together and am excited to see so many excellent ones waiting for me. I have also decided to get some sort of reading device such as the Nook. Jim loves his Kindle and wants to upgrade to the Kindle Fire.

I hope everyone has a safe and blessed New Year. Happy reading to all!!

One Response

  1. I love Laura Lippman’s books, and haven’t yet read I’d Know You Anywhere…it’s on my list! This year!!

    Thanks for sharing…and here’s MY SUNDAY SALON POST and

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