Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Top Ten (17) Favorite Books Read In 2011

I really tried, and I mean really tried, to narrow this list down to 10 this year.  Over the last few years, that wasn't really a problem.  In 2009, I had only been blogging for the last few months of the year, so I didn't have that many books to choose from.  In 2010, I read a lot of bad books.  The great books were few and far between, which made the choosing easier.

This year is another story.  For the most part, I really enjoyed the 102 book read this year.  I think I can count on two hands the amount of books I didn't like, none of which I hated (unlike last year.)  Don't even get me started on Noah's Castle again.

Back to the subject at hand.  I've actually been thinking about what my favorite list would look like and when I first drew it up, I had about 20 books on it.  After a lot of soul searching, I got it down to 17.  That's about as far as I can whittle it down this time around.  Actually when I started to type up this post it was only at 16, I had to add another one because I felt bad about leaving it off the list.

For the most part, the list is going to include a lot of mysteries.  This seems to be the year I really got into them again.  It also includes a few Gothic novels, which I had never read before.  There are two authors, new to me this year, who make the list twice.  What really surprised me as I made the list, was that despite all the great nonfiction books I've read this year, only one book made my final list.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that next year goes just as well.

So with no further ado, here is my list, in the order they were read.  If you click on the title, a separate window will open up with my review.

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

31 Bond Street by Ellen Horan

The Mapping Of Love And Death by Jacqueline Winspear

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

Lost In Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff

Rotters by Daniel Kraus

The Swimming Pool by Mary Roberts Rinehart

The Wall by Mary Roberts Rinehart

Centuries of June by Keith Donohue

Two For Sorrow by Nicola Upson

Bedbugs by Ben H. Winters

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

Camp Nine by Vivienne Schiffer

The Doll by Daphne Du Maurier


Michelle Stockard Miller said...

You have one of my favorites here, Rebecca, and ole Daphne made your list twice. She was awesome, wasn't she? I was surprised to not see an Agatha Christie on your list, but not surprised at all to find several Rinehart's. I have several of hers languishing on my eReader. I really must get to them soon. The Little Stranger...I loved that book! So very well written and so subtle and gothic. There are many here that I've been wanting to read, with Rotters and The Thirteenth Tale topping the list.

Great picks, Ryan! I look forward to another year of reading your reviews and getting great book recommendations. =O)

Heidenkind said...

That's quite a few Gothic books! I love the cover of The Wall; so retro. :)

Simcha said...

The only book here that I read is The 13th Tale, which was fantastic. But this year I'm determined to give mysteries a try and I definitly intend to check back and see which ones you have recommended.

Kaye said...

So glad Daphne's books made your list and Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter is such a good book too. It's hard to narrow down the list, isn't it?

Here's to 2012 being another wonderful year in reading and finding new authors that we come to love.

bermudaonion said...

These lists are so hard to make. I posted mine today and already feel bad about some of them that got left off. Great list, Ryan!

Anonymous said...

Great choices Ryan. You have some of my favorites in there as well.

Alexia561 said...

Great list! I love how you added book #13 because you felt bad about leaving it off your list. :)

Anonymous said...

Yay, Rotters made it! You have a more diverse list than I in that you have some classics as well as new books. My reading resolution for 2012 is to read more nonfiction.

Yvette said...

A terrific list, Ryan. I've only read the Mary Roberts Rinehart books and REBECCA. Wonderful stuff. I've got two Marys on my list as well. :)

I'm hoping to read THE MOONSTONE this year. Nah, not hoping, I WILL read it.

The only quibble I have with your list is THE THIRTEENTH TALE. I've tried and tried to get into that book and haven't been able to. But I know I'm in the very minority.

No two people read the same books.
Again I say, Emerson was SO right.

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

You have a few on that list that I want to read too Ryan! The Little Strangers, The Thirteenth Tale....ooh also Bedbugs!

A Buckeye Girl Reads said...

I have to try Lost in Shangria-La just for the title alone! I think I am the only one who didn't like the Thirteenth Tale. ): I really have to be better about commenting on your blog. I read all your posts. I'm just horrible about commenting.

Staci said...

What a great list!! I didn't count mine but I know I listed more than 10 too!! I hope to read Sarah Waters next year. Loved The Thirteenth Tale and Crooked Letter. Rebecca is one that I will be reading next year for sure!! Fantastic group of reads!!

Happy New Year!

LoriStrongin said...

LOTS of great books here, Ryan! Especially Rebecca. To tell a story of that magnitude, with such epic world building and beautifully-painted mood, and not even name the MC, is just a mark of what a master of the craft Du Maurier was.

Here's hoping 2012 brings you lots of health, happiness, and excellent reads!


Marce said...

I want to read Rebecca, Bed Bugs and Moonstone.

Happy New Year

Blodeuedd said...

I have not read a single one of those books :( But I do want to read several of them :)

Ellie said...

It's a great sign that you had trouble choosing, nothing like a year filled with great reads. Rebecca is an all time favourite for me and I enjoy Sarah Waters' writing, although I prefer The Night Watch.

bookmagic said...

Great list, I loved Rebecca, The Thirteenth Tale and I have to read a Wilkie Collins books this year. I mean next year.

Happy New Year!

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

SO many on your TOPS list were favorites of mine at one time or another. A few others are on my TBR list.

Nivedita Barve said...

Looks like a great list. I have only read two from your list: The Little Stranger and Rebecca and loved them both. Am going to check out the other books too.
You have a great blog here!

Lisa said...

I knew I shouldn't feel bad if my list went over 10 books! I would have included Camp Nine as well if I had made a longer list. There are several others here that I'd like to read as well--good to know you thought so much of them.