Tuesday, December 27, 2011

and as the curtain comes down over 2011,

it's once again time to close out the year in books. If you're so inclined, you can see everything that I read this year by clicking here.  

and now to the favorites list:
This year's books were, for the most part, so good that in some cases, it's definitely hard to pick just one favorite. So I'm going to give my top favorites:

Overall favorite book of the year:
 Dream of Ding Village, by Yan Lianke

  Top five favorite books of the year in literary fiction (not including my favorite overall book)

 The Thing About Thugs, by Tabish Khair
Jimmy the Terrorist, by Omair Ahmad
Kamchatka, by Marcelo Figueras
 Gods Without Men, by Hari Kunzru
The Raw Man, by George Makana Clark

Top five favorite crime fiction novels of the year:
 Ashes, by Sergios Gakos
Dregs, by Jorn Lier Horst
The Pledge, by Friedrich Durrenmatt
Black Minutes, by Martin Solares
Red April, by Santiago Roncagliolo

Top three speculative fiction/sci-fi/fantasy novels: 
Cold Skin, by Albert Sanchez Pinol
Pym, by Mat Johnson
11/22/63, by Stephen King
Top three nonfiction books of the year:
El Narco:  Inside Mexico's Criminal Insurgency, by Ioan Grillo 
Clandestine in Chile, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez 
Classic Crimes, by William Roughhead

Favorite book of translated fiction:
Dream of Ding Village, by Yan Lianke

 Strangest good  book of the year: Death in the City of Light, by David King

Others worth mentioning for the year:

Hangover Square, by Patrick Hamilton
The Sisters Brothers, by Patrick deWitt
Misterioso by Arne Dahl
Death on a Galician Shore, by Domingo Villar
The Missing Head of Damasceno Monteiro, by Antonio Tabucchi
To Each His Own, by Leonardo Sciascia
anything at all by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo
Matterhorn, by Karl Marlantes
That Deadman Dance, by Kim Scott

Here's to another good reading year, and above all to peace, health and prosperity to all.


  1. Nancy:

    Here's to another year of your great reviews and wonderful insights. I always enjoy what you have to say, even when the books you read are not the ones I might choose -- and you've made me rethink that more than once, I assure you.

    I have been following your blog since I started following blogs :) -- and I look forward to reading your thoughts in 2012!


  2. I always admire the broad range of titles you read Nancy. Some wonderfully insightful reviews this year once again...

    Hope you had a lovely Christmas and I wish you a very happy new year!


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