2011 End Of Year Book Survey
Saturday, December 17, 2011Posted by Melissa (Avid Reader)
Who’s ready for a fun end of 2011 survey from The Perpetual Page-Turner? My answers cover all the books I read, definitely not limited to 2011 releases.
1. Best Book You Read In 2011?
David Copperfield – There were so many great ones this year and my top ten list will be up soon, but I think this one grabs the top spot by a narrow margin. It feels so much more honest than Dickens other work and it’s packed to the brim with fantastic characters. There’s a good balance of humor and drama and I just really enjoyed reading it.
2. Most Disappointing Book?
Freedom by Jonathan Franzen – To be fair, I had a feeling I might hate it after reading The Corrections, but it managed to surpass even my expectations by making me like it at first and then taking a rapid nose dive.
3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2011?
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell – I know I’ve said it before, but Jesuit priests in space, I can’t believe how much I loved it.
4. Book you recommended to people most in 2011?
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman – This book is so hilarious. I found myself mentioning it to so many people, especially those who share my love for the Hitchhiker’s Guide trilogy.
5. Best series you discovered in 2011?
Persepolis – I suppose that it’s really just a two-part book, but there’s a whole series of connected graphic novels by the author, Marjane Satrapi, like Embroideries and Chicken and Plums
6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2011?
• Kate Morton
• Carolyn Parkhurst
• Patrick Ness
7. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011?
Case Histories by Kate Atkinson and The Woman in Black by Susan Hill – Both books are mysteries; one a detective story, the other a ghost story. I loved the pace and style of both books and I couldn’t’ put them down!
8. Book you most anticipated in 2011?
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy – Obviously it wasn’t released in 2011, but I knew I was going to read it this year and I was really excited (nervous) about it.
9. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2011?
A Passion for Books – I love covers with pictures of books on them.
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children – Super creepy, especially when you look at it closely.
10. Most memorable character in 2011?
Actually I have two and they happen to have the same name. First, Lily, who was a real person, not technically a character, from Half-Broke Horses - She was so strong and unapologetic about her life. Second is Lily from The House of Mirth – Another strong woman, but in a very different way. She’ll stay with me for decades.
11. Most beautifully written book read in 2011?
The House of Mirth – The writing, oh my gosh, it was just lovely.
12. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2011?
The Long Goodbye by Meghan O’Rourke – Turns out reading a nonfiction work about a woman losing her mother can be incredibly difficult if your own mother died. O’Rourke’s memoir is so raw I couldn’t help see my own grief reflected back at me.
13. Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2011 to finally read?
The 101 Dalmatians by Dodie Smith – I read constantly as a kid and this was one of my favorite movies. How did I miss this book when I was growing up?
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café by Fannie Flagg – I loved this movie as well and the book sat on my shelf for years until my trip to Alabama prompted me to pick it up.
14. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2011?
“No one knows how greatness comes to a man. It may lie in his blackness, sleeping, or it may lance into him like those driven fiery particles from outer space. These things, however, are known about greatness: need gives it life and puts it in action; it never comes without pain; it leaves a man changed, chastened, and exalted at the same time – he can never return to simplicity.” – Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck
“Reading was my escape and my comfort, my consolation, my stimulant of choice: reading for the pure please of it, for the beautiful stillness that surrounds you when you hear an author’s words reverberating in your head.” – The Brooklyn Follies by Paul Auster
15. Book That You Read In 2011 That Would Be Most Likely To Reread In 2012?
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan – I don’t know if I’ll re-read this one so soon, but I think I’d like to. There are so many threads to follow. I think I would get even more out of it the second time around.
16. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!
Jude, The Obscure by Thomas Hardy - Oh my gosh, that scene! Father Time and his completely unexpected actions, seriously, I was so shocked.
How about you guys? How was your 2011 reading?
Photo from here.