Ah, who doesn’t love end of year retrospectives? They’re a little nostalgic, often wear rose-tinted glasses and sum up a whole twelve months in fifty words or less.
This post won’t be like that. I’m not hip, you see. I’m not down with this new-fangled stuff you kids are listening to. While the world is raving about Bruno Mars, I’m discovering Bruce Springsteen. So my top five books of 2011 weren’t published in 2011; that’s just when I read them. So, in no particular order:
Derek Landy (2007)
A story about a magical skeleton detective, Landy’s book has heart and humour and fun. In short, it’s bloody brilliant.
Tenant of Wildfell Hall
Anne Brontë (1848)
A powerful tale of a woman who finds herself trapped in a marriage with a reprobate husband who is leading their young son astray. Her choice between duty and self-preservation is moving and admirable.
Juliet Barker (1994)
The definitive biography of a family that produced four creative geniuses. Barker manages to provide a wealth of information within a compelling narrative. Its size is formidable and intimidating, but worth it.
Encyclopaedia of Fairies
Katharine Briggs (1978)
Briggs is the definitive authority on fairies and the folklore and beliefs surrounding them. This book is full of fascinating tales and names and folkloric beliefs. It will quickly dispell any notions that fairies were just little people with wings; they play an integral role in the construction of our modern world.
What Alice Forgot
Liane Moriarty (2009)
The surprise hit of 2011 (for me). Alice takes a knock to the head and forgets the last ten years of her life. Instead of being in a fresh new relationship, she’s got three kids and a messy divorce. It sucked me in from the word go and I ached and laughed in all the right places. In fact, it may be my book of the year.
So, okay, so this isn’t much of a 2011 roundup. But they’re all great books, and, if you read them, 2012 will be a good year for books. For you, anyway.