Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Year in Books: 2011

I've read some wonderful books this year!  And one really crummy book (Julie and Julia).  A couple were repetitive and would have done better to be essays (Jane Austen's Guide to Good Manners and The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains, and yes, I do know that that one started as an essay.  But I didn't have the good sense to stick to the essay version!) and one of them alternated between lyrical and delightful and jaw-droppingly awful (Cross Creek).  But over all it was a very good year of reading!

Just for variety, this year I am grouping the books by month in which I completed them. I am including fiction that I read aloud to the kids, but not the history books. My total for the year is 89, which is fine except that I would have preferred 90 because it is an even number. If it were raining today I'd be tempted to hole up and finish Daniel Deronda and have an attractively round total, but it isn't, so instead I plan to walk (while listening to We Two: Victoria and Albert, by Gillian Gill!) and also vacuum up the 2011 layer of dog and cat hair.  So here we go....

Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader -- Anne Fadiman
Hogfather -- Terry Pratchett
Johnny Tremain -- Esther Forbes
Preacher's Boy -- Katherine Paterson
Don Quixote (Candlewick Illustrated Classics) -- Miguel de Cervantes
The Night Fairy -- Laura Amy Schlitz

At Large and At Small: Familiar Essays -- Anne Fadiman
Cranford -- Elizabeth Gaskell
Grace-Based Parenting -- Tim Kimmel
Finn Family Moomintroll -- Tove Jansson
For the Duration: The War Years: A 26 Fairmont Avenue Book -- Tomie dePaola
Homer Price -- Robert McCloskey

1776 -- David McCullough
The Middle Moffat -- Eleanor Estes
The Moffats -- Eleanor Estes

Telling God's Story: A Parents' Guide to Teaching the Bible -- Peter Enns
Rufus M. -- Eleanor Estes
The Moffat Museum -- Eleanor Estes

An Open Book: Chapters from a Reader's Life -- Michael Dirda
John Adams -- David McCullough
Julie and Julia: 365 Days, (etc.) -- Julie Powell
Leave it to Psmith -- P.G. Wodehouse
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day -- Winifred Watson
Readings: Essays and Literary Entertainments -- Michael Dirda
Freddy Goes to Florida -- Walter R. Brooks
Wishing for Tomorrow: The Sequel to A Little Princess -- Hilary McKay

A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century -- Barbara Tuchman
Book by Book: Notes on Reading and Life -- Michael Dirda
Cross Creek -- Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
Good-bye Mr. Chips -- James Hilton
How to Live: Or A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer -- Sarah Bakewell
Loyalty -- Eric Felten
The Eyre Affair: A Thursday Next Novel -- Jasper Fforde
Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog...) -- Jerome K. Jerome
Uncle Fred in the Springtime -- P.G. Wodehouse
The Penderwicks at Point Mouette -- Jeanne Birdsall

A House to Let -- Charles Dickens (etc.)
A Short History of Nearly Everything -- Bill Bryson (this was an abridged version)
Augustus Carp, Esq., Being the Autobiography of a Really Good Man -- Sir Henry Bashford
Barchester Towers -- Anthony Trollope
Heaven's Command: An Imperial Progress -- James Morris
The Polysyllabic Spree -- Nick Hornby
Comet in Moominland -- Tove Jansson
Seven Professors of the Far North -- John Fardell

English Society in the Eighteenth Century -- Roy Porter
Familyhood -- Paul Reiser
The Jolly Corner -- Henry James
The Leopard: A Novel -- Giuseppe Di Lampedusa
Linnets and Valerians -- Elizabeth Goudge
Little Britches: Father and I Were Ranchers -- Ralph Moody
Moominpapa's Memoirs -- Tove Jansoon

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother -- Amy Chua
Doctor Thorne -- Anthony Trollope
Jane Austen's Guide to Good Manners -- Henrietta Webb
Parnassus on Wheels -- Christopher Morley
The Graveyard Book -- Neil Gaiman
The Help -- Kathryn Stockett
The Picture of Dorian Gray -- Oscar Wilde
Half Magic -- Edward Eager
Magic by the Lake -- Edward Eager

Ella Enchanted -- Gail Carson Levine
Framley Parsonage -- Anthony Trollope
Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That is Breaking America -- Matt Taibbi
Mort -- Terry Pratchett
Ruined by Reading: A Life in Books -- Lynne Sharon Schwartz
The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction -- Alan Jacobs
The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains -- Nicholas Carr
Moominland Midwinter -- Tove Jansson
Moominsummer Madness -- Tove Jansson
The Once and Future King -- T.H. White

A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter -- William Deresiewicz
American Jesus -- Stephen Prothero
An Experiment in Criticism -- C.S. Lewis
Curious, If True -- Elizabeth Gaskell
French Lessons: Adventures with Knife, Fork, and Corkscrew -- Peter Mayle
High Tide in Tucson: Essays from Now or Never -- Barbara Kingsolver
Howards End is on the Landing: A Year of Reading from Home -- Susan Hill
John for Everyone: Chapters 1-10 -- Tom Wright
Pax Britannica: Climax of an Empire -- Jan Morris
The Magic Apple Tree: A Country Year -- Susan Hill
The Willows -- Algernon Blackwood

Larklight: A Rousing Tale of Dauntless Pluck in the Farthest Reaches of Space -- Philip Reeve
The 13 Clocks -- James Thurber
The Making of Victorian Values: Decency and Dissent in Britain: 1789-1837 -- Ben Wilson
The Mating Season -- P.G. Wodehouse
Inkheart -- Cornelia Funke
Letters from Father Christmas -- J.R.R. Tolkien
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever -- Barbara Robinson
Wayfaring: Essays Pleasant and Unpleasant -- Alan Jacobs

There.  In making the list I kept feeling that I was missing things, but then I realized that reading on the Kindle (which I love!) has led to my reading more Parts of books.  I've read a Lot of sample chapters (amazing how many books sound interesting in reviews and yet prove, in their free "sample" chapter, to be completely uninteresting. I love this feature of the Kindle!), and also chunks of free books.  I think there were one or two left of the M.R. James Ghost Stories collection, for instance, when I got distracted by something new.  Still, those are most of the books I read in 2011.  Onward!


Lizzie said...

Julie and Julia was on my TBR list, should I remove it? I adored the movie. My Life in France is on it too, maybe I will just read that one instead. Happy New Year Melora!

melissa said...

well, yes, but I am sure that your Facebook profile suffered. ;-) VERY NICE!! I was a HORRIBLE book reader this year. But I am back on track for 2012. What a great encouragement! Happy New Year!

Melora said...

Lizzie, I thought the author was self-indulgent and immature. But my impressions were probably affected by things I read about her Next book. It is a quick read, so you haven't lost much time if you don't like it, anyway!

And thank you, Melissa!