Saturday, November 26, 2011

Best of 2011 - Update 9

I hadn't planned on another Top 10 update before the final one I'll be doing next month but I decided to go with one more because four new books have managed to crack the lists.  In the four weeks since the last update, I've read and considered six fiction titles and two nonfiction ones.

Changes to the fiction list are: The Marriage Plot at number five, The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb at number eight, and The Submission at number nine.  On the nonfiction list, Grant's Final Victory makes its debut at number seven.
Fiction (Top 10 of 82 considered)
1. Nemesis - Philip Roth (polio threat in '50s)
2.  Saturday - Ian McEwan (car wreck gone very bad) 
3.  Remember Ben Clayton - Stephen Harrigan (Texas father vs. son during WWI)
4.  Doc - Mary Doria Russell (western about an excellent dentist)
5.  The Marriage Plot - Jeffrey Eugenides (Jane Austen brought to the '80s)
6.  Love at Absolute Zero - Christopher Meeks (science and true love )
7.  The Art of Fielding - Chad Harback (baseball and coming of age)
8.  The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb - Melanie Benjamin (big novel about little people)
9.  The Submission - Amy Waldman (a nation forced to face prejudice)
10. Lamb - Bonnie Nadzam (a sexual predator exposed) 

Nonfiction (Top 10 of 32 considered) 
1.  If Trouble Don't Kill Me - Ralph Berrier, Jr. (biography of musician brothers)
2.  Wolf: The Lives of Jack London - James L. Haley - (focusing on employment stages of Wolf's short life)
3.  Hitch 22: A Memoir - Christopher Hitchens (memoir from a brilliant mind)
4.  Bittersweet Season - Jane Gross (caring for aging parents)
5.  Tiny Terror - William Todd Schultz (psychobiography of Truman Capote)
6.  Chinaberry Sidewalks - Rodney Crowell (Crowell's tribute to his parents and Houston childhood
 7.  Grant's Final Victory - Charles Bracelen Flood (Grant's race against cancer)
8.  We Were Not Orphans - Susan Matthews (memoirs about life in a Texas home for neglected children)
9.  He Stopped Loving Her Today - Jack Isenhour (everything you ever wanted to know about greatest country music song ever written)
10. What It Is Like to Go to War - Karl Marlantes (Viet Nam vet looks at long term effects of war on young soldiers) 

I'm in the homestretch now.


  1. I haven't read any of these. I guess I have a lot to look forward to!

  2. If you try one or two of them, Kathleen, I hope you do enjoy them. It's always a little scary when folks tell me they bought or borrowed something I've given a good review...taste is so relative, and all.

  3. Your Fiction list is great! I am in the midst of The Submission right now.
    Oh, I am glad to meet a voracious reader like you.

  4. Thanks so much, Brenda. I hope to see you around. I appreciate you taking the time to comment.