The Books I Read in 2011

I’ve been trying to think of what my favorite books have been for 2011 and have been coming up short. I know I read a lot – Goodreads tells me I managed to read 57 books – which was far more than I thought I could. Nothing like lots of flying and train trips. So what did I read in 2011? Here’s the list in reverse chronological order. Tomorrow I’ll post which ones were my favorites and least favorites.

Books Read in 201157. Simple Stories by Ingo Schultz
56. The Quiet American by Graham Greene
55. True Grit by Charles Portis
54. Saints and Sinners: Stories by Edna O’Brian
53. A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh
52. The Sweet Dove Died by Barbara Pym
51. The Sentimentalists by Johanna Shively Skribsrud
50. Brideshead Revisited  by Evelyn Waugh
49. My Bookie Wook by Russell Brand
48. A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from my Kitchen Table by Molly Wizenberg
47. Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart
46. The Merry Misogynist by Colin Cotterill
45. Ill Fares the Land by Tony Judt
44. Eat, Memory: Great Writers at the Table: A Collection of Essays from the New York Times ed. Amanda Hesser
43. Wise Children by Angela Carter
42. An Unsuitable Attachment by Barbara Pym
41. The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman
40. Lolly Willows: or the Loving Huntsman by Sylvia Townsend Warner
39. Mothers and Sons by Colm Toibin
38. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
37. Nightwoods by Charles Frazier
36. The History of the Siege of Lisbon by Jose Saramago
35. Maman’s Homesick Pie by Donia Bijan
34. The Fox in the Attic by Richard Hughes
33. Home by Marilyn Robinson
32. Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain
31. Confessions of Max Tivoli by Andrew Sean Greer
30. A Month in the Country by J.L. Carr
29. Moving House by Pawel Huelle
28. Blindness by Jose Saramago
27. The Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett
26. The Ghost Writer by Philip Roth
25. The Private Patient by P.D. James
24. The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore
23. Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me Chelsea by Chelsea Handler
22. The Pilgrim Hawk by Glenway Wescott
21. The Silver Swan by Benjamin Black
20. The Believers by Zoe Heller
19. Born Round: The Secret History of a Full-Time Eater by Frank Bruni
18. The Rings of Saturn by W.G. Sebald
17. The Giant, O’Brien: A Novel by Hilary Mantel
16. The Best European Short Fiction 2011 ed. Aleksander Hemon
15. First Love by Ivan Turgenev
14. Saturday by Ian McEwan
13. Death of a River Guide by Richard Flanagan
12. Lady Rose and Mrs. Memmary by Ruby Ferguson
11. The Northern Clemency by Philip Hensher
10. The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai
9. All Aunt Hagar’s Children by Edward P. Jones
8. Austerlitz by W.G. Sebald
7. My Life in France by Julia Child
6. Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
5. True History of the Ned Kelly Gang by Peter Carey
4. Unless by Carol Shields
3. Nocturnes by Kazuo Ishiguro
2. Storm Glass by Jane Urquhart
1. Brooklyn by Colm Toibin



  1. "Austerlitz by W.G. Sebald" This novel was reccommended by a friend. As I read I thought this is easy reading, not the hammer blows of the holocaust. The hero's stay in Scotland with all those strange words like Llanwddyn, Vyrnwy. It reminded me of Tolkein. I thought I noticed some errors, like when Austerlitz says that his Calvinist foster father preached about purgatory, I thought that only Roman Catholics believed in that. I enjoyed the sytle of writing and I liked the plot and how it unfolded.

  2. I definitely think Sebald's descriptions of landscapes are one of his fine points. I think the sections you mention are some of my favorite parts of that book. It would be interesting to compare his descriptions of the UK to those of British writers I've been reading lately… Future project maybe 🙂

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