Wednesday, January 04, 2012

2011: The Year in Books

2011--It certainly was a year, wasn't it? Here's an annotated list of what I read:

Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior: Medium interesting
Outliers: The Story of Success: Very interesting. You should read it.
The Glass Castle: A Memoir: You should read it.
Truce: The Day the Soldiers Stopped Fighting: Wonderful. I loved it
The Water Seeker: Good YA book. Lady dies in childbirth though.
The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession: Pretty interesting. It made me want to visit Ken Sanders Rare Books in SLC which I still have not done. Shoot.
Gifted: Good story Karey White!
The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs: Oh. I just love dogs.
Other People's Rejection Letters: Relationship Enders, Career Killers, and 150 Other Letters You'll Be Glad You Didn't Receive: Pretty interesting.
I Was Told There'd Be Cake: Essays: This is really good and I'm jealous of Sloane Crosley.
The Passage: A Novel:Love!
Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style (Tim Gunn's Guide to Style): I'll be so sad when Tim Gunn dies. He's a class act.
How Did You Get This Number: Another one by Sloane Crosley. I think the other one is better--but both are funny!
I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts On Being a Woman (Vintage): I'm also jealous of Nora Ephron. She's funny.
Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary: David Sedaris, you magnificent weirdo.
Stuff White People Like: A Definitive Guide to the Unique Taste of Millions: It's funny because it's true.
The Hidden Gifts of the Introverted Child: Helping Your Child Thrive in an Extroverted World: So validating.
Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too: Yeah right.
As I Have Loved You: I forgot about this book. It's good. Very life-affirming.
A Discovery of Witches: A Novel (All Souls Trilogy): Oh how I hated this book. But it could have been so good! If only the vampire and the witch didn't fall in love doing earnest sexy yoga together.
Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel: A prequel to The Glass Castle--also super interesting, weird, and good.
A Secret Kept: Not great. Spoiler: THEY'RE LESBIANS.
I Am the Messenger: Kind of cool. Nothing is as good as The Book Thief though. That must be hard to live with. And wonderful to live with.
Real Simple: Cleaning: Meh. I like the pictures. I also like my maid.
The Children You Want With the Kids You Have: My kids were so offended when I read this. HAHAHA.
What Would Jackie Do?: An Inspired Guide to Distinctive Living: Fun.
Lists to Live By for Every Caring Family: For Everything That Really Matters: Nice and good.
Notes from the Underwire: Adventures from My Awkward and Lovely Life: This is the book I would write if I were a former child star. Too bad I'm nothing.
Little House in the Big Woods - Teacher Guide by Novel Units, Inc. (Little House-the Laura Years): Love!
Little House on the Prairie 75th Anniversary Edition: Love!
Farmer Boy (Little House): Love!
On the Banks of Plum Creek (Little House, Book 4): Love!
By the Shores of Silver Lake (Little House): Love!
In Zanesville: A Novel: Really good and reminiscent of my 70s childhood.
:The Likeness: A Novel: This is a pretty good murder mystery.
Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops?: The Lost Toys, Tastes, and Trends of the 70s and 80s: This is really fun.
Jane Eyre: What a great book. Glad I read it for pleasure now instead of not reading it for a class in college.
Peace Like a River: If this book were my life's work I'd be pretty pleased. You should read it.
Bossypants: Oh Tina, YOU'RE SO GREAT!
The Busy Mom's Guide to a Happy, Organized Home: Fast Solutions to Hundreds of Everyday Dilemmas: Kathy Peel puts me in my place whenever I read her books. She's kind of a domestic guru.
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand: A Novel:Such a lovely book. It's worth reading.
Escaping the Endless Adolescence: How We Can Help Our Teenagers Grow Up Before They Grow Old:This is one of my top 5 recommended parenting books. You should read it if you're going to have a tween soon.
And the Pursuit of Happiness: Really cool. I wish I were in illustrator. Or had some kind of talent.
Made from Scratch: Discovering the Pleasures of a Handmade Life: I totally related to this book until she started playing the fiddle to her chickens. I'm not that down home. But I like the idea of being that down home.
Junk Foodie: 51 Delicious Recipes for the Lowbrow Gourmand: A fun book about making gourmet things with junk food.
Horoscopes for the Dead: Poems: If I ever meet Billy Collins I will embarrass myself so bad.
Her Fearful Symmetry: Pretty good little creepy book.
Little Town on the Prairie (Little House): Love!
Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother: Veeeerrrry interesting. She's psycho but she knows what she's doing. I respect her.
A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter: I don't really even remember this, but I like the sound of it.
Silver Sparrow: Very good fiction.
This Life Is in Your Hands: One Dream, Sixty Acres, and a Family Undone: Very good non-fiction. I liked this a lot.
Growing Up: Gospel Answers About Maturation and Sex: Very informative. Get this if you're going to have a tween soon.
Mr. Chartwell: A Novel: I really liked this. There's no other book like it.
Among Others: Really good--even if I didn't get half the sci-fi/fantasy references.
The Weird Sisters: Oh yeah. This book was not half bad.
Stories I Only Tell My Friends: An Autobiography: Rob Lowe's book is great and surprisingly interesting. You should read it--it will make you wish President Bartlett were up for re-election this November.
Make the Bread, Buy the Butter: What You Should and Shouldn't Cook from Scratch -- Over 120 Recipes for the Best Homemade Foods: Such a great idea for a cookbook.
A Visit from the Goon Squad: What a cool, amazing book. Read it if your read rated Rs.
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children: I liked this a lot and thought the real photos were neat.
State of Wonder: A really great and thought-provoking book.
A Wrinkle in Time (Madeleine L'Engle's Time Quintet): Read.
Corn Flakes with John Lennon: And Other Tales from a Rock 'n' Roll Life:One of my favorites that I read this year.
 The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making: Fun YA book.

And in December I read...

The Apothecary by Maile Meloy. It's my favorite YA from 2011. It should be a fun series.

Room by Emma Donoghue. What a psycho story. It's compelling but I had to skip long bits of narration from the narrator, Caillou. Bleh. But also intriguing.

Happy New Year!


  1. Oh my gosh! You are amazing! I used to read like there was no tomorrow but alas, now I only read when we're on vacation. :( You've inspired me to read more and I'll be adding a ton of these to my Goodreads "to read" list! Thank you!!!

  2. "Caillou"--I can always count on you for a true "laugh out loud" moment. Anyway, thanks for the list-I definitely need to read the books for those with tweens.

  3. "the narrator, Caillou"!!! HA HA HA HA HA HA YES.

  4. I really liked "Jane Austen Education". I just read it last month so I remember it a little better. I read a ton of books last year but I forgot to write them down or put them on Goodreads and now I can't remember them.

    I finished the Rob Lowe book on Sunday. I wanted to skip church so badly to finish it. My friends all made fun of me but I totally liked it!

    Did you read A Wilder Life yet?

  5. Anonymous6:19 PM

    Peace Like A River and Mr. Chartwell were tops on my list for this year, too. And I share your love/envy of Sloane Crosley. Also, I love Jane Eyre! I've read it many times, and I find something different and valuable in it at each phase in my life. Thanks for this list. You've given me some good ideas and also inspired me to keep track of everything I read in 2012.

  6. Wow! You read a lot of books. Thanks for reading mine and including it. And thanks for the info on so many others.

    Happy New Year!

  7. I'm adding some of these to my already-never-ending list. Thanks!

  8. I just finished Corn Flakes With John Lennon. It confirmed all of my gut instincts about John Lennon, Bono, et al. I only wondered why no discussion of Led Zeppelin? Did you wonder that too? I can't wait to read all these other books on your list--except the ones you hated.

  9. Your list is like a fabulous Christmas present. Now I feel guilty I didn't get you anything.

  10. I wish I could remember to write down the books I read so that I could list them - it might be impressive. Or not.

    I read several on your list a few years ago - makes me want to re-read them - I forgot how good they were - a plus about getting older - you can re-read instead of buying new!!

    I Feel Bad About My Neck is definitely a book every woman should read!

  11. So, I'm not the only one who envies "funny"? That's validating, and explains why I am always jealous of you. Take a bow!

  12. ugh, i HATED "room" for all of the morbidity and also for caillou. seriously wanted to punch him.

  13. I read several of the same books this year. I'm jealous of Nora Ephron too.

  14. Linked over from Nat the Fat Rat and your book list made me hit the "subscribe" button. :)


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