My Favorite Books of 2011

It has become a practice at the end of a year to compile a “Best Of” list. That is tough to do, and to call it such is a bit of a conceit. Who am I to say? The following is a whittled down list of books that I read in 2011 that grabbed me and touched me. I had 27 or so to start with; when I started to pare it down, there were three that I felt had to be there for certain — THREE SECONDS, THE DEVIL ALL THE TIME, and FEAST DAY OF FOOLS; I literally picked the rest of the titles out of a hat. Here they are, in no particular order:

THE WOODCUTTER — Reginald Hill
LUCIFER’S TEARS — James Thompson
THE DEVIL ALL THE TIME — Donald Ray Pollack
THE HYPNOTIST — Lars Kepler; translated by Ann Long
THREE SECONDS — Anders Roslund & Borge Hellstrom; translated by Kari Dickson
FEAST DAY OF FOOLS — James Lee Burke
THE PACK — Jason Starr
SOFT TARGET — Stephen Hunter

John Miller will be here next Saturday and I will be back after the first of the year, hopefully with some interesting news. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all. And thank you for spending time with me this year.


11 thoughts on “My Favorite Books of 2011

  1. John – opening up the comment page and having yours leap out at me was quite amusing this morning.

    This wasn’t a huge reading year for me. Too many demands on my time. So, I read a lot of short stories and anthologies, along with revisiting some old favs like Grapes of Wrath.

    Best novel I read in 2011 was, far and away, The Hunger Games.

    I also thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Michelle’s Kidnap and Ransom and John’s Threat Warning.

  2. John, I missed SLEEP. And I only read parts of the BIBLE; specifically, the books that you ghostwrote.

    Terri, KIDNAP and THREAT WARNING were in the hat, for sure. And if you get a second and are so inclined, I think we’d all be interested in hearing what anthologies you read and enjoyed.

  3. FRESH KILLS by TKZ authors.
    A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES by Deborah Harkness
    THE QUEEN by Steven James
    WATCH YOUR BACK by James Scott Bell
    TEMERAIRE by Namomi Novik
    EVIL WITHOUT A FACE by Jordan Dane
    MYTHOLOGICAL SAM by Kathleen Pickering
    NEEDFUL THINGS by Stephen King

    OH, wait…
    I’m supposed to be writing!

    Hey, thanks Kill Zone Authors for inspiring me to read.

  4. I have read a lot of very good books this year. Both for work and for entertainment. But these have actually had an impact on me, some quite deeply.

    THE INVISIBLE BRIDGE – by Julie Oringer
    CLOUD OF SPARROWS – Takashi Matsuoka
    THE SPANISH BOW – Andromeda Romano-Lax
    MATTERHORN – Karl Marlantes
    THE WASTED VIGIL – Nadeem Aslam
    THE GOOD THIEF – Hannah Tinti
    WHAT IT’S LIKE TO GO TO WAR – Karl Marlantes
    THE WORTHING SAGA – Orson Scott Card

    There were numerous others that I really enjoyed but these above either changed a pre-conceived notion I had or made me think deeply about life.

  5. Joe – some of my fav anthologies/shorts collections of the year:

    1) Fresh Kills
    2) The Peterkin Papers (public domain, a fav from my childhood)
    3) Grimms Fairy Tales (same)
    4) The Wastelands (post-apoc shorts from Nightshade Press)
    5) Hungry for Your Love (zombie romance, a friend had her first pubbed piece in the book)
    6) Full Dark, No Stars (Stephen King)
    7) Omnibus by P.N. Elrod (a compilation of her previously pubbed shorts – I recommend this HIGHLY)
    8) Machine of Death (ya gotta go to the site, I can’t describe it)

    I also proofread for a small erotica press and have a near constant supply of naughty tales to read, although sometimes I have to correct the spelling at a critical moment . . . (pardon me, would you two hold up for a second, his muscles are “taut,” not “taught.” There. Okay, carry on.)

    My fav part of the ebook evolution/revolution is the rebirth of the short story and novella. (Take that as a hint KillZoners . . .)


  6. I love these lists! Thanks so much. Most of the books listed are ones that got past me, and I read over 100 books a year. It’s scary how many really, really good books are out there. And I just bought MACHINE OF DEATH.

  7. Some Great books. I have only read Soft Target but I double suggest it for anyone. I like that it took place in my state minnesota. kinda random! Anyways Hunter is being interviewed on Elaine Charles’ radio show on the 3rd of March and if anyone is still wondering about reading the book… I’m sure the interview could give you some insight. Plus if you love books.. this radio show is great anyways!

  8. Hey Mindy. I heard that interview with Elaine Charles on 3 March. It was really great. He is a very talkative and interesting guy. THis book is well worth reading.

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