My Best Reads of 2011

December 14, 2011 § 11 Comments

I’m deep into my newest book, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and I absolutely love it. Brandon makes fun of me a little, claiming I’m just reading this book because we moved to Brooklyn, but I hardly mind because it is so so good! My secret plan is to try to get him to read it once I’m done.

With 2012 just around the corner, I’ve been thinking about all the books I’ve read this year. I keep a list so I can keep track, and when I glanced back the other day I realized many of the books from this year’s list have become some of my all time favorite reads. There are multiple ones on my list I’d love to read again and would highly recommend to friends. So, I thought I’d share a few with you all in hopes you’d tell me your favorite books! I have a couple on my list for 2012, but not many- so recommendations would be much appreciated.  Here are mine:

Room by Emma Donoghue  Room tells the story of 5 year old Jack and his Ma, who live in an 11 x 11 square foot space.  Jack has lived his entire life in this single room, with no exposure to the outside world.  As the room becomes more and more of a prison to Ma, and Jack grows bigger, it becomes clear they must escape. The story follows their escape and Jack’s experience seeing the outside world for the very first time. I read this one in just a few days, you won’t be able to put it down!

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks  by Rebecca Skloot If I were even to begin to describe what this book is about, you’d likely scratch your head in disbelief that I’d even be interested in reading about the first “immortal” human cells grown in culture. Yes, this is a book about cells.  But the story behind where they came from is absolutely incredible. You must must must read this book.

Half Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls While I absolutely loved Jeanette’s book The Glass Castle, I was especially fond of the sequel- Half Broke Horses. It didn’t get as much attention as the first, but it’s such an incredible book. The story follows the life of Lily Casey Smith, Jeanette’s maternal grandmother. Jeanette’s writing style and story telling abilities are down right addictive.  Read both back to back, you’ll be completely hooked.

Setting  The Table by Danny Meyer Have you heard of Danny Meyer? This book made me want to drop everything and go waitress in one of his restaurants! He opened his first restaurant in New York, Union Square Café, at the age of 27 and has since grown his restaurant group, Union Square Hospitality, into one of the world’s most dynamic restaurant organizations. The story of his business is fascinating, and though this book doesn’t read like a business book, his insights are really applicable to any business or organization. You don’t have to be interested in food to love this one!

Has anyone read these books too? What’s on your list of best reads for 2011?


§ 11 Responses to My Best Reads of 2011

  • My copy of ROOM arrived from Amazon yesterday!

    Have you read Rosamund Lupton’s AFTERWARDS? She also wrote SISTER. Both excellent. Very different kind of storytelling to anything I have ever read.

  • All time favorite book – The Red Tent, by Anita Diamant. I re-read it every couple of years. It tells the story of Dinah (from the bible), but the author adds to her story. She is only referred to in the bible in one short section – a violent tale of murder, but Anita Diamant really makes the story come to life. It’s amazing how much research went into the book as well!

    Also, I just recently read the Hunger Games Trilogy. It was not something I was interested in at all, but my highschool brother was assigned to read the first one for school and I read it after him. I was totally hooked. This is a YA series, but it is absolutely amazing! The characters are so well developed.

    I also read the book, The Stranger Beside Me, an autobiography of a woman who knew Ted Bundy, before he was arrested and labeled a “serial killer”. It’s a chilling book, but really interesting to read the story from someone so close to him…

    • Clara says:

      Wow, all these recommendations sound really good. Thank you! I actually read the first book of the Hunger Games, I might explore the others. I know what you mean about getting so into a book you’re not necessarily interested in- I’m not that into murder mysteries but I got so into The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series. I wish there were more to read!

  • Best book of the year for me, Cutting For Stone–it’s set in Ethiopia and New York, main characters are twin surgeons and I couldn’t put it down.

  • Leanne says:

    I read Room in one day, as well! It was a great book club book. One I highly, HIGHLY recommend– it’s from 2010 but it is truly one of the best books I have ever read– is Karl Marlantes’ Matterhorn. It’s about a young Marine lieutenant in Vietnam, but you don’t have to be a military brat/sib/spouse or war buff to enjoy it. I recommend it to anyone who stands still long enough!

  • Dana says:

    A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is one of my very favorite books of all time. I read it as a 13 year old and then again on my honeymoon, when I found a discarded copy in a little laundromat in Spain. Such memories! You have to read A Visit From the Goon Squad – one of my top of 2011 and probably all time.

  • Jeanne says:

    If you enjoyed Room – you should try The Curious Case of a Dog in the night – life thro the eyes of an autistic teenager.

  • I’ve read the first two and loved them both. The story of Henrietta Lacks was amazing.

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