Thursday, December 29, 2011

Favorite Books Of The Year.

I decided to separate the Vintage from the More Recent Pub. Date Reads. Made more sense to me that way, especially when my reading for 2011 seemed to be in half and half mode.

Also thought it only fair to omit re-reads from Best Of consideration. I generally assume that any book I'm re-reading is already a 'best'.

2011 was a great year for books (despite the naysayers) and I loved many of them. (As you know, I rarely finish a book unless I'm enjoying it.) But, we're all enamored of lists and in the end, I decided to add yet another to the year end phantasmagoria of lists.

So, without further ado, here are my 2011 year end lists:

 Favorite Vintage Books of 2011

1) THE WOMAN IN WHITE by Wilkie Collins

2) DRACULA by Bram Stoker


4) CAPTAIN BLOOD by Rafael Sabatini

5) MURDER AT SHOTS HALL by Maureen Sarsfield

6) THE YELLOW ROOM by Mary Roberts Rinehart


8) THE TALISMAN RING by Georgette Heyer

9) THE MOVING TOYSHOP by Edmund Crispin

10) TOUR DE FORCE by Christianna Brand

11) DEATH IN CYPRUS by M.M. Kaye

12) JOURNEY INTO FEAR by Eric Ambler

Favorite Books (more recent publication dates) of 2011


2) THE IRON HEART by Marshall Browne

2) THE SENTRY by Robert Crais (2011)

4) MISERY BAY by Steve Hamilton (2011)

5) A RED HERRING WITHOUT MUSTARD by Alan Bradley (2011)

6) 11/22/63 by Stephen King (2011)

7) AN UNCOMMON READER by Alan Bennett

8) ROGUE ISLAND by Bruce DeSilva

9) THE END OF EVERYTHING by Megan Abbott (2011)

10) GHOST HERO by S.J. Rozan (2011)

11) THE DOG WHO KNEW TOO MUCH by Spencer Quinn (2011)

12) ENSLAVED BY DUCKS by Bob Tarte

Most of these were reviewed, so if you want to check them out, please enter the book title in the Search Box at the bottom of the blog.

Many thanks to you again for following and commenting and otherwise making your interest in my blog known to me. This is very much a joint venture.


  1. I'm one of those that love the end-of-year lists! Thanks for posting your favs (I do have a few of your choices on my pile for 2012, so that's a good sign.)

  2. Your list made me nod my head and make plans for the upcoming year's reading. Thanks.

  3. Great way to separate them (and be able to post more good ones)!

    Loving the vintage list.

  4. Been meaning to read Kavalier and Clay forever. Maybe now.

  5. Hello, Yvette.
    I read DRACULA, Bram Stoker when I was eleven or twelve. I wanted to brag to my mates, `read my first horror book`. I finished it, but had to keep the lights on at night for two nights or so after. :-) I can still remember some of it. Soaked in atmosphere. Grim, gaunt and black. If I were to read it again, I know I would still find it unsettling. I think I would be ok without the lights on though. Hah.
    Pleased you put that SJ Rozan title on here. GHOST HERO, you mentioned it some while ago, Now I have noted the title and author in the blackberry. Essential for book shopping now. sigh.

  6. Joanne: Well, I'm happy you found something to read or at last something familiar on my lists. :)

    I have to admit that lists are quite fun to work up, even when under pressure at the end of the year. :)

  7. You're welcome, C.W. All I can say is, you can't go wrong with any of these titles.

  8. I knew the Vintage list would be most to your liking, Bev.

    It's thanks to you that I've become a big time vintage reader once again. :)

  9. It's definitely time, Patti. It's a fabulous book. I'll be surprised if you don't love it.

  10. Hi Dave, I'm glad you decided to drop by and leave a comment.

    I loved DRACULA more than I ever thought I could. In fact, at some point, I'm going to tackle a re-read. Just a devilishly amazing book.

    If you're going to read Rozan's books, I'd begin a couple of books back with THE SHANGHAI MOON, then ON THE LINE and finally, GHOST HERO.

    Though the last book stands on its own, I think with these three you'll get a fuller picture of who Bill Smith and Lydia Chin are. :)

  11. I love your lists -- some of my favorites, and some I have to put on my list of to-reads! I also love the gorgeous winter scene banner you put up. BTW, I visited Caftan Woman's Holmes post, and I'm with you! LOL!

  12. Thanks, Becky. That banner is just there for this week, then next week up goes the original least I think so. :)

    We can be together in this with our flannels and baggy t-shirts, Becky. HA!

  13. I'm so glad that a book I got you to read (TOUR DE FORCE) made it to the Best of 2011 list. Happy New Year to you, Yvette. And here's my toast: to more eye-opening discoveries in the world of forgotten books in 2012! [clink] :^D

  14. I've had the Collins book on my bedside table for quite a long time. I need to quit procrastinating and read it already. :)

  15. Glad to see Dracula and Mary Roberts Rinehart made your iist. I've been trying for the last hour to get my list down to ten, but I think I'm going to have to leave it at 16 this year.

  16. Favourite Books of 2011! You mean there were more than the twenty-four listed here?! There's great variety in your year-end list. I've read Collins' THE WOMAN IN WHITE and Stoker's DRACULA, the latter I have been planning to read again. Heyer and King too but not the titles mentioned. It's funny how book-lists differ from reader to reader—gives you an indication of the kind of books people like reading. I value personal recommendations over those put up by bookstores and publishers, with the exception of some literary reviews in newspapers.

  17. Well, I've read only three of these: Woman in White, Dracula, and Moving Toyshop. Enjoyed all three. I've heard great things about the Stephen King book but am a little wary after reading It.

    Happy New Year and love this header of yours though the Santa one was absolutely adorable.

  18. I'm raising my glass of Proseco (sparkling Italian wine) to you, John. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

    I still want you to get going on the Christianna Brand challenge. It's a great idea!

    Thank you for introducing me to this fabulous book. :)

  19. Yes, you definitely should, Picky. It's eye opening merely by the fact that it's so page-turningly good. :)

  20. Yes, me too, Prashant. I love reading everyone else's lists. What a great variety of readers there are. Not to mention, a great variety of books. Thank goodness!

    I only read 90 books this year, give or take a few re-reads I didn't add to the list. Less than last year.

    The pressure's on for 2012. HA!

  21. Neer, now that I've learned to change the header without losing the entire blog - ha! - I'll keeping things lively at the old blog. :)

    Though I'll probably go back to my original Winslow Homer painting header soon.

    I read IT years and years ago and wasn't much impressed. Hadn't read any Stephen King fiction since then.

    But 11/22/63 is the exception for me. It's terrific. Don't be put off. Read it. :)

  22. Ryan: Lists are a pain. I had a terrible time with mine. Nobody said it was supposed to be easy. HA!

    How could I possibly leave Mary out? I LOVED those two books. Liked all the Mary books I read this year. But these two were especially knock-out for me.

  23. Definitely try Chabon's Sherlock Holmes novella, THE FINAL SOLUTION (originally in THE PARIS REVIEW and published in its own slim volume). Brilliant, and a shade more controlled, than some of his larger works. Started reading his historical adventure novel GENTLEMEN OF THE ROAD some months back and want to get back to it, after interruption.

  24. I will Todd. I'm not sure why I haven't read it yet...

    I haven't tried GENTLEMEN OF THE ROAD, but I'll check and see what's what.

    Do try KAVALIER AND CLAY, it's an incredible book. I was gobsmacked by how good it was.

  25. Very interesting list.

    One other book in the Lydia Chin/Bill Smith series by S.J. Rozan which should be read is Winter and Night. It's superb, won awards.

    Your Woman in White review should have won an award.

    Did Donna Leon's series not work out?

  26. Thanks for the compliment, Kathy. I really did love writing that review. :)

    I enjoyed the Donna Leon books. Liked them very much. But I had to whittle the list somewhere. I definitely plan on reading more in the New Year.

    For whatever reason I haven't read WINTER AND NIGHT. I'm adding it to the list. Thanks for the reminder.

  27. I only read 70 books last year. I think it's because I spend so much time reading terrific blogs and book reviews. Also, because I'm catching up on movies.

    Just watched 1/2 of the Inspector Maigret episodes, out on a dvd -- in English, luckily. They are fun.

    I must read some of these books, but I am intrigued by Enslaved by Ducks. It's going on my list.

    Glad you liked Donna Leon's books. A new one will be out this year.

    I just enjoyed Sue Grafton's newest book, V is for Vengeance. She has not lost her ability to tell a good, interesting story, with wit and no gore or gratuitous violence. Perfect for the holidays.

    And I'm tossing around Nordic noir here, not sure what to read next. I'll jot down some of your list.

  28. I read The Woman in White years ago so don't really remember much but I do remember Count Fosco. He gave me the creeps!

    Dracula is one of my all time favourites. Glad you like it too!

  29. I loved both those books, Willow. I can't really figure out why I waited so long to read them...

    Fosco is some piece of work, for sure. :)

  30. Yvette: I waited to review your list until I had completed my "Best of 2011".

    I thought your vintage list an excellent idea.

    I do not happen to have read any of your 2011 books. There are alot of good books to read.

    Do you pick a favourite of favourites in each category?

  31. Hi Bill, no I didn't pick a favorite of favorites, but the number one in each category is probably just about right.

    I read way more 'genre' than you do, Bill, so I'm not surprised you missed these. :)

  32. Kathy: 70 Books isn't bad. Heck, it's better than most.

    ENSLAVED BY DUCKS is a fun non-fiction read by a very nice guy who lives with his wife and an odd assortment of animals. Lots of laughs and a sniff or two.

    I loved it.


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