The Books of 2011

Here are the novels I read in 2011:

  1. The Girl Who Played with Fire (Millennium, Book 2) by Steig Larsson. Kindle. 

     ★★★★☆ 

  2. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest (Millennium, Book 3)by Steig Larsson. Kindle. 

     ★★★★☆ 

  3. Boneshaker (The Clockwork Century, Book 1) by Cherie Priest. Kindle. 

     ★★★☆☆ 

  4. The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, Book 1) by Patrick Rothfuss. Audio, read by Nick Podehl. 

     ★★★★★ 

  5. Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi. Hardcover. 

     ★★★★☆ 

  6. The Buntline Special: A Weird West Tale by Mike Resnick. Hardcover.

     ★★½☆☆ 

  7. Bite Me: A Love Story (San Francisco Vampires, Book 3) by Christopher Moore. Audio, read by Susan Bennett. 

     ★★★★☆ 

  8. Midnight Riot (Rivers of London, Book 1) by Ben Aaronovitch. Kindle. 

     ★★★☆☆ 

  9. Dead Until Dark (A Sookie Stackhouse Novel) by Charlaine Harris. Audio, read by Johanna Parker.

     ★★★☆☆ 

  10. Changeless (The Parasol Protectorate, Book 2) by Gail Carriger. Kindle. 

     ★★★☆☆ 

  11. Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse, Book 1) by James S. A. Corey. Kindle. 

     ★★★★☆ 

  12. Room by Emma Donoghue. Hardcover. 

     ★★★★★ 

  13. 007: Carte Blanche by Jeffrey Deaver. Hardcover. 

     ★★½☆☆ 

  14. Anno Dracula by Kim Newman. Kindle. 

     ★★★★☆ 

  15. Life Itself: A Memoir by Roger Ebert. Audio, read by Edward Herrmann. 

     ★★★★★ 

  16. A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore. Kindle. 

     ★★★☆☆ 

  17. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. Paperback. 

     ★★★★☆ 

  18. Retribution Falls (Tales of the Ketty Jay, Book 1) by Chris Wooding. Kindle. 

     ★★★★☆ 

  19. The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, Book 1) by Suzanne Collins. Kindle. 

     ★★★★☆ 

  20. The Black Lung Captain (Tales of the Ketty Jay, Book 2) by Chris Wooding. Kindle. 

     ★★★★☆ 

  21. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Kindle. 

     ★★★½☆ 

  22. Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, Book 2) by Suzanne Collins. Kindle. 

     ★★★★☆ 

Life Itself: A Memoir by Roger Ebert (cover)Best of the lot was probably Life Itself: A Memoir by Roger Ebert, thanks in no small part to Edward Herrmann’s excellent narration; Herrmann doesn’t sound like Roger Ebert, but manages to capture his voice nonetheless.

The best fiction is tough to nail down. Though I read The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo in the last week of 2010, I think Steig Larsson’s Millennium trilogy takes the prize. If I had to choose a single book, it would be a toss-up between Room by Emma Donoghue and The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.

Biggest disappointment? That’s a tie between The Buntline Special and 007: Carte Blanche; the former felt sketchy to me—more like an outline than a full-blown novel—while the latter was largely satisfying but I thought Deaver relied too much on cleverness by omission.

2012 has begun with a monster of a book: 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami, which will be followed by Mockingjay, the finale of Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy. I’m also listening to Under the Dome by Stephen King (another monster, clocking in at over 30 hours of audio).

What was the best book you read last year? The worst? What’s the first book you read in 2012?