Monday, December 26, 2011

Book Nook - Best of 2011

I just love year-in-review lists that come out in late December every year.  Best movies of the year, biggest news stories, most shocking celebrity moments, that sort of thing.  So I was thinking it might be fun to look at all the books from Book Nook in 2011 and give my 2 cents on which ones I thought were the best.  So, in no real particular order:

Best non-fiction book:

I just loved Jane Brocket's The Gentle Art of Domesticity (see original post here).  This book sort of comes across as a good friend inviting you into her home (a very comfortable, cheerful home).  Your friend offers you some tea and some yummy lemon cake.  You get to chatting about each other's latest knitting project or a favorite book.  I admit I didn't get a chance to finish the entire book, but I have a feeling Brocket is just there waiting for us to pick up the conversation right where we left off.

Best non-fiction, honorable mention:

One Year Off by David Elliot Cohen  (see original post here) has always been one of my favorite books and my re-reading it this year initiated a whole conversation with DH about how we would do One Year Off as a family & where we would go.  We're big dreamers, so this was a big topic of conversation for us for a couple of months.  Turns out, our One Year Off is destined to be nothing but armchair travel, at least for now.  But it's fun to dream.

Best fiction book:

I just loved Life of Pi written by Yann Martel (see original post here).  I loved how this book surprised me.  The first half is so different from the second half, and I didn't see any of it coming.  I love how intense the story is, how real the character of Pi is, and how the book permeates its way into your thoughts.

Best fiction book, honorable mention:

Actually, it's a tie.  A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (see original post here) and Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children written by Ransom Riggs (see original post here) are both really great reads.  I thoroughly enjoyed these books & would love to (and plan to) re-read them.  Witches is going to be a 3-part series and Peregrine's ended in a very open-ended manner, so I'm hoping to enjoy the continuation of both of these stories soon.

Best children's book:

This year, the Bachsters and I have enjoyed several books by Roald Dahl - see this post about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach.  See this post on The BFG.  We're currently reading another one of Dahl's classics - more on that in a future post.  These have all been wonderful, fun stories that we've all enjoyed reading.

What's your favorite book (or books) that you read in 2011?


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