Best Reads of 2011.

***My 2011 Book of the Year***

Getting Off, by Lawrence Block.

Kitt Toliver may be the most sympathetic sociopath/serial killer ever created. Only Lawrence Block could make me cheer for the bad seed. Getting Off kept me up all night, and that is no exaggeration.

Best work of Literary Fiction:  A Week As Andrea Benstock, by Lawrence Block. I loved the title character, Andrea. I hated her. I pitied her. I wanted to wring her misguided neck. Above all, I understood her. Mr. Block may not consider this a work of literary fiction, but I do. A Week As Andrea Benstock is a masterpiece.

Best Romance Novel: Winter Woman, by Jenna Kernan. I’ve never been a big fan of frontier fiction, but I devoured this book. So much of what I read today is formulaic. Winter Woman is about as far from a formulaic romance as you can get. This was a recommendation from my gal, Penny, over at Penny Romance. It gets a big rec from me.

Best One-Book Wonder: lullabies for little criminals, by Heather O’Neill. A unique story of family and dysfunction told in a unique voice by a child narrator. A great book. Many thanks to author Stacey Espino for turning me onto this book.

Best Non-Fiction: The Hidden Reality, Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos, by Brian Greene. I’m a huge fan of nonfiction, but this was not my best nonfiction year. However, Brian Greene did not disappoint. He manages to make physics and cosmology comprehensible, even for idiots like me. If you have any interest in understanding what Sheldon is talking about on The Big Bang Theory, this is the book for you!

Contest entrants:  I’ll announce the winners for both the Stuff Your Stockings Blog Hop and my own giveaway late Monday!

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12 Responses to Best Reads of 2011.

  1. Delilah Hunt says:

    I love the cover of Getting Off. Winter Woman definitely looks like the type of historical romance I love to read. Hope you’re doing well Julia :-)

  2. Penelope says:

    So glad you liked Winter Woman! There are very few frontier-style romances that I can handle….I get too anxious reading them (I know…I’m a wuss). But this one was perfect. And of course the beard didn’t hurt either. :^)

  3. amber skyze says:

    Hmmm, I’m gonna have to check out the lullaby one.

  4. It’s really good, Amber. Not depressing because the voice is always optimistic.

  5. It is a perfect book, Penny. I loved it.

  6. Delilah – seriously, I read Winter Woman in one sitting and then gave it to my husband who could not stop reading either. Getting Off is an incredible book.

  7. Stacey Siferd says:

    Thank you <3

  8. You’re welcome, Stacey!

  9. Jaye says:

    How my TBR doth grow. And grow. And grow.

    Great list, Julia!

  10. Katalina Leon says:

    I love Brain Greene! I’m so happy you reminded me of him because I have to shop for my father-in-law and this book would be a perfect gift. We all read and shared conversations about “The Elegant Universe”, which was also wonderful reading and totally accessible to non-scientist. Brian is so poetic.
    XXOO Kat

  11. You’re welcome, Kat!

  12. Just repaying the favor, Jaye!