Monday, December 26, 2011

End-of-Year Book Survey

My official 'best of' list is still days away, but this quick survey has appeared on several of my favorite blogs and has helped focus my thinking.

1. Best Book(s) You Read in 2011?

A Tragic Honesty: The Life and Work of Richard Yates by Blake Bailey
The Easter Parade by Richard Yates
Emily, Alone by Stewart O'Nan

2. Most Disappointing Book?

The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2011?

The Hunchback of Neiman Marcus by Sonya  Sones
I never thought a novel in verse could be so much fun.

4. Book(s) you recommended to people most in 2011?

 Richard Yates and Stewart O'Nan... I recommended authors this year.

5. Best series you discovered in 2011?

Series are to be avoided.

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2011?

Stewart O’Nan
Toni Morrison
Barbara Pym

7. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011?

What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman

8. Book you most anticipated in 2011?

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

9. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2011?

On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
This UK cover (a library sale find) is more attractive than its US counterpart.

10. Most memorable character in 2011?

Richard Yates - A Tragic Honesty: The Life and Work of Richard Yates by Blake Bailey

Most memorable fictional characters include:

Jack from Room by Emma Donoghue
Emily from Emily, Alone by Stewart O'Nan
Bo and Elsa from The Big Rock Candy Mountain by Wallace Stegner

11. Most beautifully written book(s) read in 2011?

The Big Rock Candy Mountain by Wallace Stegner
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan

12. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2011?

The Lost Wife by Alyson Richman was an intense, emotionally draining novel.

13. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2011 to finally read?

a novel by Toni Morrison (The Bluest Eye)

14. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2011?

"You had to stay in a place to make it a home.  A home had to be lived in every day, every month, every year for a long time, till it was worn like an old shoe and fitted the comfortable curvatures of your life."

The Big Rock Candy Mountain
by Wallace Stegner

15. Book That You Read In 2011 That Would Be Most Likely To Reread In 2012?

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway


  1. I really need to revisit Richard Yates. So glad you discovered Stewart O'Nan!

  2. Hee, your answer to #5. Sometimes I wish I did that!

  3. Great survey, good questions. I particularly like Q.2, where I've found several bloggers put down 1Q84. I've only read one book by Yates, Revolutionary Road, should explore more. Great cover for On Chesil Beach I read it with a much duller cover. Possible reread? Yes, you said it. Look forward to your Best of 2011 list, JoAnn!


  4. I like this survey...may give it a try as well.

  5. I agree, the UK cover of On Chesil Beach is much nicer than the US. I got my copy for 50p in a Tesco sale, excellent value for money :)

  6. Awww, I love these kinds of posts! Lists intrigue me. The Lost Wife is going on my best of 2011 list too. I swear those characters are still with me. Fantastic book!!!

  7. It's so strange - I think almost ALL the UK covers are more attractive - do publishers think we in the U.S. are more boring, or what is the problem?!!!

  8. I still haven't read Yates, but one of these days I'll follow your advice.

  9. Amy - Stewart O'Nan is my top discovery this year. Hope you read some Richard Yates in 2012.

    Softdrink - Series stress me out ;-)

    Arti - I'm loving all the responses to this survey. Need to get busy on my final list;-)

    Lee - I'll look for your answers :-)

    Sam - I almost always prefer the UK covers.

    Kaye - The Lost Wife characters have really stuck with me, too!

    Jill - Me, too! :-(

    Nymeth - I hope you get to read Richard Yates... start with either Revolutionary Road or The Easter Parade.

  10. I'll get to O'Nan this year only because of your enthusiasm and the bloggers you've managed to convert :)

  11. stacybuckeye - Hope 2012 is the year you discover O'Nan:-)

  12. So delighted that my HUNCHBACK OF NEIMAN MARCUS made the cut! Happy New Year!
    Sonya Sones


Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! Be sure to check back, I always respond. Due to a recent increase in spam, all comments are moderated.


Related Posts with Thumbnails