Wednesday, December 28, 2011
My Top 10 Reads in 2011
Last time I wrote a top 10 post I put the books in reverse order from 10 to 1, but this time I simply cannot! I read quite a few good books, but I can't say which one was the best, the second best etc. Maybe it's a good thing. No book stood out, but there were many I really liked. Some I liked because the writing was so beautiful, some because of the story, some just because! :)
I read quite a good number of books in my own language in 2011, 25 out of 85 reads. 22 of the books I read in Finnish were novels and three were graphic novels or comic books. This was an improvement compared to 2010. I read only 1 nonfiction book the whole year (!), Mind Gym -An Athlete's Guide to Inner Excellence by Gary Mack with David Casstevens, but that was an amazing read! I also read two excellent books of poetry: If Not, Winter -Fragments of Sappho and The Iliad by Homer. However, I chose to limit my best of 2011 list to novels, and in particular to novels that are available in English. And no rereads either, only novels I read for the first time.
So, here come's in alphabetical order:
Annabel by Kathleen Winter
Amazing story about an intersex child growing up in a remote Canadian village in the 1970s & 80s.
Birdbrain (orig. Finnish title Linnunaivot) by Johanna Sinisalo
A young couple is trekking in Australia when strange things start to happen.
Blackout by Connie Willis
Three historians from 2060 Oxford get stuck in WWII England. The story concludes in All Clear.
Huntress by Malinda Lo
Two girls and a prince travel to the court of the Fairy Queen to save the world. Along the way the girls fall in love with each other. This is Lo's second novel. Her first was Ash, the lesbian themed retelling of Cinderella, which I also read in 2011. I liked the world Lo created for Huntress (which is set some 500 years earlier, but in the same universe, as Ash) better, but warmly recommend both novels.
The Long Ships (orig. Swedish titles Röde Orm: Sjöfarare i västerled & Röde Orm: Hemma och i österled) by Frans G. Bengtsson
Orm, the redhaired viking, sails from one adventure to another all over the known world. Humorous, entertaining, a really fabulous historical novel!
A Mercy by Toni Morrison
A novel about the early years of slavery in America and about love, between men and women and between a mother and her children.
The Name of the Rose (orig. Italian title Il nome della rosa) by Umberto Eco
Medieval murder mystery set in a monastery with an extraordinary library.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
In a world where some magic is real a girl and a boy are set to compete against each other by their enchanter guardians. Only the young ones are not supposed to fall in love with each other...
Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult
A beautifully told story about loss and love and gay rights.
Soulless by Gail Carriger
There are vampires and werewolfs in Britain, they are part of the VIctorian society and some of them work for the Queen! And then there is Miss Tarabotti, a soulless human, whose touch neutralises the supernatural nature of vampires & werewolfs as long as she touches them. This is a first book in a series. A hilarious, delighful read!
What were your top 10 reads this year?