Monday, January 30, 2012

2011 Book of the Year

(Oh my goodness, aren't my graphics AMAZING?)

Our Book list for 2011
So Much for That
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
Cleopatra, a life
The Light of Evening
Collected Stories of Lydia Davis
Slaughterhouse Five
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
War and Peace

This year instead of debating openly about our favorites and potentially tainting each other's opinions with our own adamant love for our standouts, we conducted a paper vote.  It was surprisingly fast and efficient, but I would say that I personally missed the debate about the merits of the books, especially the one's we read earlier in the year.  Perhaps next year we'll talk about the books then do the paper vote.  It is very interesting to see what sticks with people.  

The votes were reasonably split between The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and Unbroken, but it was really no contest.  Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hildebrand hands down earns our 2011 book of the year title.  (You'll not find a write up for Unbroken (yet) as I had a work event that pulled me away from the meeting and I unfortunately didn't start reading it until this last weekend.  I will say, once I started I regretted my delay. It is quite engaging.)

Our members were also taken with War & Peace and of course Henrietta Lacks, Cleopatra got a nod for being an excellent, and interesting read, but the votes were for Unbroken.

As for what we use to call our "worst book of the year" this title has been renamed "least favorite".  We were called on the carpet by the author of our 'least favorite' last year and we stand by our rights to rank our reading list and yet we intend no disrespect to the talented authors who have published works.   This "least favorite" title is nothing but that, it is the book that we least liked out of our list.  It doesn't mean the book wasn't impactful or important, but we simply didn't like it better than anything else on our list this year.

So, after all that, which of the above titles failed to touch us?  The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis.   Sorry Ms. Davis, we've done short stories and liked them, but these did not work their way into our hearts.  

We're looking forward to 2012 and sharing our finds with you.  Thank you for checking in.   Next up, the recap and (maybe) recipes from our annual spousal dinner.


Anonymous said...

way to throw out those disclaimers on "least favorite"

tp_gal said...

well, it turns out authors google their own names and I just wanted to be clear that we weren't saying that any book that made our least favorite was not the "worst book ever". Artists can be so sensitive.