Saturday, December 24, 2011

happy trails

Since I'm doing a slow read of Moby-Dick, I doubt there will be more to add to this list before the year ends. So here are all the books I read in 2011, not counting some re-reads. Though many of these were worthwhile, I highlighted 'only' 15 of them as especially good, in whatever way. In January I wondered if I'd find anything as good as Mrs. Dalloway in the rest of the year - it such was a terrific novel. But without devoting too much thought to it, which sometimes leads to nothing but confusion, I'd say the book I liked most this year was The French Lieutenant's Woman. Having disliked the film, it's wonder I ever took it up.

1. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf (Jan)
2. Why Did I Ever by Mary Robison (Jan)
3. Among the Monarchs by Christine Garren (Jan)
4. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton (Feb)
5. Dances With Snakes by Horacio Castellanos Moya (Feb)
6. Small Island by Andrea Levy (Feb)
7. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (Mar)
8. The French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles (Mar)
9. Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner (Mar)
10. The Alphabetical Atheist by Andrew Rihn (Mar)
11. The Chameleon Couch by Yusef Komunyakaa (Mar)
12. Jejuri by Arun Kolatkar (Apr)
13. Mapping the World by Caroline Laffon (Apr)
14. Zirconia by Chelsey Minnis (Apr)
15. Oracle Night by Paul Auster (Apr)
16. The Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkien (Feb)
17. Chronicles I by Bob Dylan (Mar)
18. Moscow to the End of the Line by Venedikt Erofeev (apr)
19. Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist (apr)
20. Call Me Ishmael Tonight by Agha Shahid Ali (Apr)
21. A Book of Luminous Things, edited by Czeslaw Milosz (Apr)
22. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (May)
23. Tender Buttons by Gertrude Stein (May)
24. Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin (May)
25. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton (May)
26. Geography of the Forehead by Ron Koertge (May)
27. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson (Jun)
28. The Quickening Maze by Adam Foulds (jun)
29. The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst (jun)
30. Laika by Nick Abadzis (June)
31. Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi (Jun)
32. The Redcoats by Ryan Murphy (spring)
33. The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles (Jul)
34. The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie (Jul)
35. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (jul)
36. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (Jul)
37. Enduring Love by Ian McEwan (Jul)
38. Undertow by Anne Shaw (Jul)
39. The Pill versus the Springhill Mine Disaster by Richard Brautigan (Jul)
40. Juan Luna’s Revolver by Luisa A. Igloria (Jul)
41. The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie (Jul)
42. Vernon Little God by DPC Pierre (August)
43. Then We Came to the End (August)
44. Temper by Beth Bachmann (Sept)
45. Number 9 Dream by David Mitchell (Aug)
46. The Trees by Eugenio Montale (Sept)
47. Aphorisms by Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach (Aug)
48. Skylark by Dezso Kosztolanyi (Aug)
49. Every Riven Thing by Christian Wiman (Aug)
50. Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson (Sep)
51. The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan (Sept)
52. Maus I by Arthus Spiegelman (Oct)
53. Maus II (Oct)
54. Fantastic Women: 18 Tales from Tin House (Oct)
55. Twisted: Collected Stories by Jeffrey Deaver (Oct)
56. The Liar’s Club by Mary Karr
57. Selected Poems by René Char (Oct.
58. The Boom of a Small Cannon by Mary Ann Samyn (Oct)
59. The Children of Men by PD James (Oct)
60. Anthrolpology by Dan Rhodes (Nov)
61. Haywire by George Bilgere (Nov)
62. Surrealist Poetry in English, ed. Edward Germain (Dec)


ron hardy said...

I read the Fowles book before the film came out. I loved the book but didn't like the film that much either. I love Meryl Streep but something about her just didn't fit for me. Happy holidays Sarah.

Kathleen said...

I love your list!

SarahJane said...

Yes, I didn't appreciate the movie at all, and I like Meryl Streep a lot, too. The part needed someone with a softer touch, imo, but I still don't think I would have liked the movie.

Jasmine said...

I wonder why Madame Bovary isn't in your 'bolder' list.
just something I remember from the book:
But a disparagement of the ones we love erodes a bit of the affection. One must not touch idols; the gilt rubs off on one’s hands.

SarahJane said...

Hi Jasmine -
This was a re-read of Madame Bovary. I loved it when I read it the first time, but found it this time not all that special. People praise Flaubert's prose to the heavens, and it was good, but I didn't think it was extraordinary.

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