Let me brag for a moment. I actually kept to my goal of reading an average of four books a month. I read 55 books this year, a number which I’m extremely proud of. Many of those books were stellar, and all of them were enjoyable in their own way. I gave a one sentence review of each in What I Read in 2011, but here are a few highlights:
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – I keep recommending this book to everyone I meet. I haven’t found a person yet who didn’t enjoy it. It’s so good that you don’t even realize how much you’re learning and thinking and reprocessing your own opinions.
Room – A devastating read, but truly hopeful. It’s narrated by a little boy, and like is often the case with children, the themes can be stated simply, even while immensely difficult to take in: There is a way out of abuse and abduction. Change is hard. Life always moves forward.
All Things Shining – My first review for Relevant Magazine, and a truly challenging book to wrap your mind around. I love books about books and books about values, so this combined both of those things together into a (fairly) easy to read philosophy book.
Jane Austen (especially Persuasion) – She took over my days, and I’m thankful for her strong female protagonists. Even while current women might think they were passive and weak, they worked within their culture to make their own way. And of course, get the man too.
Madeleine L’Engle – A Wrinkle in Time is still beautiful and timeless and truth-filled. I recommend another reading if it’s been a few years since you’ve opened it.
Bossypants – Tina Fey is brilliant in so many ways, but I admire most her honesty about being a female in a man’s business, balancing motherhood and passion, and surviving as a woman in this crazy world.
Sherlock Holmes – The man of my heart. Abrasive, cold, and egotistical. But it’s Sherlock, so somehow it’s endearing.
The Hunger Games – Crack in novel format. But oh so tasty while you’re sucking them down. Did I mix metaphors there?
The Road – This book broke me, but in the best way possible. The style was impeccable, the subject was terrifying, and the central relationship was completely relatable.
The Introvert Advantage – This book taught me that I’m not crazy. Well, not because I’m an introvert anyway. I may be crazy for other reasons.
The Boy in the Dress – It’s not too often that a children’s book makes you so uncomfortable that you can barely finish it. Sometimes that’s a good thing. Sometimes you need to rethink your own perspective on certain issues.
The Sparrow – Science fiction, the philosophy of religion, and intensely three-dimensional characters all collided and formed this gem. Read to be challenged.
What were your favorite reads of 2011?
Next: The Music