Sadly, I am confident that none of the three books I think I might still finish by the end of the year will make it onto my best of list for 2011. This of course means that I am at liberty to unveil My Top 10 Reads of 2011 with 11 days left to go.
I did more re-reading in 2011 than I typically do and many of those might have made the cut, but I decided not to include them in the running. If I had you might have been likely to see two Brookners, another Cather (The Professor’s House), As For Me and My House by Sinclair Ross and The Ark by Margot Benary Isbert.
Honorable mentions: My Life in France by Julia Child, Shadows on the Rock by Willa Cather, The Group by Mary McCarthy, Travelling Light by Tove Jansson, and They Were Sisters and Because of the Lockwoods by Dorothy Whipple.
The New House by Lettice Cooper
I loved the narrative structure of this novel that takes place in one day. I also love a book that has a good personal breakthrough/transformation.
Miss Buncle’s Book by D.E. Stevenson
This was hands down the book most made me want to jump up and down out of sheer reading pleasure.
A Simple Heart by Gustave Flaubert
The Dead by James Joyce
Two from the Art of the Novella challenge in August. I can’t exactly put my finger on why these two stand out but I found both of them beautiful and moving in their own ways.
A Kind of Intimacy by Jenn Ashworth
One of the best unreliable narrators of all time. That girl is a mess!
The Fortnight in September by R.C. Sherriff
I found this one not only sweet and poignant, but I also found myself identifying with the main character.
The Skin Chairs by Barbara Comyns
I was on the fence about putting this on in the top 11 instead of Whipple’s Because of the Lockwoods. I think there are similarities in both content and quality, but since this was my first Comyns, I decided to give the berth to the newcomer.
The Magnificent Spinster by Mary Sarton
Second year in a row that a Sarton novel makes it onto my year’s best list. I think Rachel at Book Snob might agree on this one.
A Month in the Country by J.L. Carr
Beautiful, touching, transcendent.
The Glass Room by Simon Mawer
Such an amazing tale of and really great writing. If I had to choose one novel on the list that approaches being “art” I think I would choose this one.
The Hopkins Manuscript by R.C. Sherriff
Such a wonderfully cozy, kooky, sad/spooky tale of the moon slamming into Earth. Loved it.