The Books I Remember From 2011


Which books do you remember reading this year?

Everyone wants lists of the ‘best’ these days. The Top 10 movies, the Top 10 websites. I decided to compile a list of 10 books I enjoyed reading in 2011. It somehow sounded better than the Top 10.

The Hummingbird & The Bear by Nicholas Hogg

My favourite novel of 2011 was The Hummingbird & The Bear by Nicholas Hogg. It is penned with courage, defiance and truth. A story of passionate love – the kind of love we all dream of – but seldom risk everything for.

A Year in the Wild by James Hendry

An incredible new talent in South African writing, James Hendry, produced my favourite book written by a South African in many years. A must-read. You will smile, laugh and you may even cry.

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

Andrea Cremer made me reconsider Fantasy with her brilliant debut novel, Nightshade. Calla Tor, her werewolf heroine, is the definitive anti-Bella. Cremer is a wonderful writer and I couldn’t put this book down.

My favourite thrillers of 2011 came from the pens of two of my favourite authors. (I read them in December 2010 and didn’t include them in my choices for that year)

The Moonlight Mile by Dennis Lehane

Lehane, as always, is exceptional. The book made me seriously think about identity theft and made me look at Russians in a completely new light.

The Burning Wire by Jeffery Deaver

Mind-blowing. Literally, an electric thriller. I even found myself eyeing my hairdryer with suspicion.

At Last by Edward St. Aubyn

St Aubyn’s vicious irony colours the final instalment in the Melrose family saga. I love the way he dissects the underbelly of high society with his tender barbed prose.

Room by Emma Donoghue

I finally read this novel in August 2011 and was traumatised. But I will never forget it.

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Vanessa Diffenbaugh has written a White Oleander for the 2010s. A beautifully written novel, she uses the Victorian meaning of flowers to weave her plot and characters into a wonderful story. I loved this book and will keep it always.

The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson

Ronson explores the madness industry in an entertaining romp across the globe. I have a degree in psychology and this subject fascinates me. Not as well written as a Malcolm Gladwell’s books, but worth the read.

I Still Dream About You by Fannie Flagg

Fannie Flagg has been one of my favourite authors since Fried Green Tomatoes at The Whistle Stop Café. This is probably my feel good read of the year.