Books Read in 2011

Since I work in a library I know all too well that there are just too many awesome books in the world to possibly read them all.  I have really enjoyed keeping track of what I did manage to read this year though and will be keeping up the practice.   Since I had to clear out to 2011 list to make way for 2012 I thought I'd copy it down here, you know, for historical record.  Or so that I don't end up reading the same book twice until developing a strong sense of deja vu half way through.  (That has happened to me.)

My favorite book read in 2011 was...a tie....either No-Impact Man (Colin Beavan) or In Defense of Food (Michael Pollan).  The "Best" is a hard distinction to make though, hence the tie!  In the end I chose these two titles out of the list of many, many contenders for the top because they were both very, very humorous as well as tremendously educational and out-of-this-world inspiring.

My least favorite book was also a tie with either Harvesting the Heart (Jodi Picoult) because I had a strong dislike for all the characters.   They were all jerks.  Either that or Mind Grenades (John Plunkett) because I don't think I "got" it.  But, it was put out by the people at Wired and I'm not all that techy so I don't really know what I was thinking picking it up in the first place.

  • Dirty Job (Christopher Moore)*
  • Island of the Sequined Love Nun (Christopher Moore)*
  • Harvesting the Heart (Jodi Picoult)*
  • Griffin & Sabine: An Extraordinary Correspondence (Nick Bantock)
  • Possum Magic (Mem Fox & Julie Vivas)
  • Hidden Cuba: A Photojournalist's Unauthorized Journey to Cuba to Capture Daily Life - 50 Years After Castro's Revolution (Jack Watson)
  • Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary (David Sedaris)*
  • It's Thanksgiving (Jack Prelutsky)
  • New York in the Thirties (Berenice Abbott & Elizabeth McCausland)
  • The Tao of Pooh (Benjamin Hoff)
  • Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World's Fastest Woman (Kathleen Krull)
  • Dust to Eat: Drought and Depression in the 1930s (Michael Cooper)
  • A Bride Goes West (Nannie T. Alderson & Helena H. Smith)
  • Out of the Dust (Karen Hesse)
  • The Hundred Dresses (Eleanor Estes)
  • Lush ( Natasha Friend)
  • Clara's Kitchen: Wisdom, Memories, and Recipes from the Great Depression (Clara and Christopher Cannucciari)
  • Stitches: A Memoir (David Small)
  • Infidel (Tim Hetherington)
  • Curly Tails & Cloven Hooves (Lisa Kemmerer)
  • American Indian Games (Jay Miller)
  • Silent Music: A Story of Bagdad (James Rumford)
  • The Librarian of Basra: A True Story From Iraq (Jeanette Winter)
  • Second Nature: A Gardener's Education (Michael Pollan)
  • Hello, Laura! (Laura Ingalls Wilder)
  • Glasses: Who Need 'Em? (Lane Smith)
  • A Voice Crying In The Wilderness (Vox Clamantis in Deserto): Notes From A Secret Journal (Edward Abbey)
  • In Celebration of Simplicity: The Joy of Living Lightly (Penelope Wilcock)
  • A Child's Book of Blessings (Sabrina Dearborn)
  • Kokopelli and The Butterfly (Michael Sterns)
  • Aesop's Fables: For Modern Readers
  • The Year Of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible (A.J. Jacobs)
  • Blueberries for Sal (Robert McCloskey)
  • Mind Grenades: Manifestos from the Future (John Plunkett)
  • The Sweet Smell of Christmas (Patricia Scarry)
  • Trashy Town (Andrea Zimmerman & David Clemesha)
  • Slaughterhouse Five or The Children's Crusade (Kurt Vonnegut)
  • Harvey (Herve' Bouchard & Janice Nadeau)
  • Switch Bitch (Roald Dahl)
  • Anne Frank: The Anne Frank House Authorized Graphic Biography (Sid Jacobson & Ernie Colon)
  • Slapstick (Kurt Vonnegut)
  • The Ranch Woman's Manual (Gwen Petersen)
  • Children's Prayers From Other Lands (Dorothy Spicer)
  • Meet Josefina, an American Girl (Valerie Tripp)
  • Plain Truth (Jodi Picoult)
  • The Essential Calvin and Hobbs (Bill Watterson)
  • With You All the Way (Max Lucado)
  • The Little Red Hen (Violet Findley)
  • Bag in the Wind (Ted Kooser)
  • If the World Were a Village (David Smith)
  • It's a Book (Lane Smith)
  • The Pop-up Book of M.C. Escher
  • My Hutterite Life (Lisa Marie Stahl)
  • Fearless John: The Legend of John Beargrease (Kelly Rauzi)
  • One Kitten for Kim (Adelaide Holl)
  • No Impact Man: The Adventures of a Guilty Liberal Who Attempts to Save the Planet and the Discoveries He Makes About Himself and Our Way of Life in the Process (Colin Beavan)
  • Montana: Where My Treasure Is (Carol Myers)
  • Symbols of Montana (Rex Myers & Norma Ashby)
  • Ox Cart Man (Donald Hall)
  • The Fairy Alphabet (Fanny Y. Cory)
  • Owl Moon (Jane Yolen)
  • Grandfather's Journey (Allen Say)
  • Yamsi, The Story of A Man's Love for A Ranch in the Oregon Wilderness (Dayton O. Hyde)
  • Growing Up Amish (Richard Ammon)
  • Plain and Simple: A Woman's Journey to the Amish (Sue Bender)
  • In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto (Michael Pollan)
  • The Long Brown Stocking and Other Tales of Bygone Days (Betty Booth Stewart)
  • Welcome to the Moneky House (Kurt Vonnegut)
  • God Bless You Mr. Rosewater (Kurt Vonnegut)
  • Cat's Cradle (Kurt Vonnegut)
  • Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea (Guy Delisle)
  • Mother Night (Kurt Vonnegut)
  • Sirens of Titan (Kurt Vonnegut)
  • A Lifetime of Secrets: A PostSecret Book (Frank Warren)
  • Player Piano (Kurt Vonnegut)
    * indicated audiobooks


  1. I like the idea of keeping up with the books I read. I have tried this in years past and often stop before the end of the year. I haven't ever included children's books I read, either.

    What was your total?

  2. That's a lot of books! I really should get back to reading & away from the TV, lol.

    Have you read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo? I saw the movie in theaters recently - very graphic, but good. I've ordered the original movies from Netflix, and I think I may buy the books.

  3. Cristy, I am a little surprised at myself. I don't think I missed recording a single book. It was neat! 75 books, counting kids books, in 2011. I should have included a best children's book. Hmmmm....that would probably go to Blueberries for Sal (Robert McCloskey).

    TLC, it is apparently a book every 4.9 days (if my calculations are correct), but the children's books make it seem more impressive than it really is! Matt and I have cut out TV at night and started reading together in bed. Its nice and we certainly read more! Those GWTDT books are very popular right now and we can't keep our copies on the shelf at our library. I haven't read it because it seems a little too...intense for me...or maybe as you say, graphic. I have a hard time handling that stuff. But, they must be captivating as they sure are popular.

  4. 75 is a very good number, I think.

  5. Just went across to Amazon to check out "No Impact Man" - what a fab book!!

  6. Oh, Ember, it is amazing! Like, life-changing kind of amazing. I really enjoy those types of books that are sort of turn-your-life-into-a-science-project sort of books. I find them fascinating.


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