Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Whoa, 2011 - Your Books Were Crazy!
I'm not nosy, I'm just curious, and I love lists like these at the end of the year. There's nothing better than perving on what everyone else has been reading all year. So feel free.
1. Best Book You Read In 2011?
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, by Dave Eggers. This book was everything in the whole world of literary that a book should be. It does everything, including what it says on the cover.
2. Most Disappointing Book/Book You Wish You Loved More Than You Did?
The English German Girl, by Jake Wallis Simons. It was supposed to be amazing, it was supposed to do so much. It did nothing, least not for me. Oh, and Lord of the Flies.
3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2011?
The Gospel of Anarchy, by Justin Taylor. It just popped through my postbox, so it was in itself a surprise. And it was good.
4. Book you recommended to people most in 2011?
Other than the usual Jude the Obscure? Definitely Robert Shearman's Tiny Deaths. Amazing short stories - read them!
5. Best series you discovered in 2011?
Only The Chronicles of Narnia! Took me long enough, eh?
6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2011?
Blake Butler. What a guy. Currently half way through Nothing, and it's beyond incredible. There Is No Year was an interesting one too. I'm sold. I'm keen to read more Dan Rhodes too.
7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
Eh... That would be Angel, by Katie Price. It was out of my comfort zone because it was so awful. Probably people like reading that crap. In fact, they do, because it hits the bestsellers lists. But it's probably read by illiterate people. I did it for research for a novel I was working on. Never again.
8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011?
Doug Johnstone's Smokeheads had that aww-naw-what's-gonnae-happen-now factor. And I devoured Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in one bite.
9. Book you most anticipated in 2011?
Chuck Palahniuk's Damned, which in turn was only semi-pretty-good. And Alan Bissett's Packmen, which in turn was really good.
10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2011?
11. Most memorable character in 2011?
The wee old guy in Little Hands Clapping, and Don Lennie from And The Land Lay Still.
12. Most beautifully written book read in 2011?
Dave Eggers, Blake Butler, Roberto Bolano are the winners.
13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2011?
Generally, these are the books that make it into those 'best' categories that have been mentioned above. I'm in danger of repeating myself a lot here. So whatever I've said was good before, and Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman.
14. Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2011 to finally read?
Those Narnia ones. Oops. Why didn't I read them when I was eight like I was supposed to?
15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2011?
Too many. My books are marked with sticky notes at favourite passages of mine. But this one, this one comes to mind so often in my life:
'What's wrong with you? You sound so depressed.'
'Maybe I am. Or maybe I'm just Scottish.' (And The Lay Still)
16. Book That You Read In 2011 That Would Be Most Likely To Reread In 2012?
Probably none, because my life is like that. But if I had to reread something? Probably Tiny Deaths again. Or Room.
17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!
This happens frequently during every reading of Jude the Obscure, naturally. There was the exhaustive emotion at the end of And The Land Lay Still. But there were several eh? moments in many of the books I read this year. It was the kind of year for books, I suppose. But what a year it was.
I wonder if my reading in 2012 will be any less obscure/absurd. Somehow, I'm doubting this already. Hurray!
Cheers to the Perpetual Page Turner for hosting this survey - looking forward to next year's already.