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Year of the Books
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Year of the Books

I’ve read a lot of books this year. With an unemployment period spanning nearly 8 months (*sigh*), I have found a lot of companionship in between the pages, and the Kindle buttons.


Books and reading are my favorite conversation topics. With yarn and knitting as a very close second. Perhaps because reading has been a passion of mine since childhood, while knitting just came on scene in the past decade… I get a lot of requests for book recommendations, and this is one of my favorite things to do. I usually point people to my Good Reads account because I write pretty detailed reviews there and use their star-rating system (though I wish had .5 stars! or even .25 or .75 stars!).

In these days before 2012, I look back at all the books I’ve read this year (and the one that remains on my nightstand – still time to finish before the new year!)

Notes:  ** Best of 2011 – my recommended favorites for the year.  All links point to my GoodReads reviews.  You can see all the book covers here.


The Wordy Shipmates
Kingdom Coming
The Murder of the Century
The Rights of the Reader **
In the Garden of Beasts
Unfamiliar Fishes
World Without Fish
The Ragged Edge of the World **
Man Ray in Paris
Earth Then and Now
Spilling Ink
Hope for Animals and Their World
The Tree
Lost City of Z
Architecture of Happiness
Emperor of All Maladies **
Medium Raw


The Submission **
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
When She Woke
The Lake
Ready Player One **
When God Was a Rabbit
I am the Messenger
Centuries of June
Vampire of Ropraz
A Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet
The Lover’s Dictionary
Dead Reckoning
Across the Universe
One Day

Graphic Novels / Sequential Art (Fiction and NF)

Nat Turner
Empire State: A Love Story (or Not)
Dawn Land
The Influencing Machine **
Petrograd **
Anya’s Ghost
The Homeland Directive
American Vampire
People’s History of the American Empire
AD: New Orleans after the Deluge **
Life with Mr. Dangerous
Postcards: True Stories that Never Happened
Dark Entries
To Timbuktu
A Study in Scarlet
Hound of the Baskervilles
Waltz with Bashir
American Born Chinese
Night Fisher


The Hundred Best Vegan Baking Recipes
The Vegan Slow Cooker
Vegan Soul Kitchen

Miscellany (How-tos, Reference)

Scaling Down: Living Large in a Small Space
Nonfiction Readers’ Advisory
The Compassionate Diet
100 Countries 5000 Ideas
Crazy Sexy Diet

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11 Responses

  1. --Deb

    I really enjoyed “I am the Messenger,” too. Such an interesting idea for a book!

  2. gildaknits

    wow, you really are a big reader. I thought I was, but I end up reading the freebies on my nook or from the library (and it’s usually a loooong wait for the books I really, really want to read. So, I take what I can.) and they’re all usually a bit ‘meh.’ But I am going to look into all of these books. TFS!

  3. Kim

    I’m so impressed by your list and the range it encompasses! I’m going to check out your review, particularly of your graphic novels, as I want to take on more of those. Happy end of 2011 and beginning of 2012!

  4. Anna

    So glad to see In the Garden of Beasts on your list. I’ve been wanting to read that one. Wishing you all the best in 2012!

  5. Jacey

    I’m saving the link, so that I can come back and check out some of your recommendations. My reading list for the year is embarrassing. I hope to make more time for it next year!

  6. Lori

    Oh i love this list! bookmarking for later reference.

  7. Rachel (elkbio)

    I love being connected to you on Goodreads…I’ve found some pretty amazing books by trusting your recommendations and many of the ones listed above are going on my ‘to-read’ list. Thanks for the time and thought you put into your ratings and reviews! Happy New Year Lauren!

  8. Wanett

    My reading was mostly assigned this year. What personal reading I did manage to do was of the light-weight variety, mostly. I will be back here when I squeeze out reading time next term. Happy New Year, Lolly!!

  9. Hanna

    Thank you for the marvelous book recommendations! And wishing you a happy, healthy New Year.

  10. Seanna Lea

    I loved Ready Player One. I made my husband read it before I returned it to the library. Definitely worth the time on the hold list.

  11. jacey boggs

    Ohhh, I always like the books you love so I’m adding the ** to my queue! yeah!

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