Please note: This list is compiled in no particular order. It is simply a list of my favorite books for this particular genre read in 2011.
Adult Contemporary Fiction
• Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson (British)
Really enjoyed this novel. It worked as a comedy of manners with a sweet love story. Pettigrew’s son infuriated me regularly, and while I was often angry while reading, it was very hard to put down.
• Empire Falls by Richard Russo (American~Pullitzer Winner)
This wonderful novel included excellent, well-rounded characters, a page-turning plot, and a haunting development at the climax. Highly recommended to anyone.
• No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy (American~Mystery/Crime)
Beautifully written, creepy at times, with edge of your seat thrills. While the Coen brothers did an amazing job with their film adaptation, the novel will provide you with more context and understanding of the plot and characters.
• March by Geraldine Brooks (American~Historical Fiction)
Paralleling Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, this novel considers what Jo March’s father’s experience was during the Civil War. The language and descriptions were moving, and I actually think that I prefer this novel over Alcott’s classic. Like Little Women, it is based upon the actual life of Amos Alcott and draws it sources from Alcott’s journals and letters, as well as from the writings of Walden and Thoreau, who were friends of the Alcotts and appear in this novel. Very good historical fiction!
• The Help by Kathryn Stockett (American~Historical Fiction)
A very good novel with fully developed characters and an interesting plotline. I was full of nervous energy as I read each chapter.
• A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan (American~Pullitzer Winner)
Remember, this is my list. And I loved this book! I loved the characters, I loved the themes, and I loved the alternative writing structures utilized throughout the novel. Loved it! 5 stars loved it! However, so many readers hated this book, ripping their hair out hated it, that I have a special recommendation for those who are interested: if you check it out, read the first three chapters. If you don’t like them, stop. That simple. Nothing to get angry about. My full review will appear next week. But, I loved it!
Allen is the master of Southern magical realism. In each of these novels, Allen spins a magical thread into what is simply a lovely depiction of a North Carolina small town and its delightful residents. I love all of Addison’s beautiful novels. Recommended for any occasion when you just need a breath of fresh, sweet air!
Young Adult Fiction
• Coraline by Neil Gaiman (Fantasy/Horror)
One of the scariest books I’ve read all year, and it’s a children’s book! Highly recommended for its imaginative plot and creepy pictures. Gaiman is a master!
• The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (Historical Fiction)
This historical fiction novel was very haunting and sad as it followed the short tragic life of a young girl in WWII Germany. Was also a very unique novel as it was narrated by Death.
• The Giver by Lois Lowry (Science Fiction~Dystopian)
A rather sad dystopian novel. I had been hearing about how wonderful this book was for years, and I was pleased to see that it lived up to its expectations. Highly recommended to all of you dystopian lovers out there!
• Divergent by Veronica Roth (Science Fiction~Dystopian)
Really enjoyed this dystopian YA novel. Check out my review here.
Tomorrow’s Post: Top Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Read in 2011