Sunday, June 26, 2011

Five Best Books of 2011 (so far)

The 5 Best Books meme is hosted by Cassandra at Indie Reader Houston.

I first found this meme through Bibliosue and thought it sounded like fun. This week we are asked to list our Five Best Books of 2011 (so far). Given that I don't really read current fiction--particularly not up-to-the-minute books of this year--I'm interpreting "Best of 2011" to mean best books that I've read in 2011. Mine are below--pretty much in order and with links to my reviews.

1. Howards End Is on the Landing by Susan Hill. A book about books for book lovers.
It isn't often that a book comes along that I want to underline just about every sentence....or at least snag them for my quote collection. Susan Hill's book is such a one. (Five stars on my five stars rating system)

What Alice Knew: A Most Curious Tale of Henry James and Jack the Ripper by Paula Marantz Cohen. An incredibly well-told re-telling of the most famous serial killer ever. (Five stars)

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. A story about story-telling and truth. A lovely, well-written book that I am sure to recommend over and over. (Four & 1/2 stars)

The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell. A haunting, disturbing, multi-layered novel. It tells the story of Esme (Euphemia) Lennox, a woman who has been locked away in a mental institution for over sixty years. (Four & 1/2 stars)

5. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. This was a delight to read. As always, it is a perfect commentary on the social mores and expectations of the time. I also enjoyed the send-up of the Gothic novel. [Four stars]

Honorable Mention: Winner of the most difficult book that I loved category--
Intruder in the Dust by William Faulkner. I hate stream of conscious books. But I loved this one. Absolutely marvelous story about race and integrity....if you can manage to wade through the stream. Intruder earned Four stars...but would clearly have been a five star winner if not for that dratted S-of-C.


(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I haven't read any of these, but now a few new books for the list!

M.J. Fifield said...

I'm familiar with most of these books though I haven't read any of them. So glad to see William Faulkner get an honorable mention. He's long been one of my favorites!

Cassandra said...

Never be afraid to interpret a topic for a 5 Best Books list loosely! I do it all the time. I think you have got some very interesting books on your list. I'm surprised by the Faulkner. I've never heard of that one, and I thought I had read them all. He's the one that made S-of-C tolerable for me.

Thanks for participating! See you again soon!

Marce said...

I have considered The Thirteenth Tale. Sounds like a great 5.

Lavish Bookshelf said...

I'm a follower who saw your Top Five book posting and decided to make a list of my own. Thank you!

wutheringwillow said...

A great top 5! After reading yours I decided to do mine too.

As your taste is quite similar to mine, I am sure I'll find something good to read from these five. Of course I have already read (and loved) Northanger Abbey but the others look good too. Thanks!

Yvette said...

I've read HOWARDS END IS ON THE LANDING and I'm sure it's going to be on my year end list. This year I know I'm not going to be able to keep it to 10. I'll probably do 20. Same as last year. 10 Best and 10 Honorable Mentions. Only way to keep my sanity. HA!

I'm not a fan of THE THIRTEENTH TALE, sad to say. Tried to read it and couldn't manage.

I haven't read the others. Not even this particular Austen, though I've always meant to.