If you grew up reading piles of books like me, then looking through your bookcase can be like flipping through a photo album spanning the years.
Maybe the first time you realized books could make you feel better even when you were sick and miserable (Harry Potter.) Or the first time a book made you seriously heartbroken and you realized that books could actually change you (Anna Karenina.) The first time you read a classic and actually enjoyed it (Jane Eyre.) The first time you realized you don’t have to like a book just because its a classic (Pride and Prejudice.) The first time you read a book and wanted to meet/stalk the author (Sleeping in Flame). The first time you wanted to buy a first edition because you loved the book so much, you wanted one that felt timeless (84, Charing Cross Road.) And even that first time you read an author who loves books as much as you do (Ex-Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader.)
There are a million milestones with books that happen in our lives. The books that helped you get through a breakup and the books that helped you escape as a kid when your parents were fighting. The books you read instead of studying because you couldn’t help it and the books that you bought instead of food because you couldn’t resist. And even, the books that you discovered at different points of your life, which are now more important than anything, because they are all that has lasted.
So I decided that my best of 2011 post wouldn’t be only debut authors or only books released this year. They’re going to be the absolute best books I read this year, whether they were written 50 years ago or yesterday. So here’s the books that will always be, to me, the best of my 2011: (in no particular order)
The Art of Fielding The Night Circus Ready Player One My Reading Life
The Tiger’s Wife A Visit from the Goon Squad I am Half Sick of Shadows
A Game of Thrones Bossypants
The Lover’s Dictionary
If I forgot any that I told you were amazing earlier this year, feel free to tell me! I know there were plenty of other amazing books I had the pleasure of reading in 2011. I look forward to another great year of discoveries and old favorites.