30 December 2011

My Books of 2011

Here's my reading list for 2011. Not including whatever book I start tomorrow, but I likely won't finish one tomorrow so I think it's not too premature to post my list. I read 8 more books than the previous year which surprised me. I've only been keeping track the past couple years. I know I had a phase of one week when I was younger, but now we have the internet and other distractions.

I know that non-fiction slows me down because it just doesn't keep me coming back for more and often I am reading it at the behest of someone or some project and it feel obligatory not relaxing. I do force myself to read it because I know I should at times as well. I prefer to use reading as a relaxation though and not to "better myself."

I read a couple travelogues which I know technically are nonfiction but they flow for me like fiction. A good one is one of my favorite things to read.  I tend to enjoy them more and read them faster if they are humorous. So in this category for 2011: The Narrow Dog to Carcassonne wins. Delightful.

It's hard to pick a favorite in the fiction category because when I look at the titles they each say something different to me about the stories and then where I was myself at that time last year. I slept in more beds than I can count (with only one person I might add) so life was a bit topsy turvey last year. Historic favorite: A monstrous Regiment of Women. Really liked Down River and The Case of the Missing Servant opened up a new world of Indian humor and mystery. Take the Monkeys and Run was the best humorous mystery I read this year. Death of a Cozy Writer feels like the beginning of a new favorite author find.

1 A monstrous Regiment of Women, Laurie B King
2 The art of deception, Ridley Pearson
3 Telling Yourself the Truth by Backus and Champion, finished in 2011
4 Expectations and Burnout, Women Surviving the Great Commission, by Eenigenburg & Bliss, finished in 2011
5 Thrilled to Death, How the Endless Pursuit of Pleasure is Leaving us Numb, by Archibald Hart
6 - 12 'Christian' Beliefs That Can Drive You Crazy: Relief from False Assumptions, by Cloud and Townsend
7 Desert Lost, Betty Webb
8 Whose Body? Dorothy L. Sayers
9 The Rosewood Casket, Sharon McCrumb
10 A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, Donald Miller
11 Freedom from Tyranny of the Urgent, Charles Hummel
12 Grace Under Pressure by Julie Hyzy
13 Brush with Death, an art lovers mystery, by Hailey Lind 
14 Death on Demand, Carolyn Hart
15 Driving over Lemons, an optimist in Spain, by Chris Stewart
16 Cleopatra, Stacy Schiff
17 Chamomile Mourning, Laura Childs
18 Fire and Ice, Dana Stabenow
19 Rikki Tikki Tavi, Kipling
20 Digital Disciple, Adam Thomas
21 The Mysterious Affair at Styles, Agatha Christie
22 The Meeting of the Waters: 7 Global Currents that Will propel the Future Church. Fritz Kling
23 Traveling Mercies, Anne Lamott
24 Think Twice, Lisa Scottaline
25 Down River, John Hart
26 Narrow Dog to Carcassonne, Terry Derrington
27 Hemingway Cutthroat, MIchael Atkinson
28 How to Write Killer Fiction, Carolyn Wheat
29 Say it With Poison, Ann Granger
30 The Practice of the Presence of God, Brother Lawrence.
31 Straight, Dick Francis
32 The Case of the Missing Servant, Tarquin Hall, Vishi Puri mystery set in India.
33 Murphy's Law, Rhys Bowen
34 Take the Monkeys and Run, Karen Cantwell
35 Brett Battles, The Cleaner
36 The Killing Hour, Lisa Gardner, kidnapper-killer using odd environments
37 The Summer Snow, Rebecca Pawel, post Spanish Civil War
38 Stalker, Faye Kellerman, police procedural. Peter Decker lieutenant
39 Woman to Woman, Sharing Jesus with a Muslim Friend by Joy Loewen (Jan 1, 2010)
40 Shutter Island, Dennis Lehane
41 Missing Persons, Clare O'Donohue
42 Still Life: An inspector Gamache Novel, Louise Penny
43 Last Breath, Michael Prescott
44 Shameless Promotion for Brazen Huzzies, by Roberta Isleib, ed.
45. Death of a Cozy Writer, G.M. Malliet
46. Retirement can be Murder, Phil Edwards


  1. "12 'Christian' Beliefs That Can Drive You Crazy" looks interesting.

    I know you're into Mystery, and there's a lot in this list. Do you find that there are authors who do a good job of surprising once you've read enough to know the standard mystery formulas?

  2. Someone else commented elsewhere that I read a wide variety last year and I think that was true. You can borrow that one from Roger. He lent it to me.

    I think lately I haven't read the same person very much so they have been able to surprise me. One that felt like the same book but still caught me with the suspense in the end was the Dick Francis book - Straight. His are always in some way horse racing and mystery, but he's good at suspense even if it feels familiar.