Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Best Books I Read in 2011

It's time for my annual "Best Books I Read Last Year" list, this time featuring 13 works of poetry, novels, nonfiction and anthology. As usual, these books didn't necessarily come out in 2010; that's just when I read them. This year, you should too. [Click on the picture to find out more about the book.] Happy reading!


Goyette’s imagery is evocative, precise, tangible yet layered with meaning:

I'm beyond biased here because I've got two poems in this anthology of Halifax guerilla poetry, and I like the idea so much I've written a feature about it. But I was genuinely impressed by the quality of work from my town's closet poets:


Rogers elucidates how the failures of "green" or "natural" capitalism are the failings of capitalism itself:

Paradoxically dense and sprawling, but worth the effort. You know when people say, "This is how the world really works!" Well, this is part of it:

It's actually a novel interspersed among reflections on a campaign to ban uranium mining in Nova Scotia. I never quite figured out how they fit together, but the former is engaging and entertaining and the latter is inspirational and thought-provoking:


Rushdie, having accomplished everything a writer could hope for, seems to be just having fun now. And it's a lot of fantastical fun to read too:

This novel was a rollicking fantastic adventure through the idealism of the 60s and the coming of age bestowed by Vietnam. Above all, it had an enormous sense of wonder:

Counter-intuitive to the title, for me these stories resonate with the sad truth of being a grownup:

MacDonald is a natural story teller and he connected all the emotional dots, providing a poignant tale of cultural change, the erosion of old ways and the maturation of young talent and pride:

The lady dialing 911 for love with all the wrong paramedics, the crack-addicted mathematician scoring rock for Robert Oppenheimer, the single condo-dwelling web designer more easily accepting the flaws of his Andalucian woolfhound than those of human companions – all serve Christie well as he masterfully illustrates the interwoven highs and lows of urban isolation:

Takes you right there, with the protagonists, feeling their fears, anxieties, pain and stress:

This is a good old-fashioned slog that probably wouldn't be published in the modern Canlit scene. It's prose is poetry and it's best scenes are heart-wrenching. In its entirety it is an unforgettable, honest portrait of rural life, its hardship and its absolute dependence on community even when community gets nasty:

Once again I'm totally biased because I have a short story in this one. But once again I was genuinely impressed to find myself in such accomplished company:

Labels: ,

I do love reading other peoples book lists as there are always authors, titles and topics I have never thought of. I shall seek out some of these throughout this year,the one that catches my eye on the first read through is Calum's Garden. I have read a few books about Nova Scotia, my last purchase a book of short stories by Alastair Macleod. Goyette sounds interesting too. There is just is not enough time for words both reading and writing. Oh well life is far from dull.
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alistair MacLeod is a favourite as well - gorgeous writing. But speaking of Nova Scotia books, of course I'd be remiss if I didn't recommend Drive-by Saviours ;-)
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?