You Win! Not these Trophies Though… Photo by Snap

Before we dive into our lists for the best books we have read in 2011, a brief explanation is in order. Unlike our musical tastes, the books we read span generations. Thus it makes little sense to only create a “best of list” around books published in 2011.

In fact as you will see, Donovan has only read 10 books published this year. Therefore, we have separated our “best of” list into four specific lists.

First, Donovan will present “Top Ten Books Published in 2011” list which will include all ten books he has read published this year.

Second, he will share his ten favorite novels read this year that have been published at any point in history beside 2011.

Third, he will list his ten favorite nonfiction books read this year.

Finally, Andrew will present his favorite 10 books of any genre or publish date that he read this year in a concise list unlike that other guy.

To assist with clarity, we will include objective ratings of each book on a 0-5 scale so that you can see how we view each book on a grand scale. So let us begin:


Top Ten Books Published in 2011
10. Falling Sideways: A Novel by Thomas E. Kennedy 2 stars
9. Boxer, Beetle: A Novel by Ned Beauman 2.5 stars
8. The Devotion of Suspect X: A Novel by Keigo Higashino 3 stars
7. 33 Revolutions per Minute: A History of Protest Songs, from Billie Holiday to Green Day by Dorian Lynskey 3 stars
6. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake: A Novel by Aimee Bender 3 stars
5. Business for the Common Good: A Christian Vision for the Marketplace by Kenman Wong 3.5 stars
4. Bright’s Passage: A Novel by Josh Ritter 4 stars
3. The Tiger’s Wife: A Novel by Téa Obreht 4.5 stars
2. The Art of Fielding: A Novel by Chad Harbach 4.5 stars
1. West of Here: A Novel by Jonathan Evison 5 stars

Top Ten Novels I Read in 2011
10. Wolf Hall: A Novelby Hilary Mantel 4 stars
9. A Visit from the Goon Squad: A Novel by Jennifer Egan 4 stars
8. The Sun Also Rises: A Novel by Ernest Hemingway 4 stars
7. All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy 4.5 stars ; The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy 4.5 stars; Cities of the Plain by Cormac McCarthy 4.5 stars
6. Room: A Novelby Emma Donoghue 5 stars
5. Oryx and Crake: A Novel by Margaret Atwood 5 stars; The Year of the Flood: A Novel by Margaret Atwood 5 stars
4. The Poisonwood Bible: A Novel by Barbara Kingsolver 5 stars
3. East of Eden: A Novel by John Steinbeck 5 stars
2. Slaughterhouse-Five, or the Children’s Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death by Kurt Vonnegut 5 stars
1. To Kill a Mockingbird: A Novel by Harper Lee 5 stars

Top Ten Nonfiction Books Read in 2011
10. God, Freedom, and Evil by Alvin Plantinga 3.5 stars
9. The Spirit of Food: 34 Writers on Feasting and Fasting toward God edited by Lesle Leyland Fields 3.5 stars
8. Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution – and How it Can Renew America by Thomas Friedman 3.5 stars
7. The Hole in Our Gospel: What Does God Expect of Us? The Answer that Changed My Life and Might Just Change the World by Richard Stearns 4 stars
6. Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle against World Poverty by Muhammad Yunus 4 stars
5. God the Economist: The Doctrine of God and Political Economy by M. Douglas Meeks 4 stars
4. Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis 4 stars
3. Work in the Spirit: Toward a Theology of Work by Miroslav Volf 4 stars
2. The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry by Wendell Berry, edited by Norman Wirzba 4.5 stars
1. Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things by William McDonough and Michael Braungart 4.5 stars
Andrew’s Top Ten Books Read in 2011

10. Carte Blanche: The New James Bond Novel by Jeffery Deaver 3 stars
9. Wolf Hall: A Novel by Hilary Mantel 3 stars
8. A Visit from the Goon Squad: A Novel by Jennifer Egan 3.5 stars
7. The Imperfectionists: A Novel by Tom Rachman 3.5 star
6. Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook by Anthony Bourdain 4 stars
5. The Blasphemer: A Novel by Nigel Farndale 4 stars
4. East of Eden: A Novel by John Steinbeck 4.5 stars
3. Moloka’i: A Novel by Alan Brennert 4.5 stars
2. Oryx and Crake: A Novel by Margaret Atwood 5 stars
1. The Magicians: A Novel by Lev Grossman 5+ stars

Well there it is! If any of these books look interesting by title alone, check the links for full reviews. Enjoy!

Posted by: Donovan Richards and Andrew Jacobson

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