Top 10 + 1 of 2011

Looking over the past year, I’ve read a bit of everything, but to be honest not many new ones. Here are my top ones, in no particular order. Hope you find one that you may have missed. Enjoy!

River of Doubt,Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey, by Candice Millard
Roosevelt heads out on an Amazon adventure to soothe his broken spirits after his presidential defeat in 1912.

The Giver, by Lois Lowry
I had never read this children’s classic, and was blown away by it. It’s the story of a utopian society that has gotten rid of pain and discomfort, and 12 year old Jonas’ discovery of a whole range of emotions that have been eliminated from his society.

No Country for Old Men, by Cormac McCarthy
The movie follows this book closely, but if you haven’t seen it, the story is about a hunter, Llewelyn Moss, who stumbles upon a drug deal gone bad on the US-Mexico border in 1980. He’s pursued by Anton Chigurh, a pure psychopath.

The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls
I was surprised that I enjoyed this one as much as I did. It’s the memoir of Jeannette Walls, and her wreck of a family. Her dad is an alcoholic and her mom is about as selfish as they come, and the two of them drag the poor kids all across the country dodging the law and bill collectors. At times funny and heartbreaking.

Land of Lincoln: Adventure’s in Abe’s America, by Andrew Ferguson
Ferguson grew up a Lincoln buff and as an adult tours the country’s Lincoln museums and events. Funny and educational, the most interesting part is about the making and planning of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois.

Pepper Pike, by Les Roberts
This is the first in his long sleuth series centered in Cleveland, featuring Slovenian private investigator Milan Jacovich.

Benjamin Franklin, an American Life, by Walter Isaacson
Engaging biography of this remarkable genius.

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
Hilarious novel about sloth-like Ignatius J. Reilly and his adventures and assortment of characters he runs into in 1960’s New Orleans.

Black Like Me, by John Howard Griffin
White author Griffin’s real life experiment with racism. Griffin dyed his pigment and lived in the South in the late 1950’s. This is a real eye-opener.

Marley and Me, by John Grogan
Here’s another one I was surprised by. Anyone who has had a crazy dog will relate and laugh their head off. Even if you don’t have a dog you will enjoy this read, although be warned, the end is a tearjerker.

And one bonus book…

Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand
The true story of Louis Zamperini, Olympic runner and Word War II POW, and his unbelievable tale of survival after being adrift in the Pacific, and then held captive in deplorable conditions in a POW camp.

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