It’s never easy to whittle a year of some truly great books down to just a few personal preferences, but here goes my completely arbitrary categories anyway (in no particular order):
Novels that continue to haunt me: Little Monsters by Charles Lambert and My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier
Perhaps the best Simenon I’ve read to date: Dirty Snow
Best of the seven Jim Thompson novels read for my noirfest: Pop 1280. The Killer Inside Me came a very close second, but the nasty sense of humour in Pop 1280 ultimately won the day.
Speaking of nasty sense of humour, the award has to go to Henry Sutton’s FABULOUS Get Me Out of Here and The Pets by Bragi Olafsson
For crime, it doesn’t get better than Drive by James Sallis.
Best classic noir: Build My Gallows High by Geoffrey Homes and Hell Hath No Fury by Charles Williams (both made into films, btw).
Best 20th C American: The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone by Tennessee Williams
Best Classics, French: Gobseck by Balzac. Russian: The Duel by Chekhov and The Eternal Husband by Dostoevsky. British: The Trumpet Major by Thomas Hardy.
Best new American release: Calling Mr King by Ronald de Feo
Best new British Fiction: The Old Romantic by Louise Dean, King of the Badgers by Philip Hensher–both of these were the second books I’d read by these authors and the reading enjoyment firmly sealed me as a fan of both.
Best non-fiction: The Man in the Rockefeller Suit by Mark Seal
So thanks to all my readers and all those who left comments, and also thanks to the authors who sweated blood and tears over the novels that enriched my life beyond measure in 2011. With a good book, life is never boring.
Filed under Balzac, Blogging, Chekhov, De Feo Ronald, Dean Louise, Dostoevsky, du Maurier Daphne, Fiction, Hardy, Thomas, Hensher Philip, Homes Geoffrey, Lambert Charles, Olafsson Bragi, Sallis James, Simenon, Sutton Henry, Thompson Jim, Williams Charles, Williams Tennessee