As a blogger, one of the best things I love about the year’s end is that I can write a definitive “Best of [insert year here]” list. So, in the next couple of days, I’ll be writing and posting my 2011 definitive list in different categories. I’ve already done my list for comics, games and films. Today, my list is for the best books of the year.
I’ve read 13 books this year. That’s actually an improvement over last year’s number (only read 8 books in 2010). Although some of the books I’ve read weren’t 2011 releases, and most were just trashy sci-fi and fantasy. I also missed some big releases like A Dance with Dragons (because I’ve yet to read A Feast For Crows), and also failed a promise to myself to read IQ84. Still, I’m happy with the books that I’ve read this year.
Anyways, my 5 favorite books that I’ve read this year:
A contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, I didn’t know who John Jeremiah Sullivan prior to Pulphead: Essays. But after reading 14 of his essays in this book –with topics ranging from Axl Rose, hanging out with the cast of The Real World, and his life as an apprentice to Andrew Nelson Lytle, I became an instant fan. I just wish I could nearly write essays like this guy.
Ready Player One is the most enjoyable book I’ve read in recent years. Like the movie Super 8, it reminded me of my childhood during the 80’s. This book is not for everyone though. But if you’re a geek like me, who enjoyed movies like Blade Runner, listened to bands like Rush, owned an Atari 2600, and played pen & paper role-playing games, then you’ll love this book.
All Men of Genius isn’t original. For one, it’s the steampunk version of Harry Potter. It also borrowed ideas of cross dressing and mistaken identities from Twelfth Night and The Importance of Being Earnest. But it’s well-written and genius, nonetheless. It’s a very entertaining book filled with humor and commentaries about roles in society. I really enjoyed reading every page of it.
This book, I have to read twice. It gave me a nosebleed the first time I read it. It’s a hard sci-fi book with concepts that I didn’t quite understood. But the book became a beauty after I re-read it. Embassytown is unlike other sci-fi books. It’s not a space opera with lots of alien sex. But, instead, it focuses on the science of language and communication, of how important it is.
Set in WWII Pacific Theater, Lost in Shangri-La is the story of the search and impossible rescue of 3 plane crash survivors in an uncharted valley, believed to be inhabited by 7 foot cannibals, in Dutch New Guinea. This is the best non-fiction book I’ve ever read. The narrative here is so good that, sometimes, I forget that it’s not a work of fiction.
So, these are my best books of 2011. I hope you guys like my list. Tomorrow, I’ll be posting my last list, which is the “Best Albums of 2011”.