Saturday, December 31, 2011

Blah Book Awards of 2011

Fiction
1) We Need To Talk About Kevin - Lionel Shriver. I'm not saying it's "greater" than the books by Marquez, Llosa, Saramago etc I read. But reading this book was like being punched in the gut. Harrowing, emotionally draining, raw... nothing came close to it in terms of impact.
2) Love in the Time of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It just may be one of the best love stories I've ever read along with the likes of Remains of the Day (yes i think it's a love story) and A farewell To Arms.
3) The Time of the Hero - Mario Vargas Llosa. Llosa is a master. In most years this would be the best book I'd read all year but this year was just exceptionally rich in terms of the fiction I read and this wasn't as personal to me as the two above.
4) Blindness (Harvest Book) - Jose Saramago. In its own way, this is as harrowing as Kevin and I'm sure most people will prefer this. But being a father just made Kevin much more powerful for me. Somehow, I'm always drawn to these post-apocalyptic scenarios
5) Light in August - William Faulkner
6) The Complete Persepolis - Marjane Satrapi


Non-Fiction
1) Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream -H. G. Bissinger. To say this is one of the best sports books ever written would be to not do it justice. An examination of race, sport, masculinity and Americana through the prism of a high-school football team. Gripping and unputdownable.
2) Tokyo Vice - Jake Adelstein
3) Black Hearts: One platoon's descent into madness in Iraq's triangle of death - Jim Frederick


Overall
1) We Need To Talk About Kevin - Lionel Shriver
2) Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream -H. G. Bissinger
Joint 2) Love in the Time of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez


Worst Book of the Year
3 Cups of Tea... what a load of pretentious, self-glorifying bullshit

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