Friday, December 30, 2011

What I Read in 2011

Every year I set the goal of reading 52 books in 52 weeks.

Well, I made the mark! For funsies, I read 75 books in the last 52 weeks.

My Top 10 of 2011:
1. Dance with a Poor Man’s Daughter – Pamela Jooste
2. Eva Luna – Isabel Allende
3. The Penelopiad – Margaret Atwood
4. Local Girls – Alice Hoffman
5. Coloured Lights – Leila Aboulela
6. Purple Hibiscus – Chimanda Ngozi Adichie
7. Lives: Simone Weil – Francine Du Plessix Grey
8. King Leopold’s Ghost: A story of greed, terror and heroism in colonial Africa -- Adam Hochschild
9. Gilead – Marilynne Robinson
10. Freedom – Jonathan Franzen

And the complete list:
1. Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand – Helen Simonson (fiction)
2. The Last Fish Tale – Mark Kurlansky (nonfiction)
3. American Gods – Neil Gaiman (sci-fi/fiction)
4. The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet – David Mitchell (fiction)
5. Super Sad True Love Story – Gary Shteyngart (fiction)
6. The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival -- John Valliant (nonfiction)
7. The Penderwicks of Gardam Street – Jeanne Birdsall (YA fiction)
8. The Waves – Virginia Woolf (fiction)
9. The Beet Queen – Louise Erdrich (fiction)
10. Embroderies – Marjane Satrapi (graphic novel)
11. Gathering Blue – Lois Lowry (YA fiction)
12. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe – Douglas Adams (science fiction)
13. A Walk in the Night and Other Stories – Alex La Guma (short story collection)
14. Uncle Tom’s Children – Richard Wright (short story collection)
15. Burger’s Daughter – Nadine Gordimer (fiction)
16. Dance with a Poor Man’s Daughter – Pamela Jooste (fiction)
17. In the Dark with me Dress on Fire – Blanche La Guma (memoir)
18. The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro (fiction)
19. Eva Luna – Isabel Allende (fiction)
20. Girl with a Pearl Earring – Tracy Chevalier (historical fiction)
21. Norwegian Wood – Haruki Murakami (fiction)
22. The Attack – Yamina Khadra (fiction)
23. Numbers in the Dark – Italo Calvino (short fiction collection)
24. Brida – Paulo Coelho (fiction)
25. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich – Alexander Solzhenitsyn (fiction)
26. Labyrinths – Jorge Luis Borges (fiction)
27. First Light – Rebecca Stead (YA fiction)
28. Beats of No Nation – Uzodinma Iweala (fiction)
29. The Penelopiad – Margaret Atwood (fiction)
30. Tipping the Velvet – Sarah Waters (fiction)
31. Purple Hibiscus – Chimanda Ngozi Adichie (fiction)
32. Let the Great World Spin – Colum McCann (fiction)
33. Laura – Larry Watson (fiction)
34. Sexuality: A Very Brief Introduction – Veronique Mottier (history)
35. Teacher Man – Frank McCourt (memoir)
36. The Art Instinct – Denis Dutton (philosophy)
37. Gilead – Marilynne Robinson (fiction)
38. Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of “Sex” – Judith Butler (philosophy)
39. Henry and June – Anais Nin (memoir)
40. Lives: Simone Weil – Francine Du Plessix Grey (biography)
41. The Seven-Storey Mountain – Thomas Merton (memoir)
42. White Teeth – Zadie Smith (fiction)
43. Freedom – Jonathan Franzen (fiction)
44. Factotum – Charles Bukowski (fiction)
45. Green-Eyed Thieves – Imraan Coovadia (fiction)
46. Siddhartha – Hermann Hesse (fiction)
47. Sozaboy – Jen Saro-Wiwa (fiction)
48. Karl Rahner – William V. Dych, SJ (theology)
49. The Songlines – Bruce Chatwin (travelogue/fiction)
50. The Traveling Poet – Shelley Barry (poetry)
51. On Photograhpy – Susan Sontag (history/philosophy)
52. Coloured Lights – Leila Aboulela (short story collection)
53. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – Robert M. Pirsig (philosophy/fiction/travelogue)
54. She May Not Leave – Fey Weldon (fiction)
55. In Defense of Food – Michael Pollan (nonfiction)
56. The Bang-Bang Club – Greg Marinovich and Joao Silva (history/memoir)
57. King Leopold’s Ghost: A story of greed, terror and heroism in colonial Africa -- Adam Hochschild(history)
58. The Glass Palace – Amitav Ghosh (historical fiction)
59. Anatomy of an African Kingdom: A History of Bunyoro-Kitara – J.W. Nyakatura (history)
60. Promise of a Dream: Remembering the Sixties – Sheila Rowbotham (memoir/history)
61. The Other America – Michael Harrington (history)
62. Commencement – J. Courtney Sullivan (trashy fiction)
63. The Seed is Mine: The Life of Kas Maine, A South African Sharecropper 1894-1985 (history/biography)
64. Taking Back God: American Women Rising up for Religious Equality – Leora Tanenbaum (nonfiction)
65. An Eye for Colour – Norman Silver (YA Fiction)
66. True Confessions of Adrian A. Mole – Sue Townsend (YA Fiction)
67. Aminata, The Wind Loves You: An African Folktale – Retold by Chia Hearn Chek, Illustrated by Kwan Shan Mei (Children’s Fiction)
68. The Angry Gods: A Tibetan Folktale – Retold by Chia Hearn Chek, Illustrated by Kwan Shan Mei (Children’s Fiction)
69. Gandhi’s Prisoner?: The Life of Gandhi’s Son Manilal – Uma Dhupelia-Mesthrie (biography)
70. The Lost Boy – Thomas Wolfe (novella)
71. From Death to Morning – Thomas Wolfe (short story collection)
72. The History of Love – Nicole Krauss (fiction)
73. News of a Kidnapping – Gabriel Garcia Marquez (nonfiction)
74. Local Girls – Alice Hoffman (fiction)
75. Absurdistan – Gary Shteyngart (fiction)


  1. I juuust barely met the 52/52 goal with 53 books, arguably. (I'm about 225 pages into a 300 page book right now; I'm not confident I'll have finished it by midnight tomorrow.)I would have liked to have been somewhere in the 70's.
    If I count comics/graphic novels, I'm at 105.


    So much fun! And now I have that list I have been begging you for in your first 6 posts.. oops. sorry :)

    Also, I have to go back to work now, but I love this blog!!!
    Did you know UMMA has a blog?