Thursday, December 29, 2011
Novels That Had Me Near Tears...of Funny
Domestic Violets, by Matthew Norman, and Fathermucker, by Greg Olear -- Of all the novels I read this year, I probably had the most pure fun reading these two.
Best (But Most Depressing) Novel About Catholicism
Faith, by Jennifer Haigh -- Haunting. A gut-punch to your guilt-basket. But very, very good.
Longest, Most Scaled-the-Summit-Feeling-When-Finished Novel
War and Peace, of course. As one commenter suggested, I can now where the "I Read War and Peace" Tshirt. You know, if something like that existed. It doesn't, right? Right?
Uber-Hyped Trilogy That Kept Getting Worse As The Books Got Longer
I liked The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. But The Girl Who Played With Fire was mostly dull and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest made me glad there are no more novels.
First Time With a Famous Novelist...Success
Haruki Murakami -- I loved both Norwegian Wood and Kafka on the Shore. I'm hoping to take on The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and 1Q84 in 2012.
First Time With a Famous Novelist...Failure
T.C. Boyle -- When The Killing's Done just didn't do it for me. But it was just intriguing enough to give Boyle another try...at some point.
Most Sobering Reading Moment of 2011
Finishing The Pale King, by David Foster Wallace. Made me incredibly, incredibly sad.
Most Overrated Book of the Year
The Tiger's Wife, by Tea Obreht -- The writerly chops are clear, but why this novel won so many awards isn't.
Biggest Surprise of the Year
I really, really enjoyed Gone With The Wind. I had assumed it would be an ooey-gooey slog. Not so at all. Ta'dow, Rhett!
In The Garden of Beasts, by Erik Larson -- Just a fascinating, intricately researched look behind the curtain of Berlin in the 1930s.
Favorite Fiction of the Year
3. The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach
2. Domestic Violets, by Matthew Norman
1. The History of History, by Ida Hattemer-Higgins
Cheers to a great Literary 2012!
Posted by Greg Zimmerman at 10:55 AM