Gaskella’s Books of the Year

It’s that time of year again, and I thought I’d highlight my top reads chosen from the 90 I’ve managed to read, so they’re not necessarily published this year.

All the books I’ve chosen are ones I gave 9 or more out of ten to; I tend to be generous in my scoring, having given eleven 10/10s this year – or have I been lucky in my reading choices?

The links go to my reviews.  Do let me know what you think and tell me about your best reads of 2011 …

  • Best debut novelThe Family Fang by Kevin Wilson – A bittersweet comedy that approaches art.
  • Darkest novel Comes the night by Hollis Hampton-Jones – A novel of twins set in the druggy world of the Paris fashion shows.
  • Most heart-warming novel Like Bees to Honey by Carole Smailes – A innovative novel chock full of Meditteranean sunshine.
  • Best YA novelThe Double shadow by Sally Gardner. Her first book for older teens and upwards is brilliant and complex.
  • Best modern classic in the makingRules of Civility by Amor Towles. Reminiscent of F Scott Fitzgerald, this great read might have the longevity to make it.
  • Best novel published before I was bornThe Hopkins Manuscript by R C Sheriff. A post-war dystopia from Persephone.
  • Best re-readLord of the Flies by William Golding. Didn’t affect me much as a teen, but decades later, I know it could happen.
  • Best crime/thrillerDirty Snow by Georges Simenon. Move over Maigret for some dark and nihilistic noir.
  • Most fun readRivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch. I’ll be reviewing this soon, but if you’re a Londoner and like funny books, this could be one for you.
  • Best cover A Cruel Bird Came to the Nest and Looked in by Magnus Mills. Gorgeous cover, and a close contender for my book of the year.

… and finally, my Book of the Year 2011 …

 The Sisters Brothers by Patrick de Witt. This novel resonated with so many of my cultural icons – The Blues Brothers, the Coen Brothers, TV Westerns and more, that I couldn’t help but love it.