My Best of 2011

  • Sunday, January 01, 2012

My reading life had its stops and starts this year. I've read a total of 30 books this year, which is such a hodegpodge that I can only laugh about it.
Favourite reads of 2011

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

This is a children's book, but adults will love it too! I was captivated by the lovely storytelling, the beautiful illustrations, and just the whole concept of a book-flipbook combination. Selznick both wrote and illustrated the book - kudos to him! Check out my post so you can see some of the illustrations and a video about how the book was made. Verdict: This book is wishlisted. I want my very own copy!

The Happiness Project Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin

I got this at a yard sale and feel like I stumbled upon a diamond in the rough. This one book that I will ruminate upon again and again. Rubin got me with her "The days are long but the years are short."

I often go to the blog to read and reflect. Because like Rubin, I want to be happy because I deserve to be happy!

Rats: Observations on the History and Habitat of the City's Most Unwanted Inhabitants by Robert Sullivan

I can't believe I am writing this, but probably the most fascinating (and I surprised I enjoyed it) is a book about ... RATS! I haven't yet reviewed this one, but the rat lore (rats popping out of the toilet, stories of "the one that got away), the onsite research that Sullivan did and how he ingeniously exposed rats for what they really are - an amazing species - is nothing short of engaging! Now who can claim fame to writing about such a reviled subject with such aplomb?

Neil Gaiman has become one of my all-time favourites, and this year:
  • I re-read Coraline in all its delicious creepiness,
  • Enjoyed the lesser-known sci-fi time travel page-turner Interworld (why oh why ddn't I review this?)
  • Laughed out loud like silly about a screwed-up Armageddon in Good Omens (with Terry Pratchett, of course), and
  • Marvelled at Gaiman's storytelling prowess in the children's fable Odd and the Frost Giants.


And a few more blog highlights:

Reconnecting with my Filipino roots and my Filipino book friends

I got rather distracted with life in general but made a huge comeback with my review of Filipino-authored Ilustrado. Quite a challenging read but well worth it.

I joined in on Filipino Friday, a weekly meme that lead up to the first ever Filipino Reader Conference last September 14. Some very thought provoking questions were asked, and the online discussions were just so much fun to weigh in on! Whoopee for Filipino book bloggers! Spread the book love!

Lots of requested reviews

I finally put up a review policy and got a bunch of inquiries for book reviews, from both authors and publishers. Here are some of the reviews:
Piles of thrifted books

I scored some really great reads through the city's giveaway weekend, local thrift stores, and yard sales. Check out my hardbound Agatha Christies, a whole bunch of The 39 Clues books, and so many more!

Lots more cool shelves!

I kept stumbling upon so many ingenious bookshelves that I decided to make "Bookshelf Love" a tab up there. Here's a smattering of my faves:

2011 was so much fun! Thanks for coming by and chiming in on my love for books, reading, and all things literary. I look forward to more great things in 2012. And I wish you the same!

1 comment

  1. Cool books! Haven't read any of them myself but I will take your recommendations into consideration. Good luck in the new year!


© guiltless readingMaira Gall