Books of 2011

So, I didn’t read as much as I had hoped this year. I’m not sure why that is, exactly, but my writing did suffer because of it, because, for me, reading=lots of writing.

The three fiction standouts from my list were NOTHING, by Janne Teller, which is a terrible and difficult and incredible book. Apparently, YA fiction in Denmark is a whole ‘nother kettle of fish. Standout #2 was PLAIN KATE by Erin Bow – oh gosh, I loved this book – this is the sort of fantasy that warms my heart and makes me want to be a better writer. Standout #3 was CRACKED by K.W. Walton, which will be released on January 3 (I read an ARC) – poignant, funny, sad, bittersweet – all the things I love in good YA fiction.

And, an honourable mention: SLAMMERKIN by Emma Donoghue. I admire any writer who breaks rules and doesn’t apologize for it. That is my writing motto for this year: don’t apologize. (It’ll be interesting to see how that pans out, being Canadian and all….)

What I am pleased about is that I read a lot more non-fiction this year. This was the year I discovered Elizabeth Lesser’s BROKEN OPEN, and what a tremendous help this book has been! Every creative person (and really, that means everyone) needs tools to swim through the murk, because there will be murk, and it’s murky (really, this sentence just an excuse to use the word “murk” repeatedly because murk is a fantastic word!). And, the other: THE FOREST FOR THE TREES, by Betsy Lerner, which, I think, is required reading for any writer. Like a writerly friend said, I spent a lot of time wondering how Betsy Lerner could have crawled into my brain – she KNOWS what the murk is like, and she gets it, and then, she hands out anti-murk tools. Betsy Lerner and Elizabeth Lesser, I am so grateful for your books. I hope I get to tell you so in person one day.

This year I hope to read more writing craft books (a stack of them is staring at me right now!), more riding books, and more adult literary fiction. But mainly, I’d like to make a dent in my TBR pile (which has morphed from a pile into several shelves) – the more I read, the more room I’ll have for new books!

So, with that, here’s the rest of the list:

NOT THAT KIND OF GIRL – Siobhan Vivian
NOTHING – Janne Teller
PLAIN KATE – Erin Bow
SLAMMERKIN – Emma Donoghue
GETTING IN TTOUCH WITH YOUR HORSE – Linda Tellington-Jones
ARMAGGEDON’S CHILDREN – Terry Brooks
THE GIVER – Lois Lowry
LANGUAGE OF EMOTIONS – Karla McLaren
HUSH HUSH – Becca Fitzpatrick
INSIDE OUT – Maria V. Snyder
INNER GOLD – Robert Johnson
EPITAPH ROAD – David Patneaude
GAME OF THRONES – George R.R. Martin
A CLASH OF KINGS – George R.R. Martin
A STORM OF SWORDS – George R.R. Martin
DIVERGENT – Veronica Roth
XVI – Julia Karr
BROKEN OPEN – Elizabeth Lesser
THE REVENANT – Sonia Gessler
A FEAST FOR CROWNS – George R.R. Martin
SELF-EDITING FOR FICTION WRITERS – Browne & King
ROOM – Emma Donoghue
BEYOND THE DANCE – Chan Hon Goh
BLACKBRINGER – Laini Taylor
ROSE SEES RED – Cecil Castellucci
BLOOD RED ROAD – Moira Young
ILLYRIA – ELizabeth Hand
GRACE – Elizabeth Scott
WILD MIND – Natalie Goldberg
THE FOLKKEEPER – Franny Billingsley
TOXIC CRITICISM – Eric Maisel
DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE – Laini Taylor
A DANCE WITH DRAGONS – George R.R. Martin
CRACKED – K.W. Walton
THE FIRE IN FICTION – Donald Maass
WOMEN’S COMPLETE GUIDE TO RUNNING – Jeff & Barbara Galloway
PRETTY CROOKED – Elisa Ludwig
MARIETTE IN ECSTASY – Ron Hansen
BRAVE BATTALION – Mark Zuelke
THE LOST GARDEN – Helen Humphreys
MERLIN’S HARP – Anne Eliot Crompton
THE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINGDOMS – N.K. Jemisin
THE RED MARKET – Scott Carney
THE REVISIONIST – Thomas Mullen
SHE-WOLVES – Helen Castor
THE FOREST FOR THE TREES – Betsy Lerner
THE BODY NEVER LIES – Alice Miller
BANEWREAKER – Jacqueline Carey
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One thought on “Books of 2011

  1. NOTHING was amazing – terrible, as you say, but in a very good way. PLAIN KATE is nearing the top of my TBR (finally!), and CRACKED is one I can’t wait for (after hearing you rave about it, lol) — I have it pre-ordered, so it should arrive in my mailbox soon.

    I’m also looking forward to letting Betsy Lerner into my brain — hooray for anti-murk tools!

    Thanks for sharing your list, Catherine! 🙂

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