Books of 2011?

When I remembered to do a post announcing which two lucky people won a copy of one of the titles in my ‘Best of 2010’ selections of their choices, I also realised that I hadn’t done a post on the books that I am most looking forward to in 2011. Currently due to naughty Royal Mail it seems none of my post is being forwarded so only a few catalogues have very recently arrived or been emailed and I’ve not hunkered down to read them yet. So before I do I wondered if you can help with any of your suggestions, and I don’t mean just with new books coming out in 2011, I mean any books I should really consider reading in 2011 that have already been published too.

I normally instantly devour all the catalogues when they arrive (and if anyone has any they want to send do email me at but I have held off a little this year with the ones that have made it to my new abode. In part I think I want to get through a few I meant to read in 2010 before I do and also I think I am still mentally thinking it is 2010 – I can be a little slow on the uptake sometimes. I also think because I want to read by whim in the forthcoming year I want to see just what crosses my path naturally (or via an arrival through the letterbox) and what you guys keep me abreast with. So I thought today, before I knuckle down with the catalogues early next week, I would simply hand it over to you with three simple questions…

  1. What book are you particularly excited about that’s coming out in 2011?
  2. What book came out in 2010 that didn’t get noticed as much as it should have and would you demand I try?
  3. What one single other book from any era, by any author, in any genre would you say that I should give a whirl at some point (if there are any in Mount TBR that’s great) in the near future on a whim?

Over to you then…!


Filed under Book Thoughts

10 responses to “Books of 2011?

  1. lizzysiddal

    1) I’m trying hard not to make mental lists of 2011 releases while I’m in the midst of the TBR dare. Yet it seems I must try harder!. I can’t wait for the new ones from Andrew Sean Greer, Jane Harris,and Henning Mankell. Then there’s the 3 Edwards: Hogan, Docx, and St Aubyn. 3 novellas from Pereine. And it’s only a matter of time before I read the new Nesbo. (I’m number 26 in the library reservation queue for that one!)

    2) I don’t have to think twice about this: The Existential Detective – Alice Thompson.

    3) As it’s bucketing down here, why don’t you pick up “The Silence of the Rain” …. you know, you want to!

    • Thanks Lizzy, great suggestions and selections. I do need to read The Silence of the Rain soon, the whim hasnt quite hit me as yet though.

      • Arrrgh the message sent before I wanted it too… pesky iPhone. I am looking forward to the Peirene books too actually, especially as I hear they are very different yet as equally wonderful as this years.

        I have heard of Alice Thompson and can’t work out why!!???

  2. 1) I’ve just finished reading a proof copy of Robin Blake’s fiction debut ‘A Dark Anatomy’ for the reading group @OrkneyLibrary. Due to be published on March 4th it’s the most entertaining crime novel I’ve read in a long while. Set in 1790s Preston, before it was industrialised, its well-paced plot and brilliantly vibrant characters makes this a gripping page-turner. A refreshing change from many contemporary books in the genre in which authors appear to feel the need to include every last morsel of their research into forensics. Personally I find this trend highly irritating as it is inclined to hold up the natural flow of the story.

    Robin Blake is otherwise known for his books on art, having written superb biographies of Anton Van Dyck and George Stubbs.

    2) A book which I suspect saw little publicity outside Wales was ‘A Place of Meadows and Tall Trees’, by Clare Dudman. I thought this was a wonderful work of historical fiction about the first Welsh settlers in Patagonia. Far from the being the green and fertile land they had been had been led to expect they found only arid country which was to bring them much heartache and suffering. This is a novel full of finely drawn characters, deep insight into the human psyche and, was for me, a fascinating journey into a part of Welsh history I was unaware of.

    3) ‘Brideshead Revisited’, by Evelyn Waugh is probably my favourite novel of all time. Since first discovering it at the age of 13 or 14 I have read it so often the covers are about to come off. It was pure joy to revisit it yet again for a creative writing course I took last year. I share some thoughts about it on my blog.

    This is a novel which will never date and has a permanent place on my TBR pile.

    • Hahahaha I like some of those over forensic books, especially the Tess Gerritsen ones but she did it as a job so I think its allowed. ‘A Dark Anatomy’ sounds brilliant.

      The Dudman book sounds good too!

      I have read and loved Brideshead Revisited so I would recommend that too to anyone else looking for a modern classic they need to read.

    • lizzysiddal

      Oh, as a Lancastrian I’ll look out for Robin Blake’s book.

      Also, will promote Clare Dudman’s book up the TBR. I picked up her latest as soon as it was published because I really enjoyed “98 Reasons For Being”.

  3. Pingback: Simon’s Bookish Bits #29 « Savidge Reads

  4. lizzysiddal

    I have heard of Alice Thompson and can’t work out why!!???

    ….most likely because I’ve never stopping harping on about “The Existential Detective” since I read it, perchance?

  5. Simon:- I’m fascinated by forensics as a science in its own right and would happily read a non-topic book devoted to the topic, but so often I find crime writers let the forensics take the story over (for me, anyway). Recent examples I’ve read like that include books by Val McDermid and Patricia Cornwell.

    Lizzie:- I added Dudman’s ’98 Reasons For Being’ to my TBR pile after finishing ‘A Place of Meadows and Tall Trees. After your recommendation I’ll be moving the former up my TBR 🙂 Knowing the history, streets and places mentioned in Blake’s book will add to your enjoyment, I’m sure.

  6. While I was thinking about other books which have been made into movies (inspired by Simon’s posts about ‘Brighton Rock’ and ’84 Charing Cross Road’) I remembered another of my favourites which made it onto film as well as being an excellent candidate for Point 3 …. ‘The Thirty Nine Steps’, by John Buchan.

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