These are, of course, not books published in 2011 but books
I read in 2011
Best Goofy Sci-Fi Scenario
Eifelheim, Michael Flynn (Space aliens land in a medieval German village and discuss cosmology and ethics with the local priest).
Blogged in Remember
Weird Sisters, Terry Pratchett (along with others of the Discworld series…imagine Lord of the Rings written by PG Wodehouse).Blogged in This thane walks into a bar
Snappiest Literary Style, classic
Human Voices, Penelope FitzGerald (also pretty funny).
Blogged in The end of the world news
runner-up: Their Finest Hour, Winston Churchill(also touching—who knew Winston liked the French so much?).Blogged in A child’s garden of shrapnel
Snappiest Literary Style, modern
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz. Blogged in How
do you say ‘bachata‘ in Elvish?
Most Obseessively and Infectiously Imagined Fantasy World
A Song of Ice and Fire, George R.R.Martin.Blogged in
A Song of S and M
The Dogs of Riga, Henning Mankell.Mankell is not exactly Tony Hillerman on his best day, and this is very far from his best.One waits in vain for an actual mystery with actual clues…instead all one gets is atmosphere, to wit, Riga in winter in the aftermath of the Soviet occupation, which provldes a setting where a Swede can be even more depressed than he is at home.
Antiquity: The Civilization of the Ancient World, Norman Cantor.Demoralizingly careless hackwork, it’s a shame that trees were killed for this. Blogged in There’s
a lot of ruins in Mesopotamia
Best Literary Criticism in a Poem
Noose and Hook, Lynn Emanuel. Blogged in Criticism will be love
Best Poem about a Gay British Biker who Drops Acid and Totally Grooves on a Giant Lit-Up Beer Ad
Selected Poems, Thom Gunn
I Learned a Lot From
A History of Britain, Simon Schama.Any man who calls Thomas Cromwell a Putney cleverdick is worth reading.You wouldn’t think a companion book (actually
3 volumes) to a TV series would be very exciting, but Simon is something of a cleverdick himself.