It's been an interesting year. One year ago, I had just moved to a new city. A couple of months from now, I will very likely be moving to a new country. Life is never dull.
That's a very good thing, by the way.
For my 2011 wrap-up post, I'm going to focus on my favorite books of the year, by month. (I'm only allowing myself to pick one per month, with one exception; otherwise, most of the books I read this year would end up on the list.)
The Highly Sensitive Person, by Elaine Aron. This book completely changed the way I understand my personality and helped me to find the balance I so desperately need in my life.
In Siberia, by Colin Thubron. This is an incredibly beautiful book. It completely changed the way I look at this fascinating part of the world.
Clutch of Constables, by Ngaio Marsh. Apparently, I didn't read much in March. Well, that's a little embarrassing. Of the books that I did read, this one was my favorite.
The Bronze Horseman, by Paullina Simons. Okay, it's really poorly written, but it's a fascinating story. And it sat with me for weeks. And it drove me to do historical research on a time/place that I had previously ignored. That has to count for something, doesn't it?
The Daughter of Time, by Josephine Tey. I couldn't put it down. And it ignited my interest in Tey. Both good things.
The Rest Is Noise, by Alex Ross, and A Mountain of Crumbs, by Elena Gorokhova. With these kinds of riches, it's hard to pick just one.
Written in Blood, by Caroline Graham. Loved it. So much better than the Midsomer Murders episode, and that was already pretty good.
Scales of Justice, by Ngaio Marsh. I really didn't like either Marsh book that I read during August, but if I had to pick one this would be it.
A Mind to Murder, by P.D. James. There would be something seriously wrong, if a P.D. James book wasn't my favorite for the month in which it was read.
To Love and Be Wise, by Josephine Tey. This one edged out The Singing Sands just by a little, largely because the story was so clever.
To Join the Lost, by Seth Steinzor. Exquisite poetry.
Brat Farrar, by Josephine Tey. Not her best, by any means. But the story stuck with me for a while.
My favorite book of the year falls more under the heading of "book that has influenced me the most this year." And that is definitely Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy, by Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick. But no more needs to be said about that here.
I decline to count up the number of books I've read this year, only because I (a) don't want to remind myself about how much more I could have read and (b) don't want to turn my reading into some sort of personal challenge to complete the most books. Overall, I'd count this as a good year. I could have read more, but what I did read had good effect.
By the way, I've posted my reading intentions for the New Year here.