Top 5 – Books Awards 2011

31 Dec

I started Bundleofbooks in April, so it’s not quite a year of reading – but oh! what books I have read in the last nine months! I have re-read old favourites such as Daphne Du Maurier’s Jamaica Inn and Rebecca and discovered some incredible authors; Margaret Atwood and Isabel Allende. I’ve finally got around to reading books that have been on my To Read list for years; Brick Lane, Naples ’44 and Sense and Sensibility. I’ve had a giggle with Bill Bryson and Douglas Adams and suffered moments of depression with Cormac McCarthy and Graham Greene.

Through all the delights, tears, fears, laughs and yawns I have had a wonderful year of reading! So without further ado, I would like to welcome you to the Book Awards – 2011 where I have chosen the best (and worst) books from my 2011 reading list!


Winner – Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (Hunter S. Thompson)

This book had me laughing out loud on the bus (and getting some odd looks). This crazy, drug fuelled trip is told in a disjointed, rambling stream of consciousness and is absolutely brilliant. Not only are the bizarre happenings hilarious, the book has a deeper undertone of the disillusion of a generation of Americans in the late 60s.

Runner Up – Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (Douglas Adams)


Winner – The End of the Affair (Graham Greene)

I love Graham Greene’s writing and have always been pleasantly surprised with the variety of his work. The End of the Affair is a moving exploration of the emotions that can be created by the end of love. It is not a normal love story, but it is honest and makes the reader think.

Runner Up – All the Pretty Horses (Cormac McCarthy)  


Winner – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Steig Larsson)

Well, it may not be the nicest award, but it is important! I’ve been disappointed with a few books this year, but The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is the worst. Maybe it’s because of the huge hype surrounding the Millennium Series, maybe it’s because I was expecting something so much better but probably it is just that it is a bad book. I know that many people will disagree, but it was slow, unnecessarily long and without a decent twist. Avoid!

Runner Up – Gardens of Delight (Erica James)


Winner – Jamaica Inn (Daphne Du Maurier)

I love this book. I read it when I was younger and had to lock myself away for two days so that I could read without interruptions. This time around, even though I knew the ending, I still could not put Jamaica Inn down. The mounting tension, the chills running down my spine, it’s exactly what you want from an Autumn/Winter read set in the miserable, lonely Cornish moors.

Runner Up – Inés of My Soul (Isabel Allende)


Winner – The Blind Assassin (Margaret Atwood)

Without a doubt, Margaret Atwood is my new favourite author. I have only read three of her books, and been completely blown away by two of them. The Blind Assassin is beautifully written. Three narratives are woven together to create a complex, but readable story. It is as close to perfection that I have got from a book for a very long time. If there is one book that you must read in 2012 – Make it The Blind Assassin!

Runner Up – Rebecca (Daphne Du Maurier)

Those are my choices, but what would you choose? Do you think I was too harsh on Stieg Larrson? Do you think Margaret Atwood is overrated? Let me know what your funniest, scariest or most depressing book of the year was! And of course, which books you think are best to avoid!

14 Responses to “Top 5 – Books Awards 2011”

  1. Kathryn February 11, 2012 at 5:46 am #

    I had a similar reaction to “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”–we’re definitely in the minority. I really loathed it. On the other hand, I also very much enjoyed “The Blind Assassin.” Based on our similar opinions (and my past enjoyment of Daphne Du Maurier, I’ll definitely have to add “Jamaica Inn” to my Must Read list.


    • bundleofbooks February 11, 2012 at 9:02 am #

      We obviously have similar tastes! I’m glad someone else agrees with me about The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo! Enjoy Jamaica Inn, it is definitely worth reading!


  2. Will Hall January 9, 2012 at 1:44 am #

    I’m ashamed to say I haven’t read any of these, apart from Fear and Loathing in Los Vegas. I will now add the one’s you recommended to my to-read pile. Rebecca is already there, I have been meaning to read it for such a long while; I love the film so much. The only problem is, having seen the film, the book may not offer many surprises.

    Great idea to round up a reading year. I’ll be doing this next year :-)


    • bundleofbooks January 9, 2012 at 6:38 pm #

      Thanks for the comment! I’ve also seen the film of Rebecca and it was good, but as is normally the case, the book is so much better! I still think you will be able to appreciate the building tension. And if I remember correctly, there are a few differences!

      Let me know what you think of the rest of the books you choose to read! :)


  3. mselene January 7, 2012 at 9:22 pm #

    This is a great idea, I am totally going to make my own list!


    • bundleofbooks January 7, 2012 at 9:25 pm #

      Thanks! You should, it’s a great way to round up the reading year and refresh your memory! I’d be interested to see what’s on your list.

      PS. Love your post about Magic. It’s exactly how I feel about reading!


  4. bookzilla January 2, 2012 at 4:34 am #

    I liked the Larsson novels, but they were too violent for me, and a little gratuitous — you can show a bad guy to be a bad guy without doing into gory and specific details, you know? At some points it felt like I was reading a snuff novel. :(

    Rebecca was great; and your review of Jamaica Inn makes me want to add it to my TBR list right away!


    • bundleofbooks January 2, 2012 at 8:38 am #

      Yes, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was pretty graphic! You should definitely read Jamaica Inn, it’s brilliant!


  5. Lucy December 31, 2011 at 6:52 pm #

    Although I generally love what Margaret Atwood has to offer The Blind Assassin didn’t blow me away. HOWEVER, I am totally with you on Stieg Larsson. It isn’t ordinarily my genre anyway but I was sick of people harping on about something I hadn’t read. It was quite yawnsome and, needless to say, I haven’t yet made it to the sequels.


    • bundleofbooks December 31, 2011 at 7:11 pm #

      Yes, I don’t think I’ll be reading any more of them. I might watch the film though (giving in to the hype again, I’m afraid!)


  6. AvidReader December 31, 2011 at 5:17 pm #

    The word is “woven,” not “weaved.”




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