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!
AWARD – MOST LAUGH OUT LOUD MOMENTS
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)
AWARD – MOST TEAR JERKING READ
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)
AWARD – MOST DISAPPOINTING READ
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)
AWARD – MOST UNPUTDOWNABLE BOOK
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)
AWARD – BEST WRITTEN BOOK
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!