The Reading Year That was 2011, and The Year That Will Be 2012

During the last few days of 2011, I attempted to participate in the year-end best-and-worst-reads meme courtesy of Nomes, called Faves of TwentyEleven. I knew it was tall order for me to finish all the categories before I ran out of time (on the 28th, my family took the long drive off to Bicol to spend the new year) but I tried to do it, anyway. Unfortunately, I was only able to write two posts for the Faves of TwentyEleven: The Books and The Characters, and before I realized it, the new year was upon me.

So what I'm going to do instead, to make up for my failure to complete the series, is to write down a concise, short-but-sweet enumeration of my best and worst reads for 2011 (which was the original plan I had, anyway). I've read a lot of great books this year, but I think I can narrow the best ones down to 4, and they are the following:

(1) Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides >>> Absolutely one of the best books written, ever. I loved it so much I still stare off into space whenever I am reminded of Cal Stephanides, and his life's travails. I'm looking forward to reading The Virgin Suicides and Eugenides' new work, The Marriage Plot, soon.

(2) Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro >>> The slow but steady pace, and then that big wham near the end, wow. I mean, just, wow. Too bad I'm only allowed to give 5 stars for the best books, otherwise I'd have given this one a 6, it was that good.

(3) Life of Pi by Yann Martel >>> Notwithstanding issues on plagiarism and non-originality of the plot, I still appreciated this book for what it's worth.

(4) A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness >>> The combination of elements extant in this debut novel was successful, and I will always love the preternatural aspect of things. Looking forward to the next installment in the series.

Headache, anyone?

As for the worst, well, I could only think of one, and that's A Passage To India by E.M. Forster. I buddy-read this with my fellow book blogger and Goodreads friend Angus, who shares the same sentiments. When we finished reading this, we were like, what the hell was that all about...??!

2012 has just rolled around, and reading resolutions abound. As for me, I don't have any: I still don't intend to join any reading challenges for the number of books read for a specific period, I don't have any new genres to discover because I read everything, and I couldn't think of anything new I'd like to introduce on this blog. I will still read any book from any genre that I feel like reading, and I will still buy both print (brand-new or secondhand) and e-books.

Well, okay, there is one thing: I will attempt to whittle down my TBR pile to a more manageable level, and I will not hoard books especially bargain copies. Does this count as a reading resolution? :D Oh, and I think I should try reading more of the local books. In 2011, I read only two: Mina V. Esguerra's Fairy Tale Fail and Paolo Chikiamco's High Society. I really should start picking more Filipino stuff, right?

Looking forward to a good reading year in 2012 - just like the one I had in 2011. See you in a bit! :)


Anonymous said…
I have included Life of Pi in my 2012 Reading List. Your thoughts on it make me look forward to it.
Monique said…
ANGUS: I hope you don't get disappointed. :)
fantaghiro23 said…
I loved 3 out of the 4 books you mentioned. Middlesex and Life of Pi made it to my old best of the year lists. Though I haven't read Discovery of Witches yet. But since we seem to like the same books, I think I'll pick that one up. Thanks and happy 2012 to you, Monique!
Tina said…
Yay to more Filipino books. :D And Never Let Me Go. :D
Lynai said…
I plan to read more Filipino books this year too. But I also resolve to hold off book-buying this year (since I failed with this same resolution last year). Hm how do I go around with this one then? Haha.

Happy new year, Monique! :)
Monique said…
HONEY: I know that you're an eclectic reader, so I'm almost positive that you'll appreciate A Discovery of Witches. And it's so nice to know that we like the same books - this is also the reason I'm going to make time out to read Cloud Atlas. :)

TINA: Truth be told, you and Kuya Doni got me to thinking about reading more local books. Um, maybe just not Bob Ong, and I'll be fine. :D

LYNAI: Oh, I think I managed to curb my book-buying impulses when I realized last year that I had no more space for more print books! Ah, but the e-books are another problem. LOL.

Happy new year, too! :)
dementedchris said…
I bought A Discovery of Witches last year but never got around to reading it. But I love love love Never Let Me Go. :)

I hope you read (and enjoy) Cloud Atlas, Monique! Happy new year!
Monique said…
CHRIS: I will read Cloud Atlas this year, I promise! :)

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