Favorite Books by Women published in 2011?
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"A Girl Writing," Henriette Browne (1829-1901)
I read a lot of good books by women this year, some even great:
There but for the by Ali Smith
The Forgotten Waltz by Anne Enright
The Maid: A Novel of Joan of Arc by Kimberly Cutter
Conquistadora by Esmeralda Santiago
Stone Arabia: A Novel by Dana Spiotta
Once Upon a River by Bonnie Jo Campbell
Jamrach's Menagerie by Carol Birch
The Witches on the Road Tonight by Sheri Holman
Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
Wingshooters by Nina Revoyr
Doc by Mary Doria Russell
The Poison Tree: A Novel by Erin Kelly
February by Lisa Moore
Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff
Clara and Mr. Tiffany: A Novel by Susan Vreeland
The Hand That First Held Mine by Maggie O'Farrell
Old Border Road: A Novel by Susan Froderberg
Some of these were better than others, but for me they were all successful. A great year for women writers!!-- Jenny :o)
edited to add that I just finished a good first novel -- Ten Thousand Saints by Eleanor Henderson.
The only 3 that I can think of right now were Doc, loved it; Swamplandia, liked it; and The Night Circus, also liked it. I'll have to look through my list of reads and see if anything else was published this year. I do plan to read one more of the ones you cite this year - Cleopatra. I'll also be reading State of Wonder, both for my RL book club. How nice that we're finally picking some good reads for the coming year.
Wow, I found a lot more:
The Weird Sisters - Eleanor Brown didn't like it
Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton- loved it
Annabel - Kathleen Winter - loved it
The Memory of Love - Aminatta Forna - loved it
Bossypants - Tina Fey - loved it
A Stolen Life: A Memoir - Jaycee Dugard - loved it
The Buddha in the Attic - Julie Otsuka - loved it
Hark: A Vagrant (graphic) - Kate Beaton - liked it
and a couple of fluff vampire books cause I can't help it:
Dead Reckoning - Charlaine Harris - she's keeping me hooked on the Sookie Stackhouse series
Undead and Undermined - MaryJanice Davidson - that's enough shoe shopping for me, I won't be reading any more of the series.
The only one mentioned here that I read was The Help and I have to say, it was one of the rare occasions where I liked the movie better. A lot of the books here are on my tbr list, but it will probably be a while before I get to them :(
Oops, I forgot about The Tiger's Wife. I absolutely loved it and got my book club to read it in the coming year.
I think I'm the only person I've run into so far who could not make it through Swamplandia! I must agree that the writing is wonderful--I just couldn't get into the story, didn't care about the people in it.
My fav books by women published in 2011:
The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen
The Informationist by Taylor Stevens
Bossypants by Tina Fey
Reality is Broken by Jane McGonigal
The Floating Islands by Rachel Neumier
The list is short mostly because many of the other really wonderful books by women I read this year (The Tenderness of Wolves, Packing for Mars, Broken for You, Sharp Objects, etc.) were published before 2011. I'm always a bit behind in my reading.
I didn't read a lot of recent fiction by men or women in 2011, but I really liked the ones I read, and I also enjoyed some nonfiction by women published in 2011.
Once upon a River by Bonnie Jo Campbell (a favorite of the year)
In Red by Magdalena Tulli (a favorite of the year_
Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi
Sacred Trash: The Lost and Found World of the Cairo Geniza by Adina Hoffman and Peter Cole (a favorite of the year)
The Eichmann Trial by Deborah Lipstadt
It was Lois/avaland who turned me on to Bonnie Jo Campbell with her short story collection, American Salvage, which I thought was excellent. I read her earlier novel and short stories after that, and it was clear that she had been getting better over time. If you like short stories, I'd start with American Salvage, but there's no reason not to start with Once Upon a River.
Oh - forgot to reply to this one. The books from my Best of 2011 list that were written by women:
Winifred Holtby - South Riding
Judith Flanders - Consuming Passions
Iris Murdoch - The Green Knight
Helen Cross - Spilt Milk, Black Coffee
Monica Dickens - The Winds of Heaven
How egalitarian of me - that's 5 out of my top 10! But only one of my 4 non-fiction books, interestingly ...
I tend not to read books in the year they were written, as I have to wait for the paperback. But I did manage to read The night circus just after publication, and loved it. What a lovely first novel - and what will she follow up with?
that's okay, lyzzy! I get to a lot of new fiction when it's released through my library holds, but I completely understand how most LT users like to wait a bit for the paperbacks to come out. Hopefully many of us can refer back to this thread to find great recommendations. (and I know we did a similar thread in 2010)
I managed to squeeze reading Rikki Ducornet's brief, exquisitely written and very disturbing novel Netsuke into the last days of 2011. A beautifully imagined book but probably not for everybody.
Yes, she's very odd, isn't she! I recently read a short story that she wrote that was from the point of view of a clam. I wasn't sure if I was reading clam pornography or clam philosophy (or both). Did she illustrate the cover of Netsuke? She did the illustrations for Horse, Flower, Bird, which is where I first learned of her.
You know, Nickelini, I'm not sure if Ducornet illustrated the cover of Netsuke or not. I have to admit I'm one of those readers that don't much attention to cover art (although I scan illustrations within the text most carefully).
I've read virtually all of Ducornet's work and really like her. She has a distinctly poetic sensibility-intense, sensual, sometimes rather baroque. I think she works best in briefer formats as in this little gem of a novel (I love her book of short stories The Complete Butcher's Tales) as she can be rather hard to digest at length. Even when she's less than perfect though, I find her a very stimulating read.
Sorry to be so late posting, I don't seem to get around on LT as well as I used to. Most of the best books read last year that were also published in 2011, turn out to have male authors; however, there are a few exceptions:
Five Bells by Gail Jones (2011, Australian)
Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward (2011, US)
1222 by Anne Holt (T 2011, Norwegian)
To this list, I would add several other top notch books read last year but published earlier:
Bellefleur by Joyce Carol Oates (1980, US)
Penwoman by Elin Wagner (Swedish, 1910, T 2009)
Waiting by Goretti Kyomuhendo (2007, Uganda)
Minaret by Leila Aboulela (2005, Sudan/UK)
The Last Patriarch by Najat El Hachmi (2010, Morocco/Spain, T 2011)
I have Salvage the Bones sitting here, it's due back at the library in a week or so. Should I get to it?
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