Best Books of 2011

2011 Best Books lists offer suggestions for gifts or for your own reading.

If you're looking for a good book to read over the holidays, or if you are trying to decide what books to give as gifts this year, you might find this sampling of “Bests” lists helpful.

The Publisher’s Weekly’s list is out, as are The New York Times' Top Ten, the 100 Notable Books and Best Illustrated Books for Children. There's also Best Books for Teens from Kirkus Reviews (and kids' and adults' lists, as well). And both Amazon and Barnes & Noble have just released their best book lists.

Certain titles appear on many lists, such as, Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, Bossypants by Tina Fey, Stephen King's 11/22/63, and The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides, but there are also some surprises, books you might not have discovered yet. One, for me, is You Know When the Men Are Gone, short stories by Siobhan Fallon, about military spouses at Fort Hood, a moving and insightful look at life today on the homefront, chosen by Janet Maslin, of
The New York Times. Michiko Kakutani, the other regular book reviewer for The New York Times, has some intriguing titles on her list, as well.

Staff recommend these titles that have been named as "bests." Fiction: The Leftovers by Tom Perotta and The Paris Wife by Paula McLain; Non-Fiction: Arguably: Essays by Christopher Hitchens and Inside Scientology by Janet Reitman. For Children: Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick. For Teens, Divergent by Veronica Roth and Crossed by Ally Condie.

Is there a mystery/thriller aficiando in your family? Marilyn Stasio, of The New York Times, makes her 2011 recommendations. She includes two books popular with North Reading readers, The Cut by George Pelecanos and The Fifth Witness by Michael Connelly, a prolific writer whose newest, The Drop, was released last week. Local readers also love Janet Evanovich; her new Stephanie Plum adventure is Explosive Eighteen.  

Ebook "Bests" include many of the same titles as the traditional best book lists. According to Digital Book Readers.com, Amazon nominated Chad Harbach's
The Art of Fielding, about a gifted college baseball player, as the best book of 2011.

You'll find a display of the Best Books on the first floor of the . If you don't see a book you want on the display, or elsewhere on a shelf, you can place a hold on it through the Evergreen catalog.

What was the best book you read this year? Best eBook? Do you have your  own "best" list? We'd like to hear from you! 

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