It’s that time of the year when I don’t recommend books for Christmas. Books have always been a personal thing for me, and I usually hesitate, and hesitate long, before I buy a book for someone else, unless they’ve expressed a desire for it.
That said, I can say there are a number of books I thoroughly enjoyed reading this year, and even though I’m not recommending them, I do think others – a lot of others – would enjoy them as well. They would definitely fall into the “best books I read in 2011” list.
One note: some of the titles below appeared first or only in their ebook versions. The industry is a-changing.
Paradise Valley by Dale Cramer.
Lime Creek by Joe Henry.
Bright’s Passage by Josh Ritter.
The Emperor of Lies by Steve Sem-Sandburg.
The Devil’s in the Cows by Greg Sullivan.
The Opposite of Art by Athol Dickson.
Paper Angels by Billy Coffey.
Dancing Priest by Yours Truly (I had to include it, even though I’m biased)
Maximal Reserve by Sam Batterman.
Darkness Follows by Mike Dellosso.
Nick of Time by Tim Downs.
Gravestone by Travis Thrasher.
The Canticles of Andurun: Dragonsong by Ian Thomas Curtis.
Neruda’s Memoirs by Maureen Doallas.
Delicate Machinery Suspended by Anne Doe Overstreet.
Underworld: the Modern Orpheus by Matthew Duggan.
Another Hotel Room (new edition) by Steven Marty Grant.
The Back Chamber by Donald Hall.
Saint Sinatra by Angela Alaimo O’Donnell
Why the House is Made of Gingerbread by Ava Leavell Haymon.
Kingdom Come by John Estes.
The 93rd Name of God by Anny Krugovoy Silver
One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.
All is Grace by Brennan Manning.
The Unlikely Missionary by Dan King.
Discovering Advent by Mark Roberts.
Man Shoes by Tom Watson.
On Earth as It Is in Advertising by Sam Van Eman.
My Amish Roots by Shawn Smucker.
The Four Holy Gospels by Makoto Fujimura.
Rumors of Water by L.L. Barkat.
What There Is to Say We Have Said: The Correspondence of Eudora Welty and William Maxwell edited by Suzanne Marrs.
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas.
September: A History Painting by Gerhard Richter by Robert Storr.
Words Made Fresh by Larry Woiwide.
Beautiful & pointless: A Guide to Modern Poetry by David Orr
Photograph: Old Books by Petr Kratochvil via Public Domain Pictures. Used with permission.