Ten Best Books of 2011

Visit Our Town Books to browse the following titles, listed by the New York Times as the best books of 2011.

Fiction

Art of FieldingThe Art of Fielding
by Chad Harbach

At Westish College, a small school on the shore of Lake Michigan, baseball star Henry Skrimshander seems destined for big-league stardom. But when a routine throw goes disastrously off course, the fates of five people are upended.

11/22/63
by Stephen King

King’s heart-stoppingly dramatic new novel is about a man who travels back in time to prevent the JFK assassination. Jake Epping is a 35-year-old high-school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching adults in the GED program. Jake’s friend Al, who runs the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to 1958.

Swamplandia!

Swamplandia!
by Karen Russell

The Bigtree alligator wrestling dynasty is in decline, and Swamplandia!, its island home and gator-wrestling theme park, is swiftly being encroached upon by a competitor. To save her family, Ava must journey on her own to a perilous part of the swamp called the Underworld.

Ten Thousand SaintsTen Thousand Saints
by Eleanor Henderson

Henderson delivers a sweeping, multigenerational drama that reveals the tangled emotional stitching–and tearing–of births, deaths, loves and losses that shape these families. With empathy and masterful skill, Eleanor Henderson has conjured a rich portrait of the modern age and the struggles that unite and divide generations.

Tiger's WifeThe Tiger’s Wife
by Téa Obreht

Weaving a brilliant latticework of family legend, loss, and love, Obreht, the youngest of “The New Yorker’s” 20 best American fiction writers under 40, spins a timeless novel about a young doctor who confronts the inexplicable circumstances surrounding her beloved grandfather’s recent death.

Non-Fiction

ArguablyArguably
by Christopher Hitchens

Our intellectual omnivore’s latest collection could be his last (he’s dying of esophageal cancer). The book is almost 800 pages, contains more than 100 essays and addresses a ridiculously wide range of topics, including Afghanistan, Harry Potter, Thomas Jefferson, waterboarding, Henry VIII, Saul Bellow and the Ten Commandments, which Hitchens helpfully revises.

Boy in the MoonThe Boy in the Moon: A  Father’s Journey to Understand His Extraordinary Son
by Ian Brown

[A]n intimate glimpse into the life of a family that cares around the clock for a disabled child, that gets so close to the love and despair, and the complex questions the life of such a child raises . . . It is a beautiful book, heartfelt and profound, warm and wise.–Jane Bernstein.

Malcolm XMalcolm X: A Life of Reinvention
by Manning Marable

Of the great figures in 20th-century American history perhaps none is more complex and controversial than Malcolm X. Marable’s new biography of Malcolm is a stunning achievement. Years in the making, this is the definitive biography of the legendary black activist.

Thinking Fast and SlowThinking Fast and Slow 
by Daniel Kahneman

Two systems drive the way humans think and make choices: System One is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System Two is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. Examining how both systems function within the mind, Kahneman exposes the extraordinary capabilities and also the faults and biases of fast thinking, and the pervasive influence of intuitive impressions on peoples’ thoughts and choices.

World on FireA World on Fire 
by Amanda Foreman

Injured firefighter Alexandra Crawford finds herself attracted to her doctor, Rachel Tom. Soon, Alex realizes that the blazes she’s been fighting must be arson.

(publishers’ descriptions)

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2 Responses to Ten Best Books of 2011

  1. Wendy says:

    You must check out my favorite radio show, The Book Report, you would love it. A couple weeks ago both Karen Russell & Tea Obreht were interviewed in the same show! You can listen to it in the archives on the show’s website http://www.bookreportradio.com . I love the host, the show helps me pick out my next book!

  2. Thanks Wendy, we’ll check it out.

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