My top five books of 2011

My top five books of 2011

Top five books of 2011

I have only read a few books this year but thought I would share my top five anyway.

I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett

This is the 38th Discworld novel and the latest in the range featuring the Wee Free Men and the young Tiffany who needs to face growing up and some of the toughest lessons in being a witch. As usual with Pratchett’s fantastic stories, there is humour, wit, adventures and some important lessons about the human condition.

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life by Donald Miller

I first heard about this book in a blog post from Enjoying the Small Things about her newborn daughter with Downs Syndrome. I bought it straight away.

Miller writes about reconsidering his life as he was adapting his memoir into a movie. The hero’s journey, as literary adventures are meant to depict, are formulaic because they represent something archetypal in our lives. Miller writes about his own life but in effect it’s a statement about everyone.

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

Infinite Jest is my favourite book of the year and I haven’t finished it yet. The truth is I don’t want it to end. There are weeks where I would read one or two pages and then close the book so I won’t go too far. Part of it is because Wallace committed suicide in September 2008 and there will be no further new books. Mostly, however, there is a feeling of being able to read his work for the first time that I just don’t want to lose. [New Yorker: The Unfinished]

Blood, Sweat and Tea: Real Life Adventures in an Inner-city Ambulance Tom Reynolds

When my 10 month old daughter was just a newborn I spent many nights lying awake nursing her or just being up. Blood Sweat and Tea was available for free on Kindle and downloading it was one of the best things I did. It was funny and serious and read so easily that it helped pass the time pleasantly even when I was exhausted and I was exhausted a lot.

The book was created from the blog of real life ambulance driver Tom Reynolds and there are posts about different nights on his shift. There are some additional points of explanation but it’s mainly the original posts.

Possum Magic – Mem Fox

Lamingtons, possums and vegemite sandwiches are all as Australian as a BBQ Christmas dinner on the beach although I’ve never seen the latter. Possum Magic was sent to me and Mersina by our friends the Keramas family and when I read it to my daughter I often get a bit teary. It’s beautiful.

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