Monthly Archives: September 2011

Books: Summer Wrap-Up [2011 edition]

Posted 12 September, 2011 by Lianne in Lists / 0 Comments

So here we are, at the end of another summer. I’m actually a little late this year; I started to think about this entry two weeks ago but then never continued because I was busy finishing up my graduate thesis (which I submitted last week—hurray! \o/). But now I have a bit more time so here I am finishing up this entry. I read a number of interesting books over the summer, including a number of books that have been sitting for ages on my shelf for a long time and have been meaning to read for ages.

In no particular order, here are my top five six favourite reads of the summer:

  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy — I don’t know why it took me over three-four years to get around to reading it; this book was just fascinating on all levels: the romance, the social issues, the psychology of the characters. Once again he really shows his understanding of the way that his society worked and the capacity to really slip under the skin of his characters and bring out the issues that concerned them the most.
  • Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky — This is the second novel I’ve read by her but by far the best. Had she lived to complete and edit it, it would’ve been an instant classic. She really portrayed the lives of regular Parisiens during the Occupation with such humanity. It also astounded me that this was an unedited copy of the novel and yet you can see the brilliancy in her prose.
  • Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey — It’s exciting, thoughful and filled with interesting characters you want to root for (which is especially good given I was a little disappointed by the character development of Peter Hamilton’s Commonwealth Saga, which I read this summer as well). The world that this story takes place is equally fascinating; it’s basically my kind of space opera =)
  • Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson — An excellent psychological thriller. I read this book in a day and a bit because I just could not put it down! It really had you guessing up to the very end.
  • The Flanders Panel by Arturo Perez-Reverte — Probably my favourite novel by Perez-Reverte. It reminds me of Steve Berry’s early standalones mixed with Daniel Silva’s intrigue and break-neck speed. It’s clever, intriguing with equally interesting characters.
  • George VI by Sarah Bradford — The only non-fiction book on this list but I put it ahead of the other great books I read this year because Bradford did a spectacular job in presenting George VI’s life and tenure as King of Great Britain and the British Empire. I really connected with George’s life and struggles and was very sad when it came to the end.

Notable mentions of other novels I enjoyed this year:

  • The Tenth Justice by Brad Meltzer
  • Singularity Sky by Charles Stross
  • Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
  • Distant Hours by Kate Morton
  • Illustrado by Miguel Syjuco
  • The King’s Speech by Mark Logue (N)

And that’s it for my summer edition! I’m hoping to read through the larger novels that are sitting on my shelf by the end of this year but we’ll see since the next few months are going to be…strange, to say the least xD