(My) year in books – good and bad

It’s been a tried and true media strategy for years now: publications looking to stagger through the holidays while employees inconveniently take vacation get to the end of the year by slapping together a list or two.

Whether it’s ranking the Top 10 Ugliest Dictators, the 15 Countries Most Likely to Harvest Your Organs when You Pass Out Drunk, or the 25 Most Powerful Monster Trucks Ever Built, lists not only demonstrate that Americans love short, easily digestible pieces that are basically devoid of information, but they fill white space quickly with little effort.

So, in the spirit of general laziness, this blog has decided to join the fray.

Unfortunately, though, there aren’t a whole lot of things I keep track of with enough detail or diligence to put into a list. My few options include:

  • Top 10 Most Embarrassing Actions Taken by Our Current Governor (narrowing it down to 10 would be like trying to count the grains of sand on a beach);
  • Top 10 Run-ins with Gum-Smacking Rude Women in Wal-Mart whose Bratty Kids will Soon be Regulars in the Department of Juvenile Justice System (enticing, but the only names I got were from tattoos on their upper bodies, and they’d probably track me down and beat me with sticks); and
  • Top 10 largest fish I caught in 2011 (this, sadly, would largely be a wish list).

A list, however, that I can manage is one that details my favorite books of 2011, along with a look at a few that weren’t quite so endearing.

Continue reading