This week, Deb at Booking Through Thursday asks:
What were your favorite books of 2011?
I did try this year to pick up the habit again of keeping a list of the books I read. Looking at it now, I have a suspicion I probably left some out. (I got out of the habit back when an old computer crashed a couple of years ago.) Well, never mind. When I look at the list, these are the ones that at the end of the year strike me as most memorable:
A novel by Swedish author P O Enquist, English title Lewi's Journey, (but I read it in Swedish), about the life of Lewi Pethrus: founder of, or at least very influential in, the Swedish Pentecostal movement back in the early 20th century.
A novel by Anna Gavalda (French author), English title Hunting and gathering (but I listened to it as Swedish audio book) -
"four people living in an apartment house [in Paris]: a struggling young artist who works as an office cleaner at night, a young aristocrat misfit, a cook, and an elderly grandmother"
The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen, which I wrote about in an earlier BTT post (24 November). A feel-good novel with a touch of fairy tale magic to it, and leaving behind a delicious smell of newly baked cakes. (Almost, anyway!)
The Distant Hours by Kate Morton. My most recent read. (How memorable it will seem in a year’s time… remains to be seen!) This book won “General Fiction Book of the Year at the 2011 Australian Book Industry Awards”.
I mentioned it in my BTT post last week, when I still had 1/4 left to read, saying: “I’m still feeling that on the one hand I want to just keep reading to find out about the mysteries involved; on the other hand I want it to last because I so much like reading it.” I finished it over Christmas, and I have to say it did manage to keep up the suspense until the end. It is a story told from more than one perspective, and going back and forth in time, so sometimes a little hard to keep in memory or be sure who in the story really knows what. (Or, indeed, how much I as reader can trust what I know!) I would call it a modern Gothic tale, and from three real classics mentioned in it I would say it also picks a lot of inspiration from those three: Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and The Mysteries of Udulpho.
Listen in this YouTube video to the author’s own introduction:
Oh, and I should perhaps add that the last three (books and authors) were unknown to me before I picked them up.