Guest Post: My Husband’s Top Ten Books of 2011

Since it was so popular last time, I asked my husband to put together a list of the best books HE read this year. So today you get a break from me as I turn the blog over to Ben.

10) Inherit the Wind

“The individual human mind. In a child’s power to master the multiplication table there is more sanctity than in all your shouted ;Amens!’, ‘Holy, Holies!’ and ‘Hosannahs!’ An idea is a greater monument than a cathedral. And the advance of man’s knowledge is more of a miracle than any sticks turned to snakes, or the parting of waters!”

9) Crime and Punishment

One page into the book and you know you’re dealing with a writer simply on a different level.

8) Everything Beautiful Began After

Simon Van Booy’s short stories are some of the most poignant I’ve ever read, and his first novel held the same power.

7) Earth: The Audiobook

The first time I listened to this book I cried I laughed so hard. The second time I read this book I cried because of how sharp the satire was.

6) The Watchmen

The mystery and incredible artwork sucked me in and held my attention, but it wasn’t blowing me away. Then I got to the last chapter. I was knocked to the floor by an ending I didn’t see coming.

5) Goodbye, Chunky Rice

Craig Thompson, why must you break my heart so? Unspeakably beautiful and sad.

4) Bossypants

I’ve always admired (and had a huge crush on) Tina Fey. Her first book perfectly captures her self-effacing and self-deprecating humor that we’ve come to expect from one of the funniest voices of this generation.

3) Ulysses

I was fortunate enough to take a course in James Joyce taught by the amazing Jeri Johnson at the University of Oxford in England this summer. She opened my eyes to the sheer power of the most talented writer of the 20th century.

2) America, America

I think a large part of why I loved this book was because of Robertson Dean’s narration. The best narrator I’ve ever heard.

1) The Weird Sisters

Eleanor Brown is a genius. I love the Shakespeare references, the characters, the story, the pain, and the symmetry. The collective narrator is so unique and inventive. But above all, the command of language elevates this book above all I read this year. I would sometimes have to put the book down because the beauty of her sentences would reduce me to tears.

I hope you enjoyed Ben’s list, although I am a bit concerned that my husband may want to run off with Eleanor Brown now. Are the rest of your family members readers? What were some of their favorites?

13 thoughts on “Guest Post: My Husband’s Top Ten Books of 2011

  1. Twitter: youvegottaread
    This is great! I got really excited too when I saw Watchmen because Heather gave me that graphic novel. I started it but got diverted. Will get right back on that! Would totally agree with Bossypants too. I guess I thought of that book as something that would appeal to women, but this husband of yours is a modern guy!

  2. Love, love, love this list, and a few of them are Frank’s favorites too! I am loving that the guys in our lives are getting in on the blogging action as of late, and think it would be great to see a joint review from the two of you! Glad to have read this post today!

  3. Twitter: cglnyc
    Did Ben see Watchmen before reading the graphic novel? We have this at home, and I want to read it. I feel like I screwed myself by watching the movie first!

  4. Twitter: irisonbooks
    B. isn’t a reader at all. I forced him to read High Fidelity at the beginning of our relationship, since it deals with someone who’s as much a music freak as himself. He enjoyed it, but he likes non-fiction about bands much better. So he owns a lot of music biographies, which he subsequently reads about 3 a year of. I get a bit jealous when I hear about people who have a boyfriend/husband that enjoys reading just as much, although I do not mind per se that B. is not a reader.

    I haven’t read many books from Ben’s list, though I did read and enjoy The Weird Sisters as well as Everything Beautiful Began After. Unfortunately, I was not too taken by the latter in the end, but I did appreciate Van Booy’s writing style a lot.

  5. Twitter: ericabrooke
    I love that Ben loved Simon Van Booy. It’s usually women going nuts over him, so it’s nice to see guys love it too!

    Tom’s favorite book of the year was Savages by Don Winslow. My father-in-law’s was probably a Dennis Lehane, and for my mother-in-law it would be a tie between The Glass Castle and Heaven is For Real.

    My mom doesn’t read.

  6. Twitter: dogearedcopy
    I love that Ben has such eclectic tastes: from Dostevsky to Jon Stewart et al, from the Classics to graphic novels, print and audiobooks! His comment about not seeing the end coming inre Watchman has me very intrigued about this gn and; I’m wondering if I could find a class to help *me* with Ulysses (I think that’s the only way I’m going to be able to read and appreciate it!) Nice list! I hope he puts one together every year 🙂

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