The 2011 Kindle Reading List

I got my Kindle in September 2010. Since then, I’ve read more–and spent more on books–than in the previous  4 or 5 years put together.

It didn’t take me long to fall in love with the electronic goodness–you see, it delivers instant gratification, via Whispernet, in mere seconds. I can sit in my favorite blue club chair by the window in the bedroom upstairs and have a new book at my fingertips in an instant.

This past year I’ve read best sellers and old favorites. My Kindle has been across the Atlantic twice–to England in January and to Switzerland in May. It will go to the Keys next month and to France in April.

What I realized tonight is that I have a perfect record of everything I’ve read in the last year. In case you’re wondering why I’ve been reading instead of blogging, just check out these books–they were all fabulous. This isn’t the complete list–I’ve left out the chick lit and mass market pablum.

1. Swamplandia–a mystical tale of alligator wrestling, faux Indians and Florida swamps.

2. A Season of Darkness–true crime story about a famous murder mystery in Nashville

3. All That Is Bitter and Sweet–Ashley Judd’s surprisingly moving memoir

4. Winter’s Bone–My work pal Seth and I often trade book recommendations. This tale of a family in the Ozarks was great.

5. Heidi–Downloaded this on a train in the Alps. What else could you read in Switzerland?

6. Eiger Dreams–Another Swiss inspired purchase. Jon Krackaeur is the master of real-life adventure stories. Please read Into This Air if you don’t believe me.

7. The Swinger–a thinly disguised story about the downfall of Tiger Woods by a Sports Illustrated reporter. Great fun.

8. In the Garden of Beasts–the only nonfiction. It’s about the U.S. ambassador in Berlin in the years leading up to WWII. It’s by Erik Larson who also wrote the terrific Devil in the White City about a murder during the Chicago World’s Fair a century ago.

9. The Women’s Room–an oldie I first read in college. Just one of those books that sticks with you.

10. The Hunger Games trilogy–I had been resisting these books for a couple of years, much like the Twilight offerings. But once I read the first one, I was completely hooked.  I loved all three–read them in two weeks.

11. English murder mysteries–I went on a little English murder mystery spree courtesy of G.M. Malliet. Personally, I think that heaven may just be an English village with a cozy pub at one end and a Norman church at the other.

12. Death Comes to Pemberly–P.D. James meets Jane Austen. The queen of English murder mysteries writes a sequel to Pride and Prejudice. Love, love, love.

13. Rules of Civility–the story of a girl with no family connections and no money making her way through high society in New York in the last days of the Depression. A great read.

14. The Marriage Plot–I haven’t finished it yet, but it’s hard to go wrong with anything by Jeffrey Eugenidies.

So that’s my self-indulgent list. If you can only read one or two, please make it Swamplandia and Rules of Civility.


Filed under At Home

10 responses to “The 2011 Kindle Reading List

  1. Cindy, I’ll have to show this to Norman. He thought Rules of Civility was great, too. You really love the Kindle? I may have to give it a try… Season of Darkness sounds good.

  2. a great year in books! i was quite happy to have made it through about 5 or 6 books this year. i’ve now got the e-book (kindle app on my iPad), perhaps i can improve my list for next year. i loved “winters bone”. will add ‘swamplandia’ to my list…

  3. I love my Kindle (which I bought on your recommendation, remember?). I love never having to agonise over what book(s) to take with me, having a library in the space of a slim book of poetry, having instant access to a book that catches my fancy and access to books I would never dream of buying in physical format, never having to struggle with a big heavy book…I’ve read loads this year, including an “English murder mystery spree” (or two), and have copied and pasted your recommendations for next year’s happy reading. Thanks!

  4. No Kindle, but an iPad which has returned me to the wonderful world of reading – especially on the road. Always glad to get recommendations too! Thanks!

  5. Ellie–Isn’t it funny how much more we’re reading. Everyone thought e-readers would be the death of reading, but for me it’s just the opposite.

  6. PG–What mysteries do you recommend? Have you read P.D. James? Her Adam Dalglish stories are the best–especially Devices and Desires.

  7. DF–Swamplandia was excellent. What else did you particularly like?

  8. Susie–I can’t believe how much more I read this year. It’s great–but it has definitely kept me from blogging. Have you posted Norman’s faves? Don’t answer that–I’ll see for myself.

  9. I’ve read a few P.D. James, and will DEFINITELY be reading ‘Death comes to Pemberly’. My English murder mystery spree was John Buchan (39 steps, etc.) and Sapper (Bulldog Drummond, etc.), which I would certainly NEVER have bought as physical books. Written in the first half of the 20th century, they’re full of the jingoism, racism and sexism you would expect, but if you can ignore/accept that as inevitable for their day, they’re charming in their way. Another blogger put me onto Denise Mina, for Glaswegian reality, and I’m currently blasting through the Colin Dexter ‘Inspector Morse’ series. But the best crime writer I discovered this year has to be Jo Nesbo. There will always be a special place in my heart for Miss Marple though.

    I do read other stuff too…Possibly my favourite reading this year has been the six ‘Barchester Towers’ novels, which again, I’d never have read if I hadn’t had the Kindle (complete works of Anthony Trollope for about 99 cents, and I’ve still got another 50 or so novels left to read…).

  10. PG–I have Barchester Towers in the queue and will be checking out Jo Nesbo. Thanks for the recommendation.

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