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December 29, 2011 / Rachel Bednarski

A Good Haul and A Round Up

Someone must have told Father Christmas that I enjoy finding books in my stocking.



Don’t be jealous of my photography skills. Or my bed hair.

I did so many effects on that picture to try and make it so you’d be able to see the book titles but I’m still going to have to list them here: The Amber Spyglass, DaisyMiller and The Turn of the Screw, A Tale of Two Cities, Rebecca, The Beautiful and Damned, Crime and Punishment, Brideshead Revisited, Jane Eyre, Tender is the Night, The Master of Petersburg and the Sound and the Fury. I started Rebecca on Christmas day and I love it. And I thought I’d sneak my shiny new eco cup in there too seeing as I featured it in an earlier post. Hinting works apparently.

Anyway, as the end of the year is fast approaching I thought I’d treat you to a summary of my reading year. Here you are:

The Best Book I Read in 2011

Considering that for 6 months of 2011 I was in my final year of uni, I didn’t actually get chance to do much extra-curricular reading this year. That said, I did read some cracking books, my favourites were:

A Moveable Feast – Ernest Hemingway

The Sense of an Ending – Julian Barnes

Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

The House of the Spirits – Isabel Allende

Youth – J.M. Coetzee

The Most Disappointing Book I Read in 2011

I’m sorry to say it, but I found Cloud Atlas to be horribly overrated.

Books I Recommended Most in 2011

I would recommend Douglas Coupland’s Generation X to anybody. And anything by J.M. Coetzee. You should all read these authors.

Best Series of 2011
Definitely NOT those Girl with the Dragon Tattoo ones…

Most Un-put-down-able Book of 2011 

Perhaps Memoirs of a Geisha. Or Rebecca.

Favourite Author of 2011

Hmm… I have to give this one to Dickens.
The Book I Most Anticipated in 2011

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides. I was very excited and a little let down but mostly just excited.

Favourite Cover of a Book I Read in 2011

Being but a lowly and unemployed Literature graduate, I unfortunately have to buy  whichever editions of books are cheapest rather than prettiest which means I am the owner of some ugly looking books.

However I often find some much lovelier-adorned editions of my favourites which I hope one day to own.

I wish my Wuthering Heights looked like this:

Incidentally, considering my most disappointing book of the year, I bought The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet yesterday purely because of this beautiful cover:

Based on this cover alone I am willing to give David Mitchell one more chance.

I LOVE book covers.

Most Memorable Character of 2011

It’s got to be Patrick Bateman. He hung around in my brain for a long time after I finished American Psycho, for obvious reasons. And maybe the narrator of Rebecca – as much as I don’t want to admit it, she reminds me a lot of me.

Most Beautifully Written Book of 2011

Virginia Woolf’s The Waves and Generation X.

Book I can’t Believe I Waited Until 2011 to Read

I read Wuthering Heights in my second year of uni but I didn’t consider myself to have really read it until I reread it after graduating, as I don’t think reading a book just to write an essay on it is quite the same. So Wuthering Heights. And also The Handmaid’s Tale – I’m very ashamed of myself for not having read either of those until this year. There’s really no excuse.

My Favourite Passage/Quote from a Book I Read in 2011

“I’ve seen you, beauty, and you belong to me now, whoever you are waiting for and if I never see you again, I thought. You belong to me and all Paris belongs to me and I belong to this notebook and this pencil.”

-Ernest Hemingway – A Moveable Feast

A Book I Read in 2011 that I Would be Most Likely to Reread

Madame Bovary.


I borrowed this End of Year Book Survey from because I liked reading his so much.




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