Phil’s 2011 Top Picks


The following titles, which I prefer to list without ranking them, are my top picks among those published in 2010-2011 that I reviewed during 2011. It would be easy to find room for another 5-6 fiction titles, but I’m staying with the top ten selected.

Because I review fewer nonfiction titles than fiction, I’ve made this list a “top 8.”

Finally, the first two lists reflect my favorites among the trade publications that I reviewed. Separately, I’ve listed 3 self-published titles that seem to me especially worthy of notice.

FICTION [trade]

H. G. Adler, Panorama: A Novel, trans. Peter Filkins

Lisa Unger, Darkness, My Old Friend

James W. Hall, Dead Last

 Howard Jacobson, The Finkler Question

Robert Macomber, Honor Bound

Jennifer Niven, Velva Jean Learns to Fly

John Milliken Thompson, The Reservoir

Michael Connelly, The Fifth Witness

James Nolan, Higher Ground

Tami Hoag, Secrets to the Grave


Kelle Groom, I Wore the Ocean in the Shape of a Girl

Jean W. Cash, Larry Brown: A Writer’s Life

Les Standiford, Bringing Adam Home: The Abduction That Changed America

Adina Hoffman & Peter Cole, Sacred Trash: The Lost and Found World of the Cairo Geniza

Bill Belleville, Salvaging the Real Florida

Deborah E. Lipstadt, The Eichmann Trial

Greg  Myre and Jennifer Griffin, This Burning Land

Charles Sobczak, The Living Gulf Coast: A Nature Guide to Southwest Florida


Brian Stanford, Somerville

Walt Breede, Snow on the Golden Horn

Naomi Pringle, Ginga’ Root Tea: An American Journey


Filed under Authors and Books

3 responses to “Phil’s 2011 Top Picks

  1. Robert E. Dimond

    Phil — An impressive, eclectic group of books; it reminds me that, although I read a lot of books over the year, for the most part I tend to favor a select group of authors and continue to look for their new releases. I probably should expand that list. But I don’t restrict my reading to new releases. I have been going back and reading books published over the years that I never had the time to read. One of my favorites this past year was Ron Chernow’s “Alexander Hamilton”. Good job, :Phil. I enjoyed reading it and will no doubt look into some of your selections.

  2. You can look further into these titles by putting the name of book or author in the search box on right side of web page. That will lead you to the reviews.

  3. We must read from very different libraries–I’ve read only 2 or 3 on your list, even though I read ALL THE TIME. Am just reading I WORE THE OCEAN IN THE SHAPE OF A GIRL, after getting past tears at the two epigraphs, particularly the 1st c. B.C. lines by Zonas, which had me sobbing. Nothing new under the sun, hmmm?

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