THE JAMES MASON COMMUNITY BOOK CLUB discussion

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Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB  | 7274 comments Mod
I have continued the best of 2010 thread with this new Title- Best of 2011- as I think it is interesting to compare the favorite books of this past year (not over yet I know :>) - with those read last year- see if there were any trends that continued...or changes, new writers discovered, established writers who continue to impress ect ect... I know that I have enjoyed being introduced to so many fine books written by fellow members, and as Moderator, important for me to remain neutral - but very much look forward to all of your responses!


message 2: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (fiona64) | 163 comments I had several stand-outs in this year's reading: The Help by Kathryn Stockett The Maid by Kimberly Cutter Rin Tin Tin The Life and the Legend by Susan Orlean The Eighty-Dollar Champion Snowman, the Horse That Inspired a Nation by Elizabeth Letts were the mainstream published ones I loved best. From the indies, I have to give it up for The Malice Plant by Ainy Rainwater and Broadmoor Revealed Victorian Crime and the Lunatic Asylum by Mark Stevens . My taste is best described as eclectic. :-)


message 3: by Christine (new)

Christine (christinesey) My favorite to date has been The Night Circus.

But, I haven't had a chance to get through
Reamde, 1Q84, or 11/22/63, so my opinion may change before the end of the year.


message 4: by Bill (new)


message 5: by MissSusie (last edited Nov 10, 2011 10:03AM) (new)

MissSusie | 153 comments Hmm So far would be
The Bird Sisters by, Rebecca Rasmussen

Sarah's Keyby Tatiana de Rosnay

Revolution by, Jennifer Donnelly


The Peach Keeperby Sarah Addison Allen

Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution by, Michelle Moran

The King's Speechby Mark Logue

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacksby Rebecca Skloot

The True Meaning of Smekdayby, Adam Rex

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

We Have Always Lived in the Castleby, Shirley Jackson

and everything by,Kate Morton


message 6: by Jane (new)

Jane | 121 comments The Help, The Night Circus, The Dovekeepers, Good Omens, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and I'm sure I'll think of some more!


message 7: by Ellie (last edited Nov 10, 2011 02:10PM) (new)

Ellie (elliearcher) It's been a good year and I have too many favorites:
1Q84 by Haruki Murakami Unbroken A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption  by Laura Hillenbrand Everything Beautiful Began After by Simon Van Booy Hypothermia by Arnaldur Indriðason The Anti-Romantic Child A Story of Unexpected Joy by Priscilla Gilman Soul to Soul. Writings from Dark Places by Deborah Masel and on the light side, pretty much anything by M.C. Beaton


message 9: by KOMET (new)

KOMET | 655 comments Here are the books I especially ENJOYED (savored) reading this year ---

1) Casting Off (Cazalet Chronicle) by Elizabeth Jane Howard by Elizabeth Jane Howard

The 4th novel in The Cazalet Chronicles series of historical novels set in Britain between 1937 and 1947. I went through some serious withdrawal pangs upon finishing this novel because I was so invested in many of the main characters, as well as the era itself.

2) Lost Eagles by Blaine Pardoe by Blaine Pardoe

3) A DANGEROUS LIAISON A Revelatory New Biography of Simone De Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre by Carole Seymour-Jones by Carole Seymour-Jones

Gave me a thorough understanding of the Jean Paul Sartre-Simone de Beauvoir relationship.

4) The Nutmeg of Consolation (Aubrey/Maturin, #14) by Patrick O'Brian by Patrick O'Brian

Have been a fan of the Patrick O'Brian "Aubrey-Maturin" novels since reading my first one in 1994.

5) Shit My Dad Says by Justin Halpern by Justin Halpern

FUNNY, INSIGHTFUL, and ENTERTAINING. LOL.

6) The Autobiography of Fidel Castro by Norberto Fuentes by Norberto Fuentes

Offers an interesting perspective on the life and motivations of Fidel Castro.

7) One Day by David Nicholls by David Nicholls

THE BEST NOVEL I'VE READ IN YEARS. As a '80s college graduate, I totally related to 'Dex' and 'Em'.

8) The Samurai by Shusaku Endo by Shusaku Endo

Fascinating story of a group of Japanese who sailed on a ship to Nueva España (and later to Europe) as part of a trade mission in the early 17th century.

9) The Foreign Field (The Morland Dynasty, #31) by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles

I'm a MASSIVE FAN of the Morland Dynasty Series.

10) Fighter Pilot The Memoirs of Legendary Ace Robin Olds by Robin Olds by Robin Olds

Robin Olds was the real deal. Fantastic, gutsy fighter pilot (World War II ace and Vietnam War veteran).

11) Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan by Esi Edugyan

Shortlisted for this year's Man Booker Prize and the winner of Canada's prestigious Giller Prize.


message 10: by Jenny (last edited Nov 10, 2011 04:46PM) (new)

Jenny (celticpaisley) | 1 comments I read several mentioned here I just didn't like much at all, but I loved In the Woods In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad, #1) by Tana French and The Help The Help by Kathryn Stockett and plan on finishing Mudbound, Mudbound by Hillary Jordan and Sarah's Key Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay yet this year, so could be adding them.


message 11: by Marc (new)

Marc (authorguy) | 52 comments Cold Comfort by Ellis Vidler


Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB  | 7274 comments Mod
KOMET wrote: "Here are the books I especially ENJOYED (savored) reading this year ---

1) Casting Off (Cazalet Chronicle) by Elizabeth Jane Howard by Elizabeth Jane Howard

The 4th novel in The Cazalet Chronicles seri..."


curious KOMET- there are over 30 Moreland books- are they stand alones- or must one read them in order?

The Founding (The Morland Dynasty, #1) by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles


message 13: by KOMET (new)

KOMET | 655 comments Hi Rick,

If you want to see how the Morlands fared over the centuries (the first novel of the series, The Founding, is set in Northern England during the 15th century), it's best to start from the beginning. It's a rewarding journey.

Taken together, the Morland Dynasty Series is a story of one family and its highs and lows through the centuries. You can read any of the novels in the series as stand-alones, if you want. But I would strongly advise you to start from The Founding and enjoy the ride. Smile.

The Founding (The Morland Dynasty, #1) by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles


Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB  | 7274 comments Mod
KOMET wrote: "Hi Rick,

If you want to see how the Morlands fared over the centuries (the first novel of the series, The Founding, is set in Northern England during the 15th century), it's best t..."


appreciate that KOMET- seems like a very facinating journey at that!


Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB  | 7274 comments Mod
Kyle wrote: "I've read a few great ones:Caught by Harlan CobenCross Fire (Alex Cross, #17) by James PattersonThe Executor by Jesse Kellerman"

So Kyle- is Jesse as good a writer as his folks?


message 17: by Sadie (last edited Nov 12, 2011 09:40AM) (new)

Sadie These are the books I read this year that garnered 4 or 5 stars from me:

The Book Thief
Pride and Prejudice
Revenge of the Spellmanslove Lutz's humor
The Help
The Storyteller's Daughter: A Retelling of "The Arabian Nights"
The Mauritius Command
Villette
The Three Musketeers
Beezus and Ramona for mother/daughter book club
The Once and Future King
Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Treefor mother/daughter book club
Savvyanother for mother/daughter book club
A Conspiracy of Kings

I don't give 4 and 5 stars very easily so the length of this list tells me I've had a pretty good year in reading! :)


Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB  | 7274 comments Mod
Sadie wrote: "These are the books I read this year that garnered 4 or 5 stars from me:

The Book Thief
Pride and Prejudice
Revenge of the Spellmanslove Lutz's humor
..."


I LOVED Beezus and Ramona- read all the Henry Huggins and Romona books when I was young- still love em!!


Ramona the Pest (Ramona, #2) by Beverly Cleary Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary Henry and Ribsy (Henry Huggins) by Beverly Cleary Henry and the Paper Route by Beverly Cleary


message 19: by Kristina (new)

Kristina (kristina3880) my top ten so far for the year

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern Exit the Actress by Priya Parmar Unbroken A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption  by Laura Hillenbrand The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1) by James Dashner Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer Olivia and Jai by Rebecca Ryman The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber Attachments by Rainbow Rowell Paper Towns by John Green and Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn


Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB  | 7274 comments Mod
Kristina wrote: "my top ten so far for the year

The Night Circus by Erin MorgensternExit the Actress by Priya ParmarUnbroken A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption  by Laura Hillenbrand[bo..."


so happy you mentioned Exit The Actress- Priya is a wonderful writer and person!


message 21: by Elaine (new)

Elaine Campbell (goodreadscomnickthegreek11) | 23 comments I read this year the best book I have read in a decade: No Great Mischief by Alistair MacLeod.


message 22: by Sandie (new)

Sandie My two favourites this year have been The Help and 11/22/63!


message 23: by Sadie (new)

Sadie Rick wrote: "Sadie wrote: "These are the books I read this year that garnered 4 or 5 stars from me:

The Book Thief
Pride and Prejudice
Revenge of the Spellmanslove Lut..."


I loved all the Ramona books as a child, but Beezus and Ramona became especially good reading now as a mother of 2 young daughters about the ages of the girls.


message 24: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 8 comments I read quite a number of great books this year - lots of H.G. Wells, Ira Levin, Agatha Christie and Roald Dahl (all literary greats). So, my top ten in no particular order:

Boy by Roald Dahl Boy by Roald Dahl

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

The Lost World (Penguin Red Classics) by Arthur Conan Doyle The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

Seance on a Wet Afternoon by Mark McShane Seance on a Wet Afternoon by Mark McShane

Veronica's Room A Melodrama by Ira Levin Veronica's Room: A Melodrama by Ira Levin

When the Sleeper Wakes by H.G. Wells When the Sleeper Wakes by H.G. Wells

The Witches by Roald Dahl The Witches by Roald Dahl

Of these I most recommend The Invention of Hugo Cabret because it is unique.

Thoroughly enjoyed all the Agatha Christie's I read (and will read more). Also re-read To Kill a Mockingbird and Rosemary's Baby - two absolute favorites.


message 25: by Pierre (last edited Nov 14, 2011 03:09AM) (new)

Pierre Rooyen (httpwwwgoodreadscompierre) | 27 comments Water For Elephants, by Sara Gruen.

Wow, what a story. This girl's pen seduced me. So simple. So beguiling. When I completed the final page, I felt lost without all those characters around me, went back to page one and reread the entire novel. So comfortable in those pages.

I rate Sara Gruen with E L Doctorow, Mark Twain, John Steinbeck, Paul Gallico ... in that area.

Very much character-driven. The reader falls into this story-telling and can't get out. Not that I wanted to. I wanted the story to go on for ever.

Nice work, Sara.


message 26: by Priya (last edited Nov 14, 2011 07:03AM) (new)

Priya Parmar (priyaparmar) | 4 comments Rick wrote: "Kristina wrote: "my top ten so far for the year

The Night Circus by Erin MorgensternExit the Actress by Priya ParmarExit the Actress by Priya Parmar kristina! i am so happy you enjoyed it! and thank you for the lovely lovely words rick! xx



Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB  | 7274 comments Mod
Priya wrote: "Rick wrote: "Kristina wrote: "my top ten so far for the year

The Night Circus by Erin MorgensternExit the Actress by Priya ParmarThe Night Circus by Erin MorgensternExit the Actress by Priya ParmarUnbroken A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption  by Laura Hillenbrand[bo..."


Happy to tout Exit The Actress- wonderful read!!! So impressed at the quality of books written by James Mason member Writers!


message 28: by David (new)

David Elkin 10 years I waited to read "American Gods" by Neil G. It was a marvelous tale. All tied for a close second

A. Roma by Saylor
B. Ilium and
C. Olympus by Dan Simmons (I really loved the two, and the characters are fascinating)


message 29: by Adriana (new)

Adriana Ivan wrote: "I read quite a number of great books this year - lots of H.G. Wells, Ira Levin, Agatha Christie and Roald Dahl (all literary greats). So, my top ten in no particular order:

[bookcover:Boy|11817..."


The Invention of Hugo Cabret was kind of disappointing. I didn't like how it turned out. It got boring and predictable.


message 30: by Leslie (new)

Leslie Shimotakahara (lshimo) I just finished reading Julian Barnes' The Sense of an Ending, which is definitely one of the most intriguing novels I've read in a long time.... No wonder it won the Man Booker. I particularly liked how Barnes created a sense of time and memory as unreliable - doubling back on themselves in unpredictable ways. My full review can be read at www.the-reading-list.com


message 31: by MissSusie (new)

MissSusie | 153 comments I would like to add Ashfall by, Mike Mullins to my list!


message 32: by [deleted user] (new)

Here is my list. Mostly YA fiction.

Abandon (Abandon Trilogy, #1) by Meg Cabot
The Faerie Ring (The Faerie Ring, #1) by Kiki Hamilton
Cardsharp A Vincent Ward Adventure (The Vincent Ward Adventures) by Paul Westmoreland
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton Before (Heven and Hell, #0.5) by Cambria Hebert Whiteout  by Cambria Hebert Power Play (Kingdom Keepers, #4) by Ridley Pearson This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel Beyond the Western Sun (The Whisper Legacy, #1) by Kristina Circelli Dreaming in Technicolor by Laura Jensen Walker


message 33: by adlin (new)

adlin | 25 comments My top reads for 2011 so far: The House at Riverton by Kate Morton , The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd and The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen . I rarely seem to read books the year they come out, but I really thought these were outstanding and am glad I read them.


message 34: by MissSusie (new)

MissSusie | 153 comments adlin wrote: "My top reads for 2011 so far: The House at Riverton by Kate Morton, The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd and The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen. I rarely seem to read book..."

Those are 3 of my favorites too!


message 35: by Sam (last edited Nov 18, 2011 10:09AM) (new)

Sam I've read 86 books so far this year & my top 10 are the following

Still Missing by Chevy Stevens The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini The Bone House by Brian Freeman The Pirate's Daughter by Margaret Cezair-Thompson Love You More (Detective D.D. Warren #5) by Lisa Gardner The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1) by Suzanne Collins Fallen (Georgia, #3) by Karin Slaughter You're Next by Gregg Hurwitz The Help by Kathryn Stockett Hothouse Flower by Lucinda Riley


message 37: by Kim Marie (new)

Kim Marie | 9 comments The books I enjoyed the most or were a little unusual:

The Help by Kathryn Stockett The Help
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe
The Writing Class by Jincy Willett The Writing Class

and including the Fantasy genre

The Inheritance by Robin Hobb The Inheritance
The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1) by Patrick Rothfuss The Name of the Wind
The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2) by Patrick Rothfuss The Wise Man's Fear

but not for Young Adults
The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan
The Last Werewolf

and for my fellow Aussies

Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey Jasper Jones
A Man You Can Bank On by Derek Hansen A Man You Can Bank On
Wildflower Hill by Kimberley Freeman Wildflower Hill


message 38: by Sophia (new)

Sophia (sophiarose) My top reads were The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows , Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson , Execution Dock A Novel (William Monk, #16) by Anne Perry , What Angels Fear (Sebastian St. Cyr, #1) by C.S. Harris , The September Society (Charles Lenox Mysteries, #2) by Charles Finch , and None But You (Frederick Wentworth, Captain, #1) by Susan Kaye .


message 39: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Kinrade (kimberlykinrade) | 2 comments Here are a few of my top reads for 2011!

Family Magic (The Hayle Coven Novels, #1) by Patti Larsen
Witch Hunt (The Hayle Coven Novels) by Patti Larsen
Run (The Hunted) by Patti Larsen
Hide (The Hunted, #2) by Patti Larsen Fight (The Hunted, #3) by Patti Larsen Hunt (The Hunted) by Patti Larsen
Dark Edge by Dmytry Karpov
Farsighted by Emlyn Chand


Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB  | 7274 comments Mod
Kim Marie wrote: "The books I enjoyed the most or were a little unusual:

The Help by Kathryn StockettThe Help
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg[book:Fried Green Tomato..."


always wondered if the book- Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe was as great as the film- I think it probably is- ?


message 41: by Manugw (new)

Manugw Best readings 2011, The Help by Kathryn Stockett, and The Snowman by Jo Nesbø


message 42: by Kim Marie (new)

Kim Marie | 9 comments Rick, I'm one of those people who rarely go back to read the book when I've enjoyed a movie but I'm glad I did with Fried Green Tomatoes.....it actually helped clarify a question I had about one of the characters and I'd highly recommend it if you loved the movie, as I did.


TheGirlBytheSeaofCortez (Madly77) | 14 comments My favorite, far and away, was The Children's Book by AS Byatt. Second would be Old Filth.


Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB  | 7274 comments Mod
Kim Marie wrote: "Rick, I'm one of those people who rarely go back to read the book when I've enjoyed a movie but I'm glad I did with Fried Green Tomatoes.....it actually helped clarify a question I had about one of..."

appreciate that Kim Marie! will do as I very much loved the film!! So brilliant in so many ways- most vital- Jessica Tandy!


message 45: by adlin (new)

adlin | 25 comments Going to add The Fixer Upper by Mary Kay Andrews , the Fixer Upper by Mary Kay Andrews, which I recently finished. Enjoyable read.


message 46: by Tom (new)

Tom | 1 comments Hi,
I have been lurking on goodreads for a bit. Finally got enough time to make up a profile proper.

The real stand out novel to me this year was a book I got as a gift. It's not my typical go to read topic, but the book I enjoyed the most was Blood in the Skies (The Hellfire Chronicles, #1)  by G.D. Falksen
Blood in the Skies (The Hellfire Chronicles, #1)
It hooked me by the first chapter and I had a hard time putting it down. I was also pleasantly surprised to find it had some great illustrations. I find myself looking forward for the next book in the series. So I would say this was one of the best novels I read this year. I am certainly happy my niece gave it to me.


Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB  | 7274 comments Mod
Tom wrote: "Hi,
I have been lurking on goodreads for a bit. Finally got enough time to make up a profile proper.

The real stand out novel to me this year was a book I got as a gift. It's not my typical go to ..."


seems like the start of a great series, Tom


message 48: by Maggie (new)

Maggie | 37 comments My top favourite book this year is:

Into The Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes. It had me on the edge of my seat all the way through and I read it in two sittings.

Other standout books for 2011? Well....

Before I Go To Sleep - SJ Watson
The Gargoyle - Andrew Davidson
Left Neglected - Lisa Genova
Do No Harm - Carol Topolski
Black Mamba Boy - Nadifa Mohammed
Even The Dogs - Jon McGregor
Mercy - Jussi Adler-Olsen
When God Was A Rabbit - Sarah Winman
The Redeemer/The Redbreast - Jo Nesbo

My least favourite/disappointing....

Sarah's Key - Tatiana de Rosnay
Annabel - Kathleen Winter
Enemy Women - Paulette Giles

and WORST book by far...

The Distant Hours - Kate Morton (badly written, could've been a quarter the size, rubbish)


Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB  | 7274 comments Mod
Maggie wrote: "My top favourite book this year is:

Into The Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes. It had me on the edge of my seat all the way through and I read it in two sittings.

Other standout books for 2011..."


The Gargoyle - Andrew Davidson
that is one book I have been thinking of reading since it came out!


message 50: by MissSusie (new)

MissSusie | 153 comments It's so great to have a group with such diverse opinions without any bickering about who is right!

As the old saying goes one man's trash is another man's treasure.


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