What books have you most enjoyed in 2011?

We are nearing the end of 2011 and so it’s time for all the usual ‘best (fill in the blank) of 2011’ lists. The best movies, best books, the coolest gadgets, the most outrageous celebrity news etc. You get the idea!

So I thought I would join the party and share the books which I have enjoyed reading most in 2011.

Taking the #1 place is The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai. I found this wonderful début novel by chance and it is a fantastic read. It’s set in a small town in Missouri and is about a children’s librarian, Lucy. When one of her frequent library visitors, 10-year-old Ian, runs away from his home (and his overbearing parents) and hides in the library, “Lucy allows herself to be hijacked by Ian. The odd pair embarks on a crazy road trip from Missouri to Vermont, with ferrets, an inconvenient boyfriend, and upsetting family history thrown in their path” (quote from back cover blurb). It’s one of those books where you have to allow your imagination to step in and take over as the author uses a fair amount of artistic license but it is an endearingly quirky story. I highly recommend it.

#2: The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I thought that this was a 2011 release and I was surprised to learn that it was actually published in 2009. There is a lot of hype surrounding the book at the moment but I guess that’s partly fueled by the recent movie adaptation. I am currently half-way through my first read of The Help and it is so well-written. If you haven’t read it yet, you should!

#3: The Best of Everything by Rona Jaffe. This novel is set in New York City during the 1950s, following the stories of four young women who work at a publishing company. Although it was written in the 1950s, it still feels very relevant today and is an excellent read.

If you’ve read anything great this year, please let me know about it by leaving a comment on this post. Suggestions for my (ever-growing!) list of books to read are always appreciated.