Saturday, December 31, 2011

Col’s “Books Most Likely To” Awards 2011

In any year there are good books, and there are not so good books. But in the final analysis, only a few books actually make you feel, think, or do something. These are the books that make your reading year. So I thought I’d share this “Books Most Likely To” List with you all – because reading shouldn’t be a spectator sport!

Book Most Likely to Provoke a Strange Liquor Store Purchase: Cooking with Fernet Branca by James Hamilton-Paterson

Book Most Likely to Make You Wish You Knew Your Grandparents’ Love Story: A Long, Long Time Ago, and Essentially True by Brigid Pasulka

Book Most Likely to Propel You into a Long Discussion about Point of View and Pizza: Clash of Civilizations over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio by Amara Lakhous

Book Most Likely to Send You to the Internet for Pictures of UTEP’s Campus: Radio Shangri-La: What I Learned in the Happiest Kingdom on Earth by Lisa Napoli

Book Most Likely to Make You Think Twice About a Your Husband’s Totally Innocent Lunch with a Friend: The Paris Wife by Paula McLain (I’m just saying…)

Book Most Likely to Have You Planning a Safari: In the Company of Cheerful Ladies by Alexander McCall Smith

Book Most Likely to Allow Burning A Philosopher in Effigy to Cross Your Mind: The Sunday Philosophy Club by Alexander McCall Smith

Book Most Likely to Help You Get Your Nerd On: The Bog People by P.V. Glob

Book Most Likely to Make a Child Run to a Reference Book: The Book of Imaginary Beings by Jorge Luis Borges

Book Most Likely to Have You Thanking Your Stars You’re Not Popular: The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood

Book Most Likely to Cause You to Miss a Hair Appointment Because You Can’t Stop Listening: Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson, narrated by Frances McDormand (Please don’t tell Jeremy!)

All in all, a satisfying reading year. I finished all 12 of the challenges I entered (by the skin of my teeth), and managed to review 53 titles. Translated fiction, contemporary fiction, historical fiction, 19th and 20th century classics, cookbooks and non-fiction titles all found their way to the top of my TBR pile – and wormed their way into my heart. Female authors dominated my reading this year, and I read books by authors from every continent (but only because Ngaio Marsh was from New Zealand – I have to do something about my lack of Australian titles). Wishing you a happy, healthy, active year of booking in 2012!



  1. Radio Shangri-La really was an interesting one, wasn't it? I feel like I enjoyed the story and learned a bunch about Bhutan!

    Happy New Year!

  2. Good work, Col! I love the categories you used and hope next year is very successful, too.

  3. How fun! The only one of your award winners I've read is Radio Shangri-La.

  4. Great twist on the "best of" list idea!

    All the best for 2012!

  5. I was cracking up because of the ones on this list that I did read (about half) your statements were so true! Loved it!

  6. Congrats on completing your challenges, I was less successful & loving the most likely idea, although the book most likely to make a strange liquor purchase is my barkeeps bible.

  7. Col, what a clever way to comprise your list! Love The Penelopiad, The Paris Wife, allusions especially. Wonderful!

  8. You are so creative Col...loved this. Wishing you and everyone close to you, good health and happiness in the New Year. I am so happy i discovered your blog when I did.

  9. Such a great list - and definitely the most creative year-end post I've seen! Happy New Year, Col!

  10. I just discovered your blog, and I love it! It's delightful to see you are such an avid reader. Now, as if you didn't already have enough books on your list for 2012, I have three to suggest, based on what I saw on your list:

    A Fortune-Teller Told Me: Earthbound Travels in the Far East, by Tiziano Terzani: The experiences of a seasoned journalist during a year when he does not fly -- at all -- and yet travels all around Asia, often consulting with local fortune-tellers.

    The Coroner's Lunch, by Colin Cotterill: Since you like mysteries, and exotic places. I think the series is up to No. 10 by now. I have read them all, and loved them all except The Merry Misogynist (which was none too merry).

    For your Venice readings: The Passion, by Jeanette Winterson. I have read only three of her novels, but this one sticks in my head, and I mean to reread it one day.

  11. I'm so glad you enjoyed the list, everybody! It was really fun to put it together. And outside of The Sunday Philosophy Club, I recommend all of the books that made the list!

  12. @Mindy -- I can't believe you found my blog! Are you still in Asia? Thanks a million for the recommendations -- I have already put them on my TBR list. Hope all is well with you.

  13. What a fun way to do an end-of-year wrap-up! Now I wish I hadn't already done my own round-up...


I absolutely love comments. Thanks for taking the time to share! Col