Top 10 books of 2011
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Top 10 books of 2011

As the year comes to end, there's nothing better than a recap of all the great books which made a mark in literary world. We bring you the top 10 books of the year.

books Updated: Dec 09, 2011 05:26 IST

As the year comes to end, there's nothing better than a recap of all the great books which made a mark in literary world. From an intimate account of the First World War to a touching love story, the year was packed with gritty thrillers as well as insightful books. We bring you the top 10 books from both fiction and non-fiction.

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

Translated from the Japanese by Jay Rubin and Philip Gabriel (, $30.50). Murakami's tightly plotted tour de force - in which a young woman is dropped into a parallel reality and a lonely would-be novelist's life is underdone - is both an eerie thriller and a moving love story. - Michael Dirda


An Atlas of Impossible Longing by Anuradha Roy

In this sprawling epic set in 20th-century India, a single act of pity rattles down generations to break a caste's rules, test a family's mettle and throw together two unlikely childhood friends who will negotiate every circuit of human love. - Marie Arana

The Free Press

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

Patchett's thoughtful, gripping novel about a scientist sent to the Amazon jungle to track down a missing colleague grapples equally well with the unsavory behavior of Western pharmaceutical firms and the strange choices individuals make in the remote wilderness of their own conscience. - RC

Harper / Harper

Doc by Mary Doria Russell

Russell's novel about Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp is a bold act of historical reclamation that scrapes off the bull and allows those American legends to walk and love and grieve in the dynamic 19th-century world that existed before Hollywood shellacked it with cliches. - Ron Charles

Random House

Once Upon a River by Bonnie Jo Campbell

Campbell's gritty but tender novel features an unforgettable heroine whose determination to carve out a life on her own in rural Michigan is challenged by nature and some very bad men. - RC

W.W. Norton

Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius by Sylvia Nasar

From the author of A Beautiful Mind, a history of economic thought that focuses on the lives of the characters who helped shape it - from Charles Dickens to Marx, Engels and Milton Friedman. - Steven Pearlstein

Simon & Schuster / Simon & Schuster

Hemingway's Boat: Everything He Loved in Life, and Lost, 1934-1961 by Paul Hendrickson

A large-minded, rigorously fair summation of the best thought on Hemingway's writing, his life, traumas, pathologies, his family and friends, and his even more abundant cast of personal, literary and cultural enemies. - Howell Raines


Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China by Ezra F. Vogel

Vogel's masterful history of China's reform era is perhaps the clearest account of the revolution that turned China from a totalitarian backwater into the power it has become today. - John Pomfret

Belknap Press / Harvard University Press

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

This unauthorized biography of the iconic computer genius is a textbook study of the rise and fall and rise of Apple and the brutal clashes that destroyed friendships and careers. It is also a gadget lover's dream, with fabulous inside accounts of how the Macintosh, iPod, iPhone and iPad came to be. - Michael S. Rosenwald

Albert Watson / Simon & Schuster

The Beauty and the Sorrow: An Intimate History of the First World War by Peter Englund

This remarkable history captures World War I as seen through the eyes of 20 people who experienced it, including an English nurse in the Russian army, a Scots soldier in Africa, an American fighting with the Italians and a Venezuelan cowboy who joins the Ottoman army because of the French. These voices convey the war's complexity better than any of the grand histories so far written. - Gerard DeGroot


Text courtesy: Washington post

(The books have been chosen by Washington Post editors, with excerpts from The Post's reviews.)

First Published: Dec 09, 2011 05:26 IST