Best of 2011: Books

  • The List
  • 14 December 2011
Best of 2011: Books

The best books of 2011, including George Pelecanos, Ali Smith, Jane Harris, Sunjeev Sahota, Julian Barnes

George Pelecanos – The Cut

Every time the name ‘George Pelecanos’ is mentioned these days the words ‘The Wire’ closely follow. But the Washington writer has been knocking out quality crime novels long before his involvement on the HBO show. The Cut was a five-star noirish affair brilliantly portraying the return to DC of an Iraq veteran.
Original review: George Pelecanos – The Cut

Ali Smith – There but for the

Ali Smith’s wonderful latest novel opened with a man trapping himself in someone else’s bathroom during a dinner party before unwittingly becoming a tabloid cause célèbre. The knock-on effects of his story are felt through the vivid tales of three other individuals.
Original review: Ali Smith – There but for the

Jane Harris – Gillespie and I

The author of The Observations delivered an exquisite second novel whose narrator reflected upon her time in the Glasgow of the 1880s and the consequences of meeting her ‘soulmate’, the painter Ned Gillespie.
Original review: Jane Harris – Gillespie and I
Interview: Jane Harris

Sunjeev Sahota – Ours are the Streets

One of the top debuts of the year as Sunjeev Sahota gave us a non-judgmental peer into the mind of a would be suicide bomber planning an assault on Sheffield. Behind the dramatic action though stirred a moving family drama.
Original review: Sunjeev Sahota – Ours are the Streets

Julian Barnes – The Sense of an Ending

This year’s Booker winner from Barnes was, at 150 pages, the second shortest book to have scooped the prize, a delicately plotted and layered drama about how our memory can play terrible tricks on us.
Original review: Julian Barnes – The Sense of an Ending

Elsewhere on the web


1. LaraP19 Dec 2011, 8:18pm Report

Great choices, one and all. I'm about to start the Barnes book - took forever to get from the local library (only one copy?!). I also loved 'There But for the' and I'm glad to see it popping up on so many year-end 'best of' lists. I'm adding it now to this reader-voted list:

*The Barnes is already listed, I see.

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