The Best of 2011

It’s that time of year again — namely, the end — and that means it’s time to reflect on the best books and movies from the last twelve months. So without further ado, I present my list of personal favourites of all the books I read and all the movies I watched for the first time this year. Quite a few I’m sure I’ll be returning to.

Best Reads

Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff

True Grit by Charles Portis

A Separate Peace by John Knowles

Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe (read my review)

The Making of ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ by J.W. Rinzler

The Cello Suites by Eric Siblin (read my review)

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Berlin At War by Roger Moorehouse (read my review)

Bone by Jeff Smith

The David Story by Robert Alter (read my review)

God’s Secretaries: The Making of The King James Bible by Adam Nicholson

Soldier of The Mist by Gene Wolfe

The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz


Best Films

The Social Network, dir. David Fincher

The King’s Speech, dir. Tom Hooper

True Grit (2010), dir. The Coen Brothers

The Book of Eli, dir. The Hughes Brothers

Source Code, dir. Duncan Jones

One Week, dir. Michael McGowan

X-Men: First Class, dir. Matthew Vaughn

Super 8, dir. J.J. Abrams (read my review)

Inglourious Basterds, dir. Quentin Tarantino

The Reader, dir. Stephen Daldry

Kill Bill, Vols. 1 & 2, dir. Quentin Tarantino

Hamlet (VIFF), dir. Bruce Ramsey

The Adventures of Tintin, dir. Steven Spielberg (read my review)

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, dir. Guy Ritchie

The Help, dir. Tate Taylor


I just wanted to point out to everyone that the 100 Great Novels list has been revised again. I was never fully happy with my selection before, and realized there were a few too many on the list that I thought I should read instead of actually wanting to. There is now a greater variety to the list, mostly because I decided that each author should have only one book (the sole exception is Lewis Carroll’s Alice books, which are almost always published as a single volume and so I counted them as one). There is also quite a bit more science fiction and fantasy, as well as several more children’s books. I’m quite happy with it now, and should have more fun with the whole thing.

And finally, let me say it’s been a pleasure to be blogging this year. I think I got some good ones out, and it was encouraging to see my readership grow a little. I think I’m getting better at bombarding people with links. There’s still some great things to come, and I’m excited for them. I’ve started another blog where I’ll be reading the Bible all next year. And of course…a certain special project is still on the horizon. Get ready for more details on that very soon.

That’s all for 2011, folks. See you next year!

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