The OF Blog: Best of 2011: The Longlist

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Best of 2011: The Longlist

For those who want to guess which titles will make the final 20/25, here are the ones currently under consideration (in no order but a rough chronological read order, with a few added latter due to oversight):

1.  Karen Russell, Swamplandia!

2.  Téa Obreht, The Tiger's Wife

3.  R. Scott Bakker, The White-Luck Warrior

4.  David Albahari, Leeches

5.  Michael Cisco, The Great Lover

6.  Blake Butler, There is No Year

7.  David Anthony Durham, The Sacred Band

8.  Ben Loory, Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day

9.  Nnedi Okorafor, Akata Witch

10. Peter Beagle, Sleight of Hand

11.  Umberto Eco, Confessions of a Young Novelist

12.  Jesse Ball, The Curfew

13.  Lev Grossman, The Magician King

14.  Carol Birch, Jamrach's Menagerie

15.  Glen Duncan, The Last Werewolf

16.  Donald Ray Pollock, The Devil All the Time

17.  Patrick Dewitt, The Sisters Brothers

18.  Kevin Wilson, The Family Fang

19.  Lászlo Krasznahorkai and Max Neumann, Animalinside

20.  Mary Horlock, The Book of Lies

21.  Anders Nilsen, Big Questions

22.  Stuart Nadler, The Book of Life

23.  Tom Perrotta, The Leftovers

24.  Justin Torres, We the Animals

25.  Gonçalo M. Tavares, Learning to Pray in the Age of Technique

26.  Chad Harbach, The Art of Fielding

27.  Denis Johnson, Train Dreams 

28.  Amy Waldman, The Submission

29.  Javier Marías, Los enamoramientos

30.  Mercé Rodoreda, The Selected Stories of Mercé Rodoreda

31.  Kate Beaton, Hark! A Vagrant

32.  Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

33.  Helen Oyeyemi, Mr. Fox

34.  Moacyr Scliar, Kafka's Leopards

35.  Julie Otsuka, The Buddha in the Attic

36.  Jesmyn Ward, Salvage the Bones

37.  Andrew Krivak, The Sojourn

38.  Colson Whitehead, Zone One

39.  Thanhha Lai, Inside Out and Back Again

40.  Gary D. Schmidt, Okay for Now

41.  Stephen Greenblatt, The Swerve:  How the World Became Modern

42.  Umberto Eco and Jean-Claudde Carrière, This is Not the End of the Book

43.  David Abulafia, The Great Sea

44.  Debby Dahl Edwardson, My Name is Not Easy

45.  Manning Marable, Malcolm X:  A Life of Reinvention

46.  Carlos Ruiz Zafón, El Prisionero del Cielo

47.  Russell Banks, Lost Memory of Skin

48.  Lavie Tidhar, Osama

49.  Haruki Murakami, 1Q84

50.  Thomas Frick, The Iron Boys

 In addition, there are three novels that may be finished by the 29th (my cutoff date for the overall list) that could crack this list, if complete by then:

Nick Mamatas, Sensation

Catherynne M. Valente, The Folded World

Péter Nádas, Parallel Stories

How many of these books have you read?  Which ones do you want to know more about?  Which one/s do you think will atop my list?


Joris M said...

I've read none of these books at this point. I've heard positive comments on the Okorafor, and it seems like something for your top 20.

Your views on Osama could be interesting, but none of the titles or authors really jump out.

Lsrry said...

It may be that less than a quarter of the books I read this year that were 2011 releases were marketed as SF/F.

Tidhar's book is an alt-history/mystery (among other things), but it is worth reading (it just came out in the UK through PS Publishing and I'm not sure if there's an American publisher lined up yet).

Several of the books listed were finalists or winners for the National Book Award (US) or Booker Prize (UK/Commonwealth) awards.

Jordan said...

2. Téa Obreht, The Tiger's Wife
9. Nnedi Okorafor, Akata Witch
11. Umberto Eco, Confessions of a Young Novelist
31. Kate Beaton, Hark! A Vagrant
42. Umberto Eco and Jean-Claudde Carrière, This is Not the End of the Book
49. Haruki Murakami, 1Q84

Those are the books from this list that I've read, in addition to the English translation of the new Eco novel. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the new Murakami. It's among my favourite Murakami novels, and I don't recall you covering it much, if at all, on this blog or in passing on some forum.

Lsrry said...

I only finished reading 1Q84 yesterday, so my plans are to review it in early January, most likely on the Gogol's Overcoat blog (and later a mirror post here perhaps). It's the second Murakami I've finished reading (the other being Kafka on the Shore, which I read around five years ago).

Michal said...

Kate Beaton absolutely must make the top 10.

Ray Garraty said...

I've read two: the Birch and the Harbach. The Harbach was OK, the Birch was awful.
Looking forward for your top!

montsamu said...

I read 70 books this year, but we intersect only at:

13. Lev Grossman, The Magician King

32. Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

33. Helen Oyeyemi, Mr. Fox

49. Haruki Murakami, 1Q84

Though many of those you listed (Swamplandia!, The Tiger's Wife, The White-Luck Warrior, There is No Year, The Sacred Band, Akata Witch, Sleight of Hand, The Submission, The Folded World, Parallel Stories, and Osama) are at the top of my to-read list, and I'm currently reading Zone One and Sensation.

Cursed Armada said...

Nice to see The White Luck Warrior make the list! I'm obsessed with that series so it's hard for me not to be biased! Honestly I'm not sure why there aren't more fans of his work! Very powerful stuff...

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