Well, we’re not churning out 5,000 reviews a year like Kirkus Reviews, but our volunteer reviewers worked hard in 2011, reading and reviewing close to 300 books- some good, some bad, and some that were really extraordinary pieces of writing and storytelling.
With a new year beginning, it’s time for the Monster Librarian, in consultation with contributing reviewers, to reflect back on the past year’s reading and reviewing. We didn’t get out a list of the top picks for 2010, but now we’re back now, with our Top Picks for 2011. Each book on the list below was reviewed in the past year, although not all the books were published in 2011. If the book made a Top Picks list in the past, it won’t be on this year’s list (Wintergirls, by Laurie Halse Anderson, was first reviewed in 2009 and made the list that year, so it’s not on this year’s list).
Books that made this list were chosen by our reviewers as exceptional examples of compelling writing, creativity, and original illustration or presentation. Many of them provided considerable food for thought as well as entertainment value. The choices were made only from books reviewed for the site, so there are many fine titles that do not appear here. The Monster Librarian’s Top Picks for 2011, listed below, have not been ranked in any order. You’ll find a list for each age group: Adult, Young Adult, and Kids. Below you’ll find our list of Top Picks for Adult Fiction in 2011. I’ll post the lists for young adult and children’s books shortly.
Note for librarians and readers: As with all recommended reading lists, not all of The Monster Librarian’s Top Picks for 2011 will be appropriate for or appreciated by every reader. Please take the time to check out reviews of these titles at MonsterLibrarian.com before making a decision about reading them or recommending them to others.
The Monster Librarian’s Top Picks for 2011
Titles for Adults
A special mention goes to Lisa Morton’s The Samhanach, which three of our reviewers independently chose to review. All three reviewers highly recommended this book. And now, the list.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Zombie Jim, by Mark Twain and W. Bill Czolgosz
Allison Hewitt Is Trapped: A Zombie Novel, by Madeleine Roux
Bedbugs, by Ben H. Winter
Bigfoot War 2: Dead in the Woods, by Eric S. Brown
Bone Marrow Stew, by Tim Curran (limited edition available only from Tasmaniac Publications)
Crucified Dreams, edited by Joe R. Lansdale
Cuckoo, by Richard Wright
Dust, by Joan Frances Turner
Draculas: A Novel of Terror, by Blake Crouch, Jack Kilborn, Jeff Strand, and F. Paul Wilson
Enclave, by Ann Aguirre
Eternal Unrest: A Novel of Mummy Terror, by Lorne Dixon
Ghost Story: A Novel of the Dresden Files, by Jim Butcher
Graveminder, by Melissa Marr
How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf, by Molly Harper
In Extremis: The Most Extreme Short Stories of John Shirley, by John Shirley
Our Lady of The Shadows, by Tony Richards
Smile No More, by James A. Moore
Sympathy for the Devil, by Justin Gustainis
That Which Should Not Be, by Brett J. Talley
The Anatomy of Evil, by Dr. Michael Stone
The Last Werewolf, by Glen Duncan
The Night Strangers, by Chris Bohjalian
The Pumpkin Man, by John Everson
The Reapers Are the Angels, by Alden Bell
The Samhanach, by Lisa Morton
The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities: Exhibits, Oddities, Images, and Stories from Top Authors and Artists, edited by Jeff and Ann Vandermeer
Wormfood, by Jeff Jacobson
Zombie, Ohio: A Tale of the Undead, by Scott Kenemore
Zone One, by Colson Whitehead
Stay tuned for part two of our Top Picks for 2011!