Books of 2011

Anyone who has been to university may remember the feeling of looking at all the societies during Freshers’ Week and going, that looks fun, and so does that, and so does that… until you end up joining more than you reasonably have time for.

Well, I thought I’d have a look through some publishers’ catalogues for next year, and make a list of books that sounded interesting. You can guess where this is going.

So, let us be clear that the following is not a list of books I intend to read in 2011, though I certainly will read some of them. Think of it more as a kind of ‘advance recommended reading’ list, with the caveat that I don’t know what any of them are like. But that one looks interesting, and so does that one, and so does that…


Alice Albinia, Leela’s Book
Paul Bailey, Chapman’s Odyssey
Elia Barceló, The Goldsmith’s Secret
Kevin Barry, City of Bohane
Aimee Bender, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
Robert Jackson Bennett, The Company Man
David Bezmozgis, The Free World
Rahul Bhattacharya, The Sly Company of People Who Care
Frances Bingham, The Principle of Camouflage
Carol Birch, Jamrach’s Menagerie
Sharon Blackie, The Bee Dancer
Stefan Merrill Block, The Storm at the Door
Chaz Brenchley, House of Doors
Chaz Brenchley, Rotten Row
Kevin Brockmeier, The Illumination
Keith Brooke (ed.), The Sub-genres of Science Fiction
Ellen Bryson, The Transformation of Bartholomew Fortuno
John Burnside, A Summer of Drowning
John Butler, The Tenderloin
Lucy Caldwell, The Meeting Point
Warwick Cairns, In Praise of Savagery
George Makana Clark, The Raw Man
Ben Constable, Three Lives of Tomomi Ishikawa
Anthony Doerr, Memory Wall
Glen Duncan, The Last Werewolf
Enruque de Hériz, The Manual of Darkness
Jennifer Egan, A Visit From the Goon Squad
Will Elliott, Pilgrims
Stuart Evers, Ten Stories About Smoking
Tom Fletcher, The Thing on the Shore
Essie Fox, The Somnambulist
Claudie Gallay, The Breakers
Petina Gappah, The Book of Memory
Rachel Genn, The Cure
Andrew Sean Greer, The Path of Minor Planets
Jon Courtenay Grimwood, The Fallen Blade
Faïza Guène, Bar Balto
Benjamin Hale, The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore
Sophie Hardach, The Registrar’s Manual for Detecting Forced Marriages
Dermot Healy, Long Time, No See
Ida Hattemer-Higgins, The History of History
Alois Hotschnig, Maybe This Time
Lars Iyer, Spurious
Richard T. Kelly, The Possessions of Doctor Forrest
M.D. Lachlan, Fenrir
Simon Lelic, The Faciility
James Lovegrove, Diversifications
Michael Marshall, The Breakers
Cornelius Medvei, Caroline
Dinaw Mengestu, How to Read the Air
China Miéville, Embassytown
Angela Morgan Cutler, The Letter
Bradford Morrow, The Diviner’s Tale
Adam Nevill, The Beast
Cees Nooteboom, Foxes in the Night and Other Stories
Téa Obreht, The Tiger’s Wife
Helen Oyeyemi, Mr Fox
Matthias Politycki, Next World Novella
Tim Powers, On Stranger Tides
Christopher Priest, The Islanders
Jane Rogers, The Testament of Jessie Lamb
Karen Russell, Swamplandia!
Adam Roberts, By Light Alone
Geoff Ryman, Paradise Tales
Sunjeev Sahota, Ours are the Streets
Nat Segnit, Pub Walks in Underhill Country
Jacques Strauss, The Dubious Salvation of Jack V.
Kirsten Tranter, The Legacy
Jan van Mersbergen, Tomorrow Pamplona
David Vann, Caribou Island
Katie Ward, Girl Reading
David Whitehouse, Bed
Conrad Williams, Loss of Separation
Luke Williams, The Echo Chamber
Naomi Wood, The Godless Boys
Alexi Zentner, Touch

What are you looking forward to next year? What have I missed?


  1. That is an impressive list! I’m currently compiling a one, but we don’t have that much overlap. I’m most looking forward to reading The Faciility by Simon Lelic as Rupture was one of my favourite reads of 2010.

  2. David Hebblethwaite

    23rd November 2010 at 10:27 pm

    Hmm, it would be interesting to compare lists, then!

    The Facility is one of the books I’m most keen to read, too, because it sounds quite different from Rupture, and I’m intrigued to see what he does with it.

  3. I’m keen to read Swamplandia, but I think that and Mieville’s new books are the only ones I’ve heard of! Love long lists!

  4. Thats a good list, but what about the books that have already been published that you have not read, by which I mean some of the classics…
    Heinlein’s The Moon is a harsh mistress
    Frank Hurbet’s Dune,
    Larry Nivern’s Ringworld
    H P Lovecraft,
    Isaac Asimov’s Foundation trillogy
    just for five that are on my shelves

  5. the Tea Obhert is one I may look out just wonder how someone so young can write such a acclaimed book ,all the best stu

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