The Best and Worst Books I Read in 2011

In no particular order  . . .


36 Arguments For the Existence of God by Rebecca Newberger Goldstein – The novel itself is not especially memorable, but the Appendix is: the deconstruction of pretty much every argument fathomable for the existence of God or a divine power.

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand – Amazing story of resilience that keeps the reader on the edge of her seat.

Life, Sex, and Ideas: The Good Life Without God by A.C. Grayling – a philosophical exploration of various subjects ranging from religion to marriage to war to eating meat.  Very thought-provoking.  I loved it.

In The Woods by Tana French – Murder mystery/thriller, this is the first book in the author’s Dublin Murder Squad series.  Couldn’t put it down.

The Likeness by Tana French – The second book in the Dublin Murder Squad series.

Faithful Place by Tana French – Book three of the Dublin Murder Squad series; perhaps the best of the three.

Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy – Deeply introspective, beautifully written account of the author’s experience with a rare form of cancer in childhood, and the aftermath that plagued her for the rest of her life.  Thoroughly engrossing.

The Shape of the Eye by George Estreich – a memoir by a father with a daughter who has Down syndrome, as well as a historical and sociological study of how our attitudes about Down syndrome have been shaped.  A must read for anyone touched by Down syndrome, as well as doctors and educators.

The Diaries of Adam and Eve by Mark Twain – a witty, intelligent retelling of Genesis by a world-class satirist.  Loved it.


Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand – better than Ambien for a sleep aid, my book club has nicknamed this book “The Gift That Keeps On Giving,” because a year later, the jokes about this epic novel persist.

Face of Hope by Carol Guscott – Fascinating story, but poorly written and too heavily faith-based for my liking.

I Live With Peter Pan by Missy Vaughn – Although the author clearly had good intentions when writing and publishing this children’s book, she only succeeds in promoting an old stereotype of individuals with Down syndrome remaining perpetually childlike.  Really disliked the book’s message.

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