Quill and Quire

Books of the Year

« Back to

Books of the year: Q&Q review editor Steven W. Beattie

Creating lists of the year’s best books is an annual ritual in which I am frequently asked to participate. These requests never fail to make me uncomfortable: such judgments ultimately come down to matters of individual taste, and in any case, it is impossible for one person to read the sum total of books published in a calendar year, and therefore to make an informed decision as to what constitutes the best.

It is possible, however, to look back on a year’s worth of reading and identify a handful of books that rose above the pack, books that proved more affecting, more memorable, or more enjoyable than the rest. Not necessarily the best, whatever that might mean, but a group of personal favourites. With that in mind, here are five books that made an impression on me in 2011.