Best Books of 2011, Final Honor Roll, Literary Fiction and Speculative Fiction

The final version of the 2011 ABBC (All-the-Best-Books Compilation) is available for download as an Excel spreadsheet via Blogging for a Good Book at Williamsburg Regional Library. The spreadsheet lists 3328 titles published in 2011 in 11 genres and subject categories, each annotated to show which of 237 newspapers, magazines, awards, blogs, and other web sites named them as a best book of 2011. I’ll conclude my coverage of the best of 2011, with 5 posts of long lists showing how many mentions the top books received in each category. I encourage you to explore the full list for many more hidden treasures for book groups that didn’t quite crack the top of the list.


64 mentions Jeffrey Eugenides The Marriage Plot

58  mentions Téa Obreht  The Tiger’s Wife

54 mentions Chad Harbach  The Art of Fielding

44 mentions Julian Barnes  The Sense of an Ending

42 mentions Ann Patchett  State of Wonder

39 mentions Karen Russell  Swamplandia!

32 mentions Teju Cole  Open City

24 mentions Kevin Wilson  The Family Fang

23 mentions Arthur Phillips  The Tragedy of Arthur

22 mentions David Foster Wallace The Pale King

19 mentions Francisco Goldman  Say Her Name

Amy Waldman The Submission

18 mentions Bonnie Jo Campbell Once upon a River

17 mentions Ali Smith There but for the

Justin Torres We the Animals

16 mentions Jesmyn Ward  Salvage the Bones

Eleanor Henderson  Ten Thousand Saints

15  mentions Dana Spiotta Stone Arabia

Russell Banks  The Lost Memory of Skin



50 mentions  Erin Morgenstern The Night Circus

46 mentions  Haruki Murakami 1Q84

37  mentions Ernest Cline  Ready Player One

35 mentions Stephen King  11/22/63

32  mentions George R. R. Martin  A Dance with Dragons

29  mentions Lev Grossman  The Magician King

24  mentions China Miéville  Embassytown

21 mentions Tom Perotta  The Leftovers

20 mentions Jo Walton  Among Others

19 mentions Patrick Rothfuss  The Wise Man’s Fear

18 mentions Colson Whitehead  Zone One

17 mentions Neal Stephenson  Reamde

13  mentions Glen Duncan  The Last Werewolf

James S. A. Corey Leviathan Wakes

Daniel H. Wilson  Robopocalypse

Hillary Jordan  When She Woke

11 Deborah Harkness  A Discovery of Witches

Mat Johnson Pym

Charles Stross  Rule 34

10 mentions Kameron Hurley  God’s War

Joe Abercrombie  The Heroes




About the Author:

Neil Hollands is an Adult Services Librarian at Williamsburg Regional Library in Virginia, where he specializes in readers’ advisory and collection development. He is the author of Read On . . . Fantasy Fiction (2007) and Fellowship in a Ring: a Guide for Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Groups (2009).

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