While it’s true that we here at AAR read, with love, lots of romance novels, many of us also read and enjoy books outside the genre. I asked my fellow reviewers to pick their favorite non-romance book or books from 2011. Mysteries were the first choice—seven of the fourteen books were from that genre. Two chose the same book: Tina Fey’s bestselling Bossypants.
Here are our picks:
Blythe confessed her favorite this year was Stephen King’s 11/22/63. She called it an “Absolutely fabulous book – it was happy, sad, funny, romantic, and thought-provoking. I can’t stop recommending it to people.” In her review, she wrote “You might think from the title and the cover that this book is about the Kennedy assassination. It is, and it isn’t. It’s about time travel and all the big “what ifs,” but it’s also about a Maine English teacher who travels back in time and falls in love in small town Texas. That wasn’t at all what I was expecting, but it was a lovely surprise.”
The book chosen by Bessie, Swamplandia!, a debut novel by Karen Russell, is described by Booklist as “Ravishing, elegiac, funny, and brilliantly inquisitive, Russell’s archetypal swamp saga tells a mystical yet rooted tale of three innocents who come of age through trials of water, fire, and air.” The book made many a “Best” list in 2011.
The one book picked more than once—by both SandyAAR and Jean Wan—was Tina Fey’s Bossypants. Jean wrote: “I thought it was absolutely hilarious and a masterpiece in how a little goes a very long way.” Ms. Fey’s book has been a huge commercial success; it’s sold well over a million copies in the United States alone.