Friday Five

Top Books Read of 2011 (in no particular order, though I wish the list were a lot longer, see the rest here)

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
The third book in the series, I was both glad and depressed to finish. Rumor is that Stieg Larsson had planned ten books for the Millennium series, but we’ll never know for sure what he had in mind. Though the second remains my favorite, this book made the list for the year because it really took me out of Thailand and immersed into the chilly, brisk streets of Stockholm. When coming up for air, I’d had to blink a few times to remember where I was. I love that feeling.

Sigh, Stieg Larsson

Outliers
I mean, it’s Malcom Gladwell, of course it’s going to be awesome. He explores the idea of the ‘self-made’ man and really how many people and series of events it takes for that to come together. Gladwell covers topics like opportunities (with Bill Gates, the Beatles, Bill Joy, and Chris Langan) and the cultural legacies (explaining why southerners continue to uphold a ‘culture of honor’) that stem from them.

Now with the correct photo cover, Malcolm Gladwell

Zeitoun
Thank you Jeff Jackson for you are the one that introduced me to David Eggers. Through one family’s eyes, I began to understand the disaster that Katrina was both physically and emotionally to the city of New Orleans and its inhabitants. I learned so much about the storm, the city, the people, and the terrible, unimaginable things that happened after devolving into real chaos. This is a must read.

Dave Eggers

Freakonomics
I liked how much this book made me think. The guys that wrote this book took the ‘if a butterfly flaps his wings on one continent, it causes an earthquake on another’ concept and sprinted with it. And I ate it up. Not that I just believed everything they offered, but it changed my perspective of cause/(or what we think is the cause of an) effect.

Steven B. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

Glass Castle
A memoir and a worthwhile one of the author’s childhood with her loony parents. There were times that I wanted to jump through the pages and just strangle her parents for the things they did to their kids. Somehow though, they all managed to still love one another through their differences and that’s what made this such a worthwhile read this year. That and it made me appreciate my Mom a lot more.

Jeannette Walls

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