Library Journal Top Ten of 2011

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 29, 2011

NEW YORK, N.Y. — Library Journal has announced its annual Top Ten Best Books list for 2011. Chosen by a consensus vote of eight book review editors, the list represents outstanding titles in fiction and nonfiction that span subjects as widely disparate as bigamy, politically charged fashion, Balkan magical realism and pre-Civil War history.
“Because so much is being published and in so many formats, lists have become even more important reading tools,” said Heather McCormack, book review editor of Library Journal. “We‘re proud of our Top Ten because we think it showcases both blockbuster works and quieter contenders that merit more attention. No matter their topics, these books share an irresistible point of view.”
The following titles made up the 2011 Top Ten list:
• “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty,” by Andrew Bolton and others (text) & Solve Sundsbo (photographs) (Metropolitan Museum of Art, dist. by Yale Univ.).
• “Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid That Sparked the Civil War,” by Tony Horwitz (Holt).
• “Silver Sparrow,” by Tayari Jones (Algonquin).
• “1Q84,” by Haruki Murakami (Knopf).
• “The Tiger’s Wife,” by Téa Obreht (Random).
• “The Buddha in the Attic,” by Julie Otsuka (Knopf).
• “The Tragedy of Arthur,” by Arthur Phillips (Random).
• “The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined,” by Steven Pinker (Viking).
• “Tides of War,” by Stella Tillyard (Holt).
• “The Empty Family: Stories by Colm Tóibín” (Scribner).
The Top Ten is complemented by 19 contenders dubbed “More of the Best.” Also announced is Best Genre Fiction 2011, which includes standouts in Christian fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, sci-fi/fantasy, street lit, thrillers and women’s fiction.
View all three lists with commentary and annotations by visiting Library Journal’s new Reviews site, /category/best-of/ . On Thursday, Library Journal will publish the lists for Best Core Nonfiction, Best How-To, Best Graphic Novels and Best YA Lit for Adults. Best Media-encompassing audiobooks, DVDs, video games and music-will follow on Dec. 15.
“The breadth of these titles is sure to engage readers everywhere,” said McCormack.
Founded in 1876, Library Journal is one of the oldest publications covering the library field. Library Journal reviews more than 8,000 books, audiobooks, videos, databases and web sites annually. For more information, visit