It varies year to year whether it is difficult to come up with the ten ‘best books’ read in one year, or whether you can limit it to ten. Some years, you keep a list as the year goes on and what you thought would be on the list ends up dropping off as it is measured against others you read afterward. Some years you can’t get to ten; some years you plead with your colleagues to do their fifteen or twenty so you don’t look as if you’re the only one who can’t whittle their list. And some years everyone else has a book you loved on their list but you don't and it takes a while to figure out that it was on your last list because you read it early (that's why the Urban Waite wasn't on my list, or Winslow's Satori - they was on my 2010 list)... CRIMINY! Who knew bookselling could be so arduous!
Here, then, is my list of Best of 2011 in the rough order in which they were read – with one exception at the end: