Best Books of 2011

2011 has been a great reading year for me. I tend to take into account the quality of what I read and not the number of books I read. Sometimes, a single book can change your life in ways that fifty other books did not. So, I am happy to say that I read books that reminded me of how much I love sitting on my bed, with a blankett and a good book. Or how it can help me to read a few chapters of a book I love to keep on working on those awfully boring papers for school.

Here you have, Books and Reviews’ best books of 2011!

Lamb (Christopher Moore) 4,5/5 A humoristic re-writing of Jesus Christ’ life narrated by his childhood bestfriend who accompanied him until her death. Sweet and funny, incredibly full of values to live your life by. Review here.

Alias Grace (Margaret Atwood) 4,5/5 – What can I say about Margaret Atwood? I simply adore everything she writes. This book was a journey into a 19th century woman’s mind and how she managed being accused of murder. Review here.

Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier) 4/5 – A Classic. It was dark, thrilling, and very psychological, in every sense of the word you can imagine. You can read my review here.

The Weird Sisters (Eleanor Brown) 4,5/5 – A book I bought for light reading and loved so much as to want to re-read it. The Andrea sisters just reminded me how much I love books: from the font, to the quiality of the paper or the design of the cover. A must read. Also, the author was kind enough to let me interview here. You can read my review here and the interview here.

When Will there be Good News? (Kate Atkinson) 4/5 – Everyone kept insisting on how wonderful Kate Atkinson is and I did not belive them. She is as wonderful as an English female author of detective fiction can get, which is awesome. Review here.

The Dinosaur Feather (Sisel Jo Gazan) 4,5/5 – A crime novel set on a college and with the incredible combination of dinosaurs, academics and a thesis. Simply perfect! Review here.

Two of my passions: reading and bunnies.

I am incredibly proud of myself for having reviewed all these books that I loved so much. I wanted to share them with all of you and, hopefully, having helped you to discover new titles. But, the best part, is that we got to share opinions.

I hope you have a wonderful New Year’s Eve and 2012 is full of happiness, health, love, projects and books for all of you. Thanks for visiting Books and Reviews and a especial thanks to those who took time to comment, enriching the blog and fulfilling its mission: spread the literary love.

New Christopher Moore book on the way!

Christopher Moore is a personal favourite author of mine. I first read The Stupidest Angel when I was 17: it was Christmas and I had some heart-broken teenager problems. I remember reading the book and laughing out loud. It helped to make it through. Then I literally asked my parents for anything by Moore they could find and now I have a lovely collection of his books. Last year, I got to read Lamb which redifined the figure of Jesus Christ for me (you can red my review here). It was a wonderful read, full of love and laughs and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants a beautiful story of friendship, love, sex, laughs, magic, travels, medicine and laughs in general.

Today, I found that Christopher Moore is offering an advance on his next novel, Sacre Bleu to be published next April. You can visit the site here, follow him on twitter @theAuthorGuy and like his Facebook page. He is a very funny person and a great writer. So, if you didn’t know him, maybe you’d like to give him a chance!

Lamb by Christopher Moore

I am a huge Christopher Moore fan so when I read about Lamb I couldn’t wait to have enough free time to devour it. Finally, I got to enjoy the book this week and, as expected, I loved it.

  • Title: Lamb
  • Author: Christopher Moore
  • Year of Publication: 2007
  • Pages: 512
  • 4.5/5

Summary from Book Depository:

The birth of Jesus has been well chronicled, as have his glorious teachings, acts, and divine sacrifice after his thirtieth birthday. But no one knows about the early life of the Son of God, the missing years – except Biff, the Messiah’s best bud, who has been resurrected to tell the story in this divinely hilarious, yet heartfelt work ‘reminiscent of Vonnegut and Douglas Adams’ (Philadelphia Inquirer). Verily, the story Biff has to tell is a miraculous one, filled with remarkable journeys, magic, healings, kung fu, corpse reanimations, demons, and hot babes, Even the considerable wiles and devotion of the Saviour’s pal may not be enough to divert Joshua from his tragic destiny. But there’s no one who loves Josh more – except maybe ‘Maggie,’ Mary of Magdala – and Biff isn’t about to let his extraordinary pal suffer and ascend without a fight.

First of all, I got to admit I have never, ever, read the Bible, so I expected not to enjoy the humour and the jokes but, luckily, I was wrong. Moore makes enough references to well-known Christian topics (to turn the other cheek is the most remarkable… and funny) so that anyone living in a Christian country can have a good time. He also made a lot of research to create a historically adequeate setting that allows hilarious okes from a modern point of view. As a consequence, the reader can learn a little bit while having a laugh (but, please, do some research yourself before taking for granted this historical setting.)

But, what matters the most in this book is obviously, the characters. They are just amazing: the story is told from JC’s best friend, Biff, and involves anything you would not expect to be related to the Messiah: from magic to yoga… and a huge amount of sex. Biff is the kid next door, he is funny, and some times silly and above all, the human counterpart to the son of God: we see everything through is eyes making us impartial… and happy to be so!

So, I highly recommend this book to almost anyone who does not take their religious background too seriously. The main tone is funny and intimate and everything we took for granted can be twisted and made more interesting. I know it might be hard to leave our religious prejudices besides, but it is definitely worthy. Lamb is, after all, a fiction work in which Moore writes about the most influential event of our world and he imagines JC as he would have liked him to be, but making references to the most well-known facts of the religious literature.

The only thing that made the reading difficult was that we all know the end and, as we get closer to the final pages, after travelling, learning and suffering with Joshua and Biff, we wish there was an alternative finale. As a reader and also as part of an audience, although I already know the ending (it happenned to me just recently with Romeo and Juliet) my mind cannot but think for a second: they might be saved. This is what makes the final chapters a little bit harder but not less worthy.

Bookish Christmas

Every Christmas I try not to fill my wish-list with books, but all I ever do is try… and fail. But, aren’t book the best gifts? These are the one I got for being such a good girl and reader:

Our Kind of Traitor (John LeCarré) – After reading his wonderful The Constant Gardener, I thought his last book, that takes places during the economic recession in England, must be great as well. It promises social criticism, love, crimes and intrigue.


Lamb (Christopher Moore) – I am such a big fan of Christopher Moore! He is a wonderful and hilarious writer plus, he answers fan emails back. This is about the teenagers years of Jesus Christ and it looks as as light and funny reading.

Tamara Drewe (Posy Simmonds) – I have already read this graphic novel because I really loved the film. It is quintessentially English and it reads very quick. The main character, Tamara is a complicated and manipulating young woman who comes back home after her mother’s death. But she is no longer the ugly duckling her neighbours remembered and she turns the whole town upside down.

London Fields (Martin Amis) – One of my favourite actresses is starring in the movie coming out next year, so I thought I’d better read the original work while waiting. There is a woman, Nicola Six, who knows when, how and why will kill her, but she doesn’t really know the man, her muderer. On the other hand, a man enteres a public house and finds a stage ready to follow his orders.

The Cemetery of Prague (Umberto Eco) – Umberto Eco is basically a god when it comes to literary theory and his last novel, published 20 years after The Name of the Rose looks very interesting: a 19th century forger in Paris tries to remember his life. But his life is not that simple, specially when you meet people like a doctor called Froïd and the Italian revolutionary Garibaldi. Historically interesting.

What about yours? Which books did you get? Have you discovered anything new to read in this first month of 2011? Let me know!