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Top 11 Books of 2011: One Librarian's Opinion

Woodinville Library's intrepid intern gives her picks for the best books of 2011.

Top 11 Books of 2011: One Librarian's Opinion

Fiction (Adult)

The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai

  • Children’s librarian Lucy is kidnapped by one of her favorite 10-year-old patrons (or is it the other way around?). The two embark on a road trip that helps them both wrestle with the challenges that face them.

Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson

  • Humanity fights to survive hordes of robots bent on world domination. The book is well written and interesting despite the take-no-prisoners action feel.

Nonfiction (Adult)

Nothing Daunted: The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West by Dorothy Wickenden

  • Two girls from well-to-do families on the East Coast decide to take a teaching job in a tiny settlement out west during the early 1900s.

Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout by Philip Connors

  • During the summer a journalist travels to New Mexico to take his place as a fire lookout in one of the state’s national parks.

Nonfiction (Children or Teen)

How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous by Georgia Bragg

  • This book describes in gruesome detail how a bevy of famous historical figures died.

Elephant Talk: The Surprising Science of Elephant Communication by Ann Downer

  • Discusses the different sounds that elephants makes and posits why they make them. Did you know that elephants squeak?

Fiction (Children or Teen)

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

  • Seventeen-year-old Karou has always lived a double life. Some of the time she’s an art student in Prague and the rest she runs errands for a fantastical group of creatures. It isn’t until Karou meets a seraphim named Akiva that she begins to unravel the mystery of her past.

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

  • After moving to Nigeria, an albino named Sunny discovers her magical heritage. A richly imagined world (and a new method of making magic!) that takes place deep in Africa.

Horton Halfpott, or, The Fiendish Mystery of Smugwick Manor, or, The Loosening of M'Lady Luggertuck's Corset by Tom Angleberger

  • A lowly kitchen boy has adventures with cruel masters, romance, bumbling detectives and ferocious land-bound pirates.

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

  • Alternately tells the stories of two children from opposing tribes in Africa. One is a boy fleeing war and the other is a girl who has to make a grueling daily hike simply to get water.

The Secret Box by Barbara Lehman

  • A group of students discover a box hidden under the floorboards with instructions to a mystery location. This is a wordless picture book.

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