I attempted to read 50 books this year but as of today I'm at 44. BUT it turns out I've listened to a boatload more podcasts so in some ways I consider myself even.
Here are the best books I read in 2011:
Two Stephen King books top my year and one was so old I read it when I lived with my parents. Bag of Bones was a re-read and a wonderful one at that. The story changes when you age about 13 years. 11/22/63 was King's new book this year and caused me to sit for hours on end just absorbed in the story.
I really enjoyed the A Song of Fire and Ice series (first 2 books) more than I thought I would, although I think that was helped along by the HBO Game of Thrones series (NEEEEEEDDDD!)
The newest Dresden novel, Ghost Story, also topped my list this year but again, the anticipation for it helped a lot. This is really an excellent series by Jim Butcher and I encourage anyone to give it a try.
On a non-fiction note, I 100% recommend The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. The HeLa cells that have helped with chemotherapy and to cure polio came from a poor black woman named Henrietta. It's an amazing story that just needs to be heard.
Mary Roach always rocks my world and her Packing for Mars book gave more more tidbits and facts I need to gross out my friends and coworkers. Thanks Mary!
If you want to try Tina Fey's Bossypants, I suggest listening to the audiobook. Fey reads it and adds a lot to the experience. I realized I love that woman.
Looks like it was the year of non-fiction because Bill Bryson tops my lists with A Short History of Nearly Everything. Facts were my THING this year and entertaining facts are Bryson's specialty.
Jane Goodall wrote a wonderful book that helped me change my eating habits (or at least look at things more carefully). Harvest for Hope is a great book to start with if you want to learn where your food comes from and how to eat better for yourself and the environment (and no, she doesn't lecture about becoming a vegetarian).
Another series... sorry, but Kim Harrison's The Hollows (Rachel Morgan) series is really really good. For A Few Demons More was the last one I read and I need to get back to it. They keep getting better as you keep reading.
Getting back to basics, I recommend checking out Librivox.org and downloading some classics. I re-read the Wonderful Wizard of Oz this year and remembered how much I love that story.
Maybe my goals for next year should include more fiction that isn't part of a series?
Here's to happy reading in 2012!