Over 400,000 people visited Farnam Street last month to learn how to make better decisions, create new ideas, and avoid stupid errors. With more than 100,000 subscribers to our popular weekly digest, we've become an online intellectual hub. To learn more about we what do, start here.

Amazon’s 10 Best Books of 2011

Amazon.com’s editors choice for 2011

1. Lost in Shangri-La: A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II

“A riveting story of deliverance under the most unlikely circumstances, Lost in Shangri-La deserves its place among the great survival stories of World War II.”

…“A truly incredible adventure.” (New York Times Book Review )

2. The Tiger’s Wife: A Novel

Weaving a brilliant latticework of family legend, loss, and love, Téa Obreht, the youngest of The New Yorker’s twenty best American fiction writers under forty, has spun a timeless novel that will establish her as one of the most vibrant, original authors of her generation.

3. In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin

“Larson is a marvelous writer…superb at creating characters with a few short strokes.”—New York Times Book Review

4. Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef

“Read this book and prepare to clean your system of all that’s come before. It’s a game-changer and a truly great work by a great writer and great chef.”

…“I have long considered Gabrielle Hamilton a writer in cook’s clothing, and this deliciously complex and intriguing memoir proves the point. Her candor, courage, and craft make for a wonderful read but, even more, for an appreciation of her talent and dedication, which have resulted from her often trying but inspiring experiences. Her writing is every bit as delectable and satisfying as her food.”—Mimi Sheraton, food critic and author of The German Cookbook and Eating My Words

5. The Tragedy of Arthur: A Novel

The Tragedy of Arthur is an emotional and elaborately constructed tour de force from bestselling and critically acclaimed novelist Arthur Phillips, “one of the best writers in America” (The Washington Post).

6. Bossypants

Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we’ve all suspected: you’re no one until someone calls you bossy.

7. 22 Britannia Road: A Novel

“A tour de force that echoes modern classics like Suite Francaise and The Postmistress.”

“A riveting historical novel, set in post-WWII England, about a Polish couple reunited after enduring-and committing-crimes of love and war.”
-O, the Oprah Magazine

8. Before I Go to Sleep: A Novel

“The summer’s single most suspenseful plot belongs to BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP. . . . pure page-turner.” (New York Times )

9. Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything

“His passionate and deeply engrossing book…is a resounding tribute to the muscularity of the mind… In the end, Moonwalking with Einstein reminds us that though brain science is a wild frontier and the mechanics of memory little understood, our minds are capable of epic achievements.”
-The Washington Post

10. Please Look After Mom

You will never think of your mother the same way again after you read this book.

…“Shin’s novel, her first to be translated into English, embraces multiplicity. It is told from the perspectives of four members of [a missing woman’s] family; from their memories emerges a portrait of a heroically industrious woman. [Mom] runs their rural home ‘like a factory,’ sews and knits and tills the fields. The family is poor, but she sees to it that her children’s bellies are filled . . . Only after her children grow up and leave their home in [the countryside] does Mom’s strength and purposefulness begin to flag. Questions punctuate [the] narrative and lead to a cascade of revelations, discoveries that come gradually. . . Shin’s prose, intimate, and hauntingly spare, powerfully conveys grief’s bewildering immediacy. [Daughter] Chi-hon’s voice is the novel’s most distinct, but Father’s is the most devastating. . . . And yet this book isn’t as interested in emotional manipulation as it is in the invisible chasms that open up between people who know one another best. . . . A raw tribute to the mysteries of motherhood.”
—Mythili G. Rao, The New York Times Book Review

Nothing you’re interested in? Try the 2010 list.

Date:
Filed Under: