MoJo Readers’ Top Books of 2011

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Last week we gave you our favorite books of 2011. This list of reader recommendations from Facebook (If you don’t already follow us on FB, sign up here.) doesn’t come with a medal, prize or award, just a promise that during the past year our readers found these books worth curling up with. It’s a fine example of their quality taste and judgment. Still, we know there were many more great reads in 2011. By all means, weigh in with your favorite book of the year and don’t miss our readers’ list of the best albums of 2011.

The Dovekeepers, Alice Hoffman (Scribner)

Her writing is exquisite, and this novel is a deep, fulfilling read told in an enchanting way. It really stays with you.

—Robin Raven 

Moonwalking With Einstein, Joshua Foer (The Penguin Press, HC)




















Excellent stories about the Memory Championships and how the human memory works.

—David Wessman


1Q84, Haruki Murakami (Harvill & Secker)




















One of the most fascinating explorations life and reality in novel form I’ve ever read. Murakami has really outdone himself with this one.

—Christopher Earle


The Ripple Effect: The Fate of Fresh Water in the Twenty-First Century, Alex Prud’Homme (Scribner)

Because the entire planet needs to understand the fate of our water.

—Elizabeth Runnels Ondyak


Here Comes Trouble: Stories From My Life, Michael Moore (Grand Central Publishing)

Reading about Michael’s life experiences could turn even the most hardcore teabagger into a tree-hugging progressive! OK, maybe not, but they’re all very moving.

—Christopher Howard


Ready Player One, Ernest Cline (Crown Publishers, New York)

A young adult coming of age, hero-wins-all, and sweet love story folded into 1980’s-era nostalgia (in its most idealized form) plot set in futuristic game/life-ing; in which most events and interactions occur in a cyberspace “game” that has become a substitution for reality.
—Bat Country


Swamplandia!, Karen Russell (Knopf)




















With a host of bizarre ingredients (a family alligator show, a young girl with a ghost boyfriend, a crazy Florida theme park), Russell cooks up one of the best and most touching coming-of-age stories I’ve read.

—Susan Mumpower-Spriggs


Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention, Manning Marable




















This seminal work analyzes the man in the context of his community and his family. Brilliant truth-telling.

—Susan Mumpower-Spriggs


The Art of Fielding, A Novel, Chad Harbach (Little, Brown and Company)

Makes me feel like books are still a thing.

—Brooke Shelby Biggs


How to Be A Woman, Caitlin Moran (Ebury Press) [Out in US in 2012]

Making women all over the UK laugh out loud in public.

—Constance Fleuriot


What It Is Like to Go to War, Karl Marlantes (Grove Press)

Something everyone who has been fortunate to avoid war should read. Karl served in the horror of Vietnam as a Marine Captain in the jungle. A must for all Americans!

—Jim Word


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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