January 9, 2012

My Top "Great Reads" In 2011--The ProSe Awards

I spent the weekend going through all of my bookshelves, culling out books for donation to the public library, and doing some major shelf organization/reorganization.  As I lovingly handled and flipped through many of my books I reflected upon just how many good books that I'd been privileged to read during 2011.  I thought it might be fun share a list of my top, or favorite, reads of 2011.  Also, as I do read about as much poetry as prose these days, I thought that I'd issue my ProSe "Great Reads" awards in two categories:  Poetry and Fiction.  So, without any further ado, here are my lists of my top "Great Reads" in Poetry and Fiction for 2011.

 Top-Ten Great Reads in Poetry
  1. The Iliad, Homer, translated by Robert Fitzgerald (1974)
  2. The Iliad, Homer, translated by Stephen Mitchell (2011)
  3. The Iliad, Homer, translated by Stanley Lombardo (1997)
  4. The Oresteia, Aeschylus, translated by Ted Hughes (2004)
  5. Sophocles' Antigone: A New Translation, translated by Diane J. Rayor (2011)
  6. The Complete Plays of Sophocles, translated by Robert Bagg & James Scully (2011)
  7. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, and Sir Orfeo, by Anonymous, translated by J.R.R. Tolkien (1975)
  8. War Music, Christopher Logue (2003)
  9. All Day Permanent Red, Christopher Logue (2004)
  10. Memorial, Alice Oswald (2011)

Top-Ten Great Reads in Fiction
  1. Middlemarch, George Eliot (1871)
  2. The Crippled God, Steven Erikson (2011)
  3. The Children of Hurin, J.R.R. Tolkien (2007)
  4. Towers of Midnight, Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson (2010)
  5. The Woodlanders, Thomas Hardy (1887)
  6. The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien (1977)
  7. The Songs of the Kings, Barry Unsworth (2002)
  8. The Heroes, Joe Abercrombie (2011)
  9. Return of the Crimson Guard, Ian C. Esslemont (2010)
  10. The Passage, Justin Cronin (2011)
Well, there they are, my top-ten "Great Reads" in Poetry and Fiction for 2011.  I honestly very much enjoyed reading each and everyone of these books, plays, or poetry collections.  Have a look and I truly hope that you may find something of interest to you in one or both of these two lists.



  1. I'm currently reading Middlemarch and love it. I'm happy to see that one on your list. Here's to an awesome 2012! :

  2. The Silmarillion is freakin' awesome! Was it your first time reading it and The Children of Hurin?

    Antigone is the only play of Sophocles that I have read. I do need to read more. So much classical literature I need to read period!

  3. Impressive list! I want to read Woodlanders at some point, but have to be in the right state of mind. Apart from Far From the Madding Crowd, Hardy has broken my heart everytime I read him.

  4. @ Jillian, Bookish Hobbit, and Alex--

    Thanks for your visits and comments, folks! It wasn't my first time reading "The Silmarillion" or "The Children of Hurin", but this was my first slow and thoughtful read of both of them, and I enjoyed them each immensely!

    Alex, "The Woodlanders" is one of my 'go-back-to' novels that I try and read nearly on an annual basis; much in the same fashion as I do with Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" and "Persuasion".

    Again, thanks for stopping by and leaving your comments. Muchly appreciated! Cheers! Chris

  5. I love The Woodlanders. I've always wondered why it doesn't get the same amount of attention as Jude the Obscure or Tess, which seem to be the go-to Hardy novels. Great lists!

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