Looking back over the books that I read (and listened to) in 2011, I’ve put together my Top 5, in no particular order.

Keep in mind, this isn't a list that highlights the best books that came out in 2011.

Oh no.

This is a list that highlights the best books that I read (or listened to) in 2011. Some books from the list did come out in 2011, some did not, but for me they were all new.

Worth Dying For by Lee Child
I joke a lot with friends that Lee Child's Jack Reacher books boil down to one basic concept:

Jack Reacher is a six foot five, 250 pound man who walks the earth, sleeps with women, and beats people up.

And while that, in essence, is true, the books are always so much more.

Worth Dying For is the 15th Jack Reacher novel, and has our hero mixed up in small town politics when he decides to bring a little justice for an abused housewife. That's why I like Jack Reacher. The man is passing through town, sees a problem, sees a woman who is being a abused, sees that no one else is doing anything about it, and so he takes it upon himself to get the job done.

Reacher has no idea that the guy who abuses his wife is the son of one of the most powerful men in town. Reacher has no idea that his actions might get himself embroiled in the unsolved disappearance of a child. Reacher just sees someone in trouble and does something about it.

I'd like to add that to date, I've read every Jack Reacher novel, and this one is my favorite, or to tie into the grammatical error that is the post title, it's my most favoritest.

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
Artemis Fowl is a twelve year old criminal mastermind who kidnaps a fairy who he ransoms for a significant payday of gold.

What's great about this book is the characters and the world they occupy. If you like fantasy in the real world, this is your book. The technology that the fairy creatures use, the techniques that Artemis comes up with to counter the fairy technology, the whole fairy world ... these are just a few of the things I love about this book.

It is considered a young adult book, but don't let that stop you. Do yourself a favor and read it.

Thunder and Ashes by Z.A. Recht
Book two of the Morningstar Strain trilogy, Thunder and Ashes, for me, continues what is a great zombie apocalypse story.

There isn't much to say about it. The story is wonderfully written and you care about the characters. What more do you want?

If you like zombie stories, read these books.

Ex-Heroes by Peter Clines
Here we have the super hero genre crossing over with the zombie genre, and frankly, it's done very well.

The story is full of very original super heroes, and a very clever plot point that links the super heroes to the whole zombie apocalypse thing.

The story takes place in LA, and as we get into it, the world is way past the running and screaming and dying phase of the zombie apocalypse. Instead, the world is neck deep in the aftermath, the phase in which you just try to survive while zombies walk the streets.

The zombies in this book are called 'Exes', as in Ex Human.

The city's super hero population have gathered together all the survivors they could round up, and are living in Paramount Studios, a sanctuary they refer to as the Mount. They have been able to convert the various warehouse sized stage sets into living quarters, and are using other areas for gardens, the hospital, and staging areas. The whole complex already has a good sized wall built around with, with gates that were fairly easy to secure.

Here they live and survive, making regular trips into the city to forage for food and supplies.

Unfortunately, other survivors occupy the city. A gang called the Seventeens have started to mass under a new leader. A leader who seems to be able to control the zombie population. A zombie population which also happens to sport their own heroes . . . well, ex heroes, being as they are dead, and hence the title of the book.

As the story reaches its climax, the Seventeens lay siege to the Mount and it's up to our heroes to stop them.

This really was a fun read. As I said, the super heroes that Clines created were really, to me, quite original. He had his Superman archetype in the way of the Mighty Dragon, but he wasn't much like Superman. He also had his Batman archetype in the way of Stealth, but she too wasn't much like Batman.

I really enjoy cross-genre stories when they are done well, and this one was truly done well.

11/22/63 by Stephen King
What would happen if you went back in time and stopped the Kennedy assassination?

Well, this books answers that question. But it's Stephen King, so you know the answer, and the journey to the answer, won't be simple.

This is by far, one of my favorite Stephen King books to date, and I've read the all.

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