I also enjoy making my own Memorable Books of 2011 lists. I don't call them "bests" because I'm mainly judging them on the impact that they had on me, the reader. There are some technically superior books that I've read this year that might not make it to the list.
To make the lists, I scrolled through this blog and wrote down titles that I felt should be on the primary list. I divided them into categories (YA, Adult Fiction/Nonfiction, Poetry, Children's Nonfiction, Children's Fiction, and Older Books, which consists of books published prior to 2011 that I read in 2011) and chose three books (gold, silver, bronze, and honorable mention in some cases).
I'm going to kick off this series with "Older Books"-books published before 2011 that I read in 2011.
I Must Have Bobo
This charmer from 2010 will captivate anyone who's ever lost a beloved toy or stuffed animal.
Originally published in 1982, this unforgettable novel about an English boy and a horse during World War I has enjoyed renewed interest due to a well-received London and Broadway production (earned the Tony for Best Play). Steven Spielberg attended the original British production and was instantly attached to the story; his film version will debut on Christmas Day. Anything Spielberg directs draws a massive amount of attention, so this is naturally drawing a ton of attention (and Oscar buzz) before it even opens (yay! the author likes it!). Yes, a few articles call the book "young adult," but the term "young adult" is something that's interpreted differently by some people. It's published and marketed as a children's novel. A sophisticated and mature children's novel, but a children's novel.
Tomorrow: adult fiction/nonfiction picks.