Top 10 NPR novels of 2011

Whether you are looking for a good book to take on holiday, to put forward for book club or just a darn good read to get you through the next few nights – here according to NPR is their year end fiction wrap up of the top 10 novels from last year.

Alas I have only read one on the list so far – The Marriage Plot (this I reviewed in an earlier plot as I chose it for my own book club choice) but I plan to try and make my way through the others very soon. I shall update as I do and I would love to hear from you if you read any in the meantime. Here are some of my picks below.

Swamplandia! is ranked at the top of this list. The debut novel by 30-year-old Karen Russell set in the Florida Everglades at a derelict alligator wrestling theme park tells the story of gutsy 13-year-old Ava Bigtree, who struggles to save her father and siblings from sinking down into the primordial ooze. HBO is also currently developing it for TV.


Another debut novel The Submission, is described as ‘that rare animal: a political novel that’s also elegantly written’. It imagines the angry fallout when a jury chooses an anonymous design for a Sept. 11 memorial at ground zero, and the architect turns out to be Muslim American.


From the veteran novelist Ann Patchett, her latest book State of Wonder, is described as an ingenious female twist on the Heart of Darkness plot and her most mature work to date. Dr. Marina Singh, a single 42-year-old research scientist is sent to Brazil to locate the remains of her deceased lab partner.



Open City, by 30-something-er Teju Cole, is set a world apart from palm trees and swamp things. Cole’s novel follows a despondent Nigerian doctor named Julius, as he wanders around Manhattan.


The Art of Fielding, an appealingly goofy debut novel by Chad Harbach, is a baseball novel, cross-pollinated with an academic novel, all wrapped up in a coming-of-age novel. Our hero with a lot to learn, Henry Skrimshander, is recruited to play baseball at little Westish College on the shores of Lake Michigan.


Make sure to let me know if you have read any of these or are planning to!

To view the full list and NPR’s two non fiction picks for 2011 click on the link here


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