Top Books 2011

From the Hebrew Scriptures to Jewish fiction, art historical novels to Morris West’s spiritual thrillers (my favourite new author of 2011), studies of creativity to South Asian travel, here are some highlights of 2011.


Amis, Martin, Time’s Arrow, or, The nature of the offence, 1991.

Atwood, Margaret, The Handmaid’s Tale, 1985.

Banville, John, The Sea, 2005.

Bellow, Saul, Herzog, 1961.

Maugham, Somerset, The Moon and Sixpence, 1919.

Potok, Chaim, The Book of Lights, 1981;
–– Davita’s Harp, 1985.

Steinberg, Milton, As a Driven Leaf, 1939.

Thomas, R. S., Later Poems: a selection, 1983.

West, Morris, The Shoes of the Fisherman, 1963;
–– The Clowns of God, 1981;
–– A View from the Ridge: the testimony of a pilgrim, 1996.

Zola, Emile, The Masterpiece, 1886.

Art and writing

Callow, Philip, Vincent van Gogh: a life, 1990.

Erickson, Kathleen Powers, At Eternity’s Gate: the spiritual vision of Vincent Van Gogh, 1998.

Gombrich, E. H., The Story of Art, 1995.

Jamison, Kay R., Touched with Fire: manic-depressive illness and the artistic temperament, 1993.

Madden, Matt, 99 Ways to Tell a Story: exercises in style, 2005.

Rilke, Rainer Maria, Letters to a Young Poet, 1945; Letters on Cézanne, 1952.

Truss, Lynne, Eats, Shoots and Leaves: the zero tolerance approach to punctuation, 2003.

Vreeland, Susan, Luncheon of the Boating Party, 2007.


Alda, Alan, Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself, 2007.

Alter, Robert, The Art of Biblical Narrative, 1981;
–– The Book of Psalms: a translation with commentary, 2007.

Brueggemann, Walter, Theology of the Old Testament: testimony, dispute, advocacy, 1997;
–– Cadences of Home: preaching among exiles, 1997.

Dalrymple, William, The Age of Kali: Indian travels and encounters, 1998;
–– Nine Lives: in search of the sacred in modern India, 2009.

de Bono, Edward, How to Have a Beautiful Mind, 2004.

Mehta, Gita, Karma Cola: the marketing of the mystic East, 1979.

Roth, Philip, Patrimony: a true story, 1991.

Taylor, Barbara Brown, Bread of Angels, 1997;
–– Leaving Church: a memoir of faith, 2006;
–– An Altar in the World: a geography of faith, 2009.

Tharoor, Shashi, India: from midnight to the millennium, 1997.

Vaus, Will, Mere Theology: a guide to the thought of C. S. Lewis, 2004.

Wright, Christopher J. H, Deuteronomy, 1996;
–– The Mission of God: unlocking the Bible’s grand narrative, 2006.