Top 10 Reads of the Year at BookEnds

Winchester residents love books. Here are the top-selling tomes of 2011. Which one was your favorite?

What was your favorite book of 2011? And did you read it on an e-reader or an actual book? Check out the top 10 reads of the year at for a glimpse of what Winchester was reading. And if you have a great read not on the list, add it in the comments below.

1. Steve Jobs: A Biography by Walter Isaacson (biography)

This biography of one of the pivotal innovators of our time, whose influence has been felt around the globe, is based on interviews with Steve Jobs as well as family, friends, colleagues and competitors.

2. A Dance with Dragons by George Martin (fiction)

You may have caught a glimpse of this book as HBO started a show based on this series – Game of Thrones. The fifth book of this installment continues to mix fantasy with the reality of the Middle Ages.

3. Bossypants by Tina Fey (nonfiction)

There’s a good chance you’ve seen Tina Fey on TV or caught one of her movies. Whether it was the Weekend Update on “Saturday Night Live” or as Liz Lemon on “30 Rock” or the movie “Mean Girls”, Fey has become one of the top comedians out there. Fey recounts her journey from middle school to stardom in Bossypants.

4. The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris by David McCullough (nonfiction)

McCullough has written some of the top historical books out there – 1776, John Adams and Truman. This time, he focuses his attention on American artists, scientists, doctors, politicians, actors and others who, between 1830 and 1900 set off from America to Paris. Some Americans to make the journey included Samuel F. B. Morse, Elizabeth Blackwell (the first female doctor in America) and writers Mark Twain, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

5. The Farewell Christmas by William Shields (nonfiction)

Winchester resident William Shields writes about his brother Jackie Shields’ return to town in 1956 after serving in the Air Force for the United State Navy. The story recounts 10-year-old William’s excitement at seeing his brother and the Christmas they had together.

6. The Help by Kathryn Stockett (fiction)

A story of girls growing up in the deep south in the ‘60s and the relationships and bonds they form with their black maids. Beyond dealing with the entrenched racism of the era, the novel is uplifting and offers plenty of humanity, humor and hope.

7. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney (kids)

Greg Heffley is in big trouble. School property has been damaged, and Greg is the prime suspect. But the crazy thing is, he’s innocent. Or at least sort of. The authorities are closing in, but when a surprise blizzard hits, the Heffley family is trapped indoors. Greg knows that when the snow melts he’s going to have to face the music, but could any punishment be worse than being stuck inside with your family for the holidays?

Some 150 Petaluma kids lined up at 6:30 a.m. outside of Copperfield's for a "Before School Release Party" for this latest volume from Jeff Kinney.

8. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (fiction)

Set in a post apocalyptic United States, the novel explores the Hunger Games, an annual event where each district must send a boy and a girl to compete with other teams…to the death. When a 16-year-old is selected, her older sister steps in her place and begins a journey into a world where, similar to the gladiator games of ancient Rome, seek to placate the restless public. It’s a commentary about contemporary society’s mindless entertainment and need for audience approval, and explores the sinister side of human nature and the lengths we’ll go to in order to survive.

9. Hitman: The Untold Story of Johnny Martorano: Whitey Bulger's Enforcer and the Most Feared Gangster in the Underworld by Howie Carr (nonfiction)

From the "New York Times"-bestselling author of "The Brothers Bulger" comes the untold story of Johnny Martorano--Whitey Bulger's enforcer and the most feared gangster in the Underworld.

10. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand (nonfiction)

On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood.  Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared.  It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard.  So began the story of Lt. Louis Zamperini.


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