Best of 2011: part one – the book

It’s 3 January and time for a bonus update. Not only that but also a chance for me to wish all of you a wonderful 2012: Happy New Year! Back to business: it’s the annual tradition of picking your favourites and the Avenue will tell you which were the best liked books, films and music of the year. Today: part 1.

Picking a book of 2011 sounds like an odd thing. Alright, several years ago I was studying literature at the university, so it wasn’t that exceptional I managed to read 108 books in 12 months (my record, so far). 2011 was a bit of an abysmal year compared to that: I clocked off on a tenth of that number (didn’t manage to complete that 11th book). Worse even, my book of the year is one I glanced through but didn’t get the time to read in full (yet – yes, 2012, you know what’s in store), but I’ve decided to label this as my Book of the Year 2011 for two reasons: 1) none of the read books jumped out anyway and 2) I’m already looking forward to reading the rest of this book and I know I’ll like it.

In an earlier post (In time) I already mentioned the British satirical magazine Private Eye existed 50 years. One of their writers made a wonderful book about it and the best reason not to have this on your coffee table is that the thing might collapse. The book is far more than some of the other Private Eye book publications, which were sometimes nothing more than a “best of”. This book features a lot of covers and jokes which were published in the magazine as well as give a detailed A to Z of the past 50 years. The book is stylish and informative and even if you haven’t heard of the magazine (or are not a big fan) you’ll like reading the book – unless you’re Piers Moron.

Furthermore, in a year that was so warped, a satirical non-fiction book might be the most deserving of our crown Book of the Year. Especially in the UK, where superinjunctions and the phone-hacking scandals domineered the headlines, 2011 was very much a year of the press anyway.

So Private Eye: the first 50 years – an A-Z by Adam MacQueen is our book of the year and here’s the writer himself on Canadian television to tell you more about it:

Next up: the movies of the year and you’ll read more about those on 10/01.

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