My 5 Favorite Books of 2011

Various Authors
#5. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
A wonderfully quirky, but moving story, of a young woman who can taste the emotions of the person who made the food she eats. This creates a burden as she learns more about her parents and her brother who has his own odd abilities.
#4. Sisters of Fortune: America's Caton Sisters at Home and Abroad by Jehanne Wake
A biography of an American family of rich sisters who married well, including into royalty, but never lost their sense of what it means to be American. It is also the story of a Father who protected his daughters so that the men in their lives could not leave them destitute.
#3. Buzz Aldrin, What Happened to You in All the Confusion by Johan Harstad
Mattias is a fan of Buzz Aldrin because Buzz Aldrin did everything Neil Armstrong did, but second. Mattias likes being second. He says, "The more you put yourself forward, the more stones people can throw at you." A poignant and funny story filled with pop culture references about a young man who needs to go to the ends of the earth to find his way home.
#2. Life, on the Line : a chef's story of chasing greatness, facing death, and redefining the way we eat
by Grant Achatz
Life on the line is a foodie memoir and more. Grant Achatz tells of growing up in Michigan in the family business of running restaurants but feeling a calling to do something more. Achatz was on top of the world running two acclaimed restaurants in Chicago when he learned that he had a virulent form of tongue cancer. An interesting read for foodies, anyone interested in the restaurant business, and reading about someone dealing with a life-threatening illness.
#1 The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt
A starkly beautiful novel about two hired assassins, Charlie and Eli Sisters, who travel from Oregon to San Francisco to make a hit during the 1850's gold rush era. Each person they meet holds up a mirror of their own morals and values in which to be judged. All the humor and brutality of a Coen Brothers movie. Brilliant!

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