Best and worst books of 2011

TV journalist Katie Couric shops at Corner Bookstore in New York on Nov. 26, 2011, to mark Small Business Saturday. Getty Images for Small Business Saturday

Every year, I keep a list of the books I've read during the previous 12 months (November through October), and not just the investing books. I thought it might be helpful in case you're looking for a few gifts for the readers in the family. As I've mentioned with previous book lists I've released, the categories are simply my opinions.

If I've done a review on a book, it should be linked. Feel free to leave your thoughts on these books or any others in the comments section below.

Distinguished

Nine Dragons by Michael Connelly
What Investors Really Want by Meir Statman
The Island at the Center of the World by Russell Shorto
The Alchemy of Air by Thomas Hager
The First Rule by Robert Crais
The Given Day by Dennis Lehane
Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me) by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson
Don't Count On It by John Bogle and Alan Blinder
Wrong by David Freedman
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson
Expected Returns by Antti Ilmanen
Willful Blindness by Margaret Heffernan
All The Devils Are Here by Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera
The Gate House by Nelson DeMille
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Excellent

Sword Song by Bernard Cornwell
The Sherlockian by Graham Moore
The Power of Passive Investing by Rick Ferri
Cast a Yellow Shadow by Ross Thomas
The Real George Washington by Jay Parry and Andrew Allison
Being Wrong by Kathryn Schulz
Twilight at Mac's Place by Ross Thomas and T. Jefferson Parker
The Burning Land by Bernard Cornwell
The Singapore Wink by Ross Thomas
The Burning Wire by Jeffery Deaver
The Devil's Punchbowl by Greg Iles
Rules of Prey by John Sandford

My 2010 book list
My 2009 book list
My 2008 book list

Very Good

Your Retirement Quest by Alan Spector and Keith Lawrence
Seagull One by Lily Prellezo
Risk and the Smart Investor by David Martin
Blenheim: Battle for Europe by Charles Spencer
Behavioral Finance and Wealth Management by Michael Pompian
T is for Trespass by Sue Grafton
The Cul-de-Sac Syndrome by John Wasik
Missionary Stew by Ross Thomas and Roger Simon
Agincourt by Bernard Cornwell
Out on the Rim by Ross Thomas and Donald Westlake
Dissolution by C.J. Sansom
The House That Bogle Built by Lewis Braham
Deal Breaker by Harlan Coben

Good

The Girl in the Green Sweater by Krystyna Chiger and Daniel Paisner
The Money Harvest by Ross Thomas
The Fourth Durango by Ross Thomas and Sara Paretsky
U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton
The Eighth Dwarf by Ross Thomas
The Blue Hour by T. Jefferson Parker
The Mordida Man by Ross Thomas
Voodoo, Ltd. by Ross Thomas
The Millionaire Teacher by Andrew Hallam
Caught by Harlan Cobin
Bloody River Blues by Jeffery Deaver
The Shadow of Your Smile by Mary Higgins Clarke
Grand Pursuit by Sylvia Nasar

Fair

Poverty and Famines by Amartya Sen
Shosha by Isaac Bashevis Singer
The Porkchoppers by Ross Thomas
The Seersucker Whipsaw by Ross Thomas
The House of Medici by Christopher Hibbert
Yellow-Dog Contract by Ross Thomas
Jackass Investing by Michael Dever
Stonehedge by Bernard Cornwell
An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears

Poor

Better Good than Lucky by Charles Rotblut
Wave Theory for Alternative Investments by Stephen Walker
Investing and the Irrational Mind by Robert Koppel
The Blind Spot by William Byers
The Wealth Solution by Steven Atkinson, Joni Clark, Eric Golberg and Alex Potts

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    Larry Swedroe is a principal and director of research for the BAM Alliance. He has authored or co-authored 12 books, including his most recent, Think, Act, and Invest Like Warren Buffett. His opinions and comments expressed on this site are his own and may not accurately reflect those of the firm.

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