Another year has come and gone, and it’s time once again to present The Nobbies, the official book awards of The Nervous Breakdown.

Below you’ll find this year’s winners, our picks for the best books of 2011.

Congrats to the victors, and their publishers.

And thanks, as always, for reading.


My favorite writing adage, attributed to Ray Bradbury, is “Write only what you love.” I’ve always taken it to mean that love is the ticket into the mindset that can lead to good writing. In other words, writers are only capable of writing well about what they love, no matter how strange that may seem on the surface. On some level, Nabokov has to love Humbert Humbert to write compellingly about him. Updike has to love Rabbit. Milton has to love Satan.

The Dream goes like this:

You write a book, a great book, and you send it out to whomever and a few weeks later, out of the blue, someone calls from New York City and says your name. Then the book gets printed and reviewed in the holy places and someone else calls, this time from Los Angeles, and says another name, one you’ve heard of, a movie star name, and the call gets put through and pretty soon there’s a major motion picture in production and your book is suddenly number one on the great list of What Matters. Then a third call comes from Chicago…