Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Favorite Reads from 2011

So, there have been a host, a flock, a crowd of best lists and favorites lists, and all kinds of year end lists.  I'm just throwing in my two cents.  Since I've read (or will have read) more than 150 books this year, having around 25 favorites isn't too many, right?  Eh, I'm going to talk about them all anyway! :)  I'm not even trying for categories or books released this year or anything.  Here they are in no particular order or even a semblance of order:

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
A fantasy gem in my comfort genre of choice.  Reading it felt like coming home to my old favorite fantasy books.

Blood Red Road by Moira Young
A dystopian adventure that swept me up and swallowed me whole. Impossible to put down from beginning to end.

Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce
This is an oldie but a goodie; one I wish I'd had when I was twelve.

After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick
What I like to call bitter sweet hilarity.  Proof that there is life after cancer, and it can be fun!

Plain Kate by Erin Bow
The ultimate "under the radar" good book - I loved it, but no one else seems to know about it!

Leaving the Bellweathers by Kristin Clark Venuti
I'm such a sucker for quirky families and this MG read had a whopper of an oddball family.

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
A smart, thoughtful, unique, stand-alone dystopian (even if there is a companion book coming out).

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
A fave author does it again, and how! With writing so rich, you could be tasting the goulash in Prague.

Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt
I don't know how Schmidt does it, but he creates the most semi-tragic, but somehow comic stories! I simply love Doug.

Entwined by Heather Dixon
A sweet, smart, witty retelling. Brought new life to a tale that's been told many times.

The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
A book that reminds you just how easy your life is, and how to be optimistic in the face of tragedy.

The Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams Chima
One of my favorite fantasy series. I thought this was the last one, so I was happy to learn it wasn't!

The Giver by Lois Lowry
There is a reason this comes to mind when you think classic dystopian. Always worth a reread!

Crossed by Ally Condie
Proof (to me) that a slow-moving sequel can be just as good as the first one.

The Ring of Solomon by Jonathan Stroud
Contains one of the most hilarious characters in all of juvenile fiction. And my favorite djinn ever.

These is My Words by Nancy Turner
I do read adult books and apparently they are good too! :)

Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper
A book that opened my eyes and urged me to think differently of those with physical disabilities - works for kids and adults alike.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Still just as powerful and heart-wrenching as that first time.

Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson
Hello historical fiction, I'd almost forgotten how charming you can be.

Divergent by Veronica Roth
A heart-pounding, read-it-in-one-sitting, must-be-devoured-in-big-gulps dystopian adventure.

White Cat and Red Glove by Holly Black
Love this wickedly smart series with con men for characters and surprising twisty plots.

Wither by Lauren DeStefano
A story with writing beautiful enough to overshadow the crazy plot.

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Another book to remind me that adult books can captivate me still.

Everneath by Brodi Ashton
Been waiting a long time for this one and I wasn't disappointed at the depth and beauty of the tale.  (Bonus: I have a giveaway for this book going on right now.)

Icefall by Michael J. Kirby (review to come)
A bitter cold story filled with warm-hearted characters and intriguing suspense. 

What are your favorite reads of the year?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. K, Daughter of Smoke and Bone is on everyone's list! I want to get to it but I'm terrified I'll hate it. :(

  2. A great list! I agree with you completely about Gary Schmidt. And I really need to read the Holly Black books.

  3. Love your list. Some I've read and agree with, some I haven't read yet, but my guess WILL agree with when I do! :)

  4. Jenny, it's ok if you hate it. But the writing is really very good anyway.

    Melissa, I'll read anything Schmidt writes. Hope you get to Holly Black's stuff eventually :-)

    Suey, I feel that way about most people's fave lists!

  5. Ooh. Great list. I loved so many of these (The Thirteenth Tale, The Book Thief, The Giver). And I really want to read so many of these (Okay for Now, Crossed, and Ship Breaker). We have similar tastes apparently. :)

  6. I read The Hiding Place a few years ago and was so touched by it. Great choice!

  7. Jessica, that makes me feel smarter for some reason - having similar tastes with you :)

    stacy, it really is an amazing story!


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