Favorite books of 2011
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I was looking back over my 2011 reads, and there were some really stellar ones.
Here are my excellent new discoveries:
The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens -- a juvenile fantasy that I would definitely recommend to Harry Potter fans (hey, that's you guys!)
Divergent by Veronica Roth -- a YA dystopia that, to my mind, is right up there with The Hunger Games
The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold -- an adult fantasy, and one that's been around for a while. I'm so glad I finally picked this one up!
Entwined by Heather Dixon -- a YA fairy tale retelling with absolutely beautiful writing
Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt -- my personal pick for this year's Newbery (I'll be a little disappointed if it doesn't get at least an honor)
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline -- A great dystopia, all about gaming and '80s nostalgia, which I keep recommending to all of my wonderfully geeky friends
Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu -- Juvenile fantasy based on "The Snow Queen", well-plotted and beautifully written
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carlson -- YA fantasy with a great main character and a well-described setting
There were also some much-anticipated series continuations that really lived up to the hype:
The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan, The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson, and The Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams Chima.
What were your favorite reads of the year?
Only one absolute stand out book for me this year - A Dance With Dragons although that may have been in part down to the long wait for it!
Good idea for a thread! I'll have to see more about some of those books when it's not as late, but one's in my TBR pile and another's on my wishlist. :)
I was recently looking over what books I enjoyed the most this year, too. Some of my new favorite authors from this year are Maria V. Snyder (begin with The Poison Study) and Isobelle Carmody (Obernewtyn). Initially, Snyder's first book made me think a lot about my past and Carmody's reminded me a little of my own writing, but both series have had interesting stories involving strength and magic.
Veronia Roth's Divergent - My favorite dystopian book that I read this year.
James Dashner's The Maze Runner - Another YA dystopian book.
Yvonne Woon's Dead Beautiful - Finally, a YA fantasy book with something neither a vampire or a zombie!
Alexandra Adornetto's Halo - My favorite book with angels in it that I've read this year. The author was a minor when she wrote it, but it made me cry. She writes well.
Shannon Hale's The Goose Girl
Books in a series that I most looked forward to reading and really enjoyed this year: *
Steve Hockensmith: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After
Jasper Fforde: Thursday Next: One of Our Thursdays Is Missing
Cinda Williams Chima: Seven Realms: The Gray Wolf Throne
* I'm still hoping to add a book to this list that's released later this month.
Just looked at my "read in 2011" tag and found the following good reads from this year:
Go the F*** to Sleep
Those Guys have all the Fun
Man who Loved Books too Much
Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth
Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making
The Magician King
33 Revolutions per Minute
and, although it wasn't released this year, I finally got around to reading Atonement
I'm re-reading Goblet of Fire and I have two ER books to read and review before the year's end. I hoping to finish these shortly because I have a "Christmas break reading list."
I'm going to have to add The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater to my list -- another really outstanding read.
So many great books this year! It's probably easiest if I split this into categories -
For YA, my favorites I read this year were:
Birthmarked - Caragh O'Brien
Matched - Ally Condie
Tyger, Tyger - Kersten Hamilton
Tall Story - Candy Gourlay
Furies of Calderon - Jim Butcher
Dance with Dragons - George R.R. Martin
Fables - Bill Willingham
For adult fiction:
Still Alice - Lisa Genova
The Weird Sisters - Eleanor Brown
The Peach Keeper - Sarah Addison Allen
The Chalk Girl - Carol O'Connell
Middlesex - Jeffery Eugenides
And for classics that I read for the first time this year:
Anne of Green Gables - L.M. Montgomery
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
I don't normally think of "literary fiction" as a favorite genre of mine, but I think the titles under adult fiction are the most memorable ones of the year for me. Thought the rest were plenty fun/entertaining/captivating books, the ones under adult fiction are books that have really stayed with me and I find myself highly recommending them to friends and family.
The Scorpio Races, by Maggie Stiefvater - incredible, incredible, Irish-mythology-man-eating-horses incredible
The Great Divorce, by C.S. Lewis - it is amazing what you can learn from fiction and I learned a lot from this book
Wonderstruck, by Brian Selznick - between the beautifully crafted writing and the illustrations, I cannot adore this book enough
The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien - and I thought I would not like this book; am I ever glad that I was wrong!
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, by Alan Bradley - I now have a soft spot for eleven-year-old girls that are fascinated with death and who enjoy creating poisons in their sophisticated chemical laboratory
Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte - I enjoyed the fact that I hated all the characters, yet I was highly intrigued by all of them; this book kept me up all night, something that few classics have been able to achieve with me
Goliath, by Scott Westerfeld - a wonderful finish to his steampunk trilogy - it was action filled and romantic, the characters were unique, and the climax was epic
Till We Have Faces, by C.S. Lewis - this book disturbed me and left me pondering its meaning long after I had finished it - an engrossing and instructive book, but very disturbing; that makes it one of my favorites
It is now one of mine, too, althought at first I couldn't understand the book, as I had been very sympathetic with Orual. It took me a little bit of thinking to realize where she had gone wrong, such as through her obsessive love of Psyche and her refusal to see the castle. It was a very brilliant move by C.S. Lewis, writing the book from her perspective, and having us see everything from her eyes.
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