Favorite Books of 2011

When I decided to set a reading challenge for myself last year on Goodreads, I went with the somewhat randomly selected number of 35 books for the year.  It took me until sometime in 2010 to really get back into reading after the girls were born the year before, and I think I read around 25-30 books that year, so 35 seemed like a good number.  When I found myself back in the habit of reading with a vengeance early on in 2011, I increased my goal to 50 books for the year.

Despite my best efforts to find something enticing enough to read in the last couple of days of 2011, I fell one book short of my goal and ended with 49 books for the year.  I am pretty proud of getting that close to the goal I set for myself...and even more importantly, I enjoyed every minute of it.

In no particular order, here are my favorite books from the past year (or so...a couple might have been from late 2010):
  •   A Discovery of Witches, by Deborah Harkness  It has vampires, but the grown-up, non-sparkly kind.  With plenty of history and strong, capable female characters, this one was definitely near the top of my list for the year.  
  • Dead Until Dark, by Charlaine Harris  This one may be cheating a little, because I don't know if this is my favorite of the Sookie Stackhouse series or not.  It is the first one though, and since the series consumed the bulk of my summer reading, I feel it's only right to count it somewhere.  Are these books great literary treasures?  No, but they are some of the most entertaining books I have read in years.  I only wish there were more books already out so I would never have to stop reading them.

  • The Truth About Forever, by Sarah Dessen  This was my first Sarah Dessen book, and I think I started with the best.  I loved every word of this book, and reading it really kicked off a YA trend for me this year.
  • What Happened to Goodbye, by Sarah Dessen  Dessen's latest is nearly as good as The Truth About Forver.  She definitely has a personal style and pattern to her books, and she works it well.  I love that minor characters often recur in other books; it's fun to see who will turn up next.

  • The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins  I think this one may have been read in late 2010, but it is fresh on my mind due to all the talk surrounding the upcoming movie.  When I first started hearing talk about this book, I was not at all sure I would like it.  In fact, I waited until I could get it from my library because I didn't want to spend money on it.  As a stand-alone, the first book may not have made my list, but the trilogy has definitely stayed with me.  (Yes, I am among the many looking forward to the movie, and I may very well reread the books before I see it.)

  • The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield  Again, pretty sure this one was late 2010, but oh my, it is one my favorites.  It is just a story, plain and simple, and once you get to the end, you want to start all over and pick up on all the clues that you missed.

  • The Lincoln Lawyer, by Michael Connelly  I love a good action-packed suspense novel sometimes, and this one absolutely delivered.  It's a lot like the style of John Grisham, but with a much faster pace and less depressing introspection.

  • The Summer I Turned Pretty, by Jenny Han  Why don't we just call this the year of the YA trilogies?  I gobbled this series up in less than a week.  I wanted to strangle some of the characters at times, but let's be honest, when does that not happen?
  • Pack Up the Moon, by Anna McPartlin  I might not have remembered this one if I hadn't looked back at my Goodreads list for the year, but I really enjoyed it.  It was both funny and very emotional, without venturing into the melodramatic, which was a good combination for me.
 What were YOUR favorite books in 2011?  Have you read any from my list?


  1. Of course I LOVE Michael Connolly!!!! And I love anyone else who loves his books :)

    I'm reading the year I turned pretty on your recommendation - already 50% through :)

  2. PS one of my favourites was MWF Seeking BFF :)

  3. i love that you do these reviews b/c you open my mind for other books.

    in 2011 i read the dragon tattoo series and hungar games series and loved both of them. other books that i read were NOT as good. :)


Thanks for commenting! I love to respond by email, so make sure yours is connected with your profile. : )