Best of 2011

Friday, December 30, 2011

Best  (and worst) of   2 0 1 1  

I love end of the year reading lists! It's so fun to look over what all I accomplished (in reading) for the year and see what everyone's favorites were. My reading year, in terms of quantity, was awful this year or just not up to where I like it. But I still feel pretty good about what I DID read this year and look forward to reading way more in 2012. Here are my favorites (and least favorites) this year. 

First off, let me say don't forget to check out my Non-Fiction 2011 post for a better breakdown of this year's non-fiction reading if you haven't already because truly, I would consider all of those books at the top of my 2011 reading in general. It's super hard to break it down further than that! But as for fiction....

Let's start with what I was the most disappointed with. Keep in mind that this does not mean that these were the worst books... just what disappointed me most based on what my expectations were.

Great House by Nicole Krauss -- I didn't get it.
The Good Psychologist by Noam Schpencer -- Review to come eventually, short but not easy read
The Tiger's Wife by Tea O'Breht -- Good writing but I didn't necessarily get the story

The Best New-to-Me Author whose books (read two this year) were fantastic! (Can't wait to read The Untelling soon)

Leaving Atlanta by Tarayai Jones -- one of the character's ending scenes haunts me
Silver Sparrow by Tarayi Jones -- two girls with the same father but one is a secret

Biggest Surprises

Emily and Einstein by Linda Francis Lee -- I bought this for the cover but thoroughly enjoyed the cute story
The Four Ms. Bradwells -- Not a fluffy book at all. Had a lot of depth and women's issues

Best New-to-Me Series

Transfer of Power and The Third Option are #1 and #2 in the Mitch Rapp Series by Vince Flynn. My mom, dad, and husband have read the entire series and are obsessed. Also got my sister to download one onto her nook. I look forward to reading more of these!
The Chalk Girl by Carol O'Connell is #12 in the series. Review to come in 2012. I'm super excited to have been introduced to this series!

Honorable Mention: These weren't my very favorite but were really good and I want to include them.

The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown, Bent Road by Lori Roy, Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda (review to come), Domestic Violets by Matthew Norman, and The Cradle in the Grave by Sophie Hannah

Okay, fine, I narrowed down the best non-fiction to these three. (Go here for links to these three)

Most Powerful and Also in the Best of 2011 Category

The Submission by Amy Waldman -- Review to come in 2012
The Buddha in the Attic by Julit Otsuka -- Finalist for the National Book Award
When She Woke by Hillary Jordan -- Lots of food for thought

And, my very favorite of the year happens to be the second book that I read this year.....

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
I adored this book. The movie version with Sandra Bullock and Tom Hanks came out on Christmas but only in limited locations, and Orlando wasn't special enough to have it showing here! So I have to wait for the movie.

That's it! Happy 2012!!


Zibilee said...

Lots of great books on this list, and though I haven't read a lot of them, I have read a few, and agree that they were standouts. I hope that you have a very Happy New Year, and that your reading for the upcoming year is amazing and wonderful!

Emidy (Une Parole) said...

Very cool list! Sad to say that I haven't read any of these, but you've given me some ideas. Next time I'm looking for something to read, I'll definitely consult your list!

Natalie~Coffee and a Book Chick said...

So great to see the Henrietta Lacks story on here! One of my favorites, too!

I really need to read Great House. I've heard so much about it!

Aarti said...

So many people loved The Four Mrs. Bradwells. I am definitely going to look into that one. Glad you had such a great reading year :-)

Harvee said...

I see a lot of good books on your list, including Buddha in the Attic, which I've promised myself to read. Happy New Year of reading!

Sandy Nawrot said...

The Submission is one I'm interesting in hearing about. EW loved it and was on their top reads list. And I am getting a little twitchy over the fact that the dang movie isn't out here yet. Of course every movie I do see, they show the trailer, the sadistic bastards.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I haven't read Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close because I knew there would be a movie! And I love that way of "reading" if I can get away with it! :--)

Trisha said...

Quite a few of those books are already on my to-read list! And I must admit I added a few more. :)

Marce said...

Wow great lists, so many I want to read. #1 would be Bent Road #2 Buddha Attic. I was intrigued with The Good Psychologist.

Happy New Year

Jenny said...

Sandy: I already have the review written so it'll probably be up in early January. As for the movie, I know!! Seriously, why is it not playing here??

Jill: LOL that is funny! I'm often the opposite.. if a movie comes out I feel all pressured to read the book first!

Jenners said...

Great wrap up! I've had Gang Leader for A Day on my Kindle for more than a year -- you've inspired me to read it sooner rather than later!!

Wishing you a wonderful 2012 filled with 5 star reads!

Michelle (Red Headed Book Child) said...

Love it! Such a strong list of books. You may not have had the quantity you were looking for but you had the quality!

I have the Chalk girl. Did you feel you were missing anything having it be the 12th in the series? I want to read it.

Steph said...

I'm adding Leaving Atlanta and Silver Sparrow to my list. Thanks!

Booksnyc said...

Great list - I like how you structured it!

Secret Daughter was on my top ten but most of the others I have not read - adding many of them to my TBR!

nomadreader said...

What a wonderful list! I'm with you on Great House and The Tiger's Wife. Both women are beautiful writers, but their narratives leave me cold. I just don't like them as much as I wish I did. Tayari Jones is one author I'm determined to read in 2012. I have both Leaving Atlanta and Silver Sparrow on my Kindle. I'm eager to get started! Many of your other favorites are on my towering TBR. I hope I find more time to read in 2012;-)

Ti said...

I didn't get Great House when I first read it either, but I had to read it for the Indie Lit awards and so I re-read it and liked it much better the second time. So much went over my head the first time though.

Alison's Book Marks said...

So many wonderful books on this list - and so many that are new to me! (I love that, by the way!!) It seems that you were able to read a bunch of the books I didn't get to, which makes me even more eager to read them now!

Henrietta Lacks and The Four Ms. Bradwells were *so* close to my Top 10. I should have thought about an honorable mention.

Great list!! Enjoy your 2012!!

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