Top Ten(ish) Books I Read in 2011

Most romantic book – YA:

Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater This was also one of my favorite reads of the year.

Most affecting books:

The Lost Wife by Alyson Richman, The Orchard by Theresa Weir, and Grant’s Final Victory by Charles Bracelen Flood These books tested my Kleenex supplies.

Most heart-warming:

Crossing the Tracks by Barbara Stuber – a lovely Anne-of-Green-Gables kind of book.

Most notable writing:

Faithful Place by Tana French, The Song is You Arthur Phillips

Biggest surprise:

The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan – sophisticated, literary and philosophical

Best dystopia:

Legend by Marie Lu, Divergent by Veronica Roth close second Both of course are only the first installation of trilogies

Best book trailer:

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater – art and music done by the author herself

Most knockout ending (and Most Romantic – Adult):

To Be Sung Underwater by Tom McNeal – I was thrilled to have discovered this author.

Most Readable Non-Fiction:

Catherine The Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie – there is never a dull moment in this outstanding biography.

Most Frightening New Trend:

Quartets! Gaaaaah! It’s not bad enough we have had to suffer through waiting for trilogy parts, now there are four! It’s getting to be as bad as the ever-expanding number of blades in razors! I had great fun reading Cinder by Marissa Meyer; there’s a terrific female heroine, and a bang-up cliffhanger ending, but FOUR! That means TWO MORE CLIFFHANGERS! Gaaaaah!

Most disappointing:

These are not bad books; it’s just that, based on the authors’ works in the past, I hoped they would be better: The Wild Rose by Jennifer Donnelly, and Falling Together by Marisa de los Santos.

Authors I had the most fun with this year:

Jo Nesbo
Maggie Stiefvater
Joshilyn Jackson
Jonathan Tropper
Tom McNeal

Some Summary Stats

Total Number of Books Read: 202
Total Number of Books by Women: 125
Total young adult: 70
Total mystery/thriller: 63
Total non-fiction: 13
Others: lit, paranormal, scifi
Total Re-Reads: 8 (7 for earlier parts of trilogies, and 1 for book club selection)

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35 Responses to Top Ten(ish) Books I Read in 2011

  1. Amanda says:

    Wow, I’m surprised your nonfiction was so low – or maybe I’m crazy? I thought it was much higher than that in years past?

    Falling Together was a bit of a disappointment for me, too.

    • My nonfiction total was shocking to me too! Before blogging, I read ONLY nonfiction with an occasional mystery thrown in during the summer. I think it’s the combined effects of blogging that tempt me with fiction and induce me to want to read shorter, faster books….

  2. Sandy says:

    I’m marking this page as a favorite so I can read these things. I DO have To Be Sung Underwater loaded on my iPod. I’ll get to it soon maybe (ha). I have two big audios to get through first. And I LOVE that book trailer. Wow! I have those audios loaded on the iPod too…

  3. BermudaOnion says:

    Egads, I haven’t read a single book on your list! There are several, like The Orchard and The Scorpio Races, that I’m anxious to get to.

  4. JoAnn says:

    The Lost Wife was definitely my most affecting book this year! Looking forward to your review of Catherine the Great.

  5. Glad to see The Lost Wife on your list. It’ll be on mine…when I get around to posting. 😉

  6. Barbara says:

    I’m looking forward to your review of Catherine the Great too. I have a previous biography by Massie; he’s very readable.

    I’m in awe of your total books read in 2011 figure. I didn’t even get to 100 this year, but of course I have a big distraction named Dave, and I find that I read slower as I get older. My goal for 2012 is 100 books. One of those will definitely be Grant’s Final Victory.

  7. Stefanie says:

    I like how you put the books into different categories. Thanks for the reminder about Tana French. I meant to read her second book this year but didn’t manage it. I think it will make an excellent summer read in 2012 and perhaps her third book too. And the whole thought of trilogies turning into quartets, very disturbing.

  8. Beth F says:

    I read Linger, but I don’t remember seeing the trailer before, so thanks for sharing that. I can’t help but notice all the circle/oval covers (a new trend in cover design?). I have several of these on my to-read list; Catherine made it my top-10 list too. Crossing the Tracks is one I missed and am now adding to my list. And at least trilogies and quartets have an end. Some of my series are getting crazy — 10, 12 books in and they’re still going strong(ish).

    Happy new year!

  9. zibilee says:

    A lot of these are on my list for the new year based on your reviews of them, and I am patiently waiting for Cinder to be released because it’s one that I have been wanting to read for the longest time! Lots of amazing looking reads on this list today. It makes me excited for 2012!

    And I wanted to mention that The Language of Flowers was my best book of the year, but I hadn’t written a review of it yet, so I had to take it out of the running for best books of 2011. I only chose from books that I had reviewed. It was such an incredible book though!

  10. Alyce says:

    I still haven’t looked at my stats for the year. I’m tempted to toss aside the Christmas thank-you notes and other household chores and spend the day with a spreadsheet, but… I should probably be responsible for once. 🙂 Maybe tomorrow.

    I agree with your top two dystopian picks. And wow – you read a lot of books this year! I loved Cinder too, and have To Be Sung Underwater on my shelf.

  11. Aarti says:

    In looking at the above post, I can’t help thinking that you chose your best/worst books of the year based on cover attractiveness 😉 Beautiful post!

  12. Joanna says:

    wow, what a list! How is it possible that there are so many wonderful books out there? Looks like you had an amazing reading year!

  13. hmm, interesting categories! see mine and my whole recap – only 99 books though: http://wordsandpeace.com/2011/12/30/year-of-reading-2011/

  14. Vasilly says:

    Cinder is an excellent read! I was just on the Book Smugglers site and read that the rest of the series is about other characters, not Cinder! Can you believe it?! I really want to read The Orchard soon.

  15. Very, very cool way to talk about your favorite books!! Many i will want to read now because you loved them so much!!!

    Happy New Year!

  16. Trisha says:

    I love the way you set this up! Like Amanda, I was surprised by the nonfiction count as well. I slacked in that area this year.

  17. Patti Smith says:

    I have most of these on my WishList already…except for The Last Werewolf…adding that one now 🙂

  18. Caroline says:

    Another “dangerous” list. Loads of books I didn’t know and that look interesting.

  19. Nymeth says:

    I’m not surprised many of those are in my wishlist, since you would be the reason for that 😛 I will definitely read something by Nesbo next year!

  20. I really dislike book trailers, but I do agree with you on the Forever one… that one.. I like 😉

  21. Iris says:

    Look at that list, I haven’t read any of them! Must remedy that, I think 😉

    I was surprised to see The Last Werewolf on your list. I have a weird prejudice against it, perhaps I should give it a try anyway?

  22. Rita K says:

    Jlli
    I have to admit that I haven’t read many books this year and not the ones you list – although some of them are on my to read list. Now I need to get busy and start reading again. Sounds like I am missing some good ones.

    I would put State of Wonder on my best list – although I know you did not like it that much.

  23. Jenners says:

    I”m bookmarking this to go back and catch up on some of the ones I haven’t read yet. I’m sorry that The Wild Rose was such a disappointment after her other two made your top 10 last year.

    Wishing you a wonderful 2012 filled with 5 star reads!

  24. JoV says:

    I think you did well to be able to shortlist the 10! Catherine the great sounds good. here’s wishing you a happy new year!

  25. Aths says:

    I haven’t read any of these books, but a few, esp Divergent are on my wishlist. You have a great list here!

  26. litlove says:

    Happy New Year! I do love the best-of lists and am very excited to see ‘To Be Sung Underwater’ on yours. I have it to read and am really looking forward to it now! Several authors there I haven’t heard of that I must check out (particularly Maggie Stiefvater, who sort of rings a bell in that I think I’ve read other good reviews of her novels.

  27. Julie P. says:

    What’s this say about me? I only read one book that you mentioned and it was a disappointment to you. I need to change what I’m reading.

  28. Two of those are on my to-read list based on your recommends.

    And holy cow–202? Yikes! I thought I was fast! 🙂

  29. stacybuckeye says:

    Holy smokes, that’s a lot of books! I picked up To Be Sung Underwater at the Border’s closing because of your review. Who knows when I’ll get to it, but I do like romantic books. I think all of your heart-warming choices are on my wish list already.

  30. Alex says:

    You had me at “Anne-of-Green-Gables kind of book” – it’s on the wish-list 🙂

    Everyone seems to have Divergent on their Top lists of 2011, I must find out what the fuss is all about.

    The Winter Rose was one of the disappointments of the year, considering how much I loved Tea Rose. I’m afraid to pick up Wild Rose, although it’s already on the TBR…

  31. Margot says:

    I like your Best Of list. Even though I read almost all of your book reviews, it’s nice to be reminded of those that stand out for you. I’m booikmarking this page so I can ccme back to it again, and again.

  32. Your whole list is what my list would look like for what I want to read in 2012 (if I put one together) 🙂 I can’t believe I haven’t read Tana French yet. No excuses this year, no, ma’am!

  33. Lisa says:

    I’ve been meaning to pick up the Catherine The Great book – I’ve had a fascination with her since I was a young girl and read a book about her.

    So disappointed – last week I was in Half-Price Books and tried to find some Jo Nesbo and I couldn’t find any. Can’t believe they wouldn’t have any of his books but for the life of me I couldn’t figure out where they put them. May have to suck it up and pay full price – sounds like he’s definitely work it.

  34. Rachel says:

    I got Faithful Place in my book club’s Christmas book swap. I hadn’t heard of it so I’m glad to see you liked it – it must be good!

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