Thursday, December 29, 2011

BOOKING THROUGH THURSDAY: Best of 2011

What were your favorite books of 2011?
I found this meme that has been making the rounds, but here's a list of the top rated books I read this year. Ask me tomorrow, and it might change.

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares - Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Light Lifting - Alexander MacLeod
Henrietta's War - Joyce Dennys
The Tales of Beedle the Bard - JK Rowling
The Redbreast - Jo Nesbo
The Lover's Dictionary - David Levithan
Annabel - Kathleen Winter
The Wife's Tale - Lori Lansens
Coventry - Helen Humphreys
Trackers - Deon Meyer
How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming - Mike Brown
Heads You Lose - Lisa Lutz and David Hayward
Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King
Moonlight Sketches - Gerard Collins
Falling Angels - Tracy Chevalier

And now, the meme:

Best Book:
Heads You Lose by Lisa Lutz and David Hayward
This had humor, a mystery, and a concept that was so meta I wanted more. As the authors kept killing each others characters, and their relationship disintegrated, I couldn't stop laughing.

Worst Book:
In a Strange Room: Three Journeys by Damon Galgut (Booker Shortlist 2010)
I don't even know what this book was about. There were parts I kind of liked, but mostly, confused and bored.

Most Disappointing Book:
The Reinvention of Love by Helen Humphreys
After loving Coventry, I was not a fan of the characters or setting of Reinvention of Love

Most Surprising Book: 
Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King.
King took a revenge aspect and let (some) of the characters come out on top, without being destroyed. I was only surprised in that King's stories are as good as ever, and he hasn't lost his story-telling touch (and dash of gross) after all these years.

The Book Most Recommended to Others:
Pomegranate Soup by  Marsha Mehran. It was a nice, light book, about sisters in Ireland who came from Iran. I offered this most to my real-life friends, and for fans of Sarah Addison Allen.

Best Series Discovered:
The Janie Quartet by Caroline B Cooney (The Face on the Milk Carton, Whatever Happened to Janie, The Voice on the Radio, What Janie Found)
Once I started reading this young adult dramatics during the summer, I couldn't stop til it ended.

New Mystery Series:
Jo Nesbo's series starring Harry Hole. I only read one, The Redbreast, but as soon as I get a couple other series up to date and under control, I'm diving in to the rest of this great Scandinavian series.

Favorite New Authors Discovered (have to have written more than one book): 
Tana French, Helen Humphreys,

Most Hilarious Read:
Heads You Lose by Lisa Lutz and David Hayward


Most Thrilling, Unputdownable Book:
Trackers by Deon Meyer
An African thriller with several diverse threads that tied up wonderfully in the end

Most Anticipated Book:  
I seldom buy new books but these are two I bought as soon as they came out: 
Children of the Street by Kwei Quartey - second in the Ghanian Darko Dawson mystery series
Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick - beautiful blending of illustrations and story

Favorite Cover:Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. And the story was pretty cute too.


Most Memorable Character:
Mary Gooch in The Wife's Tale. Her life was falling apart, and she found the strength to turn it around and accept herself.

Most Beautifully-Written Book:
Alexander MacLeod's Light Lifting was a wonderfully written collection of short stories.



Book you Can't Believe you Waited Until 2011 to Read:
I didn't read much in the line of classics this year, so Patrick Taylor's Irish Country series has been given great reviews on the blogs for several years now, and I finally read a few.

Favorite Review You Wrote:
The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan

Best Book Event You Participated in During 2011:
Orange January/July
Jill does such a great job using Facebook and Librarything to connect all the readers. It's almost time for the next one.

Are any of my memorable books from your lists of this year? What were your favorites?

12 comments:

Bellezza said...

I discovered Jo Nesbo this year, too. The only book I've read of his is the devil's star (intentionally uncapitalizeid title). It was good, but hasn't compelled me to read the rest of his stuff as it has my teammate who quickly is going through everything Nesbo's ever written. In fact, tonight I saw The Leopard at Barnes and Noble...but I think I'll wait for it to arrive in the library. So many of the other titles/authors on your list are new to me. Thanks for sharing!

Booklogged said...

Tried to reply to your email but when I did it sent it to Framed! How do strange things like that happen?

Wouldn't that be fun to meet up again but this time in Ireland! We did have a nice Christmas. One of my daughters who lives in Las Vegas came home at Thanksgiving and the other one came home for Christmas. And of course, the two girls who live here joined us for both holidays.

Hope your Thanksgiving (back in Oct), your Christmas and Boxing Day were all delightful.

Booklogged said...

So many new-to-me titles and authors! This a fun meme - wonder if I could even remember some of the books I've read but didn't record. I miss that about blogging. It's nice to be able to look back and get a quick review of what I've read. I'll think about this meme...

John Mutford said...

I've read 0 on your list, and in fact, I've only even read 2 authors on your list. Though I am glad to see that Beedle the Bard made the list-- I've been trying to decide if I'm going to bother with it.

Pam said...

I've only read one of your best books!! Must remedy that!

raidergirl3 said...

bellezza - I read my Nesbo from the library. After I read the first Nesbo, I knew I wanted to read more. A number of my books are Canadian, so that might explain things.

booklogged - my holidays were excellent. Glad you got to visit with your daughters. Let's dream about Ireland - it is a place I'd love to visit.
I kept track of my books even before I started blogging. I'll be watching to see what books you've been reading.

john - I planned to comment on Beedle the Bard. I loved the cartoon (not really, but the video short) in the Deathly Hallows that came from the book, which is why I got the book. I thought she did the parallel to fairy tales so well. They are Grimm like, but I really enjoyed the book. Well worth the addition to your JK Rowling library.

Pam - now I'm wondering which one you did read!

Cozy in Texas said...

I hope 2012 is a better reading year for me. There were so many books that I couldn't even finish in 2011 because they either didn't hold my attention or the writing was so bad.
Ann

Bybee said...

[busily scribbling, taking notes for the wishlist]
Happy New Year! I love your categories!

Susan said...

You should read Thirteen Hours by Deon Meyers! That was unputdownable. I don't think I have Trackers by him yet. Hurray for Harry Hole making your best of list!! *happy dance in Ottawa*

Good list, Raidergirl3. I'm adding some to my to-get list too....

raidergirl3 said...

cozy in Texas - I hope you have better reads in 2012

bybee - I'll be checking out your lists as well. Happy New Year!

susan - It was Thirteen Hours that led me to Trackers! I loved Thirteen Hours, one of my best reads last year. I also hope to look more into Meyers backlist this year. And definitely more Harry Hole this year.

Thoughts of Joy said...

Nesbo is a MUST for me this year, I was bored with The Wife's Tale - DNF, I think I have Thirteen Hours by Meyers as an eBook - looking forward to it, and I'm listening to Heads You Lose now and while I love the banter between the authors, I'm not enjoying the plot so much.

Happy New Year! :)

raidergirl3 said...

Joy - I guess we can't always like the same books! I really enjoyed Mary Gooch and her struggles. Bravo and Meyer are two great authors.
As for Heads You Lose, I didn't think the plot was so much the story, more a continuation of the authors battles as they tried to ruin each other's characters, so I enjoyed it as much for that.