Friday, December 30, 2011

Best Books of 2011

In 2010 I set a goal for myself to read one book per week in 2011.  When I got accepted in to grad school, I realized that my reading "for fun" time might be disappearing, so I picked up the pace.  This summer I created quite the book goal cushion for myself, and I completed my goal in early November with 7 weeks to spare.






Now, I know most of you are here for my running antics, but I'd be a bad future librarian if I didn't inspire you to pick up a book in 2012.  The following are my favorite books that I read in 2011 (please note, this isn't a "best of 2011 list, because a good chunk of them have been out longer than just this year).  Also, as you can tell from my list, my preferred reading genres are young adult, running, fiction, and some chick lit sprinkled in for good measure.

Young Adult


To say that I devoured The Hunger Games books is an understatement.  I really loved them, and loved the main character Katniss, even if her role has come under some scrutinize for the somewhat obnoxious love triangle, woe is me, stuff.


 
 Just when I thought I couldn't get more sucked in to the young adult, dystopian world genre, along came Divergent.  Another book I flew through and quickly became my favorite of the genre.  And by genre I'm stating that as favorite dystopian novel, and favorite YA novel of 2011.


 
 But to be sure, I did have to read Delirium , which was almost on par with the Hunger Games in awesomeness.  I'm looking forward to the direction that both series will take.



I was definitely not expecting the intensity of The Book Thief from a YA novel.  Such an emotional book, I kept having to remind myself that it wasn't an adult book.  Incredibly good, but very emotionally draining.

Running


Advanced Marathoning is on most runner's shelves.  I'd scanned it previously and realized the programs were too advanced for me, but noted that I definitely wanted to tackle them in the future.  When I mentioned that I was thinking of doing a fall marathon, Danielle sent me my very own copy.  We've become almost inseparable since then.

Fiction


  The Story of Beautiful Girl is a book that brought me to crippling sobs.  It is a beautifully written, heart-wrenching novel that is a must-read.  Definitely one of my favorite books of all time.


I would go so far to say that The Night Circus is one of my favorite books read in 2011.  Such whimsy and amazingness.  One of the first times I've finished a book and hoped it'd be made in to a movie, because I'm not sure my imagination did it justice.




 I feel like I was one of the last people to read The Room .  My sister in law kept asking if I had read it, so I finally did, and wow.  Definitely worth the time.  It's told in the perspective of a little boy who's whole world is a tiny room.  Very intense.



 Again, I'm probably one of the last people to read Water for Elephants.  I swear I started to read it a few years ago, and I could not get in to it, but when I picked it up, it wasn't the same book I was thinking of.  I read it because the movie was coming out and knew I'd see it at some point.  I was super sucked in to the circus and the love story.


 
  I was not expecting what I got out of So Much Pretty.  It was a lot darker than I had anticipated, and maybe that's why I liked it so much.  It caught me off-guard.


The Housekeeper and the Professor is one of the first books I read in 2011, so the details are a bit hazy, but I remember that I loved it.  I read it for a book club at the downtown library, and then was ill the day it was discussed.  I should probably re-read it to remember why I gave it 5 stars.  Or you should read it and remind me.


I really loved The Discovery of Witches but felt like the ending was so up in the air.  And then I realized it was written as a trilogy.  And then I felt dumb.  Lots of supernatural fun and intrigue.  Can't wait for the rest of the books to roll out.  I do think it had a bit of a slow start, so beware of that.

There are many other books that made away with 4 stars, so feel free to check out my "Bookworm Page" for a full list of books.

Disclosure:  If you click on the book and buy the book from Amazon, I get like a fraction of a penny.  ;)

7 comments:

Raspberry Stethoscope said...

Thanks for this post!

Kristin Miller said...

You've set up some great books for me for 2012!!! Is water for elephants really worth it? I tried and failed :-(

Amanda Hope Shelburne said...

The Book Thief was one of the books I had to read for YA Lit during my library undergrad. I love it! Seriously, I think I cried more than once! Haha In the same vein, check out Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer. Amazing stuff.

Amanda Hope Shelburne said...

The Book Thief was one of the books I had to read for YA Lit during my library undergrad. I love it! Seriously, I think I cried more than once! Haha In the same vein, check out Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer. Amazing stuff.

Kier said...

Great reads! I am just getting into the Hunger Games after trying not to get sucked in for the longest time...thankfully, my brother handed over his copy and I am hooked!

Can't wait to check out a few of the reads on your list!

..:danielle:.. said...

im excited to read a bunch of these next year :)

Page said...

Do you have any non fiction reccos?

Happy new year!