I cannot end this year without talking about my favorite books of 2011 - that would be just... silly.
Yesterday Lisa and Stephany both posted their top 10 lists and I just loved reading them - follow the links to read theirs! We have very similar tastes and I just love discussing books with these two. I wish we all lived in the same city so we could meet up and discuss more often. ;)
This year I read A LOT. At the beginning of the year I made a goal for myself to read 50 books, and I didn't think it would happen while being in grad school full time all year, but somehow it happened! I have read 57 books in 2011. A few of those books were for school, which I'm counting because I have a goal to read more non-fiction books. Many of the books are also middle grades and YA books, which several were for my children's lit class.
Narrowing down my list of favorites this year was pretty easy. In fact coming up with ten for the list was a little hard! There weren't many that I just absolutely loved, but for the most part all of these on this list are books that I always recommend to others.
I have noticed on Goodreads, that I am not generous with the five star rating - I rarely give a book five stars, in fact only a few of those books on my top 10 list got five stars from me when I finished them, but that doesn't mean I didn't love them. To me, for a book to get a five star rating, it needs to have me engaged the entire time, the writing should be impeccable and it should be a book I would consider as "couldn't-put-it-down."
I'm not sure what my goal for 2012 will be. I have gotten myself tangled up into three book clubs, so I think I will probably read my adult fiction with them and the rest will be middle grades and YA. I wish I could say I hope to read more in 2012, but know what my class schedule will be like, I don't know if that is possible. I guess I surprised myself in 2011, so who knows?
Anyway. I'll stop rambling. Here are my "Top Ten Books of 2011!" Enjoy!
10. Secret Daughter - this was the third book we read for Books 'n Bars, and I absolutely loved it! This year I began to really become interested in Indian culture and this book really contributed that interest. It's about an American couple that adopts an Indian girl. The father is of Indian heritage and the mother is American.
9. The Lover's Dictionary - this book was FANTASTIC! It's really a dictionary, but in the definitions it tells a story. It's heart-breakingly honest and real. Definitely a must read.
8. Lola and the Boy Next Door - oh, Stephanie Perkins. I don't think she can do anything wrong! Loved Lola - what a great character! If you liked Anna and the French Kiss, this is a MUST-READ.
7. Anna and the French Kiss - it took me a long time to pick this one up, but after seeing it float around the book blogging around and so many people raving about it, I had to see what the fuss was about. Boy, oh boy am I glad I did! What a wonderfully written, cute romance for a YA fan.
6. Saving CeeCee Honeycutt - I will always remember this book because, A. it was the first book that we read for Books 'n Bars and B. Beth Hoffman EMAILED ME TO SAY THANK-YOU! I think I literally squealed out loud when I got that email. This book was wonderful and if you're a fan of The Help, you will like this one too!
5. Divergent - Wow, the response to this book is unreal! This book is action, action, action and will you keep flipping the pages to the very end. If you like dystopians, like The Hunger Games, you will probably like Divergent too!
4. Delirium - Ahhhh, Delirium. I adored this book. I cannot wait for Pandemonium. It's time like this when I wished I put more into book blogging so I could get my hands on an ARC of the sequal. This book was so good - another dystopian that I just couldn't put down. Read it. Love it.
3. One Day - I admit, I didn't love this book until I saw the movie and it sort of brought it all together for me. Now, I think about this story all the time. It's realistic, heartbreaking and so rich. David Nicholls writing is superb and this story will make you happy, sad, pissed off, giggling... cheering for a romance that is real.
2. Sarah's Key - Ahhh, the book that started the WWII obsession this year. I-LOVED-THIS-BOOK and think everyone should read it. This book follows a little girl that is Jewish in Paris during the Holocaust. What happened to Jews in France during the Holocaust? Read this book and you will find out. Then see the movie - because they did a fantastic job.
1. The Help - I adored The Help. I adore Kathryn Stockett. She created a wonderful book about her own experiences being raised in the South by black maids. Although this isn't a memoir and is fictional, after hearing Kathryn speak about her novel and her own childhood maid, I love the book (and the movie) even more.
What was your favorite book of 2011?
Are you on Goodreads? If so, come find me. ;)