This is the week I like to look back on the previous year. I’m kicking it off today with the one everyone anticipates the most: my top reads of 2011. I’ve broken them down by category this year. Later this week my husband will be making an appearance with his top ten and I will also share my favorite albums. Finally, I will round out the reminiscing with some reading statistics and goals for 2012. Enjoy.
In no particular order, here are my favorite reads of 2011, with a one-sentence description why. You can click on each book to read my full review.
Vaclav and Lena by Haley Tanner is a heart-wrenching novel about two kids who lose and find each other. The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown is a beautifully-written novel about family and growing-up. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is simply magical. Everything Beautiful Began After by Simon Van Booy employs gorgeous writing on its jarring emotional journey. Domestic Violets by Matthew Norman is both a hilarious and poignant look at modern family.
Bossypants by Tina Fey made me laugh out loud – constantly. The Langauge of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh is a beautifully-written and beautifully-narrated story of a newly emancipate foster kid trying to find her way in life with the only thing she knows: flowers. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline is my absolute favorite audiobook experience of the year, and I don’t think I’m alone. Faith by Jennifer Haigh follows a family through an unimaginable accusation, examining religion and relationships along the way. I discovered both Feed and Deadline by Mira Grant this year and found myself completely caught up in its zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic world.
Shade and Shift by Jeri Smith-Ready is my absolute favorite discovery of 2011. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins is cute and romantic and quirky – sometimes that’s all we need. Divergent by Veronica Roth kept me on the edge of my seat and has me eagerly anticipating its sequel this spring. Saving June by Hannah Harrington took me on a musical roadtrip across the country that left me emotionally exhausted. The Fox Inheritance by Mary E. Pearson surprised me enough to make it here.
Our Town by Oscar Wilde is a heartbreaking play made even better because I read it with my husband. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer is an often-sad-but-ultimately-uplifting novel about a boy who loses his father on 9/11. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan was ambitious and unique. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson somehow sucked me into a European adventure while I was already on one. Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr showed me that faeries are not for little kids.
Your turn. What were your favorites this year?