Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Jenn's Top Books of 2011

My goal for 2011 was to get back to reading about 60 books a year, the way I had before my daughter was born.  I accomplished 60 plus (still reading or I'd give you an exact count), partly thanks to owning an e-reader, I think.  I'm amazed by the number of really fantastic reads I've had this year.

I was going to do a top 10 list, but quite a few of these are series that deserve to be mentioned in their entirety.  So here goes, in no particular order:
  • The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen - she writes amazing books full of food and magical realism; if any of the above sounds good, and you haven't read any of her novels, put one on your 'To be read' list for this year.  You won't be disappointed.
  • The Trylle Trilogy by Amanda Hocking - if you're a fan of YA paranormal and you have yet to read anything by this self-publishing queen, check out this series.  Ms. Hocking recently signed with our friends at St. Martin's Press and these are all being re-released with new, gorgeous covers.   I might just have to re-purchase the set just for the fabulous cover art!
  • The Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson - if you can get past the first 80 pages of plot exposition in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, you won't be able to put this Swedish Noir series down for long.
  • The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa - Now that I have the perspective of having finished the series, I will be re-reading these in their entirety the very first chance I get. Ms. Kagawa's fantasy world is fantastic and I will revisit it many times for years to come.
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - I don't usually like historical fiction but this book grabbed me and wouldn't let go.  It's a heart-breaking read that brings life in Nazi Germany to life for YA or adults.
  • Flash and Bones by Kathy Reichs - This is the 14th book in the Temperance Brennan series and I really felt that it was a return to everything I love about Ms. Reichs' work -even though there was barely a mention about Tempe's love life, which I am seriously invested in...
  • Lucy Valentine series by Heather Webber - so far there are three books in this series and I can't bring myself to read the last one because I don't want to come to the end of it. A little paranormal realism, a little romance, and a little mystery make these perfect warm, fuzzy reads.
  • Shadow Falls series by C.C. Hunter - I think this YA paranormal series doesn't get the recognition it deserves.  I rarely find a book where I want to know more about every single character, but such is the case with this series.  
  • The Love Goddess' Cooking School by Melissa Senate - one of those rare books where you can relate to every character.  I wanted to move into this marvelous food-lit book with it's touch of magical realism.
  • Kill Chain by Meg Gardiner - Seriously, you have to read her books!  There are two series, and they really do need to be read in order so either start with China Lake (Evan Delaney) or The Dirty Secrets Club (Jo Beckett) -but start somewhere!
I'm looking at my towering To Be Read pile and I see a few more books from the authors above along with many new ones.  I'm excited for a new year of reading - aren't you?



Steve Finnell December 28, 2011 at 5:35 AM  

you are invited to follow my blog

Julie December 29, 2011 at 10:41 AM  

I couldn't agree more about The Peach Keeper, Lucy Valentine series and the first 2 of the Millennium Trilogy.

Deborah Batterman December 30, 2011 at 12:48 PM  

Loved your reviews of The Millennium Trilogy. Now must put The Peach Keeper and The Book Thief in my TBR. btw, this remains a favorite review site of mine, and I look forward to what you're all reading/writing about in 2012.

Michelle ,  December 30, 2011 at 4:33 PM  

e-reader has definitely changed my reading life back to something akin to before child ... :)

Thanks for this list!!

Jenn January 2, 2012 at 9:20 AM  

Thanks, Deborah! We're flattered.

Michelle, the e-reader has definitely been a huge help! January 2, 2012 at 3:49 PM  

I have to admit I gave up on the Book Thief - exposed to too many tough books on WWII as a French student. here is my 2011 recap:

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