Thursday, January 5, 2012

Hellos and Best Books of 2011

These past two months have been such a crazy mash-up of insanity, holidays, Yuletide, and Issues that I kind of started to hide from anything that wasn’t Absolutely Required because everything was stressing me out.  And then, of course, once that starts, it’s hard to stop hiding because there is Much Guilt.

But luckily there has been the start of the New Year and an acknowledged place for New Beginnings so I poke my head out again to say how much I missed all of you and how much I’ve missed this crazy book blogging thing we do.  So hi!  I doubt I will be posting as much as I had been last year, but I want to keep posting and keep up the conversation.  

To make this a real post, I just want to take a moment to look back at the best books I read in 2011.  I didn’t review them all, but I did review some, and I’ll link to those reviews in the list.

  • A Brief History of Montmaray and FitzOsbornes in Exile by Michelle Cooper - My favourite books of the year.  The story of the royal family of a tiny (fictional) island in the Bay of Biscay in the late 1930s. Gorgeous history, fantastic characterization. I can not wait for the third book.  Can. Not. Wait.
  • Entwinedby Heather Dixon - An amazing and magical retelling of the fairytale Twelve Dancing Princesses. The author managed to create distinguishable personalities for each of the twelve sisters which is a feat in itself.
  • Deadline by Mira Grant - The sequel to Feed which came out in 2010. Somehow Grant avoided the 'second book of a trilogy' curse with a further exploration of the world, the virus causing zombies, and the wonderful characters she makes us fall in love with.
  • All These Things I've Doneby Gabrielle Zevin - Not a dystopian, but a future New York where coffee and chocolate is banned because caffeine is a dangerous drug. A mafia princess (the 1st person narrator with a unique and interesting voice) tries to protect her siblings and find her own path after their father is murdered.
  • The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson - Hilarious and terrifying on the same page.
  • White Cat and Red Glove by Holly Black – Utterly brilliant writing and worldbuilding.
  • Fallen Grace by Mary Hooper - A mourning emporium with a cameo from Charles Dickens.
  • Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys - Heartbreaking and gorgeous.
  • Jessica Darling series by Megan McCafferty – How did I last this long without reading them before? I have no idea, but I’m kind of glad I got to read them all in one big bite.
  • Eon and Eona by Alison Goodman - Asian dragon lore and girls dressing as boys. An incredibly unique magic system and an epic fantasy.
  • If I Stay and Where She Went by Gayle Forman - These are books you'll weep over. And they're amazing.
  • Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins - Technically I read Anna at the very end of 2010, but I reread it about 6 times in 2011 so I'm counting it.
I don't know how real journalists do it! I always feel so badly when I'm choosing for 'best of' lists. All the poor books that I really liked but just didn't quite measure up!

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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! I read and adore each one.