I like having an end of the year post that summarizes my reading for the year. Jaime, at The Perpetual Page-Turner, posted this great survey that really helps highlight some of the good ones, and bad one, of the year.

1. Best Book You Read In 2011? 

It’s so hard to pick a favorite. This is my top-ten, in no particular order.

  1. Have Gun, Will Play by Camille LaGuire
  2. Alphabeasts by Wallace Edwards
  3. In the Woods by Tana French
  4. The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny
  5. The Butterfuly Cabinet by Bernie McGill
  6. The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths
  7. The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino
  8. The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
  9. The Honey Month by Amal El-Mohtar
  10. Yesterday’s Tomorrow by Catherine West

2. Most Disappointing Book/Book You Wish You Loved More Than You Did?

Room by Emma Donaghue. It had gotten so much hype that I expected it to be truly amazing. Turned out that all the build-up had told me all the things that made the book special. I already knew the voice and the plot, so I ended up being underwhelmed.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2011?

Yesterday’s Tomorrow by Catherine West. I actually hadn’t planned on reading this romance that takes place during/after the Vietnam War, but a friend let me borrow it. I have to say it really was an emotional read, had me crying and laughing. It was a great introduction into the Christian romance sub-genre.

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2011?

Even though it’s not one I read this year, I still find myself recommending The Help by Kathryn Stockett to anyone who hasn’t read it.

5. Best series you discovered in 2011?

Elly Griffiths’ mystery series starring Ruth Galloway. I’ve only read the first, The Crossing Places, but I just loved the setting and the main character. The plot was solid too.

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2011?

Camilla LaGuire, Ngaio Marsh, and Amal El-Mohtar

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

I didn’t read much outside of my comfort zone this year, to be honest, and I’m fine with that. I do think I have a fairly broad comfort zone, though.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011?

I don’t know. None are really jumping to mind.

9. Book you most anticipated in 2011?

Probably India Black and the Widow of Windsor by Carol K. Carr, simply because I found India herself so compelling in the first book.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2011?

Stories for Nighttime and Some for theDay

11. Most memorable character in 2011? 

I have to chose a couple, Mick and Casey McKee, married gunslingers and mystery solvers in the Old West. They’re fun and work together well. He’s a little clueless but has a good heart. She’s as tough as nails, with a soft-side buried down deep. The full-length novel they star in is Have Gun, Will Play by Camille LaGuire

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2011?

The Honey Month by Amal El-Mohtar.  This collection is simply beautiful, full of images and phrases I loved.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2011? 

I guess it would be Still Alice by Lisa Genova. It was a good reminder to spend time with your family now, to do the important things in life, because you don’t know what tomorrow will bring.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2011 to finally read? 

Anything by Ngaio Marsh or Mary Roberts Rinehart.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2011? 

Ah, I should have planned ahead for this one. I don’t tend to write down the quotes I love. These were two quotes that were included in The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder.

Imagination has brought mankind through the dark ages to its present state of civilization. Imagination led Columbus to discover America. Imagination led Franklin to discover electricity.  -L. Frank Baum

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere. – Carl Sagan

16. Book That You Read In 2011 That Would Be Most Likely To Reread In 2012? 

I don’t usually reread, especially with that little time before readings.

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

The end of the Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino. Awesome ending, but discussing it would spoil the book.

Looking Ahead…

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2011 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2012?

Death at La Fenice by Donna Leon,the first in her Brunetti series, which fits in perfectly with the Venice in February challenge.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2012?

Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny. Yes, I know it was published in 2010, but I’ve been listening to the series in order and I’m finally up to that point.

3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2012?

I’m trying something a little different on my blog this year, having monthly themes. We’ll see how that goes. As for reading, I don’t really have any goals, just to read a bunch of good books.

And Some Stats from 2011

I read a total of 107 books, a little low for me. Here’s how they broke down.

I had trouble deciding what genres to split apart. The above is not perfect, but it’s the best I came up with, at least for now.

What was your favorite read in 2011? Anything you’re particularly looking forward to in 2012?


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