2011 has been a pretty hectic year, and a part of me is glad it's drawing to a close. The year's end has gotten me thinking about what I've read over the past year. Thus far in 2011 I've read 90, when my original goal was 75.
Of those 90, I've picked my ten favorites--the ten that have stuck with me, the ten that you should bump up on your TBR pile. Some people I know have picked favorites from certain genres, but I feel that picking several overall favorites better represents by overall tastes. For example, I don't feel I read enough contemporaries or paranormal romances in one year to pick favorites among those. Listed in no particular order and without further ado, here are my top ten favorites books of 2011. Click on the covers to see my reviews.
10.) The Woman In White by Wilkie Collins
I've always had a soft spot for Victorian literature, and this one has an awesome mystery. Plus, it has this quote, which I found hilarious.
My hour for tea is half-past five, and my buttered toast waits for no one.
9.) Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
In addition to being one of the most emotional reads of 2011, this was also one of the most fast-paced. I didn't think Sepetys's writing was perfect, but I was too attached to the characters and their story to care.
8.) Wither by Lauren DeStefano
I was intrigued when I heard that this was supposed to be a re-telling of The Handmaid's Tale, plus I knew I needed this gorgeous cover on my shelves. As it turns out, DeStefano's writing is absolutely gorgeous. Furthermore, I liked the world-building--I had enough information to get me interested, but enough to leave me wanting more. Does it get much better than this?
7.) Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez
You've probably already heard me rave about this one at some point, so I'll just repeat two things about it: it kept me up until 3 .m. and the writing is gorgeous.
6.) Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
A quirky love story featuring with periodic appearances by some of my favorite characters of 2010. Perkins knows how to create atmosphere, amazing characters, and swoon-worthy romances. How was this not going to end up on my best of 2011 list?
5.) The Giver by Lois Lowry
Guys, this book made me cry during my commute. On my over-crowded bus. How did I wait until 2011 to read this book?
4.) Looking for Alaska by John Green
I feel much better about calling myself a Nerdfighter now that I've read one of John Green's books. Although I figured this one would be good, I was not prepared for the awesomeness of Green's debut novel.
3.) Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer
I didn't expect Wolfsbane to be nearly as good as it was or to read it as fast as I did. Thank goodness the release of Bloodrose is now less than a week away.
2.) The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente
This book utterly charmed and had a fabulous world. I look forward to recommending it to young readers I know. Just go pick it up.
1.) The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Yes, this book has a great story. Yes, the world is good. However, there's one reason this book is making my top ten list: Patrick Rothfuss's prose is stunning. I'm excited to find out how Kvothe's story ends because I know that no matter the plot points, the narration will be beautiful and heart-breaking.
So there we have it. The best of 2011. I hope 2012 is packed with more great characters, beautiful prose, and new favorites!