Tuesday, January 3, 2012

My Favorite Reads of 2011

I read 162 books in 2011.  I think.  Each time I tried to count my list I came up with a different number, but when I came up with the number 162 twice I decided that was the number I'd go with.

It's hard for me to choose favorite books.  And my favorites might be favorites for reasons that others might not use as their own criteria.  I might choose a favorite based on the fact that it is a first book by an author and I'm applauding their efforts while at the same time I feel as though their next effort is the one that's going to blow me away, with their first one being their warm up - although one hell of a warm up.   And in many cases here, I'm actually choosing the author rather than one of their books.  This is because I think of their books as one body of work that I can re-read back to back seamlessly - cases in point would be series by Margaret Maron and Louise Penny who have each written a series that has not included a single entry that I found to be a disappointment.  While I am a huge fan of other series, I can't make that same statement about most of them.  In fact, some of my favorite series writers did not make my list this year.  That's not to say I didn't like their latest, it just means it didn't grab me and carry me away.   Also, some of the books I've included here are re-reads.  I re-read a lot, it brings me comfort and it's something I'll continue doing forever, I suppose.  And, oddly enough, I may even enjoy a book more during the second or third read than I did the first, and I "think" it has a lot to do with my mood or state of mind at the time.  Who knows.  Rather than analyze it, I'd rather just go with the flow and enjoy it.

My entire list of 162 (or there about) reads can be found here - Books Read During 2011.  If a book was included on this list, I liked it.  I'm not one who will continue reading a book that's not interesting to me.  Culling this list to those that had a bit more of an impact than others almost defeats me every year.  If I weren't such a fan of lists, I probably wouldn't do it.

So - here they are in the order read, the most recent at the top of the list.   As you can see, I've added a few personal notes and reflections. 

No idea how many this totals up to, but I guess I named more than my Top Ten, huh?  And just narrowing it down to this many has given me a headache!

Should you choose to read anything I've shared, I hope you'll let me know what you think.  You may love some of them, and you may hate some of them.  Either way, I'd enjoy hearing what your thoughts are.

Happy Reading! ! !


Anonymous said...

I totally understood your whole first paragraph and concur in all ways. And...I love Louise Penny and Margaret Maron. I, too, have never had one of theirs that has not been my new favorite.

Happy New Year, Kaye! Here's to a 2012 with some great, great reading!

bo parker said...

Interesting list. I have no idea how many books I read last year. I'm not certain I want to know; probably a number high enough to indicate I need to get a life.

But we have nine titles in common, not a bad number, considering I depend on the local library system. Five meet my definition of a memorable read. That is, see the title, weeks or months later, and remember the story inside.

Bonne année, as Madame Penny might say.

Gillian Roberts said...

this is my second attempt (I am a techno-failure and somehow booted myself right off)--anyway, imagine my surprise--first at how much you read last year which is nothing short of amazing. And then, as I read your list, looking for titles to get for myself, more surprise when I found my name on there. Repeatedly. Thank you so much--beyond words although some that come to mind are grateful, amazed (again) shocked, delighted and so forth and so on.
Thank you. If I've been a part of happy reading experiences, then I'm one happy woman. Happy new year--happy reading (and happy writing, too!) xoxoGillian Roberts

Unknown said...

I liked The Night Circus because of its creativity, the mystery, and the cool ending. I don't usually read this sort of book, but this one seems special.