Happy New Year! We are kicking off the first week of 2012 taking a collective look at the books each of us quirky girls read in 2011.
In reviewing my list of books read in 2o11, I am startled by a few things. While I did read more books than I did last year, which was at an abysmal low for me, my reading has decreased by more than fifty percent since I got married (two years ago) as compared to pre-married levels. I’m not sure if marriage has anything to do with it, but I do find it interesting. Also, I was surprised at how many books I actually purchased this year. I read very few library books in comparison to the books I purchased on the Kindle and in real bookstores. The past few years I have read mostly from the library, so this has been a marked difference.
As far as what I actually read, well, I’m not that surprised. The bulk of my reading is of the fiction variety. Seventy-six percent of the books I read were straight fiction. And a big chunk of that was young adult fiction. The remaining twenty-four percent went to nonfiction, books of essays, and classics.
Out of the sixty-three books I read this year, only five were written by men. I generally gravitate towards female authors than I do male authors so this is not surprising. Also, the genres I read probably have something to do with it as well. Other interesting items of notice are: seventeen percent were for book clubs or readalongs; fourteen percent were re-reads; forty-three percent were books in a series; thirty-eight percent were by new-to-me authors; and eleven percent were audiobooks.
Best Book You Read In 2011?
It is definitely hard to choose a favorite so I’ll pick a few favorites.
Historical Fiction: Becoming Marie Antoinette by Juliet Grey
YA-Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
New to me Series: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
2. Most Disappointing Book/Book You Wish You Loved More Than You Did?
I was really excited to get my hands on a copy of Linda Joy Singleton’s final installment to the Seer series. I didn’t love it as much as I thought I would. The first four books were really fun and enjoyable but the final book was a bit of a letdown.
3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2011?
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I had no desire to read this one at all despite the many recommendations I had received that I must read this now! It wasn’t until A. picked this for our two person book club that I reluctantly picked this one up. And I still dragged my feet. It definitely wasn’t the best book I read all year, but I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. It definitely kept me entertained on a million hour transatlantic flight.
4. Book you recommended to people most in 2011?
Hmm. Well, I definitely became a Vampire Academy pusher to those that are into that genre and haven’t had the pleasure of reading it. I even gave my extra copy of the first book to a new friend and got her hooked. I also have been raving about Becoming Marie Antoinette to anyone who will listen.
5. Best series you discovered in 2011?
Um, hands down that would be Vampire Academy.
6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2011?
SARAH ADDISON ALLEN. It’s been ages since I read a new author and promptly read their entire oeuvre all in a row. Granted it was easy with SAA because she only has four books published. Sad face. However, it felt good to fall in love so completely with a new author. I also discovered and fell in love with Stephanie Perkins. At the time Lola and the Boy Next Door was not out yet, but if she had a body of work outside of Anna I would have been all over that in nanoseconds. As it is I am procrastinating on touching Lola. I think I might wait until her third book comes out. I am trying to pace myself.
7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
I don’t really read historical fiction. Not that I’ve never read it, but it is not usually on my radar. However, after reading Michelle’s fantastic review I had to check out Becoming Marie Antoinette. I LOVED IT. I even went on a little historical fiction binge for a few weeks.
8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011?
I can’t limit this to one book. The Vampire Academy series as a whole had me in its grip for two weeks. I lived and breathed these books. I dreamt about the characters. There was a day at work where the systems were down ALL DAY so we were literally unable to work. I took advantage and read almost a whole book in my eight hour work day. I believe it was Spirit Bound.
9. Book you most anticipated in 2011?
I am not really one that is up on the hot new releases. However, once I became a VA fangirl and realized that there would be a companion series, of which the first book was not out yet, I anticipated that with great fervor. Thankfully, I didn’t have to wait that long for it to come out. My timing of reading the VA series couldn’t have been better. Well, it could have, if I remained ignorant until all the Bloodlines books were out.
10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2011?
11. Most memorable character in 2011?
Rose Hathaway. And Lisbeth Salander. And Claire Waverley.
12. Most beautifully written book read in 2011?
The Housekeeper and the Professor
The Girl Who Chased the Moon
13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2011?
The Bitch in the House. This one really had me doing some deep thinking and contemplating. I came to some important realizations about how I truly want to live my life. It also enabled me to let go a bit and stop being so hard on myself about what I want out of my life. Also, it expanded my mind in terms the different forms relationships take and that they are all valid as long as they work for the people in them.
14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2011 to finally read?
15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2011?
The biscuits with lilac jelly, the lavender tea cookies, and the tea cakes made with nasturtium mayonnaise the Ladies Aid ordered for their meetings once a month gave them the ability to keep secrets. The fried dandelion buds over marigold-petal rice, stuffed pumpkin blossoms, and rose-hip soup ensured that your company would notice only the beauty of your home and never the flaws. Anise hyssop honey butter on toast, angelica candy, and cupcakes with crystallized pansies made children thoughtful. Honeysuckle wine served on the Fourth of July gave you the ability to see in the dark. The nutty flavor of the dip made from hyacinth bulbs made you feel moody and think of the past, and the salads made with chicory and mint had you believing that something good was about to happen, whether it was true or not.
The Girl Who Chased the Moon:
There was a mood of magic and frenzy to the room. Crystalline swirls of sugar and flour still lingered in the air like kite tails. And then there was the smell—the smell of hope, the kind of smell that brought people home. Tonight it was the comfort of browning butter and the excitement of lemon zest.
16. Book That You Read In 2011 That Would Be Most Likely To Reread In 2012?
Any of Sarah Addison Allen’s books. I could also see myself re-reading Anna and the French Kiss as comfort food. And Graveminder. That one blew my mind. I wanted to start it all over again as soon as I finished it.
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!
Vampire Academy. I texted my sister throughout the entire series. SO MANY WTF moments and crazy sh*t happening. It was a fun and crazy ride.
Also, I texted my friend K. a LOT while reading Graveminder. That book really had me going.
2011 is complete. Happy reading in 2012, my friends! 🙂