Well, the end of the year is all about top 10 lists. So I thought I would participate in a Blog party I saw on Adventures in Borkdom, but it is a blog party hosted by The Broke and The Bookish so I need to give them some credit too.
And without further ado…I bring you my top 10 favorite books of 2011…
10. Logicomix By Apostolos Doxiadis and Christos H. Papadimitriou
This book made the list because it has stuck with me throughout the year. A graphic novel/biography about philosopher Bertrand Russell, it also explores his philosophical ideas and his quest to answer some of the timeless questions in Mathematics and Logic. The philosophy was not dumbed down, but rather given to me as a reader in a way that it made sense. It also gave me a peek into the life of a great mind on the brink of insanity. If you never liked math before, you just may find that mathematics is a bit more interesting after reading this book.
9. Changeless By Gail Carriger
I have mentioned this series before here on the blog. I love Alexia and her spunkiness. It is one of my favorite series to escape to because of the witty dialogue and the curiously fun predicaments she finds herself in.
8. Wither by Lauren DeStefano
I have a weakness for Young Adult Fiction and dystopia. Thus, I really enjoyed 2011 release. The cover drew me in, but the story was fast moving and kept my attention. It reminded me a bit of The Handmaid’s tale, and that was one of the reasons it was not higher on the list (I still like The Handmaid’s Tale more). I am patiently waiting for the next in the series to come out.
7. The Red Tent By Anita Diamant
I go to church, but I can’t say I have really delved deeply into the stories in the Old Testament. I think that is why this story blew me away. What I loved most about this story was its emphasis on a girl’s rite of passage and its stories of motherhood. It was a beautiful book that reminded me that women have a special bond. It also made me think of my kids and the wonderful midwives that helped me bring them into the world.
6. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
I just wrote about how much I liked this book, so I won’t bore you with my review again. If you missed it, you can check out my post here.
5. The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
I was utterly enchanted by the story of Princess Ani and her Bayern friends.
Princess Ani had a special bond with her aunt and her aunt showed her that she was special. Of course, not everyone thought she was special and she learned to hide her abilities. She never quite felt good enough for her mother and in the end her mother and to become Queen after her mother and it was confirmed that she was not when her mother betrothed her to a prince in a kingdom a good journey away. The journey was tortuous for me as a reader… I knew all was not well and was at the end of my seat as the story unfolded.
I am a sucker for magical elements and I loved how magic was not the focus but rather enhanced the story in just the right ways. The cast of characters were all well imagined and interesting. I loved how Princess Ani and her friends evolved throughout the story.
A great tale with a great message.
I know I am cheating by combining these two books, but they were both great. I don’t often find a series where I like the sequel as much as the first book. So I am going with the series for spot number 4. Hex Hall lifted me out of my reading slump (I had at the beginning of the year), which I think makes it deserving of a spot on my top 10. I was a huge fan of Charmed and these books reminded me of the reason I loved that TV series so much. Fun and not a lot of thought needed to enjoy them. Great for a beach or summer read.
3. Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Well, second time was a charm. The first time I tried to read this book, I did the audio version. I was distracted and after 2 discs… my CD player ate it and took disc 3 with it to its grave. This was actually a blessing in disguise. I think I enjoyed reading it the old fashioned way better.
Katsa and Po came alive for me during this reading. Their story was one that did not follow the conventional plot. Katsa did not need rescuing from him (a prince), instead she did the rescuing. She did not feel forced into marriage or doing things the way they were supposed to be done. It made her a wonderful character to root for.
I have heard that the 2nd book in the series is not as strong…so it has fallen down my TBR list. I will probably get to it in 2012 though.
2. Still Alice by Lisa Genova
This is one of those books that shakes you to the core. Alzheimer’s is a scary disease that most of us wish to not think about. Genova did a very good job of making me feel what it must be like to have the disease and what it is like for the family who loves them.
This book will haunt you. It haunts me every time I forget an appointment and every time someone I love (who is getting older) repeats a story they told to me before. It is a book I will not soon forget and a must read (in my humble opinion).
1. Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
I have read a lot of YA books about Angels, but this is the one that I loved the most. It was one of those books that kept me up at night. I stayed up late to read it and woke up and picked the book up to read some more. It is sad, but each time I go to Barnes and Noble, I check the YA section just in case the sequel came out. By the way, Hallowed comes out on January 17th 2012. I am sure I will be dropping all the books I am reading to read it. I have not been this excited about a series since The Hunger Games Trilogy (although I would not say that if you liked The Hunger Games then you should read this one… they are very different series). There is a love triangle (of course, it is a YA paranormal book). It was filled with action and a little danger. It may not be a book for the ages or have any long-standing literary value… but I loved it and I have to say it was my favorite of 2012.
You may be wondering why a 36-year-old housewife has so many YA books on her list… well, it is because 2012 was a stressful year. When I get stressed I long for books that take me away and in many cases I want them to take me away to problems that people my age just don’t have…like how to save your friends from having their blood drained or how to stop a war from starting when you don’t know who is trying to start the war to begin with. Which person would you chose the one who is your destiny or the one you want to be your destiny. I want to go to a place where Circuses are full of magic or a place where a princess pretends she is a goose girl to stop a war. I know it is a bit silly, but for me the best stress reliever is fantasy and isn’t that one of the reasons we read…to escape to a place only our dreams can imagine.
Another Additional Note:
One more hour and it will be Wednesday. That is cutting it close for Top Ten Tuesday, isn’t it?