My Top 4 Books of 2011


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Throughout the year, I've been keeping a list of books as I finish them. For each, I've also posted a review. I'm so glad I did this, because now, as 2011 draws to a close, I can easily go back and see which books I've read this year and also whether or not I liked them.

I read every day all day at work, but occasionally I get in the mood to read for pleasure at home. In 2011, I completed 14 books (not including the 2 I have currently in progress). That's just under one book a month. Not bad considering that this year I also planned a wedding and got married.

One of my 2012 resolutions is to see if I can top this year's number. So I'm setting a goal to: read at least 15 books in 2012.

Here is my 2011 list in order, starting from January:

The Hunger Games
Catching Fire
False Victim
The Hobbit
Looking for Alaska
The Monster of Florence
A Game of Thrones
Water for Elephants
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Redeeming Love
If on a winter's night a traveler

[Currently reading:  
A Clash of Kings 
Love and Respect] 

As I look back through those titles, it's hard to pick the ones that particularly stand out, since they were all such excellent reads. But people who say "I don't know" when answering a question are annoying. Have an opinion already, right? As such, I give you,

My Top 4 Picks of 2011:
Read these immediately if you haven't already. 
(And if you have, just read them again.)

1. Unbroken

This was recommended to me by a good friend whose literary opinion I trust fully. (Until she read Twilight, but that's a story for another day.) This is the book that jump-started my interest in World War II and nonfiction in general (and probably the reason I was actually excited to read Bonhoeffer). My full review for Unbroken is here.

2.  The Hobbit

Even if you aren't a fantasy lover or a Lord of the Rings lover or, heck, a fiction lover, this is a book everyone should read at least once. This was my second time reading The Hobbit, and it was even better than the first. Plus, have you seen the new movie trailer? This is one bandwagon you're gonna want to be on in 2012.

3. The Hunger Games trilogy

Unless you've been living in a dark, smelly cave, you've heard of/seen/read these books. Books like these are the reason people think writing in first person is a good idea, which it isn't most of the time. (Another notable exception to this rule: Water for Elephants.) Talk about edge-of-your-seat, reading-till-all-hours-of-the-night good stuff. (At least, the first and second books were. In my opinion, the third just got crazy.) Just try not to freak out about the portrait painted of future America.

4. The Monster of Florence

Another excellent nonfiction. Don't be fooled by the scary-sounding title. It is a true story about a serial killer who roamed the hills of Florence, Italy. The movie character Hannibal Lector was loosely based on this real-life person. Still, the story itself was not scary. It was fast-paced, entertaining, and suspenseful. My full review is here

So there you go! Get to reading. 
Also, here are a few books that are on my list as I look ahead to the new year!

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 
The Ragamuffin Gospel
The Devil in the White City
A Storm of Swords
A Feast for Crows
A Dance with Dragons 

*Also, if you have any recommendations for me, I'd love some!
Anonymous said...

Thanks for the double shout-out. Unbroken remains the best book I read all year. Twilight remains the worst. And, to be fair, you shouldn't say that you don't trust my opinion just because I read Twilight - because my opinion is that Twilight sucks. You can trust that! Anyway, I keep forgetting about The Monster of Florence. I'd like to read it, though. Now it's officially on my to-read list. Hopefully I'll get to it in the next couple of years. :)


PS Good post. Glad you listed them. Good luck with next year's resolution. (A word to the wise: Don't attempt to make your 15 books classics... You'll never make it!) ;)

Amanda said...

@AudraYou're correct on all counts. These will not be classics :) We all know how difficult THAT resolution is for sure. Thanks for paving the way for the rest of us. haha.

And yes, you should read MOF. It's a really quick read.