My Favorite Reads of 2011

December 30, 2011 book review 10

I’ve read a lot of Best of lists in the past month.  Most book bloggers read several books a week, I’m not exclusive to blogging of books, and my reviews averaged about  2 a month, strikingly less.  I’m setting bigger goals for myself next year…but that is another topic. 

I decided that my favorite reads would be based on my ratings, and I have to admit, it seems slim, and I do have a few more favorites.  For now, these 7 books that I gave 5 Star ratings will stand as my best reads of 2011. 
Another best part of the year was discovering new authors.  Only 4 books that I read in 2011 were from authors I’d read in the past.  Between blogging and facebook and twitter I discovered just how wonderful writers can really be.  I made new friends, learned so much from authors and all the self promotion they really have to do to get their books and name out there.  I owe much to the writers I met at the UCF Bookfest, they know who they are!! 
I also have expanded my mind and reading with book blogs that I am so thrilled to read daily.  The side of my blog lists a few of my favorites.
So….without further ado…here are my favorite reads of 2011

Still Alice 
The story of a women with early onset Alzheimer’s disease.  An amazing journey as she begins to lose touch with who she is.  This book really made me cry, and remember to never take life for granted.

The Weird Sisters
This debut novel had me captivated from the start.  Three sisters return home, for varying reasons and yet they all find something they need together.  I can’t wait to read more from Eleanor Brown.
Exposure: A Novel
Ripped from the headlines, teens sexting and sending questionable emails.  I couldn’t put this one down, and it had surprising twists and turns.  As a mom of teens it lead to many open discussions.
The Time It Snowed In Puerto Rico
Having “met” the author, Sarah McCoy, online I was taken off to an island to learn the story of Verdita when I read this book.  A beautiful coming of age story, I loved this book.  Sarah’s next book, The Baker’s Daughter will be published January 24, 2012. 
Maine
The story of a family of guilty Catholics, and what happens when they gather at the family beach house along the coast of Maine.  Generations of women that give such a glimpse of family and life.
Faith
My second read from author Jennifer Haigh, and such a book with twists and turns.  The story of Father Arthur Breen and the accusations of his perversions are just the tip of the iceberg in this novel.  I was drawn into this book to learn some very sad truths.
Wench
Historical fiction that captivated me, a surprise for certain.  Not usually a genre I pick up, but I met the author Dolen Perkins-Valdez at a bookfest and her discussion of the book really intrigued me.  I learned so much about the lives of these mistress/slaves and I was saddened just reading of these struggles. 

I’m looking forward to more great reads in 2012

10 Responses to “My Favorite Reads of 2011”

  1. Terra

    Still Alice is the only book I read on this list…guess I better to get reading some more…maybe even make a list of my faves? um, pry wont happen, who am I kidding (the list part, not the reading part!)

  2. Zibilee

    Oh, I am hoping to get to Still Alice sometime this year, though I have read a few on your list and have to agree that you chose some wonderful books! Maine is one that I have heard a lot about and would love to see what I think of. It sounds like you had a great year in reading, and I can’t wait to see what you are up to for the New Year!

  3. Sandy Nawrot

    I loved The Weird Sisters (and really love Eleanor), as well as Exposure. I was NOT a fan of Maine though for some reason. I didn’t like the characters and it felt slow. Must have been a mood!

  4. Eleanor Brown

    I’m so touched to be on this list, Anita! It’s almost as good as….a Justin Bieber bookmark! (But not quite.)

    And Sandy, I love you too!

    I haven’t read Wench or Puerto Rico, but I’m totally with you on the others. Thumbs up.

  5. Mary (Bookfan)

    Great list! You know I’m reading Still Alice – I have a feeling it will be on my 2012 list. If I’d had an honorable mention list, Maine and Faith would be on it. Both good reads.

  6. Pam

    The only one I’ve read is Still Alice, which I loved. Wench and The Weird Sisters are on my tbr list. I’m actually thinking of suggesting Wench to my book club in January – thanks to your Goodreads review. Maine and Faith are two books that keep crossing my path, but that I keep rejecting. Maybe I should rethink that. So many books…etc, etc.

    Can’t wait to see what you read in 2012.

  7. Beth

    I feel pretty cool that I read 2 and half of these books… I think Wench was my favorite…Maine I liked but didn’t like the ending..I am not open minded enough and I need to finish Still Alice…

  8. Mnmom

    Still Alice scared the bejeesus out of me! And my entire book club for that matter.

    I should do a post like this. I’ve read so much this year.

  9. Meg

    Lots of great reads here! Sarah McCoy seems like such a sweetheart, and I’m definitely looking forward to reading The Baker’s Daughter. Maine has been in my TBR pile forever, and somehow I just keep skipping over it! Must change that this year.

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