Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Books of 2011

I did a really nice list last year.  But my books this year don't really fit those questions for some reason.

This year I will just post a few highlights and lowlights.

First, I am on Goodreads...so if you are too-look me up here.  I am always looking for new book friends.

Secondly, I discovered audio books this year.  Makes the commute to work so much better and I found out that some books are just better listened to.

5 star books of the year:

Printed books:

Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell
This was one I read for my book club and it has become one of my favorite books ever.  I even asked for (and received) a copy for Christmas (I check 99% of my books out from the library.)  It is 6 stories, loosely connected and told in a nesting doll format (you get 1/2 of each story until the 6th one, which you read whole, then get the 2nd half of each story....weird, but it works!)  I never would have picked this up on my own-I am so glad that I read it!

Speak, Lauri Halse Anderson-This book is hard to describe.  A teen rape victim who doesn't speak anymore- is ostracized from her friends-no one really notices she doesn't speak-or why.   But it is so much more than that.

Still Alice, Lisa Genova-it's about a woman's decline into Altzheimer's disease, told from her perspective.

And Tango Makes Three, Justin Richardson  This is a children's book. It is based on the true story of 2 male penguins who on their own became partners and, when given an egg, raised it as their child.  It is listed on the banned books list. 

To Kill a Mockingbird, 50th anniversary narrated by Sissy Spacek.  Sissy Spacek is phenomenal as the narrator.  My husband loved it too, and he isn't the reader I am.

Every Last One, Anna Quindlan  The first half of this book is about a typical family.  You get to know them and their ordinary, every day lives.  The second half is about overcoming a tragedy to the family.  There were lots of descriptions and slower parts that would have had me skimming had I read the book.  In audio format it was magical.

The Bonesetter's Daughter, Amy Tan  What made this audio book so good is that it was read by two women who spoke English and Chinese.  They used authentic accents (as far as I know) and pronunciations of words. 

Outlander, Diana Gabaldon.  This is one of my favorite books, one I have read over and over. I decided to listen to it-all 28 discs.  It was very good.  It took me a little to adjust to understanding the Scottish brogue (which you read with the accent  in the book) but by disc 2 I was enthralled again.

I read some other books that, while not 5 star books, they are worth mentioning:

Room, Emma Dongahue  The main character is a little boy who has lived in "room" his whole life-his mother was kidnapped as a teen and held in this room, a shack.

The Sparrow, Mary Doria Russell  This is another hard to describe book and I read it for my Book club.  Again, I never would have read it and i am very happy I did.  Several people, including a Jesuit priest, travel to another planet in search of life.  Very Interesting.

Before I fall, Lauren Oliver  In this book, the main character dies, and gets several chances to make things right.  A nice take on this "Groundhog Day" kind of book.

And one that I couldn't rate:

Beyond Reach, Karin Slaughter  I loved this series. (Grant County).  This book was really good.  But the ending....was....anger inducing.  I hated it.  I have tried to read another series of hers...and I'm still angry at her...But, at the same time....It took guts to write it that way.  Enough said.  Read the series...just not the last chapter of book 6.

On to 2012:
I don't usually set goals for my reading but I do two a few simple ones.  Last year I set a goal to read 75 books and I did that exactly.  This year I want to read at least 80-but with audio books I might actually reach 100.  I also want to read more books about Cherokee Indians since I have ancestors that were Chiefs in the tribe. 

Have you read any of my favorites?  What did you think?

What are your favorite books?  I would love to add them to my To-Be-Read List!


  1. I haven't read any of your favorites but I will have to check out a few from the library this year.

  2. did you read my "books from 2011" post? I also really enjoyed "Room" and "Speak" is on my "to read" list.... I guess I"ll be adding the rest of your list to my library cue! (sp?)