It’s the start of a new year, and the perfect time to look at the last year–including how my reading went! I already gave you some of an update in the Reading Challenges Post, but I wanted to do a round-up of favorite books (and least favorite!)
To give you some stats, my total books read in 2011 was 169. I’ve been keeping track for the last 7 years, and 169 is about normal for me. My last two years of reading were lower, so I’m glad to see that rise again. Of those 169, 50 were rereads, or about 30%. I’ve decided to only choose from new books for the selections below.
Here’s the good and the bad of 2011.
1) Best Book – I am having trouble making a decision here. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte was amazing; I stayed up late two nights in a row reading it, and I loved the writing and the romance. Turnip and Arabella from The Mischief of the Mistletoe by Lauren Willig were, as I expected, my favorite characters I met all year. And The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins really is as good as all the buzz suggests. So there’s my top three, very different, best books of the year.
2) Worst Book – No question here. Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson was awful on almost every level. Honorable (or dishonorable?) mention to How I Stole Johnny Depp’s Alien Girlfriend by Gary Ghislain; you wouldn’t think a book with that title could go wrong, but it did, by being all about a teenage boy’s crush on a girl who was completely horrible to him—but beautiful.
3) Most Disappointing Book – Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. My hopes were very high (see #1) and they were sadly dashed.
4) Most Surprising (in a Good Way) – Probably this one goes to 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke. After seeing the movie, I was surprised by how coherent the book was!
5) Best Series You Discovered – Since I have started a lot of series and need to read through them, I’m basing this one more on promise than on what I’ve actually read. With that in mind, I’m giving the nod to The 500 Kingdoms by Mercedes Lackey. Sleeping Beauty was good, and based on the world and the writing, I’m hopeful about the rest of the books in the series.
6) Most Hilarious Read – I read several of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books, and I’m tempted to give it collectively to them. To choose one, I’m saying Going Postal. Funnily enough, Terry Pratchett was my most hilarious read of last year too. I’m not really surprised…
7) Can’t Believe I Waited Until 2011 to Read It – I could say Jane Eyre, but I somehow feel more inclined to say The Eyre Affair. I first heard about The Eyre Affair in high school, and have been meaning to read it ever since. I suppose the same is true of Jane Eyre, but I was actually more fascinated by the premise of The Eyre Affair—ironically, since I ended up liking Jane better.
8) Most Looking Forward To in 2012 – I’m not sure this year. A lot of authors I follow are working on something interesting, but they won’t necessarily be out in 2012. So I think I’m most looking forward to the next Jacky Faber book by L. A. Meyer. I don’t know for sure he’ll have one out either, but I have faith. 🙂 He always has, for the last several years. But even if I’m not anticipating a lot of new books in 2012, there are plenty of already-published ones I’m looking forward to reading!