Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Looking Back : Year 2011

I read a grand total of 110 books in 2011! I had set myself a goal of 100 books and I surpassed it by 10% :) So lets take a look back at some of them:
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Firstly, I would like to say goodbye to some of my favourite series:
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Not surprisingly they were all young-adult but they were some of my favourite series and it was bittersweet to read the final installments in 2011. Luckily a couple of authors are starting new series set in the same worlds. I can't wait!
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Biggest Surprise:
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A Monster Calls completely blew me away. It had the biggest emotional punch of any book that I have ever read. I urge everybody to pick it up. It is now takes pride of place amongst some of my other inspiring and all-time favourite reads.
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Biggest Disappointment:
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For a book with such a breathtakingly beautiful cover I was hoping the contents of Wither would be simultaneously beautiful but alas it was not to be. I have read fantastic reviews on it but for me it just didn't sit well. I can see where people are coming from because some of the writing is lyrical and the whole premise is intriguing but it just wasn't to be :(
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Favourite Author Discovery:
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I finally got around to reading Cloud Atlas in 2011 and it was my first experience with David Mitchell and he is now one of favourite authors. Cloud Atlas is one of the most original stories I have ever read and it transcends many decades if not centuries. I eagerly picked up The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet later on in the year and was not disappointed. I am excited to read more of his works. (Notable mention: Carlos Ruis Zafon with The Prince of Mist and Shadow of the Wind).
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Finally got around to reading:
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It felt like these three books had been on my shelves unread for ages and I feel like such an idiot for only just getting around to them because they were all outstanding stories. The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo was a thrilling and suspenseful crime novel, The Name of the Wind was an epic fantasy and the first in a planned trilogy, and The Dark Angel was a dark and gritty historical novel with a dash of mystery. All were completely awesome!
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Best romance:
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Be still my beating heart. Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara are on fire! Gone with the wind not only transcends many genres, it also has one of the most sizzling and passionate pairings I have ever read about! (Notable mention: Anna and The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins for the adorable love between Etienne and Anna).
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Scariest book:
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I suppose it not surprising that my winner of this category would come from the king of horror, the one and only Stephen King, but I had no idea how good he is at getting into the deepest darkest fears of the human mind, especially of seemingly normal people. Full Dark, No Stars was amazing and by far the creepiest book I have ever read.
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Continued excellence:
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Daphne Du Maurier is one of my favourite novelists and she didn't disappoint with The Loving Spirit. Graceling by Kristin Cashore was amazing and I was ecstatic to find that Fire exceeded it by leaps and bounds. I can't wait for Bitterblue. I have only read one other work by Thomas Hardy and that was Tess of the D'Urbervilles but Far from the Madding Crowd was just as good and I look forward to reading more of his books.
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Worth the Hype:
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With the film coming out I thought I had better get around to reading The Help ASAP. Now I finally understand why it is a bestseller and it is most deservedly worth all the hype that came with it.
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Runner-up book of the year:
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Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey was another big surprise which had also been on my shelves unread for quite a while. A fantastic story that make you yearn for hot summer days. A coming-of-age story about a thirteen old boy named Charlie. It's heart breaking but heart-warming at the same time. It's nostalgic and mysterious with a plethora of layers. A must read!
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Book of the Year 2011:
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I'd previously read The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins and I really enjoyed it but it didn't leave a lasting impression with me. However, that is a completely different story with The Woman in White. It took me over a week to read but not because it was hard to read but because it was a story to be savoured. The epitome of a gothic horror book. Full of suspense and mystery it is a wonderfully eerie read and that makes it my book of 2011.
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Here's to 2012!

3 comments:

Natalievintagegirl said...

I will be adding some of these to my TBR pile now. 'The cloud Atlas' looks and sounds very cool.

Lit Addicted Brit said...

Ooh, The Black Magician trilogy is one of my favourites! I keep meaning to start The Traitor Spy trilogy too but I only ever seem able to find huge hardback copies which are just no good for lugging around in a handbag.

Also, I joined the TBR Pile Challenge this year and both Dark Angel and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo are on my list for 2012 - good to have at least one recommendation to kick me into reading them! AND you've reminded me that I need to finish the Chaos Walking trilogy (I've only read the first) - so many books, so little time...*sigh*

The Library Owl said...

@Natalievintagegirl - You should definitely pick up Cloud Atlas. It was amazing!

@Lit addicted brit - Me too! I'm definitely going to start The Traitor Spy trilogy this year (hopefully). Dark Angel was surprisingly an addictive read and I recommend it whole-heartedley. I wish there was more time for reading too :)