Tuesday, January 03, 2012

My Top 10 Reads for 2011

A few weeks ago, I was invited to post my Top 5 reads from 2011 on the blog Nice Girls Don't Read Naughty Books. The post went live today, and you can see my picks, along with top reads from Nicole Peeler, Dakota Cassidy, Michelle Rowen, Laurie London, and several other authors.

I wanted to do a Top 10 reads of 2011 post, anyway. In 2011, I read 126 books. 43 were ebook, 83 were physical books. 8 were nonfiction. I read a bunch of different novel genres: literary, all kinds of romance, horror, urban fantasy, SF, mystery. And everything from adult to YA to middle grade. All in all, it was a very successful year of reading.

And here are my favorites:

#1 Soft Apocalypse, by Will McIntosh / Science Fiction / This is the only book I read this year that gave me actual nightmares. I thought about it for days after the final pages, because it's the kind of SF novel that really could happen--sooner, rather than later. Riveting and dramatic, it has one of the most brutal death scenes I've ever read.

#2 Sweet as Sin, by Inez Kelley / Contemporary Romance / A beautifully written love story about two damaged people who find each other. I loved the way the author used the book-within-a-book method to further illustrate the emotional battle waged by the hero, as he comes to terms with his past in order to find a happy future.

#3 Deadline, by Chris Crutcher / Contemporary YA / Even though the description of the book makes the ending a gimme, I still sobbed, because I loved the main character that much. A wonderful story about making the best of the time you have left.

#4 Precious and Fragile Things, by Megan Hart / Contemporary Fiction / I'm a huge fan of Hart's erotic contemporaries, and this book was a super departure for her. It was the first book I read in 2011, and it's still one of the best, with its nail-biting story line and a heartbreaking conclusion.

#5 Across the Universe, by Beth Revis / YA Science Fiction / Lovely writing, a fresh premise, and a tense mystery all wrapped up in a spaceship-shaped package, with a dash of teen love story. I loved everything about this book, and I can't wait for the sequel coming in 2012.

#6 Twisted, Laurie Halse Anderson / Contemporary YA / A book I couldn't put down once I started, it brilliantly shows how a single mistake can label you forever--especially in the unforgivable world of high school.

#7 Okay For Now, by Gary D Schmidt / Middle Grade / Set in the late sixties, this story of a boy, his dysfunctional family, and his discovered love of drawing is incredibly heart-wrenching and well-written. The backdrop of the Vietnam war just added to the many layers of this story.

#8 Bad Boyfriend, by KA Mitchell / m/m Contemporary Romance / The sequel to Bad Company, I fell head over heels for Eli and Quinn in this book. Both funny and heartbreaking, this showcases what I love most about Mitchell's books and realistically drawn characters.

#9 The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific, by J. Maarten Troost / Memoir / The author's sharp wit and sarcasm kept me glued to this story of two years spent on an equatorial atoll. From illness to insects to beer shortages, I was right there in Kiribati with him--and at the same time, extremely glad to be in the comfort of my own home.

#10 Double Blind, by Heidi Cullinan / m/m Contemporary Romance / A long, meaty love story between two very different protagonists. I loved the intimate look at Las Vegas casinos, and the intricate plot kept me on the edge of my seat.

What were some of your favorite reads this year?

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