Here is the list of my favorite books of 2011. You may have seen some of them posted and you may not have. They are in the order I read them-that's it.It was a slow year; only 62 books read. I had one year where I read 150 books. I wasn't working full time then. And I was reading more of those smaller pieces of brain candy than I have time for now. *Sigh*.
It was a great year for book. My TBR (to be read) pile is bigger than ever but my husband tells me retirement is just around the corner. I'll believe that when the financial planner explains how it's all going to work. And I keep piling up knitting books and patterns also soooooo time will still be an issue. There could be worse problems.
Happy New Year! Happy Reading!
Graceling Kristin Cashore (YA) Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . .
The Oracle of Stamboul Michael David Lukas Ushered into the world late in the summer of 1877 in the town of Constanta on the Black Sea, Eleonora Cohen proves herself an extraordinarily gifted child—a prodigy—at a very young age. When she is eight years old, she stows away aboard a ship, to the imperial capital of Stamboul where a new life awaits her. But it is only when she charms the eccentric Sultan Abdulhamid II—beleaguered by friend and foe as his unwieldy realm crumbles—that Eleonora will change the course of an empire.
A Discovery of Witches Debra Harkness Diana Bishop, a young scholar and the descendant of witches, discovers a long-lost and enchanted alchemical manuscript deep in Oxford's Bodleian Library. Its reappearance summons a fantastical underworld, which she navigates with her leading man, vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont.
The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott Kelly O’Connor McNees In the summer of 1855, when vivacious Louisa May Alcott is twenty-two and bursting to free herself from family and societal constraints and do what she loves most, she meets Joseph Singer, and as she opens her heart, Louisa finds herself torn between a love that takes her by surprise and her dream of independence as a writer in Boston. The choice she must make comes with a steep price that she will pay for the rest of her life.
The End of Everything Megan Abbott Thirteen-year-old Lizzie Hood and her next-door neighbor, Evie Verver, are inseparable, best friends between whom -- presumably -- there are no secrets. Then one afternoon, Evie disappears and everyone turns to Lizzie for answers. Was Evie unhappy, troubled, or upset? Had she mentioned being followed? Compelled by curiosity, Lizzie takes up her own furtive pursuit of the truth. Haunted by dreams of her lost friend and titillated by her own new power as the center of the disappearance, Lizzie uncovers secret after secret and begins to wonder if she knew anything at all about her best friend.
A Good High Place L.E.Kimball Set during the years prior to World War I in Elk Rapids, Michigan, A Good High Place addresses familial struggles and those of a nation moving inexorably toward the age of the automobile. The sometimes painful adaptations of a faster-paced age are embodied, in part, in the struggles of Luella’s father who, already troubled by the death of his wife, wrestles with the realization that his livelihood as a steamboat captain is becoming obsolete.
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand Helen Simonson The Major epitomizes the Englishman with the "stiff upper lip," who clings to traditional values and has tried (in vain) to pass these along to his yuppie son, Roger. The story centers around Pettigrew's fight to keep his greedy relatives (including his son) from selling a valuable family heirloom--a pair of hunting rifles that symbolizes much of what he stands for, or at least what he thinks he does. The embattled hero discovers an unexpected ally and source of consolation in his neighbor, the Pakistani shopkeeper Jasmina Ali.
In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin (943.086) Erik Larson In 1933, President Roosevelt personally selected William E. Dodd to be the United States ambassador to Nazi Germany. Dodd took his family with him, including his daughter Martha. Initially enamored with the Nazi party and its passion, Martha supported the Third Reich. However, when Hitler's violent policies became apparent, Martha changed her opinion and watched in horror. Here, author Erik Larson offers a chilling first-person account of Germany's transformation under Hitler's rule.
Something Old Something New: A Blessings Novel Beverly Jenkins The citizens of Henry Adams are starting to take bets—will Lily Fontaine and Trent July finally tie the knot? All they want is a nice, simple wedding, but their well-meaning neighbors are turning the no-fuss affair into the event of the decade. Bernadine, the town's fairy godmother, wants Lily to have a storybook wedding fit for a princess, and Lily's nine-year-old foster son is campaigning to be town preacher so he can officiate at the ceremony. Trouble multiplies when Trent is called on to help a new family move to town, not to mention Lily and Trent's task of blending their families together.
The Waiting Place:Learning to Appreciate Life’s Little Delays (248.4) Eileen Button We all spend precious time just waiting. We wait in traffic, grocery store lines, and carpool circles. We wait to grow up, for true love, and for our children to be born. We even wait to die. But amazing things can happen if we open our eyes in The Waiting Place and peer into its dusty corners. Sometimes relationships are built, faith is discovered, dreams are (slowly) realized, and our hearts are expanded. With humor and heart-breaking candor, Eileen Button breathes life into stagnant and, at times, difficult spaces. Throughout this collection of essays she contends that The Waiting Place can be a most miraculous place-a place where beauty can be experienced, the sacred can be realized, and God can be found working in the midst of it all.