Thursday, December 22, 2011

2011 Year-End: Favorite Books

2011 is a year I'll remember for my inconsistent reading pattern. Some months I read like gangbusters  and others I barely had the time. But I'll also remember it because if there were good reads during the first part of the year, reading-wise the second part turned out to be even better.

As always my list is compiled from books read by me during the year. I know there are many great books out there that I didn't get to! So many books! I chose my top reads from the 2011 releases only and then from those awarded top grades throughout the year. However because I do read many back list titles or books released during previous years, you will also find a short list at the bottom of this post with my favorite reads. It's only fair as there are quite a few A's in there!

I'm an eclectic reader and that's reflected throughout my 2011 choices. This year's list is comprised of books from the following genres: Historical Romance, Gay Fiction, Science Fiction, Paranormal Romance, Poetry and Contemporary Romance. Please note that this year I again posted a separate "LGBT Favorite Authors and Books" list. It is a different type of post geared towards favorite writers and their works, however you'll also see two of those books included here... without them my overall list would have been incomplete.

TOP 2011 READS: (Click on titles to read reviews)


1.   Historical Romance: Scandalous Desires by Elizabeth Hoyt
      (2011 Grand Publishing): A
2.   Gay Fiction: The Abode of Bliss: Ten Stories for Adam by Alex Jeffers
      (2011 Ticture): A
3.   Historical Romance: Silk is for Seduction by Loretta Chase
      (2011 Avon): A


4.   Science Fiction: Leviathan Wakes (Expanse #1) by James S.A. Corey
       (2011 Orbit): A
5.   Paranormal Romance: Kiss of Snow (Psy/Changeling, #10) by Nalini Singh
      (2011 Berkley): A
6.   Poetry: Empire by Xochiquetzal Candelaria
      (2011 Univ. of Arizona Press) Grade: A
7.   Contemporary Romance: The Sweetest Thing by Jill Shalvis
      (2011 Forever): A
8.   Gay Mystery/ThrillerThe German by Lee Thomas (2011 Lethe Press): A-
9.   Contemporary Romance: The Comforts of Home by Jodi Thomas
      (2011 Berkley): A-
10. Historical Romance: What I Did for a Duke by Julie Anne Long
      (2011 Avon): A-

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TOP 5 CHOICES: BOOKS RELEASED PRIOR TO 2011

  1. Historical Fiction: The Feast of the Goat by Mario Vargas Llosa (2011 Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 1 ed. Kindle -- transl. first released in 2003 by Faber & Faber): A
  2. Contemporary Romance: Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie (2004 St. Martin Press): A
  3. Gay Fiction/YA: The Perfect Family by Kathryn Shay (2010 Bold Stroke Books): A
  4. Science Fiction Opera: Dust (Jacobs Ladder #1) by Elizabeth Bear (2007 Spectra): A-*
  5. Historical Romance: Song of Seduction by Carrie Lofty (2010 Carina Press): A-
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5 BOOKS I LOVED AND WILL REMEMBER REGARDLESS:

  1. Science Fiction: Embassytown by China Miéville (2011 Del Rey): B+
  2. Non-Fiction: War by Sebastian Junger (2010 Twelve) Non-Fiction: B+
  3. Historical Romance: The Sergeant's Lady by Susanna Fraser (2010 Carina Press): B+
  4. Fantasy: A Companion To Wolves by Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear (2007 Tor): B+
  5. Contemporary Romance: A Summer at Seaside Cove by Jacquie D'Alessandro (2011 Berkley): B
What do I find interesting about this year's list? For the past couple of years Urban Fantasy or Fantasy have been my first choice. This year it was a historical romance and that's a big change. Also a  couple of favorite writers didn't make it to the top of my list, although I enjoyed their new releases. Eight of the books chosen by me, from all categories and release years, are from new-to-me authors whose works I read this year. That always makes me happy!

Well that does it for 2011! What book made it to the top of your 2011 list?

6 comments:

  1. I love this list!
    I still got to read Scandalous desires but I'm very exited about it!

    As well as for Silk is For Seduction.

    I love that you loved Mario Vargas Llosa. I love seeing Latin American writers out there.

    Awesome list!

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  2. Pretty good list :) I like how simple you kept it :)

    Silk is for Seduction is probably going to make my list as well for historical :) Although this year, it seems to me I read a lot of historicals...

    Hey did you read the Kate Daniels this year? So glad that The Comforts of Home made top 10! That one was such a great book really! :)

    Bet Me is always a crowd favorite :) I seriously need to read it again...

    all in all, great list :)

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  3. By the way, I still think you're posting this a bit early!!

    and A Summer at Seaside Cove? that one definitively is my surprise read of the year :)

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  4. Alex, thanks! If you're reading the Maiden Lane series, I think you'll really enjoy Scandalous Desires, if not... then Silk is for Seduction is my recommendation! I loved it! Ohhh and I really enjoyed reading Mario Vargas Llosa's book in English, which was a surprise for me. :)

    Nath, I also read a lot more historical romances this year. Silk for Seduction was an excellent read! To answer your question, yes I did read the Kate Daniels installment this year. :) And The Comforts of Home was a late addition but definitely a favorite!

    Agreed on A Summer at Seaside Cove! I had to put it up there, regardless! *g*

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  5. Hey Hilcia! I had this post starred so I could come back and comment. I love your list. The Maiden Lane series is amazing - Hoyt has such a talent and a unique voice. And I love how she combines the dark with her sly sense of humor.

    ANd, oh, how I adored The Sergeant's Lady. Fantastic book. Completely agree about War. Amazing.

    I read Bet Me for the first time this yearm, and well... let's just say Holly lost the bet that I would love it, LOL. Cal & Min? Oh yeah, but everyone else left me cold.

    Loved The Sweetest Thing as well, and well, you know how I feel about The Perfect Family.

    Great list!

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  6. Hey Lori! I'm so glad you enjoyed the post! Ohhh, I so agree with you on Hoyt and this series. I love how she's manipulating that light/dark through characterization and setting. Great stuff!

    Some great reads this year for me! And, LOL on Bet Me! I followed your bet with Holly on that book. Somehow I KNEW you weren't going to go for it. *g* Seriously? I'm loving Crusie. Tracy turned me on to her with Welcome to Temptation and I'm exploring her works slowly.

    I'll look forward to your list!

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