Thursday, January 12, 2012

what i read in 2011

i had a lot of fun doing my recaps for 2010 so i may as well make it a tradition. here's what i read [personal and book club, not counting school reading] in 2011, by month:


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One Day by David Nicholls
first book i read on my kindle! i really enjoyed the format of this book, visiting the characters each year on the same day. i was really surprised by the ending and almost a year later, it still upsets me. i haven't seen the movie for that reason. did anyone see the movie that hadn't read the book? did the ending fit better?

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson
last book in the millenium series. i think that the second book was my favorite. this one felt rushed and i wanted more for the characters. still such a great series.


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The Postmistress by Sarah Blake
read this one on my kindle for book club. the premise was intriguing but not well executed. it felt like a first draft and had several typos. unfortunately this was one of my suggestions. whoops.


Point of Origin by Patricia Cornwell
i'm making my way through all of the Kay Scarpetta books and this was #9 in the series. i'd recommend this series if you like CSI--lots of forensic lingo.


Bossypants by Tina Fey
oh geez. if you missed my post reviewing this book, go here. this is a must-read. loved every bit of it! i just got it on audiobook and am looking forward to hearing it a second time read by tina herself. speaking of, 30 Rock is back tonight! woohoo!


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Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
another one i read on kindle for book club. i don't typically read a lot of nonfiction so i was unsure about this but i ended up loving it. it was a pageturner, full of suspense and tension. a really inspiring story. funny story: on a kindle, you don't see page numbers to tell you how far in the book you are, you see a percentage. when i was 76% through, the story was wrapping up and i was really confused. what was the other 24% ? her bibliography. holy moly she had a lot of sources! needless to say i was relieved that the hero wasn't going to end up tragically dying on the last page.

The Book Thief by Mark Zusak
i bought this book several years ago on a recommendation from my teenaged cousin but it sat on my bookshelf until this summer. the premise seemed strange and i just couldn't get myself to read past the first ten pages. i'm so glad that i gave it a second chance. it was such a beautiful, poignant story. when it got closer to the end i knew it was going to be a mess of tears and sobs so i kept putting it off until the perfect moment. not eating lunch at whole foods, not waiting for my dentist appointment, etc. i finally bit the bullet and sat down in bed with a box full of tissues. it was bad but so good. the tagline says that this book is "life-changing" and i agree.

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Bumped by Megan McCafferty
i'm a huge fan of mccafferty's jessica darling series so i was excited to read her latest non-series book. it's very clever and sarcastic but so interesting. it seemed to be one of many young adult dystopian novels that came out this year but i thought it had a fresh take on the genre. the sequel comes out in april.


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Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
this is the second book in the beautiful creatures series. i reviewed the first book last year and eagerly awaited this one's release. i love the history, the supernatural romance and the fresh voice. the third installment, beautiful chaos, came out earlier this fall and it is on my to-read list.


Sarah's Key by Tatiana De Rosnay
i read this for book club but it was another that had been sitting on my shelf. i loved the dual narrators and the intensity of the story. i was disappointed with how the character's stories ended and didn't enjoy the last part of the book as much as the first. it was really interesting to learn about a side of world war II that i hadn't heard before, especially since i read so many books set in that time. i haven't yet watched the movie but i've heard it's good.


Thursday Next: First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde
this was the fifth book in the thursday next series and i successfully finished it after starting it several times. these books are in their own category and sometimes it is hard to get into them but once you do, they are a lot of fun. thursday next is a detective inside the world of fiction, managing the sometimes difficult characters in our favorite books. i love the book jokes, even if i don't always get them. it reminds me which classics i've read and which i haven't. note to self: read wuthering heights! this is definitely one of my favorite series and i'm excited to read #6, which is probably the last.

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Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares
the last book in the sisterhood of the traveling pants series, this was a bittersweet ending to characters i love. if you've only seen the movies, you should really read the books. they are on the lighter side of literature, for sure, but still great. i was really surprised with the endings that the author chose for these characters. i was also surprised that i was so moved by the stories but i guess i just got emotionally invested.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
i finally caved and read this on my kindle. i really dislike reading/watching/doing things that everyone is doing/talking about/obsessing over but curiosity got the best of me. i really enjoyed this book and loved the interesting characters, plot, and suspenseful writing. super excited for the movie.


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Faithful Place by Tana French
this was another one of my picks for book club. i read her other two books, into the woods and the likeness and i really liked them. she writes about detectives in ireland and i like the grittiness of the stories. she writes the dialogue so well that i can hear the irish accents in my head when i'm reading, although i'd never dare attempt it out loud. my book club didn't like this very much but i thought it was her best one yet. can't win 'em all.

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
i read the second book on my kindle and i couldn't put it down. so exciting and scary and i don't remember much because i moved on to mockingjay pretty quickly. hmm, i should probably read it again.


Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
this was the only one i read in book form and i can actually say that i liked reading these on the kindle better. i could turn pages faster and it was easier to hold. plus the words weren't as small. anyways. i was nervous that i wouldn't like the ending because i'd heard some people were disappointed. i was talking with a friend and she said that the ending made sense for the characters because after all they had been through, a shiny, perfect ending just wouldn't fit. i thought it was appropriate for the story and was what i'd been hoping for. it's incredible what the author dreamed up for these books and i thoroughly enjoyed immersing myself into that world but i was so glad to leave it.


Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
i read this classic for the first time thanks to a free download on my kindle. i have the rest of the books in print form but have somehow lost this one. it took me a while to get used to anne's way of talking [really babbling] but she really grew on me. i had somehow got it into my head that there was a romance but i guess that's not until later on in the other books. not sure if i'll read them or just watch the movie. anyone read the other books?

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The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
read this for book club. crazy, crazy book. really interesting but terribly frightening. i don't think i have the stomach to watch the movie. anyone else read this one? love to hear what you thought. not many people in the book club managed to finish.

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
i watched this movie recently and enjoyed it--first movie where i thought r. pattz was actually attractive. i could barely watch some parts of it because anything with animals makes me sick or cry, one or the other. i was intrigued by the story so i got it pretty cheap on my kindle. it was a fast read but super graphic. while i got more of an insight into the characters, i think i liked the movie version better. maybe that would be different had i read it first but i don't know.

looking back over my books for the year is really eye-opening. i know that i read a lot of world war II books, that's not surprising. i was surprised that i read so many books in a series, though. maybe i need to branch out a bit. i've really loved reading books on the kindle and i've just started using it for library books, although there are not many available for that yet. it does bug me that you don't have page numbers but overall it's pretty great.

i've got a lot of books to read this year, just take a look at my nightstand!

i'm currently reading the tiger's wife by tea obrecht and extremely loud and incredibly close by jonathan safran foer. my book club is reading the marriage plot by jeffrey eugenides but i haven't started yet. yikes.

what did you read in 2011? what are you reading in 2012?

i keep track of all my books on . it's a great website, come join me!

*all photos via, unless otherwise noted.


Kris and Cath said...

You are amazing to read so much! I wish I was more into it:) Should I read hunger games?

Sarah S said...

I should send you our book group's list just for fun! I will try to do it in the morning when I'm not sleepy. love your book summaries, they are always fun to read!

Emily said...

I love seeing how many books we have in common! I might just have to look you up on goodreads!