Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 Favorites

Reading is one of my favorite pastimes and most of my 2011 reads did not disappoint. I read a total of *23 novels. Not bad for the crazy life I Iead, lol. I did fall short of my goal which was to *cough* read 60 novels *cough*. I guess I was a little ambitious at the beginning of 2011. I planned to read one novel a week, and threw in a few more figuring I’d read more in the summer. Um, yeah. The averages didn’t quite work out that way. Though *23 is nothing to sneeze at. If you’d like to see my list just glance up above and click Books Read in 2011. And now for my favorites.

To be a favorite, a book must include certain Suzie criteria.

1. Excellent writing/storytelling
2. Good pacing
3. Characters I care about
4. Unputdownable - a certain something that compels me to carry it everywhere to read during every spare minute: in the car while waiting for kids, appointments, the kitchen table during lunch, etc.
5. Tug at my emotions - This could involve blurred vision due to tear filled eyes, laughing out loud, the story lingering long after I've finished, or any combination of the three.

The books that fell into this category are:

The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Plain Kate by Erin Bow
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

YA and MG literature keep getting better and better. It’s hard to pick a favorite with so many excellent choices. With that in mind, my favorite read of the year is...
No, Daughter...
Wait, Kate!!

Surprise of the Year (a.k.a. Why Did It Take Me So Long to Read This?)
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte - Loved this!

I want to emphasize that practically every book entertained me and I’d recommend any of them. Even if a novel didn’t excite me, I know it entertained others. That’s why I hesitate to give any novel a bad review; it’s just so subjective. I mean, I’ve heard rumors that there are actually people who don’t like Harry Potter! I don’t really believe that but I suppose there is the possibility that someone on the planet might not...NAH!!

*ETA: I finished reading Thirteen Reasons Why today, so 24!

Have you read any of these novels? What are your favorites that you love to tell everyone about? 2012 is right around the corner and I'd love some recommendations for the new year.


  1. 23 is a good number. I think I should probably make a note of what I read - I've no idea what I read this year, due to having a very bad memory.

    I've hated Jane Eyre since I had to do an A-Level dissertation on it. You can know a novel TOO well!

  2. I loved Anna, too. I need to get Lola now.

    Thanks so much for your help with my query. I think it's there now. As soon as I get my ms back from the editor and polish the synopsis, I'm going to start querying.

    Okay, that thought makes me ill . . .

    Happy New Year!

  3. Oh, Annalisa. Yes, I agree you can know a novel too well. Hopefully, over time you'll come back to "Jane" with a renewed appreciation. I feel that way about "Wuthering Heights."

    @Donna - My pleasure, Donna. Any time. I've been reading "Lola" nonstop and will finish it tonight. Love it!

  4. I read Jane Eyre for the first time this year, too. I loved it!
    I also discovered Sarah Allen Addison this year and I would recommend all four of her books. She's awesome.

  5. Thanks for the recommendation, Rachel! I'll check out her books.

  6. Thanks for the additions to my must read list. I haven't read Jane Eyre either, maybe I should.

  7. I've just read Jane Eyre again on my iPad as it was free! LOVE IT.

  8. Hi Suzie, I came here by way of Janice Hardy's blog!

    My surprise how-did-it-take-me-so-long book is Pride and Prejudice. When I first tried to read Austen, I wasn't near mature enough to get her, and I thought her books were boring. Now I'm really loving her subtle wit.

    Happy new year!

  9. Welcome Joe! I had a similar experience with Pride and Prejudice around 6 years ago. I had never read any of Austen's works, but many members of a site I used to belong to, raved out P&P. I ended up loving it! Now I try to pick up a couple of classics a year to read.

  10. Twenty-three is an impressive number. I read a lot of books a year, but I have no idea how many. I think I will make that a goal for 2012, keep a record of the books I read (now why didn't I think of that sooner)?

  11. I'm just finishing Lola and the Boy Next Door, and it's every bit as good as Anna, if not better.

    And I love P&P, Jane Eyre, and Wuthering Heights--but other classics that I've attempted fall flat for me. In some cases, like Steinbeck's novels and Henry James's stories, I love the concept and characters but the actual writing doesn't strike a chord.

  12. @Hello and welcome, Melissa! I've been keeping track of what I read the last two years. It's something to feel good about at the end of the year.

    @Angelica - I really liked Lola, but Anna tugged at my emotions more. This may be the year that I give Wuthering Heights a second chance...we'll see :)

    @Patsy - Happy New Year to you, too!

  13. I haven't read any of these, except for Jane Eyre which is one of the best novels ever written ever ever!!!