Hello, my wonderful writing friends!! Its raining, its pouring, the old man is snoring, and I'm writing a blog post to keep my mind off wandering back to my bed to snuggle under the covers.
Seriously, rain? You're SO not a motivator. Moving on...
So if you're like me--and I'm assuming, you are, lovely writers, like me--you're constantly bombarded by people asking you what books they should read. Writers love books. Writers love to read. Hence, we got books to recommend! (Which, I love by the way... I love it when people ask me what to read... I LOVE sharing the LOVE!!)
If you're like me... when put on the spot, you often forget that oh-so-fabulous list of oh-so-fabulous books to read. On a particularly bad day, your response might be nothing more than: "Errr... yeah, Harry Potter was AWESOME!"
Don't feel bad. I do it too.
So THIS year, in order to avoid any embarrassing mind slips, I decided to write down all the books I've read! (Yay!) That way, when some awesome individual asks "Hey Jules, what should I read?" I can say "Oh, funny you should ask, since I have this handy dandy list here."
Yeah, I'm ahead of the curve.
Anyway, if you look under my Book Worm tabby thingy, you can see all 69 books I read this year. [And as a total side note, I count double reads as two reads. I know, I'm probably treading all over someone else's carefully thought-out logic on why reading the same book twice should only count as reading it ONCE.... BUT.... I don't like limiting my book count just cause I have a particular book I loved so much I wanted to read it twice. The point is to read, right? So they count. (All complaints will be forwarded to my secretary... when I get one...)] I diligently kept this reading list so peeps like my sis (who is a book addict in constant need of a new "fix"--we've tried finding a cure, promise) and people like... some other friends I have... (who hardly ever read and only sometimes want a good book), can refer to the list and find a good book.
And since I'm a good friend and all that [pats self on back], and since I've gone through all the trouble of actually keeping this awesome list, I decided to give you my 2011 All Star Team... the list of books I just couldn't get enough of (in no particular order):
Anna and the French Kiss, Stephanie Perkins
SUCH an adorable story. Perkins has a strong voice and kept me laughing--yes actually laughing out loud--through the entire book. I loved her snark and sarcasm. And her love story in Paris sparkled! Oh Entienne, *swoon*!
Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Laini Taylor
This story was so unique. Its hard to find a fantasy book these days that doesn't reek of Lord of the Rings, but Taylor nailed it. A slow start, but soon you'll find yourself so engulfed in the world of Chimera and Angels you--literally--won't be able to put it down.
Funny side note, this girl knows also Stephanie Perkins.... (I'm a nerd, I actually read the acknowledgments!) Sign me up for that critique group!!
Divergent, Veronica Roth
If I had to--like, if someone put a gun to my head and actually forced me to choose--a favorite book of the year, this might be the first book that popped out of my mouth by default. Veronica Roth's dystopian thriller in run-down Chicago was AMAZING. I loved EVERYTHING about this book (especially Four... I heart tall skinny guys! Woot, woot!) Step aside, Hunger Games, you've got yourself a SERIOUS competitor.
Gaia's Secret, Barbara Kloss
I did a whole post on this just recently, which you should totally check out for details. Barb is one of my awesome blogging buddies who recently published her first novel, Gaia's Secret. This book was so much fun to read! I loved the story, the magic, the strong female character (oh Daria!) and the smoldering hot guy (even though I kind of wanted to punch him in the face at the end... just saying')
The House at Riverton, Kate Morton
I get made fun of by my critiquing buddies (ahemLAUREN) cause I don't say "T's" very well. Saying Kate Morton with both "T's" enunciated is a bit much for my Idaho accent (where we drop the "T" sound)... but despite my friends' merciless mocking, this book is amazing! I love how it switches time periods back and forth... and I absolutely ached at the end, the love story is heart wrenching. I lost sleep over it, wishing things could have turned out differently, but knowing that it was the best possible ending Morton could have devised!
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte
Um, yeah... somehow I missed reading this in high school English. Is the AP reading list different than the regular one? At any rate, this was my first time through Jane Eyre, and I adored it. I shan't waste time telling you about it... since likely, all of you actually read it in high school English (unlike me). But I fell in love! Next up, Withering Heights!
The Power of Six, Pittacus Lore
I actually read I Am Number Four this year too... but it didn't make the top ten. I my opinion, The Power of Six, knocked the socks off the first book. In this book, we get to see all the other characters and their various secret powers emerge, as the other Lorian kids band together to fight the Mogs! Action packed and told from many different points of views, this book was a page turner. Fingers crossed it makes it to the big screen!
The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern
I absolutely got lost in the beauty and mystery of this book. Its like the Prestige meets Water for Elephants. So magical but incredibly life like. I'm sorry, but no crappy carnival circus will EVER be good enough after reading this book!
The Gargoyle, Andrew Davidson
This book was the first to introduce me to the power of a first line: Accidents ambush the unsuspecting, often violently, just like love. After that? I was hooked. Another one of those books that switches time periods, characters and points of view throughout, but one that all comes together at the end to complete a beautiful story of love and healing. And, if my memory serves correctly, I do believe this book pulled a whopping' 1.5 million for an advance. Um, pick me, please!
The Body Finder, Kimberly Derting
This book is deliciously creepy! Its about a girl who can sense dead bodies, and how she gets tangled up in a case involving a small town serial killer. Eeek! Goosebumps all the way!! Did I mention my favorite TV show is Criminal Minds? Oh yeah. I also loved the characters... Jay is so honest and sweet, and his relationship with the main character, Violet is beautiful and simple. I loved how real it all felt. A fantastic read.
Note: Even though I counted books I've already read, as well as repeat reads, this list includes only the NEW books I read this year (yes, its true, I'd never read Jane Eyre!) Which is why some obvious favs like Water for Elephants and Harry Potter were left off the list. Also, I only included PUBLISHED books (yes, ePub too!) which is why some of the books by my lovely writer friends were left off.