Thursday, December 15, 2011

Spotlight List: The Giant List of 2011 Recommendations (6)

I made a really big list

I'm a list maker, as is probably pretty obvious by this feature. So of course I HAD to make an end-of-the-year list recapping all of the books I read in 2011. It's like a snapshot of reviews, but you can click on the titles to go to my full reviews.

I broke this up into seven posts (plus a guest post) that will go up throughout the day. Settle in, this is going to be a long one!

A cut above

These are the books that, for some reason or another, stood out for me. I enjoyed them while I was reading, they stayed with me after I finished, and they left me wanting more. Good writing, characters that clicked with me, plots that captured me, whatever it is, they each have something I can point to and say, "This book is a cut above." I want to own these ASAP.

My Swordhand is Singing by Marcus Sedgwick (review to come)
These vampires could sparkle and I would STILL pee my pants in fear. Approach this one as if it were an old folktale or legend.

The Revenant by Sonia Gensler
Color me surprised when I discovered this is a ghost story! And a great one at that. 

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson (review to come)
Quests, battles, shifting loyalties, intriguing world building, and a MC I couldn't help but love. 

Master and Commander (#1-3) by Patrick O'Brian (review to come)
Two of my favorite characters OF ALL TIME.

Witchlanders by Lena Coakley
High fantasy, brothers in arms, battle, mystery, and a totally platonic hate-turned-friendship relationship totally hooked me. I like the dog, too. Sequel, please?

Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan
Horrible events + crazy people + dystopian + survival story = I CAN'T STOP READING!

Enclave by Ann Aguirre
I would slay zombies with Deuce and Fade in a heartbeat. Or, ok, I'd cower in a corner and watch them slay zombies, but it would still be awesome.

Picture the Dead by Adele Griffin and Lisa Brown
Pictures and words have never been so perfectly matched. Totally absorbing.

Toads and Diamonds by Heather Tomlinson
Beautiful and evocative. Can we please have more fairy tale retellings like this?

Where I Want to Be by Adele Griffin
Gutted me. Totally gutted me, and I appreciated every second of it.

The Julian Game by Adele Griffin
I could talk for days about all of the discussion points packed in this tiny book. Even more fantastically amazing for its lack of preaching.

Tighter by Adele Griffin
The perfect retelling: No need to have read the original, but if you have, then you'll have a ton of fun spotting all the references. 

Supernaturally by Kiersten White
Less action and humor than the first, but I appreciated the time spent delving into the characters and the emotional fallout of book 1.

Queen of the Dead by Stacey Kade
Separate or together, Will and Alona rock.

The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa
All of the awesome potential was finally realized.

Which books were a cut above for you in 2011? Have you read any of these? What did you think of them?

But wait! What did I think about all those other 2011 reads? Follow along to find out and weigh in on your own 2011 reads!
Part 1

Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Part 5
Part 7
Guest post!


  1. I am so glad that you introduced me to Adele Griffin's books this year! Tighter is definitely on my best of 2011 list! :)

  2. This is just wonderful. You made a you should read this list for me. It has many that I already would like to read and more that I'm looking up on GoodReads ;)

    Oh do stop by. My blog has been quiet lonely... lacking on the comment side due to being missing from the blog-o-sphere fro some time. However, I'm trying to jump back into this wonderful world. I do miss it so!

    Mad Scientist @ Steampunkery & Book Reviews

  3. Ooo I love your lists! so organized! unlike me :) I really did love The Girl of Fire and Thorns and Enclave, however, Glow just didn't stand up to its hype. I know, I know, I feel like I'm the only one! I really look forward to reading Witchlanders now since you liked it so much!

  4. YAY for Supernaturally and Queen of the Dead!! =)

    I still need to check out Adele Griffin's books, but they sound kind of very cool.

  5. I enjoyed Witchlanders because it was unique. Enclave was action packed, plus I thought the characters were kick butt and admirable.

  6. Yay for The Revenant! I was totally surprised by this book and glad I own a copy! I haven't read TGoFaT or Glow yet. I'm rather on the fence about both...but after seeing this I'll definitely check them out.


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