Tag Archives: kathryn stockett

The Best Books of 2011

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As 2012 gets closer, I thought it would be fun to look back at some of my favorite things of the year. In the next few days I’m going to look at the best of 2011- I’m excited to see what kind of things you can all add to my lists! Oh and if you’re wondering, that is the current state of my ‘to-read’ bookshelf. I have an illness, you guys. A book-buying ILLNESS.

Today I’m going to look back at my top ten favorite reads of 2011. I tried as much as possible to keep these in 2011 because I read way too many good books this year, but I have to say that my absolute favorites of 2011 were not written this year. I’m also going to look at a few books that DID come out this year that I’m still excited to actually start reading but haven’t had the chance to yet.

So here we go.

The Top Ten

#10 Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares
Released: June 2011
Publisher: Random House

Why: I LOVED the entire Sisterhood series growing up, and after re-reading them in the early summer I fell right into the story of this one. I was back in love with the four girls, and I am back in love with Ann Brashares’ writing. She has matured so much as a writer, and although that book DEVASTATED me it was beautiful at the same time.

#9 The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Released: April 2011
Publisher: Penguin Group

Why: It took me a little while to get into this one, but as soon as I did I just couldn’t put it down. I was completely in love with the characters and the story. Immediate classic.

#8 Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Released: February 2011
Publisher: Harpercollins

Why: When I first heard about the story line behind this book (love as a disease) I was intrigued. The book did not let me down in the least and I can’t WAIT for book two!

#7 Divergent by Veronica Roth
Released: May 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins

Why: I was completely captivated by this book from start to finish. Love the dystopian aspect to this book, it reminds me of all my favorite parts of every other dystopian novel I love.

#6 Room by Emma Donoghue
Released: June 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins

Why: I don’t usually pursue a book that doesn’t immediately attract my attention, and this one took a good 25-30% of the story before I realized how good it actually was. It was one of those books that I read while I ate, while I got ready to go out, and basically any free moment I had until it was done.

#5 Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson
Released: April 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins

Why: I read the first book in this series soon after coming home from Greece, and this book brought me right back to Europe and everything I loved about it. I immediately picked up the second book and was so happy with the way the story turned out! I was really glad to hear that there was a second book because I definitely didn’t have enough after ’13 Little Blue Envelopes’

#4 The Death Cure by James Dashner
Released: October 2011
Publisher: Random House

Why: If you haven’t read The Maze Runner (book one in the trilogy) then you SHOULD BE. One of my favorite YA series right now. This was an amazing ending to it. There were some points that I felt the book was a little bit too apocalyptic, but the ending? Wow. Just, wow.

#3 My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares
Released: June 2011
Publisher: Penguin Group

Why: I’m not a huge fan of romance novel, but this one? I am in LOVE with this love story. Once again, Ann Brashares writes a beautiful, believable and fantastical story that had me literally ignoring my friends during the last hundred or so pages. LOVE. Can’t wait for book two!

#2 Looking for Alaska by John Green
Released: September 2008
Publisher: Pengruin Group

Why: I went through a crazy John Green phase at the beginning of the year, but Looking for Alaska was the first book I read by him and has remained my favorite. I love the way he writes, and I love the quirky behaviors that each of his characters has.

#1 The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Released: September 2007
Publisher: Random House

Why: This book was just amazing. One of the bigger novels I’ve ever read, but probably changed my life. I need to re-read this in the New Year. And if you haven’t read it? It is the most beautifully written story from World War II that I have ever read. Ever.

On the ‘To-Read’ Shelf’ Published in 2011

#6 The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

#5 The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

#4 Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (paperback)

#3 The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

#2 Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick

#1 Matched by Ally Condie

Most Anticipated Reads in 2012 (so far)

#5 Insurgent by Veronica Roth

#4 City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

#3 Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

#2 The Kill Order by James Dashner

#1 The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

I’ve come to an important conclusion. 2011 was the year that I realized how much I adore young adult literature. Seriously, I read SO much more of it now than I read adult books, and as I browsed the upcoming adult books, there are almost none that interested me. Ha! I mean, I have a few of my favorite adult authors, but otherwise I read the bestsellers and just teen books.

What were your favorites of the year? What about your most anticipated? Which books did I miss this year? 

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Summer Reading List

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I’ve been reading a LOT of blogs lately about what people are reading and about how people are constantly looking for book recommendations. I’ve been told I have pretty good taste in books so I thought I would:

a)share a list of my top 10 favorites that I’ve read recently (you can look them up and maybe enjoy them as much as me if you haven’t already)

and

b) Write a list of the top 10 books on my shelf that are waiting to be read.

I do read a lot of YA fiction, but I promise I only read the best of the best. My friends that I’ve forced into reading some of my favorites can vouch for me here. Feel free to share any recommendations with me, I am always looking for new books!

Top 10 Current Favorites

1. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (First book in the Mortal Instruments series)
Type of book: YA fiction, Fantasy, Vampire/Werewolf, Romance.

2. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan (First book in the Percy Jackson & The Olympians series)
Type of book: YA fiction, fantasy, Greek Mythology, humor, GOOD FOR ANY AGE.

3. Room by Emma Donoghue
Type of book: Adult fiction, Real Life, Award Winner, Bestseller

4. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Type of book: Adult fiction, Historical Fiction, Bestseller, Book-turned-movie(coming out in August!)

5. Divergent by Veronica Roth
Type of book: YA fiction, Dystopian, Bestseller, AMAZING, If you liked Hunger Games you’ll ADORE this.

6. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Type of book: YA fiction, Dystopian, Bestseller, Book-turned-movie, If you haven’t read this yet you’re truly missing out!

7. Sarah’s Key by Tatiana De Rosnay
Type of Book: Adult fiction, Historical Fiction, Sad, Emotional, Bestseller, Book-turned-movie (Sometime this summer!)

8. An Abudance of Katherine’s by John Green
Type of Book: YA fiction, Real life stories, Humour, Amazingness, Just read it.

9. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Type of Book: YA Fiction, Dystopian, If you love Hunger Games/Fantasy YA you’ll love this one.

10. I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak
Type of Book: YA Fiction, Real life stories, Humour, SO GOOD ALSO PLEASE READ THE BOOK THIEF. Thank you.

These are really just the first 10 that come to mind that I’ve read within the last two years, but I’m always up for giving more suggestions if you need!

Top 10 Can’t-Wait-To-Read

1. Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares
Type of Book: Adult fiction, Continuation of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series (AWW.)

2. Blood Red Road by Moira Young
Type of Book: YA Fiction, Dystopian, Book with lots of buzz, If you like HG/Divergent/Delirium apparently you will love this

3. Talking to Girls About Duran Duran by Rob Sheffield
Type of Book: Biogoraphy, Music

4. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Type of Book: Adult Fiction, Historical Fiction, Bestseller, Why haven’t I read this yet?

5. Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
Type  of Book: Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Awesomeness (apparently!)

6. Mystic River by Dennis Lehane
Type of Book: Adult Fiction, Mystery, Recommended by a friend

7. Matched by Ally Condie
Type of Book: YA Fiction, Dystopian, Mixed reviews but mostly good stuff

8. Salem Falls by Jodi Picoult
Type of Book: Adult Fiction, Real life stories, Court cases/Law stuff

9. Little Princes by Conor Grennan
Type of Book: Biography, Around the world, Bestseller, Book with lots of buzz

10. The Cardturner by Louis Sachar
Type of Book: YA Fiction, Real life stories, I basically just love Louis Sachar (Holes? Anyone?)

So those are the top books on my shelves these days!  I’ve got a ton of others that I wanted to share, but maybe I’ll keep them for another post. What are you reading this summer? What have you read that you absolutely loved? Any that were on my list?

Photo courtesy of this awesome post about home libraries. I want! 

The Help: Book Review

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A couple days ago I finished reading this book, and it was one of those novels that I would have never in a million years picked up if it weren’t for a friend lending it to me. And it turned out to be AMAZING, so I highly recommend you read it & check out my review to see what it’s about!

The book is set in Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960’s. During that time, black families were considered ‘dirty’ and most black women who could find work where house maids to white ladies with children. The novel alternates between three characters in the book: Skeeter, a 23 year old, white woman who aspires to be a journalist- all she needs is that ‘breakout’ idea; Aibileen, a 50-something year old black maid who is known for moving from family to family as their children get old enough to understand that black people are ‘different’; and Minny, Aibileen’s best friend, a 30-something year old black maid with quite a mouth on her.

Basically one of the white women in the book decides that black maids should not be allowed to use the same bathrooms as the white people they work for because they have diseases and it could contaminate them, so she starts up this company to build them little outhouses. Horrifying right? Skeeter, the aspiring journalist, was raised by a black woman who she loved and at 23 could still not understand why there was so much racism. Looking for her breakout story, she decides to write a compilation of anonymous interviews with the black maids in Jackson. The book is about how the book comes together and all the trials and tribulations she has to go through for the sake of human equality.

It was a truly amazing novel. I was captivated almost from the beginning and each character had such a distinct voice in my mind that when the book was over I felt like I actually knew them. I couldn’t believe it when it was over! Even if this kind of a book isn’t your usual type, it is so well written that it’s an easy page turner. You want to know what’s going to happen to these women and I really learned so much about what they had to go through in that time.

My one negative comment about it would be that I’m a happy-ending kinda girl and I don’t like the way the author actually ended the story. I was left with questions about the characters and I thought a few things weren’t resolved properly. That being said, I still gave it 4 stars because the rest of the story was so good and I can understand why the author ended it the way she did.

Oh! And it’s becoming a movie in August and it looks AMAZING. I just can’t wait, the actresses they chose look PERFECT. I can’t remember the last time I said that about a book-turned-movie.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

What have you read lately that’s worth recommending? Let me know, I’m always looking for new books to read!