Archive for December, 2011


Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books of 2011

December 27, 2011

‘Top Ten Tuesday’ is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
This week’s theme is ‘Top Ten Books of 2011’, where I share the top 10 books that I read this year. This list is in no particular order. I warn you know that there will technically be more than 10 books in this list, because I will be listing a lot of series’ here. I read a lot of them this year, and in most cases it’s just really hard to pick one when they all go together.

1. The Trylle Trilogy by Amanda Hocking – I really loved this whole series. I love fantasy and paranormal books as much as anyone, but I’ve never read any books about trolls before or at least where they are the main characters. Amanda’s version of them is very unique and interesting. I loved all of the characters of the books and I really loved how the pairing you expect from the beginning of the book is not the one you end up with. It’s not as obvious as with other books you normally see.

2. The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins – I don’t know why I waited so long to read the first book, I guess I was kind of worried that it wouldn’t live up to it’s hype. I was never really a big fan of dystopian or post-apocalyptic books before this year. However, I finally caved into the peer pressure and I was not disappointed. This first book was my favorite of the series but the last two were still great as well. I loved Katniss’ character and how she grew throughout the books. Bloody and graphic and just plain fun, I really enjoyed this series.

3. The Iron Fey Series by Julie Kagawa – This series might be one of my favorites in the fantasy genre by far. I loved every single book in this series and all of the main characters so much! They all they their own quirks and you rooted for all them. It was meant to be a trilogy but the author decided to write a fourth book to really get more closure. I adored both Ash and Puck and it was really hard to pick which one I wanted to end up with the girl.

4. The Hollows Series by Amanda Hocking – I don’t really do zombies. I’ll read or watch vampires, werewolves, witches, etc. But zombies rub me the wrong way. Until this book. I don’t know how I got sucked into reading this book, but it’s probably because the main character, Remy, really kicks ass. This girl is amazing, she goes across the U.S. to save her brother and along the way kills zombies and manages to adopt a tiger. The sequel was great, too. I can’t wait until the additional books in the series come out.

5. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta – This books was beyond words. It was really a unique book and the first 50 pages were a bit confusing, but after that the books really sucks you in. It was in heartbreaking and in others really fun. Melina Marchetta has a really great way with words. I loved the way that the present story was so connected to the past, especially Taylor’s past. I really found myself wishing that there was more.

6. I am Legend by Richard Matheson – I was surprised by how much I really liked this book. The plot was very different from what I normally read and it was a very original take on vampire books. I really felt for the main character Robert Neville. He’s so alone in this world that has been taken over by vampires. You could really feel his loneliness and his determination to live. The ending was a surprise, too. This version of the book also had a selection of short stories in the back that I really enjoyed.

7. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro – I read this because of the good reviews on Goodreads. I wasn’t really sure what to expect and it took me a few pages to really get into it. But I loved the pacing of the book and the heart behind it. I really takes a while before you find out what is different about the kids in the school and the reason they were there, but when you find out you are horrified by the reasons and the nonchalance in which it is treated. The idyllic nature of the school is undermined by the fact that there is something very odd going on.

8. The Steampunk Detective by Darrell Pitt – This was year of the steampunk genre. I got really into it, especially recently. This was a book that was reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes. I love the ideas of airships and steam powered engines. The main character, Jack, was born to a family of acrobats and becomes an assistant to a detective that is getting older. It was a lot of fun and it was great trying to figure out who was the bad guy.

9. The Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin – I loved the point of view of this book. The son writes a letter to his younger sister telling her of their abusive mother before they were able to get away from her. I love Matt’s voice, especially as he idolizes his mother’s boyfriend, since that relationship caused their mother to leave the kids alone and the man himself was so kind to them. The book was heartbreaking and yet inspirational.

10. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire – A lot of the reviews on Goodreads about this book describe it like a drug. And I totally agree with them. I could not put this down. Abby is originally shown as a goody goody but as the book goes on you see that she was more to her than she likes to show. Travis is a great character to me, although there are some disturbing instances with him. His personality is obsessive and addictive. He’s the type of guy you would stay away from in real life, but you secretly would love to get with even though you know he’s soooo bad for you. 🙂 This book did not show a healthy relationship but it was so addictive I could not stop reading it.


Success and Failures

December 1, 2011

November Ollivander's birthday wand $28.95
Credited to Flickr. Click picture to see.

November is over and done with. There were ups and downs and magic abound. First and foremost, again I utterly failed at NaNoWriMo. November has to be the worst time of year for me to try to write a novel. I had my birthday and I went on a trip. Oh, well. Maybe next year. I don’t plan to stop trying anytime soon. 🙂 I came back with some great souvenirs from my trip though. Including the wand shown above. It was the wand that was recommended for my birthday and it’s made from reed.

2011 Reading Challenge

2011 Reading Challenge
Valerie has

completed her goal of reading 100 books in 2011!


On the other hand, I’ve finished my Goodreads Reading Challenge. I set a goal to read 100 before the end of the year and I’ve actually surpassed it. I thought I would make it, but I didn’t think I’d do it this soon. I can’t wait to see how many I’ll have read by the end fo the year all together.

Next, we got a dog! Her name is Oreo and she’s a pure-blooded German Shepherd puppy. Isn’t she so cute? We’re all still adjusting because we haven’t had a dog in years. lol After the New Year we plan to put her in obedience classes at either PetSmart or Petco. I’m actually kind of excited! I love the idea of being able to take a dog into a store. lol She’s growing so fast it’s ridiculous. It seems like she’s twice as big as when we got her. 🙂

Credited to Pinterest

Christmas shopping is underway and I’m actually almost done! I only have two more people to shop for. Pretty much all of my shopping was and will be done online. I now really just have to wrap the presents that I already have and get those last few. Unlike past years, I’m enjoying having this done pretty early. I took advantage of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales and it was great. I got great prices on the gifts with minimal effort. 😀 Not having to rush and stress myself out is really nice. Hopefully I can keep this up in years to come.