Monthly Archives: December 2011

The Books I Read This Year!

Books Read in 2011


“Mercy Blade” by Faith Hunter

“Destiny Kills” by Keri Arthur

“From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler” by E. L. Konigsburg

“Scent of the Missing” by Susannah Charleson

“Night of the Loving Dead” by Casey Daniels


“House Rules” by Jodi Picoult

“What the Night Knows” by Dean Koontz

“To the Power of Three” by Laura Lippman


“Baltimore Blues” by Laura Lippman

“Step on a Crack” by James Patterson

“Run for Your Life” by James Patterson

“Charm City” by Laura Lippman

“Worst Case” by James Patterson

“The Five People you Meet in Heaven” by Mitch Albom

“The Skin Map” by Stephen R. Lawhead

“Flowers for Algernon” by Daniel Keyes


“The Lincoln Lawyer” by Michael Connelly

“Toys” by James Patterson

“Virals” by Kathy Reichs

“Butchers Hill” by Laura Lippman

“Tick Tock” by James Patterson


“River Marked” by Patricia Briggs

“Burned” by P. C. Cast

“I’ll Walk Alone” by Mary Higgins Clark

“The Help” by Kathryn Stockett

“Learning to Swim” by Sara J. Henry

“Sing You Home” by Jodi Picoult

“When We Were Friends” by Elizabeth Joy Arnold


“Jane Slayre” by Sherri Browning Erwin

“Mermaids in the Basement” by Michael Lee West

“Mercy Burns” by Keri Arthur

“The Brass Verdict” by Michael Connelly

“The Passage” by Justin Cronin

“Now You See Her” by Joy Fielding

“The Night Season” by Chelsea Cain

“The Dead Town” by Dean Koontz

“Vampire Hunter D” by Hideyuki Kikuchi

“Ape House” by Sara Gruen

“Before I Go To Sleep” by S. J. Watson

“The Book Club” by Mary Alice Monroe

“The Priest’s Graveyard” by Ted Dekker

“If I Am Missing or Dead” by Janine Latus


“Eragon” by Christopher Paolini

“Eldest” by Christopher Paolini

“Kiss of Shadows” by Laurell K. Hamilton

“The Chase” by Clive Cussler

“The Reversal” by Michael Connelly

“A Caress of Twilight” by Laurell K. Hamilton

“The Wrecker” by Clive Cussler

“The Raw Shark Texts” by Steven Hall

“Alphabet Weekends” by Elizabeth Noble

“The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak

“The Divide” by Nicholas Evans


“The Postmistress” by Sarah Blake

“The Raising” by Laura Kasischke

“Hit List” by Laurell K. Hamilton

“Imperfect Endings” by Zoe FitzGerald Carter

“Life of Pi” by Yann Martel

“Riding Lessons” by Sara Gruen

“Little Bee” by Chris Cleve

“Across the Nightingale Floor” by Lian Hearn

“The Four Agreements” by Miguel Ruiz

“The Fairy-Tale Detectives” by Michael Buckley and Peter Ferguson

“My Name is Not Angelica” by Scott O’Dell

“Hunting Fear” by Kay Hooper

“Chill of Fear” by Kay Hooper

“Unbearable Lightness” by Portia de Rossi


“The Magicians” by Lev Grossman

“Miss Julia Speaks her Mind” by Ann B. Ross

“Julia’s Hope” by Leisha Kelly

“Miss Julia Takes Over” by Ann B. Ross

“Miss Julia Throws a Wedding” by Ann B. Ross

“Save Me” by Lisa Scottoline

“The Gift” by James Patterson

“Miss Julia Hits the Road” by Ann B. Ross

“The Walk” by Richard Paul Evans

“Now You See Her” by James Patterson

“Miles to Go” by Richard Paul Evans

“Miss Julia Meets Her Match” by Ann B. Ross

“Nineteen Minutes” by Jodi Picoult

“Never Knowing” by Chevy Stevens

“Miss Julia’s School of Beauty” by Ann B. Ross


“The Leftovers” by Tom Perrota

“Emma’s Gift” by Leisha Kelly

“Tolstoy and the Purple Chair” by Nina Sankovitch

“Skinwalker” by Faith Hunter

“Kill Me If You Can” by James Patterson

“Blood Cross” by Faith Hunter

“The Beekeeper’s Apprentice” by Laurie R. King

“Happens Every Day” by Isabel Gillies

“The Borrower” by Rebecca Makkai

“Miss Julia Stands Her Ground” by Ann B. Ross

“The Power of Six” by Pittacus Lore

“Graveminder” by Melissa Marr

“Pathfinder” by Orson Scott Card

“Miss Julia Strikes Back” by Ann B. Ross

“The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

“Revenge of the Witch” by Joseph Delaney

“The Story of Beautiful Girl” by Rachel Simon

“Graceling” by Kristin Cashore

“Katie’s Dream” by Leisha Kelly

“The Language of Flowers” by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

“Sarah’s Key” by Tatiana de Rosney


“Fire” by Kristin Cashore

“Dead Reckoning” by Charlaine Harris

“Life on the Refrigerator Door” by Alice Kuipers

“Bitten” by Kelley Armstrong

“Greywalker” by Kat Richardson

“Escape” by Barbara Delinsky

“Grave Sight” by Charlaine Harris

“The Giver” by Lois Lowry

“Grave Surprise” by Charlaine Harris

“Seizure” by Kathy Reichs

“An Ice Cold Grave” by Charlaine Harris

“The Christmas Wedding” by James Patterson

“Grave Secret” by Charlaine Harris

“Real Murders” by Charlaine Harris

“Stolen” by Kelley Armstrong

“Dead of Night” by Jonathon Maberry

“Grayson” by Lynne Cox

“The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern

“Theodore Boone, Kid Lawyer” by John Grisham

“The Litigators” by John Grisham

“When She Woke” by Hillary Jordan


“Miss Julia Paints the Town” by Ann B. Ross

“The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers” by Thomas Mullen

“Museum of Thieves” by Lian Tanner

“The Abduction” by John Grisham

“Seriously,…I’m Kidding” by Ellen Degeneres

“Miss Julia Delivers the Goods” by Ann B. Ross

“Clara and Mr. Tiffany” by Susan Vreeland

“Vanishing Acts” by Jodi Picoult

“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” by Ransom Riggs

“The Pact” by Jodi Picoult

“The Gathering” by Kelley Armstrong

“South of Superior” by Ellen Airgood

“Handle with Care” by Jodi Picoult

“The Buddha in the Attic” by Julie Otsuka

“Red Helmet” by Homer Hickam

“Till Morning is Nigh” by Leisha Kelly

“The Kitchen House” by Kathleen Grissom

“The Magician King” by Lev Grossman

I met and passed my goal of 100 books this year – next year I’ll have to aim for 150!


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With the New Year fast approaching, and New Year’s Resolutions looming, I am searching for the things that speak to me to remind me to make next year better!  I hope you enjoy these quotes as well – I like them better than “exercise” or “diet”.  🙂

And the most important…..

Wishing you and your’s the most fabulous New Year so far!!!


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My 15 favorite books I read in 2011

I started out this year determined to read 100 books, and to keep track of everything I read.  No rules, just reading.  Out of the 142 books I’ve read so far (only 4 more days left in the year), only 4 books are re-reads.  I’ve always been a big reader, but this year I’ve had a little more time to make trips to the library and read blogs and book excerpts to fill up my “To Be Read” list.  Making my favorites list was difficult, and I couldn’t narrow it down to 10, so 15 it is!

“Sing You Home” by Jodi Picoult – Jodi Picoult always deals with moral/ethical issues that make you reevaluate your side of the issue.  In all of her books I think I know which side of the issue I stand on, and then, after getting into the book, I find it’s harder to make a definitive stand on either side, you begin to understand that each issue is full of shades of gray.

“The Help” by Kathryn Stockett – By now I’m pretty sure most of you have either read the book or seen the movie (or both).  I love the range of emotions this book brings out – I laughed, I cried and I got really angry.  When discussing this book with my daughter she was appalled at the way people are treated based on inconsequential things like race and social status, so not only was this a solid good read, it was also a golden teaching opportunity.

“The Story of Beautiful Girl” by Rachel Simon – This is the only book of Ms. Simon’s that I have read, and I loved it!  This is a story of a forbidden love, a baby, and a woman who walks away from the life she knows to take care of a baby she knows nothing about.

“Sarah’s Key” by Tatiana de Rosney – This novel is based on the historical Vel d’Hiv round up which took place in Paris in 1942.  Julia Jarmond is an American journalist who married into a French family.  As she researches her article she uncovers a link to her husband’s family who acquired an apartment after the Jewish family who lived there was deported 60 years before.  She discovers that their daughter, Sarah, who was 10 at the time her family was dispossessed, was the only surviving family member.  Julia tries to track Sarah down, and in the process, finds herself.

“Clara and Mr. Tiffany” by Susan Vreeland – Written with a foundation in the actual letters Clara Driscoll wrote about her time with Tiffany Glass Company, this novel is historical, romantic and a great drama.  You find yourself immersed in the details of the glass making, the windows, the colors and the beauty.  You find yourself impassioned with the birth of women’s rights.  And you feel emotionally involved in the life of the many rich characters in Susan Vreeland’s book.  This is a book I couldn’t wait to keep reading, but one I didn’t want to end.

“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” by Ransom Riggs – This book was so interesting – not just the story, but the presentation of the story – it is complete with photos of the characters which makes you feel as if you were sitting in the story teller’s living room, flipping through an old photo album while listening to their stories.  This is a book I will re-read and share.

“When She Woke” by Hillary Jordan – .  The book starts with a woman waking up in a prison cell with deep red skin.  In the future, criminals, called Chromes, are branded by color, based on their level of crime.  Red is for murderers.  Hannah Payne has been convicted of murder after having an abortion.  The father of the baby is a well-known preacher and political figure with a family of his own.  She can’t bear the thought of shaming him and his ministry, so instead bears the brunt of the judicial system and her parent’s disappointment.  In prison Hannah’s  cell is equipped with cameras that broadcast her every move to the general public.  Upon she is taken to a half-way house run by a preacher and his sadistic wife whose goal is to bring the Chromes to repentance and put them back on the “straight and narrow”.  Chromes in this future do not serve much prison time, they are chromed and released into the general public to survive as best they can.

“The Walk” by Richard Paul Evans – “The Walk” is so emotionally real that at first I didn’t realize I was reading a fiction book.  Alan Christofferson is a successful young businessman with his childhood sweetheart wife, a dream house and a growing business.  When his wife, McKale is injured and quickly dies, Alan finds that his business partner has stolen their clients and employees and he is left with nothing.  In short order his home and vehicles are repossessed, and feeling like a man with nothing to live for, he contemplates suicide.  Alan chooses instead to leave it all behind, and he walks out his front door, and keeps going.  He decides to walk until he runs out of land.  Starting in Bellvue, WA, the furthest point from him is the Florida coast.  With little more than a tent and backpack, he sets off on his journey.  This book is the first of three, and documents the first 12 days of Alan’s journey across the country on foot.

“The Beekeeper’s Apprentice” by Laurie R. King – The first book in a series of 12 (so far), Laurie King writes about Sherlock Holmes and his companion Mary Russell.  “The Beekeeper’s Apprentice” details their first meeting, and the beginning of their long relationship.  Mary starts as Holmes’ neighbor and intern.  As she gets older and goes to college, her growing intellect is stimulated by assisting Holmes in his many adventures.

“The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows – this is a book for people who love books!  In January, 1946, writer Juliet Ashton receives a letter from a founding member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, a group of townsfolk who live on the island of Guernsey during the German occupation.  Forbidden to continue with their daily lives they find ways to share food, companionship and books.  The letter intrigues Juliet, and she writes to and receives letters from more and more members of this literary group.  When she is invited to visit Guernsey and attend a meeting, she jumps at the chance to meet the people she has formed a bond with through their letters, and her life is enriched more than she could have imagined.

“The Passage” by Justin Cronin – This book is about zombie/vampire creatures, the aftermath of a world wide virus that reads like an apocalypse.  You are shuttled between a little six-year old girl named Amy, wanted by the government, and a group of survivors taken by train to walled colony to repopulate the earth after the virus infects of kills a large percentage of earth’s humans.  While you find yourself jumping from page to page, anxious for the next climatic event, you also dread the shortened number of pages you have left in the book.  This is reported to be the first in a trilogy, the second book due out in August, 2012.

“Flowers for Algernon” by Daniel Keyes – Both uplifting and sad, this book details the journey of Algernon, a brilliant lab mouse, and Charlie, a mentally disabled man.  Algernon is treated with an experimental brain surgery to increase his IQ, and after it’s success, Charlie eagerly volunteers to be the first human subject of this experimental treatment.  Charlie’s IQ grows by leaps and bounds until he becomes smarter than the doctors who performed this surgery, and he begins to accomplish more than anyone ever imagined.  When Algernon inexplicable begins to deteriorate – Charlie grows fearful of sharing his fate.  This book makes you wonder if it is better to have never had something, or to experience something wonderful, then live with the pain of losing it.

“Jane Slayre” by Sherri Browning Erwin – This was one of those fun books that I like to call “brain candy”.  It’s a fun book, obviously based on “Jane Eyre” with a twist.  With the popularity of supernatural creatures, zombies, vampires, werewolves, etc., “Jane Slayre” covers them all.  Jane is an orphan, raised by vampire ken whom she detests.  After boarding school she takes a job as a governess at a secluded estate in the country, where she finds herself growing more and more attracted to her master, Mr. Rochester.  Of course love is never easy, and she finds out that Mr. Rochester is hiding a werewolf in his attic – the werewolf that was his first wife.

“The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak – Set in Germany in World War II, Liesel Meminger is a nine-year old foster child staying with a couple in Molching, Germany.  As hard times get harder and necessities are more and more scarce, Liesel begins to steal to supplement their household.  When she steals a book it brings her as much enjoyment as the scarce fresh fruit she steals.  This book follows Liesel’s life and those she comes in contact with.  Told from the point of view of Death, the story is both engaging and heartbreaking.

“Tolstoy and the Purple Chair” by Nina Sankovitch – Another book for book lovers!  This book journals Nina Sankovitch’s yearly goal of reading one book a day for a year.  When Nina’s oldest sister dies, Nina turns to books for comfort and solitude.  She dedicates a year of reading to help her grieve, and come to terms with her loss.  The book details this year long journey of her reading and her favorite purple chair.


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