best of '11: day 3

It's another day of
Hooray! Today's topic (courtesy of Johnny boy) is.....

My estimation (made so much easier thanks to my e-reader) is that I read 162 published books this year (and counting-- I'm in the middle of two right now). I also read a slew of manuscripts for the agent that I read for and also several for my crit-partners/ beta fish.

Anyway, narrowing down that many to 5 (FIVE?!) makes me feel like well, this:

How can I pick just five?!? But, nevertheless, I'm going to try. Keep in mind that my tastes are quite eclectic-- yes, I luuuuurve me some YA but I can't completely neglect my English nerd and MFA roots (read: lit fiction-- holla!).

1) Where She Went by Gayle Foreman. Words cannot express how much I adore this book (it made me *feel* things deep in the thrump thrump thrump part of my chest) but suffice to say, I read it no less than 5 times.

2) The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. This book just makes me sigh and think pretty thoughts. Light on plot, heavy on the lovely, atmospheric prose. A perfect book? No, but a "wonder and comfort and mystery all together."

3) How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr. I kind of adore her (and by kind of I mean, were it possible, I would want to BE her... or at least write like her) and I loved this book. It is a fresh spin on a familiar subject but what really hit it home for me was the authenticity of both main characters' narrative voices. Zarr wrote the book (obvs) but Mandy and Jill tell the story. Brilliantly, too.

4) The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht. This book was just sooooooo lovely and haunting and wise and... yeah. *sigh* It's one of those books that can make a writer question everything about her own abilities (or lack thereof?!?). But it's so great that even if I will never write like that, I can admire the beauty all the same.

5) The Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje. Author of The English Patient, Michael Ondaatje had me at the 11 year-old main character and his oddball cast of characters running amok on a ship journeying from Sri Lanka to England. Most readers seem to adore or loathe Ondaatje. I bet you can guess which camp I fall in. ;)

Don't forget to check out the other best of lists!

What were YOUR favorites of this year?!?


  1. Wow, WHERE SHE WENT is the only book here I've read. I've been meaning to read HOW TO SAVE A LIFE for a while, so maybe I should push it up my TBR list. I'll have to check out your other top picks, too!

  2. Aah, the Tiger's Wife is sitting on my shelf right now, and I must must must read it asap!!


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