Favorites of 2011

I do enjoy the Best Of lists, especially the more personalized ones with crazy categories. Here are mine, in no particular order.

Historical/paranormal YA books with heroines trying to fit into Society, thereby escaping the tired and annoying well-off-girl-escaping-from-Society cliche which I am so tired of:
The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell
Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey
The Revenant by Sonia Gensler

Best book involving Prester John:
Habitation of the Blessed by Catherynne Valente (duh)

Series I didn’t really love that much but just kept reading anyway:
Relic Masters by Catherine Fisher
Liaden books by Steve Miller and Sharon Lee
Face Down books by Kathy Lynn Emerson

Best Richard III related book:
The Daughter of Time (ever and always)
–close runner-up The Murders of Richard III by Elizabeth Peters

Favorite nonfiction:
Amelia Lost by Candace Fleming
The Dead Beat by Marilyn Johnson

Favorite talking mice:
Secrets at Sea by Richard Peck

Most anticipated book:
Demon’s Surrender

Favorite couple:

Well, just in general, Gen and Irene. Also, Alan and Sin and Puck and Sean.

Authors who deserve to be more well known:
Rachel Neumeier
Franny Billingsley (though I suppose she may be known for the wrong reasons now)
Elizabeth Wein
D.M. Cornish

Book I had already read and forgotten:
Moon-Flash and The Moon and the Face by Patricia McKillip

Book I can’t believe I hadn’t already read and then proceeded to read twice:
The Lost Conspiracy by Frances Hardinge

Rosemary Sutcliff Award:

Bloodline and Bloodline Rising by Katy Moran

Books which I did not think I would like and ended up loving:
The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kitteridge
Dearly, Departed by Li Habel
The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway
Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt

Favorite Sci-Fi series:
Probably the Vorkosigan books, though Scalzi gave them a run for their money at the end of the year

Favorite hard day books:
Eva Ibbotson, anything by
Lola and the Boy Next Door
Goergette Heyer

Best homage that actually stands on its own and is AWESOME:

A Brief History of Montmaray

Favorite Tam Lin retelling:
Fire and Hemlock. Wait, Tam Lin. Wait, A Perilous Gard.

Favorite historical mystery series:
I think I’ll have to go with Bess Crawford, though that was one of my big genres this year so it’s hard to choose.

Favorite short story anthology:

Steampunk! (exclamation point and all)

Books which made me cry a lot:

Cryoburn (the ENDING)
Jellicoe Road (always)
All Clear (buckets)
Demon’s Covenant (THE ENDING)
Among Others

Genres I wanted to like but if I’m really honest usually didn’t:
Steampunk
dystopias
zombies

Genres I adored:
historical fantasies
historical mysteries
smart sci-fi, where it’s more about the characters than anything else

Favorite covers:
The Agency series
The first FitzOsborne book
Bloodline Rising
The Replacement

Favorite openings:
The Scorpio Races (“It is the first day of November and so, today, someone will die.”)
The Lost Conspiracy (“It was a burnished, cloudless day with a tug-of-war wind, a fine day for flying. And so Raglan Skein left his body neatly laid out on his bed, its breath as slow as sea swell, and took to the sky.”)
The Name of the Wind (“It was night again. The Waystone Inn lay in silence, and it was a silence of three parts.”)
[It’s interesting how similar these three openings are in some ways!]


Books that are not fairy tale retellings, but felt like it:

The Folk Keeper
The City in the Lake
Blood Red Road

Favorite short story:
Queen of Atlantis by Sarah Rees Brennan

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5 Comments

Filed under bookish posts

5 responses to “Favorites of 2011

  1. Mimi

    Oooh, great recap!
    I just read a hoot and holler book, it’s tongue in cheek about Richard III, I bet you’d find it good. “The Adventures of Alianore Audley” by Brian Wainwright. It’s anachronistic in word choice, and it may be a bit on the bawdy side, but a great read.

  2. Pingback: House of Shadows–Rachel Neumeier | By Singing Light

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