Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Best books I've Read (and Loved) in 2011

When I was a teenager, I had this binder. My special binder. I tore out pages from magazines and put them in there. I also hid all of my love letters from my then boyfriend, now husband, inside of its protective covers. I had lists of things I wanted to do, of books I'd loved, of names I liked for future children.

My how technology has changed everything! Now instead of my special binder, I have google. I have my blog and my google docs, full of lists, spreadsheets, links, and pictures. I never really thought about how similar it is to my special binder until recently.

The best part about keeping these lists is that it helps you make goals, and keep track of the progress you've made. My favorite spreadsheet is my book spreadsheet. I love reading, so in my spreadsheet, I keep track of all of the books I've read. At the end of last year, I'd finished reading 33 books. I thought to myself, "I can totally read 52 next year!" Well, I wasn't right about that. I'm not going to make it to 52 books (Shout out to Star, who actually completed this goal! Wish I knew about her having the same goal when I started. Maybe I would have completed it if I had). I have other hobbies that take up a lot of my time and money (boot camp, for one). Plus, although I love to read, I really need to balance it out with something active, like boot camp, because it involves many strait hours of sitting. When I sit too much my butt hurts and I need to move

So without further ado, here are the best books I've read in 2011, broken down by category. The other books in each category will be listed too, just so you can see who the winner's competition was.

Best Zombie Book:
 Hollowland, by Amanda Hocking
This book beat out:
World War Z by Max Brooks, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith & Jane Austen, The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan.

This is kind of a big category. I love zombies. I love zombie books, zombie movies, zombie TV shows, and even zombie art. I have also read more books this year by Amanda Hocking than by any other author. At first I was a little put off by the bad grammar and typos, but with a little investigating, I discovered that Ms Hocking is self published, and didn't have a good copy editor to pick up on the errors! And even with the errors, Amanda Hocking's books were all so great that I couldn't stop reading them until I'd  read every single book she'd published at the time. The sequel to Hollowland just came out, and I can't wait to finish my current book and get started on it!

Best Paranormal Book:
 Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning
(Runner up was  Bloodlines by Richelle Mead)
This book beat out:
Eragon by Christophe Paolini; Switched, Torn, Ascend, My Blood Approves, Fate, Flutter, Wisdom, Hollowland, Virtue, all by Amanda Hocking; Kiss of Midnight by Laura Adrian; World War Z by Max Brooks; Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith & Jane Austen; The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan; Wings by Aprilynne Pike; Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble, Toil and Trouble by H. P. Mallory; The Alchemyst by Michael Scott; Under Her Skin By Various Authors including Jeaniene Frost; Dark Fever, Bloodfever, Faefever, Dreamfever, Shadowfever also by Karen Marie Moning; The Iron King by Julie Kagawa;City of Bones by Cassandra Clare.

This category had the most competition, which means this book was awesome!!! O.M.G. I've never read a faery book that I liked this much. It wins best faery book too. This was just amazing. So action packed. So sexy. So different. I loved it. I cannot stop raving about it. The whole series was phenomenal. Just read it.

Best Fiction Book (Non-Paranormal):
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morten
This book beat out: 
The Help by Kathrynne Stockett, The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood, and Outlander by Dianna Gabaldon
This category is small, but the contenders are big! The Forgotten Garden wins out, however, because it was so beautifully written, creative, and full of suspense and mystery. I could not put it down from page one. I liked The Help a lot too. It gets 2nd place. I did not care for Outlander. 
Best Nonfiction Book:

Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch
This book beat out:
The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson
I love to read about nutrition and health. It may bore other people, but I find it fascinating. I'm actually still reading The Primal Blueprint so I can't really say that Intuitive Eating wins for sure, but I sure did love Intuitive Eating! It really pushed me walk away from diets for good. The Primal Blueprint is another health book, and it's about eating and living the way we evolved to as a species. These books may be different from one another, but they work together really well.

And as for my favorite book of 2011.... It's a tie! Between The Forgotten Garden and Darkfever!

Here's to 52 books in 2012. Maybe I'll make it this time!

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