Saturday, December 31, 2011

Faves of 2011: The Year in Reading

It's been an awesome year for reading, people. Thus, I have a lot of ground to cover.

I tried to edit myself, I swear! I just have so much book love to spread!

Favorite Newly Discovered Authors of 2011

Requirements for this category:
  1. I have to discover them this year.
  2. Then, I must become so obsessed with them that I read ALL their books.
  3. They must have more than one book out, because with each book, my love for that author exponentially increases.
(Last year, the only author in this category was Melina Marchetta, but she is SO awesome. My love for would put her on the list three times. I actually turned around and reread ALL her books again earlier this year, because I just missed her so much.)

Stephanie Perkins, author of Anna & the French Kiss and Lola & the Boy Next Door

You knew this lady would be on here, didn't you? I've already talked about her a lot this year, especially in this post and this post.

But what you might not know is that her blog is pretty awesome. And she likes to recommend books on it, which led me straight to the other two authors...

Sarah Addison Allen, author of Garden Spells, The Sugar Queen, The Girl Who Chased the Moon, and The Peach Keeper

I think of her as the Southern Alice Hoffman. Tales of magic, love, heartbreak, and healing set in small town, probably North Carolinian Appalachia. I devoured all four of her books in the space of two weeks, and I've been giving them as gifts ever since.

Laini Taylor, author of The Drowned, Blackbringer, Silksinger, Lips Touch, and the recently released, chart-topping Daughter of Smoke & Bone

She could always write a gorgeous, lush, gut-wrenching story, full of the most marvelous stuff, objects you would risk a curse to go purchase at a Fairie Market. But Lips Touch and Daughter of Smoke & Bone are where she really starts to shine, hooking all the threads together in a tapestry of WOW. Note: Taylor uses the whole spectrum of tones here, people - gruesome and glorious, so she's definitely the dark/gritty to Perkins's light/fluffy.

(Fun fact: Perkins and Taylor are critique partners and good friends! I like it when my favorite people like each other.)

Favorite Books of 2011

For Early Readers

The Rotten Adventures of Zachary Ruthless, by Allen Woodrow

Funny, evil, and my very favorite super-villain-in-training of all time. Please read for zucchini-flavored gum, scary squirrels, and a loyal best friend. Probably best for fans of Dav Pilkey's Captain Underpants books.

Cinderella Smith
, by Stephanie Barden.

Sweet, humorous, and heartwarming. This book is about an absent-minded, lovable little girl, who gets nicknamed "Cinderella," because she has a terrible habit of losing her shoe. Probably best for fans of Sara Pennypacker's Clementine books.

(Disclaimer: I've already written about most of the following, so click on the title or cover of the book if you want to read more about it.)

Middle Grade

Winner of the Most Exciting New Series Award!

Winner of Best Tearjerker Contemporary Award!

by Lucy Christopher

Winner of Best Tearjerker Fantasy Award!

by Anne Ursu

Honorable Mention: Liesl & Po, by Lauren Oliver
(They were neck and neck, but Breadcrumbs is just slightly more my cup of tea.)

Winner of the Best Humor with Heart Award!

The Origami Yoda Books,
by Tom Angleberger

(The second might even be more wonderful than the first.)

Winner of the Full of Sheer Awesome Award!
(a.k.a. the "there's nothing else like it" award.)

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland
in A Ship of Her Own Making
by Catherynne M. Valente

Honorable Mention: Wonderstruck, by Brian Selznick
(There is something like it, though. It's called The Invention of Hugo Cabret.)

Young Adult

Winner of the Most Exciting New Series Award!

by Veronica Roth

Winner of the Tearjerker Contemporary Award!

The Sky Is Everywhere,
by Jandy Nelson

Honorable Mention: If I Stay, by Gayle Forman
(The Sky Is Everywhere made me cry slightly more.)

Winner of the Humor with Heart Award!

Hexhall and Demonglass,
by Rachel Hawkins


Winner of the Contemporary Tearjerker Award!

One Day,
by David Nicholls

(One of my best friends made me read this. It made me cry, and then she made me give it back to her. That almost made me cry too.)

Winner of the Best Paranormal Romance Award!

The Shadow Reader,
by Sandy Williams

Winner of the Best Nonfiction Award!
(Those Pulitzer People thought so too. :-P)

Cleopatra, A Life,
by Stacy Schiff

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