Thursday, December 15, 2011

2011 Books

It's that time of year...time for my annual book review post! I love looking back in December at all the books I read over the year.  Here are my posts from 2009 and 2010.  Also, if you're a reader and you aren't on goodreads, you should change that! That make it so easy to track and share what you're reading. Here's my goodreads.

My goal each year is to read 12 books and this year...well, I totally failed at that.  I am little disappointed in myself, but I also realize this is not something to beat myself up over. I may not have met my goal, but I did read a long book that was totally out of my comfort zone as a reader. I see that as an accomplishment!

So without further are the 2011 books:

January 2011

Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner

I really enjoy all of Jennifer Weiner's books. I think if you look back on my previous lists, you'll see one of her books was read each year. I enjoy her style of writing, and her chick lit always keeps me entertained.  This was a follow up to her older book, Good In Bed.  If you want a light read, I'd suggest any of her books.

February 2011

Ape House by Sara Gruen

We read this in our blog book club (which I know we totally abandoned! maybe one day we'll start it up again?), and honestly, I didn't like it very much. I loved Water For Elephants (Gruen's first novel), but this one was just a let down. It had potential, but the story just didn't do it for me.

April 2011

This was our second book club read for 2011, and unlike our first choice, I really loved this book! It was definitely silly and far fetched in parts, and the way that Ree Drummond writes takes some getting used to...BUT, it was just so fun. It made me think back to my days of falling in love with my own husband, and those excited feelings you first have when you meet someone who you just can't get enough of. This was a quick read (which I must have needed this year!), and just enjoyable. Not anything super fancy or special, but a fun read!

May 2011

The House on First Street by Julia Reed 

And this was the third (and final) book we read for book club this year, and to be honest...I didn't finish. I got over halfway through the book and just felt like I was forcing myself to read. I just didn't like it. The story didn't appeal to me and the author really seemed to bug me as a person. It's nonfiction, which, if I'm being honest, I have a tougher time enjoying, so the book had the odds stacked against it from the beginning. If you have a close relationship with New Orleans, you might enjoy it, but since I'd never been there, I just couldn't get into it.

June 2011

House Rules by Jodi Picoult

I know, I know...every time I read a book by Jodi Picoult, I vow that it is the last one. But then somehow, I always end up reading her books again. Every time. Oops?  This was actually one of her better books that I loved all the way up until the end. The premise about a boy with Asperger Syndrome who is accused of murder. The book definitely follows the "Picoult formula" (which you know exactly what I'm talking about if you've read 2 or more of her books), however, the book struck really close to home since my seventeen year old brother has Asperger's.  I could relate to a lot of parts in this book, and that connection to the story was definitely part of the reason I enjoyed it.  We're always talking about connections between ourselves and text at school with the kids, and this was one of those times where I realized how powerful that is.  Overall, her portrayal of Asperger's was pretty accurate.  There were definitely traits that the main character had that seemed like they were more of a full blown autism teenager, but then again, I know everyone's case of Autism/Apserger's varies.  

Overall....good book. That's something I rarely say for Picoult.

July 2011

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

This book. This book took me SEVEN MONTHS to get through...BUT...I absolutely loved it. Possibly a book that will sit on my shelf of favorites along with Harry Potter, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Kite Runner, and The Help. It was just one of those books that sticks with you. It is not at all my typical read. I've never read a western before in my life, but my father has raved about this book for years, and I had heard people refer to it in conversation. I decided I needed to know what the fuss was all about. It's slow. And parts are hard to get through (hence the whole seven months thing), but man, I am glad I stuck with it. I took breaks (obviously) and read some other books in between. I constantly think about this book, and I get why it won the Pulitzer Prize. Augustus McCrea is now one of my favorite literary characters. Thanks Dad for pushing me to finish this book!

August 2011

Sarah's Key by Tatiana De Rosnay

So many people have raved to me about this book, which made me really excited to read it. And while I liked it, I didn't love it. It was definitely a good read that came me interested, but nothing amazing. I liked learning about the Vél' d'Hiv' roundups in France, as this was something I knew nothing about. But it wasn't what I had hoped for after hearing such rave reviews. I know I'm the minority here, so please don't hate me, it just wasn't my favorite.

August 2011

Divergent by Veronica Roth

I need to first say a big thanks to Mojito Maven for telling me about this book. I have since made everyone in my life read it (including my husband). This was my first Nook book, and I devoured it. If you liked Hunger Games, you MUST read this. It's similar in a lot of ways, but so different.  The main character was one you root for the whole time, and there's another character who I found myself majorly crushing on. I cannot wait for book 2, Insurgent, to come out this spring. I will be reading it immediately!

And then let's fast forward to today...I took a few months off from reading...let's blame it on the new job (and maybe Words with Friends)

December 2011

So much to say about this book! Let's begin with the fact that I love Mindy and have wanted to be her BFF since the days she used to write a hilarious blog called "Things I've Bought That I Love"...think Oprah's Favorite Things, but no free stuff and way funnier. Secondly, thanks to my BFF for sending me this for my birthday. And all need to read this if you want a good laugh.  I am actually not all the way through it, but I know I'll finish by the end of 2011. Go here to read some excerpts from it. Also, can we talk about the funny back cover?

Man, I love her.

So there you have it friends! My 2011 reads. I truly hope to be a better reader in 2012 and actually stick to my 12 book goal. I actually started 2 other books this year that I just never finished. Maybe I'll pick both of those back up in the new year.  Anyone want to suggest some books for my list for next year? My list is already crazy long, but I love a good suggestion!  There is not better feeling than finishing a fantastic book. A book that you can't put down and makes you laugh and cry. What was that book for you this year? 

Share away and happy reading!


  1. I didn't finish the House on First Street either. Divergent & The Hunger Games (I know, I was a little behind on that series.) were my favorites this year. Such good books!

  2. I loved Sarah's Key, such an amazing story! I have several of these on my list to read!

  3. Please consider starting back up the book club! I so enjoyed it and it really helped me keep up with my reading goals!

  4. Ooh, I'm excited to put some of these on my to read list! My goal was 12 too... I read 4. Lame.

  5. I didn't know Lonesome dove was a book! I'm going to have to get it for my hubby. He loves the movie/series that we have on DVD of Lonesome dove so I'm sure he would love the book.

  6. I love book review posts. :) I've kept a list of all the books I've read since college and it's always fun to look back at, or give recommendations from. I'm putting Lonesome Dove on my reading list now... never heard of it but I'm intrigued. Oh, and we went to school with Mindy. I didn't actually know her but Alasdair likes to talk about how she once hit on him. It's kind of like he's almost famous, right? Ha.

  7. Thanks for the suggestions! I added a few to my "to read" list for when my Kindle comes. ;)

  8. I have Lonesome Dove on my tbr list for next. I'm glad to hear how much you enjoyed it. I can't wait to start it.

  9. I need to read Divergent! That sounds like my kind of book!!

  10. I always love your book list! I actually just started Divergent this morning and am whipping right through it. So good! I can't wait to read Mindy Kaling's book in 2012!

  11. I always love reading your yearly book lists! I put some of these books on reserve at the library after reading your reviews. I just finished Divergent and also loved it! Too bad the next book doesn't come out for awhile.