Favorite books in 2011!(Note - read in 2011, not necessarily published in 2011. Book titles linked to my reviews.)
- Children of Paranoia (Children of Paranoia #1) by Trevor Shane - it's dystopian but not quite dystopian as it could happen right now. It's a thriller but not quite a thriller. But what it really is, is a love story.
- The Human Bobby by Gabe Rotter - the plot took me by surprise and I love a good twist!
- The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen - I wasn't into Magical Realism until I read this book. This was my first Sarah Addison Allen book, and I ended up reading all her 4 books this year, though the rest were just okay for me. I liked it better when the magic is possible and explainable (I know, it's contradictory to what magic is... but I have a logical mind...)
- Honorable mention: The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry - this book grew on me I think. I only gave it a 3.5 stars after I read it, but the story has staying power and I like that it doesn't have a typical ending.
- Honorable mention: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Flavia de Luce #1) by Alan Bradley- while the plot isn't the best, the main protagonist is memorable! Flavia may be my favorite character in 2011! The other character would be John from I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells but this book didn't make it as a favorite for me.
Young Adult Fiction:
- Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys - last book read in 2011 - just finished it an hour ago! Wow. I don't read a lot of YA, or historical fiction, but this is both, and it made me cry like a baby. Review to come!
- Divergent by Veronica Roth - YA Dytopian. I can't wait to read Book 2! Not quite as good as the Hunger Games, but I do like it. Review to come!
- Honorable mention: Matched (Matched #1) by Ally Condie - wasn't as action packed as Divergent, but I'll still read Book 2 (reserved!)
- Totto-Chan: The Little Girl At The Window by Tetsuko Kuroyanagi - this is kinda a re-read for me, and I don't re-read. I have read the Chinese version (originally written in Japanese) many, many times when I was much younger. The last time I read it was at least 10 years ago. This is the first time I read the English version, and it still has the same effect on me as it did before. This is one of my favorite reads ever, not just in 2011.
- Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal by Conor Grennan - Very inspiring!
- Life, on the Line: A Chef's Story of Chasing Greatness, Facing Death, and Redefining the Way We Eat by Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas - Food and business memoir, and I was inspired by Achatz's drive and creativity.
- Lost in Shangri-La: A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II by Mitchell Zuckoff - not usually a history fan, but I was hooked to find out what happened! Also read this one together with husband and it was fun as we got to discuss the book along the way.
- Honorable mention: Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua - Being Chinese, I could relate to some of it (lucky for me that I could not relate to ALL of it!)
- Honorable mention: A Stolen Life: A Memoir by Jaycee Lee Dugard - Just couldn't imagine what she had to go through when she was imprisoned for so many years, not just a stolen life, but a lost childhood.
- Honorable mention: Maman's Homesick Pie by Donia Bijan - more food and memoir! I want to try out some of the recipes. Review to come!
Most disappointed books read in 2011:
- Left Neglected by Lisa Genova - not a bad book, but I had such high expectation since I loved Still Alice. This book just didn't have the same impact on me and I didn't feel emotional like I did with Still Alice.
- Where She Went (If I Stay #2) by Gayle Forman - also not a bad read by itself, but I really liked the first book If I Stay (also an emotional read for me) but this one fell short.