Just warning you, this a long post with lots of lists!!
Looking back on 2011, I only was able to read 29 books. Should have been at least 50 :( I probably would have a larger number than 29 but several of those books, notably the GRRM novels, were rather lengthy and took a bit longer to complete as a result. Heck, one GRRM novel should count as at least three based on the length alone…LOL. Here is my full list…
A Clash of Kings (reread) – George RR Martin
A Storm of Swords (reread) – George RR Martin
A Feast For Crows (reread) – George RR Martin
A Dance with Dragons – George RR Martin
The Iron King – Julie Kagawa
Winter’s Passage – Julie Kagawa
The Iron Daughter – Julie Kagawa
Summer’s Crossing – Julie Kagawa
The Iron Queen – Julie Kagawa
The Iron Knight – Julie Kagawa
The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire – Suzanne Collins
Mockingjay – Suzanne Collins
City of Bones – Cassandra Clare
City of Ashes – Cassandra Clare
City of Glass – Cassandra Clare
City of Fallen Angels – Cassandra Clare
First Frost – Jennifer Estep
Touch of Frost – Jennifer Estep
Angelology – Danielle Trussoni
Vestal Virgin – Suzanne Tyrpak
The Map of Time – Felix Palma
The Countess – Rebecca Johns
The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern
Daughter of Smoke & Bone – Laine Taylor
The Mists of Avalon (reread) – Marion Zimmer Bradley
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (reread) – Mark Twain
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson
Excluding the rereads (unless noted), I shall bestow the following awards to my new reads:
- Best/My Favourite Novel: The Night Circus – brilliant, truly magical (no pun intended). I want to reread it just for the sheer beauty of the writing. I hate to admit that I hope it is never made into a movie as I doubt any movie could ever capture the dream-like qaulity and fantastical ambiance of this novel. The only criticism I have is that some people may find the non-linear timeframe difficult to follow. I didn't have any problems with it but I know it may annoy some. And perhaps the only other criticism is the lame preview provided which tells you, as they vaguely put it, the novel is about 'rival magicians in a circus'. I know they don't want to give away the entire story in the preview and I guess when you get right down to it that is what the book is about..but don't for one second think you will be reading about a traditional three-ringed circus with clowns and silliness and crazy, evil magicians trying to do harm to each other. *laughs*...no, that is not even close. Just read it...you won't be sorry.
- Worst Novel: Hands down....The Countess….I kept waiting and waiting for something to happen, something to make this book interesting and, alas, it never came….snoozzzzzz. Runner Up: Vestal Virgin...it wasn't that bad but really a book that takes a negative view of Nero doesn't stand a chance with me (side note: too bad, normally historical fiction is my favourite genre but these two left such a bad taste in my mouth afterwards that it has turned me off historical fic for a while)
- Surprisingly better than expected: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – I initially cringed at all the hype and assumed the books was overrated. The plotline did not sound that appealing and the book was gigantic (this was before I had my ereader and had no desire to tote the thing around with me while commuting). Once I finally did get around to reading it, it did turn out to be intense, completely thrilling and difficult to put down. Bring on the other two novels!!
- Surprisingly worse than expected: Daughter of Smoke & Bone – all the hype promoted this book as one of, if not, the best YA novels of the year. It was OK, reasonably enjoyable, but really IMO not as great as everyone had suggested.
- Worst Ending: Angelology…are you kidding me with that ending??? Great book, ruined by a silly, unsatisfying ending. Actually, the ending was believable even though it was whimsical – it’s just that the book was so, well, credible, practical and completely viable … you know those quasi-religious-historical-borderline-fa
ctual-mystery-thrillers (think DaVinci Code, Steve Berry novels) that genuinely put a lot of research and details in? Angelology was of this genre. You enjoyed moving through the novel…learning about the 'facts', learning about the history…it all seemed like it was leading to a conclusive and grounded ending and instead it just copped out and took the easy way out with a truly laughable resolution. I refuse to believe this was the ending the author originally envisioned. I think I'll blame the editor!! LOL Runner up: The Map of Time - the ending worked per se but it had potential for a far better finale IMO
- Favourite Series: that’s a tough one…either the Iron Fey series or the Mortal Instruments series
- Best/Favourite Character: Too many to count…Grimalkin or Puck from the Iron Fey series, Finnick from the Hunger Games trilogy, Daphne from the Mythos Academy series, and, sorry to Jace, but Simon and Isabella from The Mortal Instruments. Jace is just too frustrating at times…I want to throw something at him…LOL. Ash (Iron Fey series) is similar…only a different kind of frustration with Ash…he is a little TOO perfect at times…he needs to loosen up. But oh when those two are at their best I really don’t think any can compare. I wish I could include some favoured quotes from the novels but alas, I didn’t have the annotate/highlight function to record this info until recently. I’d bet money that the quote would be something snarky from one of my above-noted favourite characters though.
- Favourite Quote: Oh wait...I do have one...how could I forget this: “My name is Ashallyn'darkmyr Tallyn, third son of the Unseelie Court...Let it be known--from this day forth, I vow to protect Meghan Chase, daughter of the Summer King, with my sword, my honor, and my life. Her desires are mine. Her wishes are mine. Should even the world stand against her, my blade will be at her side. And should it fail to protect her, let my own existence be forfeit. This I swear, on my honor, my True Name, and my life. From this day on..." His voice went even softer, but I still heard it as though he whispered it into my ear. "I am yours.”...Ahhhh, epic. I weep again as I reread/type it. I so swoon for that moment in The Iron Queen, sad but true.
- Most satisfying reread: A Feast For Crows – the first time round I read this right after ASOS and I was so pissed off that GRRM left out the “main” characters from this novel I just couldn’t get into it. I enjoyed it so much in the reread I’d argue that I prefer this book to ACOK and even ADWD
Looking forward to 2012, I am currently reading the recently released third novel in the Mythos Academy series, Kiss of Frost. This series reads like a YA dramedy that you would see on the CW (think Secret Circle, Gossip Girl, Vampire Diaries, etc. all mixed together). Someone once described it as Veronica Mars meets Percy Jackson which is very true. It also reminds me a lot of the Nickelodeon series House of Anubis. It’s cute but a bit too fluffy, kidsy at times. I just wanted to read something light before delving back into the Millenium Trilogy. After Kiss of Frost, the following is on my immediate agenda:
Jan - The Heroes of Olympus series from Rick Riordan (two novels out now, a new one scheduled for fall)
Jan/Feb - The other two novels in Stieg Larsson’s Millenium Trilogy
Jan/Feb - The Dovekeepers – Alice Hoffman
Jan/Feb - Divergent – Veronica Roth
Mar - A reread of The Hunger Games before the movie release in March
Apr - A reread of A Clash of Kings before the new season of GoT in April
Apr/May - A reread of the entire Mortal Instruments series before the release of City of Lost Souls in May
May/June - The Infernal Devices series from Cassandra Clare (two novels out now)
TBA date -A reread of Jeanne Kalogridis renaissance fiction…ideally to lead up to the release of season two of The Borgias but I have no idea when season two starts up (if anyone knows the date, please, do tell)
That should take me up to the summer…after that who knows. I bet I forgot a ton of novels on my wishlist. *sigh*…so many books, so little time.