Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Top Ten Favorite Books of 2011

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish
My favorite books of 2011 in 25 words or less. (There are lots of hyphenated words to enable me to keep it under the limit.) YOU should read these books (in random order):

1. The Bronze Horseman Trilogy (The Bronze Horseman, Tatiana and Alexander, The Summer Garden) by Paullina Simons. A captivating love story beginning in WWII Soviet Union, spanning continents and decades. You'll laugh. You'll cry. But always, you'll root for Tatia and Shura. 

2. All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren. Set in Depression-era South. One man's corruption; another man's redemption. Some of the most beautiful prose I've ever read.

3. In the Woods by Tana French. Team of detectives solving the murder case of a child in Ireland. Suspenseful and thrilling. Fresh and beautiful writing.

4. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. Best YA novel of the year! Legend of water-horses comes to life. Subtle love story and to-die-for prose.

5. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. Based on Biblical book of Hosea and set in Gold Rush California. One man's beautiful and forgiving love for the prostitute he married.

6. The Last Letter from Your Lover by Jojo Moyes. Amnesia, adultery, car crashes, love letters, overbearing husband, earnest lover, divorce, freedom. partings, reunions.

7. The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly. Ultimate good-girl/bad-boy romance set in turn-of-the-century London. Sid is a gangster; India is a goody-two-shoes doctor. Inexplicably they fall into enduring love.

8. The Paris Wife by Paula McLain. The story of Hadley, Hemingway's first wife. Paris in the 1920s: art, booze, and love. Real and heartbreaking.

9. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. A must for book-lovers. Coming-of-age story of Francie told in a compelling and vivid voice.

10. Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman. Based on the medieval story of Joanna--King John's illegitimate daughter--and her marriage to Llewelyn the Great, Prince of Wales. Well-written and well-researched. 


Mary-Sweet Bookshelf said...

I've not read any of the books on your list! I've heard good things about The Scorpio Races. I have a thing for dragons so I'm going to check out Here Be Dragons.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

My sister and nieces have recommended Redeeming Love to me for years. I need to be sure to read it in 2012.

I'm off to visit every blog with a Top Ten of 2011 list and add all the intriguing titles to my (already very lengthy) wishlist at Amazon. Thanks for your list!

Here's my Top Ten Favorite Books I Read in 2011.

Anne said...

I picked a Sharan Kay Penman book too and have had Redeeming Love on my bookshelf for a while. I hope I get to it soon, I have heard it is wonderful!

RachelKiwi said...

sorry to disappoint you, mary... but no dragons in here be dragons. it's what medieval mapmakers wrote on maps to delineate unexplored territories. it's like "we don't know what's there, for all we know dragons may live there." i think that's pretty cool.

Tanya Patrice said...

Love the list - quite a few are books that I hope to get to very soon, like Scorpio Races.

Asheley (@BookwormAsheley) said...

Redeeming Love is maybe my all-time favorite book. I recommend it to people all the time. I was so excited to find a perfect copy last week at my local Goodwill for 75 cents, which made me SO HAPPY, because even though I've read it four times, I've always had to check it out from the library. Every time I read it, it is exactly what I need. So glad to see it on your list.

Laura said...

Scorpio Races was fantastic. I adore Redeeming Love. One of my all-time favorite books. Great list. I've added some to my TBR pile.

Here's my Top Ten

Laura @ The Traveling Owl