Sunday, January 1, 2012

Best Reads of the Year?

by Raelene Gorlinsky

Okay, everyone’s doing it – making “Best of the Year” lists about everything in the world, including books. Hey, at least we waited until the year was over, to include that book you were reading on New Year’s Eve!

So tell us your top reads of 2011—the books that moved, intrigued or fascinated you; made you rush to buy other books by that author.

Yes, there will be prizes! Probably random drawing amongst the people who post their lists in Comments. Ebooks, t-shirts, hmm, maybe other good stuff.

To kick it off, here are my best reads of 2011 (not necessarily books published that year), in no particular sequence. These represent books that were “different” in my opinion, that had a unique take on a standard theme or a special twist. [Caveat: I have not listed any Ellora’s Cave books, although there were many I loved. Hey, I have to deal with 450+ authors, I’m not going to show preference.  ;-) ]

Death Comes to Pemberley – P.D. James (mystery)
Dragon Bound – Thea Harrison
Steam & Sorcery – Cindy Spencer Pape
No Proper Lady – Isabel Cooper
Touched by an Alien – Gini Koch
Archangel’s Consort – Nalini Singh
Never Again – Michele Bardsley
A Discovery of Witches – Deborah Harkness (despite how incredibly frustrating I found the cliffhanger ending)

Your turn!


Sidney Bristol said...

Oooooh, so many to pick from. Okay, here are book that I've read in the last year that I've either reread multiple times or had me laughing, crying or some other response that not every book can do.

Sweet as Sin by Inez Kelley
Deadline by Mira Grant
Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh
Eat Slay Love by Jesse Petersen
Wrapped Around Your Finger by Blake Fallon
Sin Undone by Larissa Ione
Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart by Sarah MacLean
Dark Enchantment by Anya Bast
Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews
Grimspace by Ann Aguirre
Never Again by Michele Bardsley
Start Me Up by Victoria Dahl

Denysé Bridger said...

I have to agree with the Archangel's Consort choice, I've been devouring the entire Guild Hunter series, just finished Consort, and I'm now buried in Archangel's Blade - loving Dmitri SO much!! There are many great titles I've enjoyed this year, but this set stands above the others!!

Happy New Year everyone - 2012 is going to be brilliant!!


Dahlia Adler said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
steph beck said...

I read some great ones this year. My favorites have included a few non fiction books
Warm Knits, Cool Gifts by Sally Melvill and Caddy Melville Ledbetter (awesome knitting book)

Madam Eve's Gift by Kate Richards
Heart's Desire by Becca Dale
Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh
All the 1 Night Stand stories I read were awesome. I love that series.

It was a good year for reading :)

Stephanie Beck

Syneca said...

The Affair by Lee Child
What the Night Knows by Dean Koontx
Portrait of a Spy by Daniel Silva
Blood Trust by Eric Van Lustbader
Quinn by Iris Johansen
A Game of Thrones- A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin

Ann Leveille said...

Books I really enjoyed in 2011:

Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison
Fables series by Bill Willingham
How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Can't wait to see what I'm going to find this year!

Joanne said...

Thea Harrison's Elder Races series, Kiss Of Snow by Nalini Singh, Grace Burrowes book series The Soldier, The Heir, Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish and Virtuso, Anne Rainey's So Sensitive and Pleasure Bound, Mari Carr's Wild Irish series and her books Black Jack and White Knight, the Compass Brothers series by Mari Carr and Jayne Rylon and lastly, Victoria Dahl's series Good Girls Don't, Bad Boys Do and Real Men Will.


VampedChik said...

Oh geez... I read and reread a TON of books this year. Hm which ones to pick :) well heres a few..(trust me I can put alot more lol)

Mr. Monster- Dan Wells
Live to tell- Lisa Gardner
Water for Elephants- Sara Gruen
Are you there Vodka? It's me Chelsea-Chelsea Handler
The Accidental Demon Slayer-Angie Fox
Scent of Darkness- Christina Dodd
Catching Fire- Suzanne Collins
The Darkest Hour- Maya Banks
Living Dead Girl- Elizabeth Scott
Brazen- Maya Banks
Caines Reckoning- Sarah Mccarty
Long Hard Ride- Lorelei James
Raised by Wolves- Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Monkeewrench- P.J. Tracy

Dahlia Adler said...

Oops, let's try this again:

ROOM by Emma Donoghue
MOLOKA'I by Alan Brennert
CRACKED UP TO BE by Courtney Summers
MARCH by Geraldine Brooks
HATE LIST by Jennifer Brown

Maybe for the 2012 list, I'll have some that were actually written in 2012 ;)

Debra Glass said...

Gladiatrix - Russell Whitfield - if you liked Spartacus you'll love these kick ass fighting females.

Unknown said...

After getting a Kindle for Christmas last year I read so many books. To make a list of the greatest would take forever, but here are my favs that I have reread at least once:

Shadowland series- Cherise Sinclair
Love at First Bight- Tymber Dalton
Blood Destiny series- Connie Suttle
Delicate Freakn' Flower- Eve Langlais
Forbidden Pleasure- Lora Leigh
Songbird: A Linger Story- Maya Banks
Eyes of Stone- Tara Nina
Brianna- Judy Mays
Backstage Pass- Olivia Cunning
Trace's Psychic- Jory Strong

Okay I could keep going, but these are my absolute favorites this last year.

Milly Taiden said...

I have a Laurann Dohner preference...ALL her books for 2011.
All New Species:
Justice ***MY BABY***

and from the Cyborg series
Taunting Krell
Read her stuff if you haven't'll fall in love just like i did.

Cynthia Eden
Midnight Master
Angel of Darkness
Bound in Blood
Bound in Darkness

Rachel Zanetti

Tina Folsom - Zane's Redemption - LOVED IT!!!

Aerinah said...

Great post - I'm definitely going to check out other folks' recommendations. The best books I read in 2011 (that I can remember, off the top of my head) were:

Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series (I'm 2/3 of the way through the 3rd book now)
Wicked Appetite, by Janet Evanovich
11/22/63, by Stephen King
Manhunting, Jennifer Crusie
Flowers from the Storm, Laura Kinsale
Sunshine, by Robin McKinley (awesome, have read this several times)
The Blue Castle, by L.M. Montgomery (I've been reading this one over and over for about 20 years now)

And my favorite book that came out this year was definitely
Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline.

Briana St. James said...

Books that stood out for me this year. Hrm, I'm not reading as much for non-work purposes as I'd like.
My faves?
Fury by Laurann Dohner
Slade by Laurann Dohner
The Lamplighter's Love by Delphine Dryden
Regulary Scheduled Life by K.A. Mitchell
Mark of the Assassin by Daniel Silva
Lions of Lucerne by Brad Thor

Christine Rains said...

It's always so hard to do these lists!

Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning is at the top of my list for sure. Then there's The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead.

Owen Kennedy said...

I've really loved reading the New Species Series by Laurann Dohner. I'm excited to see more are coming along with her Cyborg Series and hopefully her Zorn series.

I was also glad to see Lorie O'Clare with another Lunewulf Book this year.

Harlie Williams said...

For me it would be Lisa Renee Jones Vampire Wardens series. Hearts of Darkness by Laura Kaye and anything by Liz Crowe.

Marika Weber

Cris Anson said...

Oh boy. I read close to 200 books this year, now that I'm retired. But here goes:

Back of Beyond, C.J. Box
The Nightmare Thief, Meg Gardiner
Night Road, Kristin Hannah
Play Dirty, Sandra Brown
Midnight Bride, Susan Carroll
Breaking the Rules, Suzanne Brockmann
Sky Pirate and Lord of the Storm, Justine Davis
Under Heaven, Guy Gavriel Kay (10th century Chinese warriors)
Love You More, Lisa Gardner
Barely a Lady, Eileen Dreyer
Without Fail, Lee Child
Who Fears Death, Nnedi Okorafor (post-apocalyptic Sahara Desert area)
Secrets to the Grave, Tami Hoag
Mistress Mine, Samantha Cayto
Emerald Dungeon, Kathy Kulig
Woman on Fire, Fran Lee
Devilish Delights, Tara Nina
Deep, Dark and Delicious, Tina Donohue

And looking forward to filling my Nook from a gift card I received

Camryn Rhys said...

I also read Cindy Spencer Pape's Steam & Sorcery, and ADORED it.

Read all three Grace Burrowes books that came out and they were the best thing I read all year. Can't wait for the next one!!

ECPI Editors said...

Wow, lots of good recommendations to check out.

Looks like many of us are really into series books - we get hooked on those characters and setting, and just want more, more, more!

My 2012 want-to-buy list is mainly comprised of new books coming from authors I read in 2011.


Nancy G said...

These are books I've read in the past year that I loved.

Artistic Vision by Dana Mari Bell
Black Jack by Mari Carr
White Knight by Mari Carr
Wild Irish Christmas by Mari Carr
Any Given Sunday by Mari Carr
Inflamed by Mari Carr (sensing a theme here?)
Eastern Ambitions by Mari Carr & Jayne Rylon
Northern Exposure by Mari Carr & Jayne Rylon
Southern Comfort by Mari Carr & Jayne Rylon
Silver's Chance by Billi Jean
Cipher by Moira Rogers
Demon Bait by Moira Rogers
Hammer Down by Moira Rogers (read it in 2011, although it isn't out yet)
Four for Christmas by R.G. Alexander

There are many more, but these are the highlights of the year for me.

Fedora said...

Hmm... I didn't read quite as much as I would have liked this past year--some highlights though were definitely:
- Ellen Connor's Dark Age Dawning trilogy
- Beth Williamson's Malloys (though technically I have some more of these to read :))
- Mari Carr's Wild Irish and White Knight
- Jess Dee, Lexxie Couper, Vivian Arend's Bandicoot Cove series
- Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson series
- RG Alexander's Possess Me
- Loretta Chase's Lord of Scoundrels

f dot chen at comcast dot net

Lil said...

The Greyfriar (Vampire Empire, Book 1) by Susan & Clay Griffith
Mark of the Vampire Queen by Joey W. Hill
Backstage Pass by Olivia Cunning
My Immortal Assassin by Carolyn Jewel

These were the reads that came immediately to mind.

little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

Diane M. said...

Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh
Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews
Archangel's Consort by Nalani Singh
Anything by Laurann Dohner

Plus too many to count

Anonymous said...

Wolf Tales 12 (and all else!) by Kate Douglas

Darkest Surrender by Gena Showalter

The Warlord Wants Forever by Kresley Cole

Anonymous said...

Oy Vay. Where to begin. I'll start with what I re-read and then list my newest favorite authors.

Linda Howard - The Mackenzies. LOVE
Diana Palmer - Lord of the Desert. LOVE Her

Thea Harrison (Every book in her Wyr series)
Shelly Laurenston (Big Bad Beast)
GA Aiken (The Dragon Who Loved Me)
Kate Douglas (Wolf Tales 12)
Sophie Oak
Dana Marie Bell
Maya Banks
Gena Showalter's
Kresley Cole
Sherrilyn Kenyon
JR Ward

Dang I could have gone on and on, but those are some of my favorites and auto buys for me;)

N.J.Walters said...

My list could be very long. lol But here are a few:

Maya Banks KGI series
Angel's Consort--Nalini Singh
Soul Magic--Jennifer Lyon
Valiant--Laurann Dohner
Quinn--Iris Johansen

I know there are tons more, but that's all I can think of off the top of my head. :)

N.J.Walters said...

Oh, and New York to Dallas by J.D. Robb. And the new Nora Robert's book.

See, I told you my list was endless. :)

Jayne Rylon said...

I don't get to read as much as I would like anymore but here were some of my favorites.

Breaking the Rules - Suzanne Brockmann
Skin Game, Dirty Thirty and Curio by Cara McKenna
Bound by Honor - SE Jakes
Red Ribbon - Lila Dubois
Undertow - Cherry Adair
Delicious - Shayla Black
No Quarter, No Master & No Remedy - Christine D'Abo
Backstage Pass & Rock Hard - Olivia Cunning

Huh. Maybe I did sneak in more reading than I thought because that's just the tip of the iceberg!

Kathy Kulig said...

Wow, lots to pick from. Here are some I can think of right off.
True Vision by Joyce Lamb
Blood Song by Cat Adams
Beyond the Night by Joss Ware
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Panther Moon by Regina Carlysle
Punishment & Mercy by Cris Anson
Downstroke by Desiree Holt
Saddle Broke by Darah Lace
Any of the 1800-DOM-help books

Lia Slater said...

I still want to read Nalini Singh. I've heard SO many great things. Here's a few of my fave 2011 reads:

Delicious by Sherry Thomas
Blue-Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas
Taming an Angel by Kathleen Lash
Unlawful Contact by Pamela Clare
Night Heat by Desiree Holt
Five Ways Til Sunday by Delilah Devlin

Anonymous said...

Tough to choose favorites, but I'd have to include the following:
Make Me, Sir - Cherise Sinclair
Surrender To Me - Shayla Black
F-Stop - Desiree Holt (love all the Phoenix Agency books)
Long Hard Ride - Lorelei James
Southern Comfort - Mari Carr & Jayne Rylan
Ink Master - Frances Stockton
Kiss of Snow Nalini Singh
Power Play - Eliza Gayle
Dreams of A Dark Warrior - Kresley Cole
Sin Undone - Larissa Ione

Margie Hager

Barbara Elsborg said...

As Meat Loves Salt - Maria McCann
The last Werewolf - Glen Duncan
The R word - Arlene Webb
Mapping the edge - Sarah Dunant
Broken - Karin Slaughter.

Ooh hard to choose - but very interested to read other's picks because there was one in particular - that I won't name - and I thought it was dreadful. It just goes to show that we all have different tastes and expectations. I love the Archangel books by Nalini Singh too and it was Raelene's comment maybe a year ago that made me buy the first. Now I'm wondering what this Kiss of Snow one is about. Off to check!

Bill Greer said...

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
The Death Instinct by Jeb Rubenfeld

ECPI Editors said...

Wow, I'm amazed at the number of books and authors others loved, that I've never even heard of. It illustrates the problem of "discoverability" in this environment of online shopping, maybe too many books published, etc.

But recommendations from other readers is the way I prefer to find out about books. Off to check out some of the ones listed!


Ελλάδα said...

This book is one of the best of women's fiction that i've read this year! i finished last night staying up late. I've been reading Kristin Hannah's books for years and this is my new favorite. I emotionally connected to all the characters and grieved with them. This is the type of story that i, as writer, lose myself in and admire.