I read 36 books this year which is more than I anticipated. They covered a variety of subjects and were reads that were for my Book Club, for review purposes, and for my own enjoyment. Of these books, these were my favorites from the year. Some actually came out in 2011, others were ones I finally got around to reading in 2011. Most were fiction, but there was also some non-fiction. If you haven't read these books, I recommend you putting them on your MUST-READ list today!
by H.W. "Buzz" Bernard
Published April 15, 2011
I got this for FREE on my Kindle but was drawn to it because of it's setting: St Simons Island, Georgia. I have family that lives there and my husband and I spent our honeymoon there. EYEWALL tells the story of a hurricane hitting the island and focuses on a family who wasn't able to get off the island in time. The science behind hurricanes was just as fascinating as the storyline of the family. If you are looking for a thrilling page-turner, definitely check this one out. Check out my review HERE for more details.
by Emma Donoghue
Published September 13, 2010
This was a book club read, but also one I had been wanting to read. The story of Jack and his mom locked in a room was made even more fascinating because it was told from 5 year old Jack's perspective. Keep in mind, Jack has never seen the world outside of his room and only has seen him mom and his "dad", the bad guy who has them locked away. This is gripping and will have you rooting for Jack all the way to the end!
by Darien Gee
Published April 5, 2011
This was a book I read for review. If you are looking for a story that pick you up and give you hope, then this story is for you. It is a feel-good kind of story about a community that is brought back together all because someone made some friendship bread and dropped it off on a door-step. The bonus is that recipes for starting your own friendship bread are included. You may just want to start your own batch after reading this story. Check out my review HERE for more details.
THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS
by Rebecca Skloot
Published February 2, 2010
This was also a book club read, but again, one I had been wanting to read. Even though this is a non-fiction, it reads like a fiction novel. Skloot tells the story of an African-American woman who changed medical history even though she died in the 1950's. This is a fascinating book that taught me much about cancer, medical research and the value of a life. Check out my review HERE for more details.
JOY FOR BEGINNERS
by Erica Bauermeister
Published June 9, 2011
This was another review read for me and I just loved the premise of it. This is the story of seven women who gather to celebrate one of owns victory over cancer. The celebration leads to them all conquering their one fear. The fears are all unique and are life-changing for each of the women. Again, this is another feel-good story and one you should definitely check out. Check out my review HERE for more details.
by Therese Fowler
Published May 3, 2011
This was another review read for me and one that is right from the headlines of our newspapers. It tells the story of teenagers who in the heat of young love, make a decision that will affect their families, their school, and their entire community. As a parent, I found this novel eye-opening. I also respected the author for writing this story from her own son's horrific experience. If you have or will have teenagers in your home, READ. THIS. BOOK. Check out my review HERE for more details.
SAME KIND OF DIFFERENT AS ME
by Ron Hall and Denver Moore
Published June 15, 2006
This was a book club read and one my Sister-in-Law had been telling me to read for quite some time. This story will bless you and can be life-changing if you let it. It is emotional, it is powerful, and it is unforgettable. Check out my review HERE for more details.
by Lisa See
Published May 26, 2009
I read this for my own enjoyment, but also because I was scheduled to review the sequel to this novel and felt I couldn't do that without reading this one first. I was already a fan of See's from reading SNOW FLOWER AND THE SECRET FAN and was expecting a great story. I was not disappointed. I love reading historical fiction and learning about this that happened in the past that I didn't already know or understand. This story of two sisters in China during the 1930's and beyond had me enthralled right from the start.
DREAMS OF JOY
by Lisa See
Published May 31, 2011
So, as I said above, this was a review book, but one I was very anxious to read, especially after reading SHANGHAI GIRLS. This picks right up where SHANGHAI GIRLS left off. But, this story is capable enough to stand alone. It picks up in 1957 and takes you back to China. The sisters are still the forefront of the story you are instantly drawn in to their world and their lives. Lisa See never disappoints you with her character development and vivid descriptions. This family drama will keep you up all night turning the pages. Check out my review HERE for more details.
THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS
by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Published August 23, 2011
This was my favorite book of 2011. It was a book I read for review and am so glad I had that opportunity. I think of this story often and can't wait to see it played out in movie form. The rights have been sold and actors/actresses are being chosen! I can't wait! This story of a Victoria who grew up in foster care and is now "graduated" to real life on her own will have your heart aching for her. The other main characters are the flowers and the language they are expressing from the giver to the receiver. I found the story of Victoria just as fascinating as the language of the flowers. This story will leave you with a renewed faith in the good of others, a belief in love conquering all and the hope for second chances. Check out my review HERE for more details.