Tuesday, 3 January 2012

2011 In Review

It's been quite a year for reading.  For the first time I managed to keep pretty good track of all the books I read.  Here are the numbers (and remember, this doesn't include books I read 100+ pages of and then stopped, it's only books I finished).

Novels: 60
Graphic novels: 8
Manga: around 23 (I didn't count some as they're such quick reads)
Other (non-fiction, novellas, etc.): 9

Of those 60 novels, 15 were debuts for 2011 (there were other debut novels out in previous years, but I don't think that counts)

I mentioned a list of great books I read in 2011 on an SF Signal Mind Meld, here are the titles again, with a few additions and more descriptions.  They're listed in the order I read them.

  • The Fallen Blade – Jon Courtenay Grimwood (renaissance Venice with all its intrigues and a hint of the paranormal)
  • The World More Full of Weeping - Robert Wiersema (a novella that will touch your soul)
  • Eutopia - David Nickle (showing the horrors humans inflict on each other)
  • The Dragon’s Path – Daniel Abraham (epic fantasy at its best)
  • O.4/Human.4 – Mike Lancaster (a great SF primer for kids, or a quick rollicking read for adults)
  • Trouble and Her Friends – Melissa Scott (10 years old yet surprisingly prophetic with regards to government control of the internet)
  • Element Zero – James Knapp (a fantastic conclusion to a well written near future SF thriller)
  • Mad Skills - Walter Greatshell (an interesting premise that got creepier the more you understodd what was going on)
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Ransom Riggs (a coming of age story with a unique cast)
  • X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills - Chris Claremont (directly deals with both racism and fundamentalist religious beliefs in one graphic novel)
  • The Tomb - F. Paul Wilson (Repairman Jack.  'Nuff said.)
  • Ella Enchanted - Gail Carlson Levine (hilarious retelling of Cinderella, if you haven't read it, you should)
  • The Declaration – Gemma Mallory (dystopian YA where harsh population controls make up for curing death)
  • This Perfect Day – Ira Levin (an idyllic utopia, except from the protagonist's POV)
  • City of Dreams & Nightmare – Ian Whates (an interesting world with some creepy goings on)
  • River Kings’ Road – Liane Merciel (well written traditional fantasy)
  • Tankborn - Karen Sandler (diverse SF with a touch of romance and class issues)
  • Germline - T. C. McCarthy (life on the front line of a future war)
  • After the Golden Age – Carrie Vaughan (what it's like as the powerless daughter of superheroes)
  • Debris - Jo Anderton (great character driven story about not giving up)
  • Postmortal - Drew Magary (how life slowly deteriorates in a post-aging cure world)
  • Legend - Marie Lu (two youths learn that life isn't what they've been taught)
  • The Emperor’s Knife – Mazarkis Williams (Persian inspired epic fantasy)
  • All Men of Genius – Lev A. C. Rosen (light-hearted steampunk)
  • Touch of Power – Maria Snyder (a healer must decide if a lord's life is worth her own)
  • A Darkness Forged in Fire - Chris Evans (just as good the second time around, this book combines elves with guns and wicked dry humour)
  • When She Woke – Hilary Jordan (thought provoking dystopian fiction, not for the faint of heart)
  • Shatter Me – Tahereh Mafi (quick YA dystopian fiction with a unique writing style)

So, what did you read in 2011 that left an impression?


Anonymous said...

You didn't mention Among Others by Jo Walton, which is great.

Paul Weimer said...

I was in that Mind Meld too :)

For me:
The Fallen Blade
Of Blood and Honey
The Quantum Thief
The Vineart War Trilogy
And a few others...

Jessica Strider said...

Anonymous - I didn't get the chance to read Among Others, though I've heard it's fantastic. I may just have to pick it up in 2012.

Paul - You've mentioned a few other books I'd like to read, the Vineart War Trilogy and Quantum Thief for starters.

Too many books, too little time. Thanks for sharing!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The Lies of Locke Lamora was really good.