TSS - The Best of the Best

I luurrvvee this time of year.  I'm a lister* and I love reading other people's lists.  Especially if they're bookish lists.  Which means, obviously, this has been a grand ole week 'cuz everyone is reminiscing about the great - and not so great - books read in 2010.  Sorta like mentally cleaning up and clearing away the old to make room for the new.  (You'll also have to note that I'm a procrastinator.  This post has been in the editing stage for nearly two weeks.)

Total Books - 110
Total Pages - 30, 427
Daily Page Avg - 83

Women Authors - 50
Men Authors - 38
New to me Authors (of only fiction) - 43

Young Adult - 44
Classics - 5
Poetry - 3
Non Fiction - 20
Graphics - 10
LGBT - 17
Short story collection - 1

This year's trends
- i found myself reading more fantasy than in the past
- picked up (and finished) more series or trilogies.
- increased my non fiction, but I'd still like it to be higher
- read my first adult fairy tales and retellings (hence the more fantasy)
- reread two books, which is very uncommon for me
- for the most part, each month, i read equally

Now for the rankings!  (Reviews are linked to the name of the book)

Best series - I would have to say finishing the Hunger Games trilogy, hands down.  A fun runner up would be the Sookie Stackhouse books which I devoured at the beginning of the year.  (Neither are linked to reviews because I didn't write any.  *sheepish grin*)

Most loved - Emma by Jane Austen.  Hands down.  I am still in love with Mr. Knightly.  Plus, Emma is freakin' hysterical.  Runner up - The Girl with Glass Feet by Ali Shaw.  I received this book from LT's Early Review Program and it truly blew me away.  It was different than anything else that I had ever read.  I couldn't quite decide if it was a fairy tale or merely fiction with magical realism elements.  In the end it didn't matter because it turned me onto other fantasy and fairy tale books.

Most DisturbingAlice, I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin.  I recently read and reviewed this book and SERIOUSLY the relationship between Alice and Lewis Carroll.  I know it's a fictionalized account and hardly true fact but the character development was amazing.  Well done on the writing.

Most forgettable - Crazy Beautiful by Lauren Baratz Logstead.  I'm scanning my list of books read and I really CANNOT FOR THE LIFE OF ME remember what this book is about.  I can vaguely picture the cover and I know enough that it was young adult, but that's about it.  I suppose I read my review to figure it out.

Freaked Me Out - Hands down, Hell House by Richard Mattheson.  It is no wonder that he has inspired the likes of Stephen King.  Hell House was spooky, wicked, and goulish.  I still get shivers every time I think about this book.

Most Disappointing - Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker.  This book promised a unique character and outlook on life.  Instead, it served up a hodge podge of personalities, none that were very likable.  Ugh.  Especially the leading character - what's her name.  I just didn't believe her choices in life.

Most Outrageous - Aiiight, this little drama completely and utterly pissed me off.  Some of you might remember when I read Burned Alive by Souad only to find out that IT WAS A LIE.  *shakes fist in air* I fell for this hook, line, and sinker. And then I started reading about her story on the internet and it was all fabricated.  I'm sure if I happened to be less ignorant about non-eurocentric countries I'd figure it out while having read it.  I'm just glad that I researched it prior to telling people they should read it.  And uh, why is it still at the library?

I Can't Believe I Waited THIS Long! - Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.  This was just a wonderful read.  I cannot believe that I managed to earn a literature degree and this classic was never assigned to me.  WTH people.  I also have to admit that I'm glad it was read toward the end of the year.  Reinforced my desire to read more classics in 2011.

Character I'd Most Want as a Friend - Uhhhh, Tiny Cooper from Will Greyson, Will Greyson for the WIN.  Tiny is just such a fabulous character (and was I the only one not thinking about South Park's Gay Al at times?).  When I met David Leviathan and got my book signed I even requested him to put in there "Tiny loves you".

Glad It's Not My Life - Beautiful Creatures by Charles Bock.  Yeah, this book totally makes me happy that my life is simple and at times even mundane.  The characters in this novel are self destructive and I'm sure living in the "sin city" doesn't help.  Beautiful Creatures makes me appreciate that I don't have to drink my woes away or pay for sex.

Beloved Fairy Tale - As I mentioned in the beginning, I read quite a handful of fairy tales or retellings.  I'm not going to give another shout out to Girl with Glass Feet (even though I love you!) and instead will pass this off to Deerskin by Robin McKinley.  It was my first McKinley book and I was totally unaware of the fairy tale that inspired her to write the novel.  Absolutely beautiful and enchanting.

Was There a Plot Here? - Elysiana by Chris Knopf.  Seriously.  What was the point?  I didn't even get the characters.  

Well that's pretty much all I got folks.  I had some marvelous reads this past year.  I learned that not all vampires sparkle; women's fiction does not have to be inane; just because I haven't read the books, the reviews can still rock; and thank god I gave fantasy a chance.


  1. You really had some good reads this year. I totally enjoyed the Hunger Games Trilogy as well.

    Hope your 2011 holds lots more great reading!!!

  2. Tiny Cooper WOULD be an awesome friend. :D

  3. I'm a little bummed you didn't like Little Giant. Not the best book but I liked it.

    I really need to pick up Alice, I have Been. My senior year of college I took a course on Lewis Carroll and the relationship between him and Alice is absolutely fascinating. And mysterious.

    Hope 2011 is a great one for you! Oh, and in case I forget to tweet you later...mark your calendar for April 9th for the READATHON. Just announced. Tell Diane she'll just have to entertain herself for the weekend. ;) I'm just praying Little Miss doesn't arrive a few weeks early so I can have one last day of indulgence.

  4. I'm not sure how many books you read for the challenge, but there are 3 giveaways up for participants of the Vietnam War Reading Challenge. I hope you'll enter and spread the word.

  5. So glad to hear you loved Emma. I am definitely reading that this year, as it's the only Jane Austen book I haven't yet read. I can't wait.

    Wishing you a great reading year in 2011!

  6. Love your categories! As a fellow English major, I can't believe you haven't read Jane Eyre either (it's my all-time favorite book) but then again, I managed to get through without reading Middlemarch (hope to rectify this year) so there you go.

    Alice I Have Been is another book on my TBR stack - now my interest is piqued even more.

  7. I love reading everyone's lists too :) Emma's on my reading list this year. And I'm glad you loved Jane Eyre, it's one of my favorites.


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