Denise Covey, L’Aussie, reflects on 2011

At the beginning of 2011, I joined Home Girl’s Reading Challenge which has many levels. I decided to go with the 100+ goal. I was off to a speedy start and had read my 100+ by November. In 2012 I will set my goalposts even higher. Writers need readers after all. However, seeing as I’m prioritising my writing in the New Year, maybe I won’t get as many books read. 

A Moveable Feast in hand
I read many amazing books in 2011. One of the most amazing experiences was reading A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway after buying it from Shakespeare and Company, the shabby little bookshop on the Seine in Paris. As I read it, I followed in Hemingway’s footsteps around Paris, walking up to his apartment, eating at his favourite restaurants and soaking up the Hemingway vibe. Another of my favourite reads of the year came from the same bookstore. I discovered a new author – Sybil Marshall – who published her first novel at 80! Her books are amazing. I started her Nest of Magpies in Paris after I finished Hemingway, and was blown away by her storytelling set in an English village threatened by developers. When I got home, I bought all her other novels online.

Books (other than the above-mentioned) that blew me away:

Au Revior to all that – Michael Steinberger – a wonderful story with an amazing premise set in World War 11. Seriously couldn't put it down.
Red Garden – Alice Hoffman – I reviewed it here at RAD.
Venice Conspiracy – Jon Trace – kept me guessing all the way through. Creepy.
Paris Dreaming – Anita Heiss – a great Aussie indigenous author who has written a series of …Dreaming.

I like to read/review blogger’s books. Here are some I’ve enjoyed reading:

Bear With Two Shadows – Roland Yeomans – could be a classic one day.
A series of 3 books by Talli Roland – The Hating Game, Watching Willow Watts and Build a Man
In the Mirror – Ann Carbine Best – a shocking memoir by a favourite author of mine

The Highwayman’s Mistress – Francine Howarth, author of Regency Romance

Can’t wait to get into reading for 2012. Looks like I’m finishing the year with The Affair by Lee Child, Jack Reacher series. Love them.

Dawn Reflects on 2011

Since it is almost the end of the year, it's time to reflect on the books that were read in 2011. Then in January we will have new reading goals to post and hopefully new reviews.

So much has happened over the last year and while I didn't read over 30 books this year, I did manage to finish reading 21 which is a lot more than the 3 or 4 I read in 2010.  Many of the novels were YA but there was a variety that helped add to the mix. Had a number of surprises with the books that I did manage to read with quite a few being even better than I had even expected. So many good books this year out of the 21 books. Some weren't as good as the hype and some were so good I wondered why more people didn't talk about them enough.

It's hard to even pick the best book out of the year even though I only read 21 of them. So I'm going to list a few different books that I found amazing.

Books that surprised me in a very good way:
A World Without Heroes by Brandon Mull - very long, surprising enthralling middle grade first book of a series
Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey - ghosts and cool story line
Wither by Lauren DeStefano - OMG so good dystopian with even a good love triangle
Dreaming in English by Laura Fitzgerald - such a touching story even though I haven't read the first book.
I Am Not A Serial Killer by Dan Wells - quite a good book about a strange young boy.

Books I can't wait to read the sequel:
A World Without Heroes - cliffhanger ending made me go "argh" and I am still waiting for the second one to have a cover and such since I read the ARC of the first book that makes for a long wait.
The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPaul - The first book was good and I wonder where they are going with the story in the series.
Wither - I wonder what will happen since the characters have limited time left in their lives.

Not many but this year was better than the year before and I hope to read even more in 2012. Thank you for following this blog and our reviews. Can't wait to see what 2012 brings.

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