Monday, December 26, 2011

The Top Ten of 2011...Totally!

2011 has been a large year indeed. When this year began, I was still but a burgeoning blogger with only three followers. At its culmination, however, I have ascended in the blogosphere and now own a moderately popular weblog with 89 wonderful, beautiful followers, a Twitter page, a Goodreads page, a Stumbleupon page, a Digg page, and more posts than ever before. How excellent, indeed! In order to celebrate what a wondrous year it has been, I have decided to partake in The Broke and the Bookish's Top Ten Tuesday this week, the subject of which is quite celebratory in nature. Therefore...

Top Ten (But I'll Just Do Five, Thanks) Favorite Books of 2011

1. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

A modern classic in every meaning of the phrase, Mockingjay renewed my faith in YA literature. Before I devoured this book, I was thoroughly convinced that all YA lit concerned were vampires and lost love and suicide and bullying and being yourself, all in a most bland manner. But Mockingjay has an innovative theme presented in an even more innovative manner. Kudos to Ms. Collins!

Read my post about this book, "To Kill a Mockingjay"

2. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Seldom do I read stories that have anything to do with the athletic world, but this was a worthy exception. Unbroken truly provides a groundbreaking insight into the essence of resilience, and the sometimes cruel effects it inflicts on its bearers.

Read my posts about this book, "How to Succeed (Period)" and  "Zamperini on 'The Edge of Glory'"

3. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Yes, everyone on Earth has read this one, but that doesn't make the fact that it's an excellent novel any less true. Stieg Larsson has a strict doctrine of giving us a startling gale of true reality when other sources of entertainment (namely, television programs) do anything but. Said piece also helped me survive every one of my finals, which is a gargantuan accomplishment in itself.

Read my post about this book, "The Post of Not-So-Sweet Revenge"

4. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Another book that taught me something new about the literary world. This time, it was that prose and poetry can, in some cases, be the same thing entirely. The meter of Zusak's words and the poignancy of his narrative still haunt me to this day, not to mention grant me the ever-useful ability to say "Asshole" in German

Read my post about this book, "On a Day of Death-9/11/01"

5. The Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck

Everyone who knows me also knows how much of a sucker I am for Mr. Steinbeck; he never fails to impress, and this supreme piece of literature is no exception. Here is an author who deserves your time, no matter how many minutes you may spend pondering the true meaning of his words. A Paradise Lost of modern America.

Read my post about this book, "Obama, Be a Ghostbuster!"

And now, a bit of philosophy to wash this celebration down: life is a journey. We've all been told this, yes? All discovered this by some means? Well, a journey always has landmarks, these landmarks usually being the the most memorable parts of one section of this journey, or maybe the entire journey itself. Whether memorable in positive manner (like the books mentioned in this post), or a negative one, memories of these past landmarks can aid in making landmarks found in the future much more familiar to oneself, and therefore much easier to work with as your life's journey continues.


  1. Awesome list - I read Mockingjay (and the rest of The Hunger Games series) and agree - so good!

  2. @Tanya Patrice Weren't they? I can't wait for the new movie in March!

  3. Nice list. I keep eyeing The Book Thief at our local bookstore, but haven't pulled the trigger yet on getting it. I really enjoyed Seabiscuit by Lauren Hillenbrand...have to check out Unbroken.

  4. Mockingjay is a fantastic book. I need to reread the series. I haven't read it since Mockingjay first came out.

    I plan to finish The Book Thief early next year. I'm excited.

  5. Very happy to see The Book Thief on your list! To say I'm a fan is an understatement! :)

  6. Well i guess im the only person on earth who hasn't read The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo lol. I have it on my TBR list though.
    My Top Ten

  7. @Robyn By all means, stop eyeing and start buying!

  8. @Janiera Make sure it's in your hands as soon as possible.

  9. I just finished Unbroken two weeks ago and was amazed by the story. I did wish I could have learned a little more about the redemption portion of the story.

    Also, good luck with Les Mis...

  10. I haven't read any of The Hunger Games books. I'm not much of a dystopian fan, and try to avoid the genre as much as possible. I recently got myself The Book Thief and am really looking forward to delving into it next year! :D

  11. Nice! I just started listening to an audiobook of tGwtDT, and I'm really getting into it.

    Happy reading in 2012!

  12. I love your tone of writing, very genuine. Good to see we share a book on the list also. Thanks for stopping by earlier!

  13. yes, being able to say "arschloch" is a very useful skill. Just don't say it when your German teacher is standing right behind you...or within hearing distance. (One life lesson i have the common sense to not learn the hard way!)
    and on that note, I have to go find the books on this list i have yet to read at the library and borrow them.
    (and if i wasn't supposed to say "a******" in german so that people would have to read the book to learn it, forgive me. I didn't use all the bad words i learned in it, and the plot is good, too.)

  14. I loved, loved, loved The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I loved the whole series. I have Unbroken on my TBR pile ...and ever growing TBR pile :)

  15. I love Mockingjay (well, for the most part) and I'm currently reading Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. And, of course, you already know from looking at my blog that I loved The Book Thief! (: I got that picture from the Ryan Gosling Young Adult tumblr page. (I don't have a Tumblr, but I considered making one just to follow that blog. Seriously, it's hysterical.)

    Hope you find even more great books in 2012 than you did in 2011! (:

  16. @Risa You should definitely try The Hunger Games! I'm not that into dystopian either, but the reason why these books were amazing was that they were so much more than dystopian. Thriller, Romance...even some elements of Realistic Fiction.

  17. @ Shane Marie and @Christina
    Make sure you see Fincher's movie version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo! I still can't get over how well it was made.

  18. @Sara (of the Page Sage) Thanks for introducing me to that website! It's proving ever-more-useful during study breaks...

  19. Sorry this is a late return hop. Christmas madness and various other chaotic happenings. Mockingjay really is great. There's a tendency to feel like you're just jumping on the bandwagon in saying this; but no matter how many times it is said, it still rings true. This book and series are great. The same for Dragon Tattoo. I really love those books for their uniqueness and how sad they are in many ways. Hope you enjoy the rest of the series.

    I got the Book Thief for Christmas and I can't wait to read it. Everyone says how great it is, how everyone should read it, yadder, yadder, yadder. You know the drill. But I can't wait. So many people can't be wrong right?

    1. They're not...The Book Thief is indisputably excellent.


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