1. Best Book You Read In 2011?
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. I summed up my feelings pretty well in my Top Ten of 2011, so I’ll let a quote do the talking. “This is an emotional novel that transcends its target audience and touches the hearts of anyone who opens its pages. Ness has nailed each emotion, both light and dark, with utter perfection. His writing is accompanied by artwork by Jim Kay that elevates the book by complimenting the complex emotions on show. If you only read one book published this year, it has to be A Monster Calls.”
2. Most Disappointing Book?
Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver. I was utterly hyped to read the latest James Bond novel, by my favourite crime and thriller writer, only to find a boring and cliché version of the British spy. I dragged myself to the end in the hope it would get better. It didn’t.
3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2011?
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender. This book has such a chick lit cover and after reading the blurb I was intrigued. My favourite bookseller and I discussed it and whether the idea had merit. By the last page I was blown away. Everything from the initial idea to the characters is astounding.
4. Book you recommended to people most in 2011?
The Passage by Justin Cronin. This weighty tome was recommended by me to pretty much everyone I met and while many other books were up there for this one, The Passage stole it from the sheer number of people who picked it up.
5. Best series you discovered in 2011?
The Conqueror series by Conn Iggulden. I’d wanted to read this series for such a long time and when I finally got around to starting it I wasn’t disappointed. The story of the life of Genghis Khan is quite a niche one, but I’m loving it.
6. Favourite new authors you discovered in 2011?
- Rebecca Hunt for her superb novel Mr Chartwell and it’s depictions of depression.
- Leonora Carrington for her surreal story The Hearing Trumpet, which is laugh out loud funny and bizarre in equal measure.
- F. Scott. Fitzgerald for The Great Gatsby, which blew me away this year.
7. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011?
11.22.63 by Stephen King. Despite the length of this one (Over 740 pages in hardback) I zoomed through it in only a few days simply because I didn’t have the willpower to walk away from it. It is such a gripping story.
8. Book you most anticipated in 2011?
House Of Silk by Anthony Horowitz. Sherlock Holmes was back and I was incredibly excited for it.
9. Favourite cover of a book you read in 2011?
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern for its fairytale like illustration. And the black and white with the swish of read is striking and lovely.
Karou from Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. Karou is a wonderful character, a girl brought up by demonic like creatures with a passion for art, an acerbic wit and a passion for life and her surroundings. I loved spending time with her during the novel.
11. Most beautifully written book read in 2011?
My Dear I Wanted to Tell You by Louisa Young. Young’s prose is bold, punchy but also contains a great deal of feeling and emotion. Her writing is sparse in that she uses few words to truly communicate to the reader but each word carries a great weight.
12. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2011?
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, purely because I cried three times while reading it. I could barely finish the book and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.
13. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2011 to finally read?
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott. Fitzgerald. Not really sure why I waited so long, maybe I never thought I was ready to appreciate it? When I finally read it I was in awe of such wonderful writing.
14. Favourite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2011?
I’m drawing a blank on this one, mainly because I generally never remember things like this. I have a terrible memory in these instances. So I will have to pass on this one.
15. Book That You Read In 2011 That Would Be Most Likely To Reread In 2012?
The Great Gatsby once again. I want to read it again next year to fully submerse myself in the symbolism of the novel and take more time to read and enjoy it.
16. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!
I can’t say the scene for fear of spoilers, but it was in 11.22.63 by Stephen King and it had me DM’ing fellow bloggers on Twitter to chat about it.