Like Liz mentioned in her best books of 2011 post, we read a f*ckload of books this year. And deciding which books made our favorites list was almost harder than deciding which movie Ryan Gosling looked hottest in this year. (For the record, after careful consideration, I've decided on Crazy, Stupid Love.)
And even though it has NOTHING to do with this post...
Now back to our regularly scheduled programming...
One more little thing before I get to my list o' books...what kind of end-of year post would this be without another AWESOME giveaway? (Liz gave away ten yesterday so of course I will too!) Just leave a comment and you'll be entered to win a BUNDLE O' BOOKS that includes novels from Meg Mitchell Moore to Kristin Hannah to Jackie Collins to Meg Cabot! Check out the picture below to see all TEN books the winner will receive. We'll choose the winners on Monday December 26th after 6pm PST.
So without further adieu, here's my list. And don't forget to tell me what YOUR fave novels of 2011 were!
LISA'S TOP BOOKS OF 2011
1. The Arrivals by Meg Mitchell Moore You know that feeling you get when a book sucks you in so hard and so fast that you think about the story and the characters when you're not even reading it? That's what happened to me when I devoured Meg Mitchell Moore's debut novel. I found her book about what happens when all of the children come back home to their parent's house at the same time so engaging and powerful that it resonated with me long after I finished reading it. So much so, that I knew it would make this list long before I ever officially created it. The Arrivals makes the perfect gift for any book lover who likes to dive in and barely come up for air until she's reached the last page. (PS: It also has one of my favorite covers of the year.)
2. A Year and Six Seconds: A Love Story by Isabel Gillies
When I wrote about Isabel Gillies
just last month, I was crushing hard. Swooning. In love. All of the above. And let's just say, the crush has only deepened since. (I've re-read the book since writing that post and have to say it was even better the second time.) It's a beautifully written true story about the deep pain and loss of heartbreak and divorce and the deep resilience and sense of humor of love. Ladies, if you haven't yet read this memoir, treat yourself to a copy this Christmas.
3. The Violets of March by Sarah Jio
We named Sarah Jio our Lit IT Girl
for a reason. I was so engrossed in this novel about riding a high for ten years and then having to start over that I could not put this debut novel down. And when I say couldn't put it down, that's not an exaggeration. I carried it with me everywhere and, at one point, was reading it while feeding my daughter. This novel makes a perfect gift for anyone who loves a good mystery and a good love story all rolled into one. (And BTW, Sarah Jio isn't done wowing us for 2011, she has a second fabulous novel, The Bungalow
, coming out on December 27th. Yes, two in one year! Be looking for her 5 Loves and a Dud
and, of course, a chance to win one of 5 copies of The Bungalow
later this week!)
4. It's Hard Not to Hate You by Valerie Frankel
In a nutshell, I had a baby at the beginning of this year so I needed a damn good laugh (or a
million!). And with this memoir, the hilarious Valerie Frankel may have just given me the best baby gift of all
(sorry, Mom!) In a nutshell, after a health crisis and unlocking years of pent up rage, Frankel discovers that your Bitchy Twin might just be your funniest, most valuable and honest ally. One of the funniest books I read all year (and that's sayin' a lot because there a lot that had me laughing), there was no question this book was going to make my list. Put it in the stocking of anyone who needs a good, healthy LOL.
5. If You Were Here by Jen Lancaster
When one of my favorite authors of all time made her fiction debut, I felt like one of those crazy people that lines up for the latest Apple gadget or to try out for American Idol. I might as well have stayed up all night and slept in the rain on the sidewalk as I waited for this book to come out. And once I got my little mitts on it, I was over 'da moon (me and her million other fans!). It's a story that asks- can your marriage survive a DIY renovation? It follows Amish-zombie-teen- romance author Mia and her husband Mac (and their pets) as they go through the funny-process of buying and renovating their first home in the Chicago suburbs that John Hughes’s movies made famous...and a lot more! The John Hughes references alone make this novel a must-read!
And one biography pic!
Y'all may not have known that, in addition to being a memoir whore, I'm also a biography whore!
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
. In a word, fascinating.