Meme: Top Ten Tuesdays

Posted 26 December, 2011 by Lianne in Meme / 15 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This week’s topic: Top Ten Favorite Books I Read in 2011

Cannot believe another year has come and gone! This year has been quite the year in reading; so many wonderful books read! In no particular order (and going more or less in order of when I read it this year):

01. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (review)
One of the first books I read this year, I was struck by how poignant this book was. It’s a great coming of age story in Gaiman style. It’s also one of those rare books that managed to get me rather choked up at the end (I even mentioned that in my review at the time, lol).

02. The Paris Wife by Paula McLain (review)
I haven’t read any of Hemingway’s books (have to get around to his works one of these days) but I know bits and pieces of his life. McLain does an amazing job of portraying his early life through the eyes of his first wife.

03. George VI by Sarah Bradford
I watched The King’s Speech earlier this year and absolutely adored the movie so I started checking out books about George VI. I knew the basics of his life and how he became king after his brother abdicated but I never knew the actual extent of the obstacles he had to overcome and the amount of pressure he had to endure. Reading this book, I gained a sense of admiration for the man and how he was able to overcome many of the problems that faced throughout his life with a sense of determination and courage.

04. Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky (review)
I finally got around to reading this book after a friend had recommended the book to me a few years ago and after I had bought the book the previous year. I am struck by Nemirovsky’s prose, especially as this book was not the polished final copy. The characterisations and the experience of Occupied France was just astounding.

05. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (review)
Another one of those books I read this year that left me thinking, “Why didn’t I read this sooner?” I have to say, I enjoyed this novel more than War and Peace (which I read about three years ago) because of the internal characterisations. There’s just so much going on, you just want to analyse every single detail. Once again Tolstoy gives a masterful portrayal of Russian society in this period.

06. The Flanders Panel by Arturo Perez-Reverte (review)
One of my favourite reads this summer, I just could not put it down. It throws you straight into the action and leaves you wondering what exactly happened from there on out. I also enjoyed the intricate parallels to a chess game and other, slightly more obscure, classics.

07. Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
Probably the best science fiction novel I read this year, Leviathan Wakes was an enjoyable space opera, introducing you to an interesting, not-so-distant future complete with political intrigue, alien mysteries and good ol’ human conflict.

08. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (review)
This book piqued my curiosity with its initial premise; I don’t read a lot of novels set in a circus. But all of the praise that this book has garnered has been well-placed; what I think is my favourite part of this novel is the lush visuals that Morgenstern provides. I really wish there were tents like the ones she described in real life. I also enjoyed the way that the competition unfolded between Marco and Celia and their love story.

09. Juliet by Anne Fortier (review)
I read this book during my vacation back in October and absolutely loved it. Talking to a friend, I realised that it’s been marketed as a romance, but it’s more than that. I thought that Fortier’s presentation of the Romeo and Giuletta story with a historical basis was an interesting one. And yes, the romance was nice too =P

10. The Silver Pigs by Lindsey Davis (review)
Another book was originally supposed to take this slot, but then I read The Silver Pigs and it instantly became a favourite of mine. Marcus Didius Falco has to be one of the best literary characters ever imagined; his narrative is reason alone to pick up this novel. The mystery and the presentation of Roman life under Emperor Vespasian was also interesting, but Falco’s approach to life and the mystery was just stellar.

Honourable mentions:
The Villa Triste by Lucinda Grindle (review)
Venetia by Georgette Heyer (review)
Hidden Empire by Kevin J. Anderson (review)
The Daughter of Siena by Marina Fiorato (review)
Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson


15 Responses to “Meme: Top Ten Tuesdays”

  1. The Night Circus is sure showing up on a lot of these lists. It was a good read. Good job on Anna Karenina. I tried to read War and Peace this year, but I always fail with the Russians.

    • Li

      So I’ve noticed! Quite a popular read this year xD

      And thanks re: Anna Karenina. I totally understand about reading the Russians, you have to be in a particular mindset to get through their books. But I find Tolstoy (and Turgenev) to be easier reads than Dostoevsky (brilliant author, but you definitely need to be in a particular mindset to tackle his stuff).

  2. Laura @ The Traveling Owl

    I loved the Night Circus. It was fabulous. I read Anna Karenina way back in high school and loved it as well. Great list.

    Thanks for stopping by earlier.

    Laura @ The Traveling Owl

    • Li

      That’s awesome that you read Anna Karenina in high school! I think I was too daunted by the size to check it out back then. Thanks for dropping by! =)

  3. Nice list! I like The Graveyard Book, too. Suite Francaise is on my tbr for 2012, and I’ve got The Night Circus on my wishlist.

    Thanks for stopping by my list!

  4. The Night Circus really is great.

    Anna Karenina…I started that in June and gave up after about 200 pages. It was too hard for me to keep details straight. I’ve said to myself I’ll try again in the next year. I just get lost in the meaning sometimes, but other parts are written really great. I don’t want to completely ignore it!

    • Li

      I totally understand the feeling, that was me with Brothers Karamazov at some parts. They just cram a lot of information and moments and issues into their work. I hope you have better luck this year, it is a wonderful novel once you follow the characters and stuff =)

  5. I hope I do to. I think I’ll get to a point where I’m reading it just to say I have read it though! The bits I did read, I genuinely liked. I think it was just that there were so many stories and, as you say, issues trying to be covered. I just can’t process that much! For me, some classics are like sifting through chocolates to find those ones you really like. What I mean is that the story is great overall, but I’m waiting for those special moments that are what will define the book for me.

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