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My Top Ten Books of 2011

December 30, 2011

It’s taken me a while but I’ve finally come up with my Top Ten Books of 2011. This list features books only published in 2011, and ends with my favourite novel of the whole year! If you think I’ve missed something out that you really enjoyed – why not let me know in the comments section below? I’d love to know what your favourite reads of this year have been too! But without further a do, drum roll please…

10. The Homecoming of Samuel Lake by Jenny Wingfield

Published by Harper Collins

I absolutely adored this debut novel from Jenny Wingfield! It may have been missed your book radar this year so if you haven’t checked it out yet, please do! It’s a fantastic novel set in Arkansas during the 1950s, and follows a wonderful family that has some of the best characters I’ve come across all year. I’ve never laughed and cried so much at the same novel before, and I can’t wait to see what Jenny will write next.

Read my review



9. Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

Published by Sceptre

I absolutely adored this novel from debut author Amor Towles. It’s extremely reminiscent of Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, with a wonderful story and beautiful prose that will stay with you for a very long time to come. But above all else, it will inspire you to take a look at the fate of your own life and those around you. I can’t recommend it enough.

Read my review



8. A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

Published by Corsair

This is probably the most original novel I’ve read all year. I wasn’t sure if it would be my cup of tea when I first saw it, but I was soon proved wrong. If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet then watch out for the chapter written entirely as a PowerPoint presentation! I am in absolute awe of Egan’s creative talents and I’m desperately eager to read more of her work.

Read my review



7. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Published by Puffin

This is one of those novels that completely blew me away. It’s based on first-hand family accounts and memories from survivors, and tells the story of a Lithuanian family who are arrested and sent to Siberia following the Russian occupation of their country. It’s an absolutely heart-breaking read, but one that is vitally important. This is one of the only novels that has ever made me cry and I can still remember the way I felt when I was reading the awful tragedies these people had to endure. Nothing else will move you in quite the same way.

Read my review


6. Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

Published by Harper Voyager

Prince of Thorns is the beginning of what is set to be an incredible new series by Mark Lawrence. It’s fast-paced, bloody and brutal and has one of the most memorable and ruthless characters you will ever come across. I couldn’t put it down and I’ve been recommending it ever since! Sadly we have to wait until August for the second instalment; King of Thorns!

Read my review



5. The Demi-Monde: Winter by Rod Rees

Published by Jo Fletcher Books

The Demi-Monde is a computer simulated world devised by the American government where US soldiers can train for the brutalities of war. However, this world is ruled by history’s most cruellest and memorable characters; Reinhard Heydrich (the Nazi who thought up the Holocaust), Aleister Crowley (history’s most influential occultist), Archie Clement (outlaw leader and pal of Jessie James), and Empress Wu (the only empress in the history of China), are to name but a few. It might sound a bit bonkers, but trust me it’s an absolutely incredible read. I’d love for this novel to get the attention it truly deserves, so if you haven’t read it – what are you waiting for?! And for those of you with Kindles – it’s even in the Kindle sale!

Read my review


4. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Published by Walker

This is the story inspired by the original ideas of author Siobhan Dowd, who sadly lost her battle to cancer and was therefore unable to complete the story herself. I’m sure Siobhan would be absolutely overjoyed with the work Patrick Ness has created in her memory. It’s an astonishing story with the most haunting and beautiful illustrations that I have ever seen in a young adult book before. I cried, and cried – it’s virtually impossible not to. This is a book you will keep for the rest of your life.

Read my review


3. When God Was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman

Published by Headline

If you know me well, you will certainly know how much I adored this novel. I haven’t stopped recommending it at work, and it’s the best feeling when I get customers returning and telling me how much they enjoyed it. When God Was a Rabbit is a very quirky read about childhood innocence and the bond between siblings as they grow older. I’m still in awe of Winman’s writing, and I’m desperate for her to write something else! Please read it – you won’t regret it!

Read my review


2. Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Published by Quirk Books

This has to be the most unique book I’ve read all year. A chilling story, interspersed with real vintage photography that makes everything even more haunting than you could possibly imagine. It takes a book like this to remind you just how important print books are, and that e-books should never be allowed to take over our book industry. It’s a beautiful book, one that you will want to hold in your hands time and time again. I have been endlessly recommending this at work, and so far I’ve managed to sell over thirty copies – which is pretty astonishing for a debut author, and a hardback at that! Tim Burton has also recently bought the film rights to it so make sure you read it before the film comes out!

Read my review


1. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Published by Hodder & Stoughton

This is without a doubt my favourite book of the year. No creepy photographs or wonderful illustrations; it’s just simply an incredible story, and one that I can’t seem to get out of my mind! Laini Taylor has blown me away with her beautiful imagination that has managed to create such captivating and magical characters. This is what storytelling is all about, and I can easily see this becoming a classic in years to come. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am for the second book in the trilogy! Move over Stephanie Meyer….

Read my review



What do you think of my Top Ten Books of 2011?

What’s your favourite book of 2011?


7 Comments leave one →
  1. December 30, 2011 23:21

    Great list. I haven’t read all of these books, but I’ve heard amazing things about them.

  2. December 31, 2011 08:36

    Y’know it’s strange. On any of my lists for 2011 or mentions on Twitter I always neglected Goon Squad and Rules of Civility. This is despite them blowing me away at the time of reading. There was something that kept them out of my subconscious…

    Great list Emma, Prince of Thorns was on my Christmas list but I never got it. I’ll try to grab it soon, so I can read it before the sequel is out.

    • December 31, 2011 11:01

      Aww I loved those novels so much they have stayed with me ever since! I simply couldn’t forget them 🙂 I wondered if you were going to rant at me for not including the Stephen King book…. hehe. I really hope you enjoy Prince of Thorns when you do get around to reading it!

      • December 31, 2011 11:04

        Nah, you’ll never learn 😛

        I actually feel bad not including them. Particularly Amor Towles, I adored every page of that book 😡

      • December 31, 2011 19:03

        aww maybe you should do a little blog post about it :p lol.


  1. December Summary « Book Monkey
  2. The Demi-Monde: Spring by Rod Rees « Book Monkey

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