Friday, 16 December 2011

My favourite books of 2011

As it's fast approaching the end of 2011 I thought it would be a good opportunity to think of the books I have read this year and which ones were my favourite.

2011 has been a good year for books for me. Although I didn't have much time for reading at the beginning of the year I have so far managed to read 30 books, none of which were re-reads and I discovered loads of new authors.

So in no particular order...

1. The Crimson Petal and the White - Michel Faber

The Crimson Petal and the WhiteI bought this book after watching the BBC adaptation, which I loved. This was a huge book and took me ages to read but I absolutely loved it. Faber's writing style hooked me completely from the word go. I enjoyed the way it was told and the descriptions in the book which made the story and it's characters come alive. The book brings the seedy side of the Victorians to light and is graphic in places, but what is the point in writing a book about prostitutes if you don't write about their job?

I would recommend this book to those who love historical fiction and reading about the less discussed side of life!

2. A Spoonful of Poison - MC Beaton

A Spoonful of Poison (Agatha Raisin, #19)This is one of my more recent reads, but was the book to introduce me to MC Beaton and Agatha Raisin.

I am a huge fan of Midsomer Murders and the way it has weird and wonderful murders in the idyllic countryside. This is also captured by the Agatha Raisin series. In this book, Agatha investigates murders caused by LSD being put into the jam at a village fete. For me, there is nothing not to love!

I am now ploughing through this series and hope to buy more of the books in 2012. I also intend to try the Hamish Macbeth books, also by MC Beaton as they sound right up my street! Lovely easy reads with enjoyable stories!

3. Jamrach's Menagerie - Carol Birch

Jamrach's MenagerieWhen I started reading this book I didn't know what to expect. And what the few expectations I did have were totally blown out of the water.

I loved the way this book was written and it easily drew me into the story, even though it wasn't a normal choice for me. The story was descriptive and had strong, likeable characters.

This book really suprised me as I could not have predicted the turn that the story took. I was shocked but equally desperate to find out what happened to Jaffy and the others.

This book will stay with me for a long time and I have already recommended it to others.

4. I Capture the Castle - Dodie Smith

I Capture the Castle (Vintage Classics)I only found out about this book by chance after reading about it on a blog. Since joining Goodreads I have found that this is a really well loved book and is at the top of many people's favourite book list.

I truly loved reading this book and totally understand why people describe it as a "cosy" read. I had never heard this term before but now I have my own "cosy" list!

I wish I had found this book earlier and am already looking forward to a future re-read!

5. The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern

The Night CircusAs soon as I read the reviews of this book, I knew I had to read it! I'm not really a fan of fantasy books generall, apart from Harry Potter, but this book just appealed to me.

I loved the physical book itself as much as the story. The black and white dust jacket with the dash of red covers a bright red hard cover decorated with mysterious symbols and black edged pages. I was excited about the book before I even opened it!

Even though the story itself was quite slow and very descriptive, I got to know the characters and could really picture the word being described in my minds eye.

A lovely book and I would highly recommend it!

All of the above books have really had an effect on me in some way or another, but I have really enjoyed most of the books I have read this year. 2011 was a good year for reading!!

I am looking forward to welcoming 2012 now and hoping that my to-read pile will not only get smaller through me reading what is already there, but will also continue to grow as I discover new books and authors!

There are still 2 weeks left of 2011, and I happen to have 2 weeks off for Christmas so heres to reading that little bit more before I completely close the door on this year!


  1. Oh my, I'm definitely adding A Spoonful of Poison to my wishlist! I'm addicted to Midsomer Murders so if you love it as much as I do, I'm pretty sure we have similar taste in books/tv shows :) Thanks for sharing! xxx

  2. If you love Midsomer you will love Agatha Raisin! Have you read any of the books by Caroline Graham which Midsomer was based on? xx

  3. I'll have to check out the Agatha Raisin books as I do like Caroline Graham's style so if there is any similarity between the two, it's worth a look.

  4. I find the Agatha books to be a little less harsh than Caroline Graham's writing but the stories are similar in the way that they are village murders. Agatha is no DCI Barnaby though, more of an accidental detective! I'd definitely recommend them though.

  5. i adore i captured the castle - have you seen the film? just as good as the book. night circus was defo one of my faves of the year too.x

  6. I didn't even know there was a film! I've just ordered it from Amazon though and am quite excited that it has Romola Garai in it as she was in Crimson Petal and the White on the bbc! x