2011 Books: Top Ten December 31, 2011Posted by ccbooks in Nerd Line.
I will admit, I didn’t have a very clear method for choosing this Top Twelve List. Basically, I just scanned through the pages where I scribbled book titles, and if a title jumped out at me as a “YES. That was an AMAZING book,” I put a little star next to it. And lo and behold, when I was done, I had ten titles (ok, a few more but a couple are a series, so they go together). In the order I read them, they are:
Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King
All the Printz winners this year were amazing, but King’s taut, suspenseful style kept me on the edge of my chair the entire time I was reading this. Truly, a book that made me both laugh and cry.
Built to Last by David Macaulay
I will never look at a cathedral, mosque or castle the same way again after reading this masterpiece. Macaulay turns architecture into poetry and engineering into a compelling story in this collection of three of his classic books.
Trash by Andy Mulligan
I had never heard of this book before it got picked for the SLJ Battle of the Kid’s Books in March, but it quickly became a book I went around telling everyone to read. A devastating story of poverty and violence, wrapped in loyalty, adventure and friendship.
Season of Secrets by Sally Nicholls
Possibly my favorite on this list. It renews my hope in the changing seasons and the magic of the natural world. I only wish it were eligible for a Newbery.
Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt
So torn on the Newbery this year (see the entry above!). But if I had to pick, I’d probably go for this one, with the most incredible voice and amazing integration of art into literature. If only it didn’t have SO MANY coincidences in the ending!
Bloodline and Bloodline Rising by Katy Moran
I wasn’t familiar with this series before, but Moran’s tales of honor, intrigue and family loyalty in the Dark Ages are worthy successors to Rosemary Sutcliff’s tales of Roman Britain. That’s saying something.
The White Cat and Red Glove by Holly Black
I’d never been a huge Holly Black fan–the whole modern faerie thing just didn’t appeal to me. Oh My Lord. These books are seriously addictive. The perfect mix of noir, mystery, romance and adolescent angst, I cannot wait for the last book in the series. The set of thirteen short scenes Black posted on her website are just not enough to satisfy me.
And Picasso Painted Guernica by Alain Serres
The only non-fiction on this list and I feel guilty. This large format book explains the events inspiring Picasso’s masterpiece and the process he went through to create it. With fold-outs, photographs and reproductions of other work by Picasso, this book made me proud to be an artist.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
This is probably the book I was most impatient to read this year (as I am an avid follower of Taylor’s blog) and it did not disappoint. Angels, demons, magic and PUPPETS. I mean, really, what more could you want?
Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King
King gets the prize for being the only author duplicated on this list. More introspective than her first in some ways, it has the same dry humor and specific style. I would not be surprise to see this with a Printz sticker on it by the end of January.
So, clearly I favor chapter books. Not much non-fiction that stuck with me, or picture books or poetry. I may repeat the experiment of trying to keep track of what I read, or I may not. Either way, here’s to a new year of reading!