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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Armchair BEA: The Best of 2011...So Far...

SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION: Comment on this post to win a digital copy of Confessions of a D-List Supervillain from author Jim Bernheimer!

On to today's discussion....what are the best books (so far anyway) for 2011?

As a reader and a reviewer, especially lately, I find myself not even attempting books if I don't have a reasonable expectation of enjoying them. I mean, the last thing I want to do when I get home from work and make dinner and do all that domestic stuff that has to get done sooner or later is flog myself to death with a book that I don't enjoy and didn't honestly think that I would. As a result, most of my reviews tend to congregate towards the higher end of the rating scale anyway; life is too short to read bad books!

These books, though, were ones that a) I hadn't read before the start of 2011 and b) really stand out to me from a crop of enjoyable books all around. Also, because I can, I'm choosing to interpret this list as the best of what I've read in 2011, regardless of actual publication date, as opposed to best of what's been published in 2011. Rules, schmules.


Red Glove
Up first is Red Glove by Holly Black, which was every bit as as good as I'd hoped it would be and then some.  Tasty conflicts, twisty ethical crises, forbidden love, magic and mayhem and adventure- waiting for the third book in this series to come out is going to be...challenging.

This Side of the Grave: A Night Huntress Novel
Honestly, who doesn't enjoy this series on some level?  After wandering through an angsty wonderland of pain and loss in the last book, This Side of the Grave gave me everything I wanted in my Cat and Bones fix.  I know not everyone was happy with the way this book turned out and the conflict and everything, but you know what? I enjoy being able to read about a couple just being a couple and taking on their problems together, instead of fighting with each other and using whatever energy remains to save the world or whatever.  Also, Cat, I don't think you're the only one who needed to grow up in this relationship.  I'm just saying.

Silent in the GraveEasily the dark horse in this bunch is Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn, the start of the Lady Julia Grey series of historical/mystery/romances.  Genre mashups always make me all warm and squishy inside and this one is one of the best.  I'm on book 3 in this series right now and am trying to pace myself until book five comes out in July.  Patience is a virtue that I am lacking.

SabineFairytales? Shifters? Romance? Sign me up please!  Sabine by Moira Rogers is delicious from start to finish.  Seriously people, this book could be a thousand pages long and I would eat up every single one.  The next book, Kisri, comes out in June, and is just as good as this one.  Waiting for future books is going to be tough here as well.  Where's a time machine when you need it?

Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the BeastFun fact: my favorite fairy tale is Beauty and the Beast, and Beauty by Robin McKinley is one of my favorite fairy tale retellings.  It's sweet and innocent but romantic at the same time.  Tasty!

Also, in precisely one week, two of my most anticipated books of 2011 will be released:

Magic Slays
Kiss of Snow

Yes, the next installments in two of my favorite series are releasing the day after a long weekend. As if any more proof were required that life is not fair.

What are your favorites so far of 2011?

As a final thought, the only way to be the best is to practice and never give up.  However, if you just want to be a part of something good, then hanging out with people who practice and never give up is a good start:

Happy Tuesday everyone. :D
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