Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Best of 2011

Whew . . . this has been a difficult list to make. I've read quite a few books during the year and it's nearly impossible to identify my absolute favorites. However, I was determined to do it . . . and I have. I feel a bit bad because there were some really great books that I didn't include, but these are my favorites. And because I couldn't quite narrow it down to 10, you get a few bonus selections! (Click on the title to see my full review.)

What were your favorite books this year?

by Nancy Moser
 "I enjoyed every minute of reading this book! Several twists were thrown in that kept me guessing as to how things would be resolved in the end."
by Kim Vogel Sawyer
"I completely devoured Courting Miss Amsel . . . I was immediately drawn into the story . . . I am a true fan of Kim Vogel Sawyer!"
by Kathryn Stockett
 What an incredible novel! A "new classic" and one I think will be extremely important for generations to come.

by Catherine Richmond
"Richmond's writing style is fantastic. I was gripped from the very beginning and stayed completely engrossed to the very end. Jesse and Susannah . . . felt like friends by the end of the novel!"

by Laura Frantz
 "The Colonel's Lady may be the best book I've read all year. No lie. It's fantastic! The way she describes the people and places in this story made me feel as though I were actually there in Kentucke in 1779. I think I would recognize these characters if I met them on the street!"

by Tricia Goyer
 "This series is different than any other "Amish fiction" I've read. The focus is more on each characters' relationship with God than on the Amish way of life. Through writing the Sommer family's story, Goyer really reveals that being Amish is merely a way of life, and a relationship with Christ is still of utmost importance."

by Tamera Alexander
"Claire and Sutton were phenomenal characters. Once I got to know Claire a bit, I really connected with her. I wasn't ready to put it down when I reached the last page."

by Tricia Goyer
"I'm not sure that words can adequately express my thoughts on this book! This is an amazing story of love, loss, regret, family, friends, faith, and forgiveness. The book made me think about things in a whole new way."

by Elizabeth Camden
 "Simply put: I loved it. I was impressed with the way Camden wove together seemingly different story lines into one beautiful novel."

by Susan May Warren
"You have to read this book!!! The best part? There are three more books in the Deep Haven series! I can promise you that I will be reading ALL of them!"

Against All Odds
by Irene Hannon
This book was my introduction to Irene Hannon. I loved it so much that I promptly went out and found the rest of the series. My total Irene Hannon tally for the year is five incredible romantic suspense novels. Read them all! Perfect blend of suspense, romance, and beautiful writing!

by Dorothy Love
 "A beautifully written story. The characters are lovable and I truly felt their emotions through the different circumstances they faced. I repeatedly found myself reading 'just a few more pages,' only to realize that I was still reading WAY past my 'bedtime!'"

And . . . DRUMROLL please . . .
the TOP TWO books of 2011

The First Gardener
by Denise Hildreth Jones
"Absolutely fantastic! I literally did not put the book down for the two days it took me to read it. This is one of the most powerful and moving stories I have ever read. Denise has an incredible ability to make readers feel every emotion of every character. (Grab a box of tissue!) The ups and downs are dramatic . . . but she writes with hope and passion. This one has a permanent place on my bookshelf."

by Bo Caldwell
"Bo Caldwell's City of Tranquil Light is a riveting story of Will and Katherine, missionaries to China. I caught myself several times thinking of the characters as real people. Additionally, Caldwell's vivid description made me feel as though I had actually been to China simply by reading the book." I finished this book in January and it is still the book I remember most vividly from the entire year.


  1. I am so honored that you included Spring for Susannah among such distinguished books! Thank you so much!

  2. You're so welcome! I loved it!

  3. Thank you for including me on this list! What a lovely surprise! Happy New Year!

  4. You're so welcome! I'm about to start reading The Shadow of Your Smile ... looking forward to visiting Deep Haven again!

  5. Thanks, Brooke, for including my first romantic suspense novel, "Against All Odds." I'm glad you've enjoyed the subsequent books. More to come! Irene Hannon


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