Welcome to 2012! Do I really need to say that I felt like a time traveler last night, when all my friends in Ireland were celebrating the new year, and yet I was still back in 2011? How epic is that?
My reading goal for 2011 was 180 books. I was about twenty books short halfway through December, so I went on a major reading marathon reading tons of novellas and manga, and I REACHED MY GOAL! Of course, now I've practically read myself sick, so I'm not sure when I'll next finish a book, but oh well.
So in 2011, I read 180 books. 17 were comic books of some sort, and 29 were manga. The first book I finished in 2011 was Tales of H.P. Lovecraft, by...well, H.P. Lovecraft. And the last book I finished in 2011 was Fractured Fables, an anthology collected by Jim Valentino and Kristen K. Simon. Funny how I started and ended the year with anthologies (and I'm not even big on anthologies). Now let's talk about some of the highlights!
I thought it'd be cool to have 11 best books of 2011, buuut... I couldn't narrow it down that far. I had to get rid of several awesome books just to get to 13, so you'll just have to deal with it.
BEST BOOKS OF 2011! READ AND ADORE!
Dracula by Bram Stoker. Some people say Dracula is dull and tedious, but I love it. Sure, it takes a while, but it is so worth it. Especially if you read the Jae Lee illustrated version. Gorgeous. This is probably the best vampire novel of all time.
Going Bovine by Libba Bray. Mad cow disease. Punk angel. Dwarf. Road trip. Need I say more? If I do, then go read the review I wrote back in march.
The Ratastrophe Catastrophe by David Lee Stone. I reviewed this one in July, so feel free to read the longer version. Let's just say it's a hilarious, adventuresome retelling of the Pied Piper fairy tale.
Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George. There's nothing quite like a good fantasy novel with dragons, and Dragon Slippers is one of the best. An awesome main character (who sews) and some trully awesome dragons, and a SUPER awesome ending!
The Courtney Crumrin books by Ted Naifeh. These graphic novels get better and better. Courtney is an awesome character, and it's amazing watching how she grows through the stories. The art's very cool too.
Graceling by Kristin Cashore. Katsa is one of the few female main characters who can go all kick-ass on the reader and still be cool. And a main character makes the book.
Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare. Of course I love all of Shakespeare's work, but Twelfth Night is one of my favorites, and it's the one I picked to go on the list. I have a thing for jesters, and the jester in Twelfth Night is awesome.
Ouran High School Host Club manga series by Bisco Hatori. Everyone knows that I'm obsessed with Ouran High School Host Club, anime and manga both. It's my dream to have a rose backdrop in my room so I can pose and quote the series more dramatically. So far my favorite volume is Vol. 4, in which the members of the host club do Alice In Wonderland. It's a retelling to rival even Into The Looking Glass.
Companions Of The Night by Vivian Vande Velde. It's possible I've mentioned this one every year, but that's because it stays awesom every time I read it. It doesn't get old. Ever. It's awesome. I love it. Best YA vampire book. Go read it. NOW NOW NOW.
The League series by Sherrilyn Kenyon. Everyone knows I'm infatuated with Sherrilyn Kenyon's league series. In 2011 I reread the first three and read the newest one, Born of Shadows, for the first time. Epicness! I've reviewed the first two, so I'll try and get the last two in sometime.
Vurt by Jeff Noon. This is a very strange, surreal novel. It's a bit disgusting. It's rather intense. And it's very, very good.
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. Everyone knows I love time travel (when done well, of course). And behold, the mother of time travel stories! It's intense, it's horrifying, and it's wonderful!
The Zombie Powder manga series by Tite Kubo. My new favorite manga series. The art is very nice and very clear, and I really, really love the main character, Gamma Akutabi. I hope the rest of the volumes are just as good as the first.
**Honorable Mentions** These are all the pour souls that wouldn't fit into my Best Of. Feel free to ask about any of them!
Thirteen Days To Midnight (Patrick Carman); Dragon's Bait (Vivian Vande Velde); The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald); Nightlight (Harvard Lampoon); Weird Henry Berg (Sarah Sargent); Fire (Kristin Cashore); Tegami Bachi series (Hiroyuki Asada); Interstellar Pig (William Sleator); You Smell Dead (Chris P. Flesh); The Three Musketeers (Alexandre Dumas); Flatland (Edwin A. Abbott); Eureka Seven series (Jinsei Kataoka and Kazuma Kondou); Jabberwocky & Other Poems (Lewis Carroll); Astérix comics (Rene Goscinny); Poison Study (Maria V. Snyder); Holes (Louis Sachar); Carry On, Mr. Bowditch (Jean Lee Latham); Being Dead (Vivian Vande Velde. Actually, just go read all of her stuff).
BOOKS TO AVOID. SERIOUSLY.
Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin. A female forensic scientist in the middle ages? Er...no.
Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder. Poison Study is sooo good...and the third book is so awful. Ugh. Don't go anywhere near it.
The Stargazer by Michele Jaffe. I love Bad Kitty, but Michele Jaffe's earlier adult novels are just...not so great. Stubborn, idiotic characters and a rather weak plot that doesn't really have anything to do with anything.
Cowboys & Aliens by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg and Dennis Calero. I read it 'cause the movie was awesome, but the comic book has nothing to do with the movie and is actually really awful.
Death Island by Joan Conning Afman. Oh my gosh I could not finish it. It's awful. So, so awful. This guy gets banished to this island, and his first escape plan is to build an airplane.
So how did YOU do in 2011, and how do you hope to do in 2012? My goal is to read either 181 books or 45,000 pages. Good luck to you all!