It looks like, for me, 2011 was the year of young adult book. I read both the Hunger Games trilogy and the Harry Potter series for the first time and tackled the middle school classic Holes by Louis Sachar. It’s funny because I’ve never seen myself as much of a young adult reader but this year, young adult books populated my list.
I read Hunger Games because a co-worker had heard good things and wanted a few of us to all read it together, almost like a work book club. I was a little reluctant to get on board. But then couldn’t put them down. We passed the books around so fast that I could never keep track of who had which book and we even bought more copies when someone was taking too long, (ie. more than two days).
I was even more reluctant to try Harry. I had started the first book years ago and just didn’t really get into it, something that I just can’t believe now. When I picked up Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone this time, I loved every minute of it and couldn’t wait to start the next. As I got further into the series, I had to slow myself down because I knew I’d be crushed when I finished. And I was. It was so bittersweet to finish the series because I really became invested in them. I love the world Rowling created for us and I actually really do wish that there was such a place as Hogwarts and that I could have been a student there. Who doesn’t want a little magic in their lives?
I also read some other great books last year. Room by Emma Donoghue was my first book of 2011 and, although it wasn’t the best written book, I did like the story. I read a new (to me) Murakami, A Wild Sheep Chase, and reread another Murakami favorite, Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World. I revisited my love of Laura Ingalls Wilder in Wendy McClure’s The Wilder Life. And I sunk into the despair of Chris McCandless in Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild.
I read three books with my book club: One Day by David Nicholls, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and The Irresistible Henry House by Lisa Grunwald. With a few other books sprinkled in, I’d say it was a pretty great year.
What were your favorites books of 2011?