Monday, December 19, 2011

Faves of TwentyEleven: The Books

Our warmest thanks to Nomes for hosting this amazing meme Maja and I had so much fun compiling!

If your eyes are popping out of your head because of the length of this post, just let me explain what happened here: we started writing our respective choices for each entry and a little discussion ensued. We decided to keep the whole thing and share it with you, just to make it more interesting - well, for us, at least!

Let us know what you think!

1. favourite book read in 2011
Maja: Feed by Mira Grant
Lisa: Saving June by Hannah Harrington
I keep saying this, but Feed is my second favorite book of all time. (The first being The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov.) If I’d had to limit myself only to 2011 releases, my choice would have been The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater.
But of course. I was wondering why you didn’t choose that. I choose a much shallower one but I just loved it. Sometimes there’s not even a concrete reason. You just connect with it.
I wouldn’t exactly call Saving June shallow, you know. I liked it a lot, as you know. And I really think it has many layers.

2. most powerful book
Maja: The Reapers Are the Angels by Alden Bell
Lisa: Suicide Notes by Michael Thomas Ford
One of the most thought provoking reads of 2011 for me. Loved it, made me uneasy, loved it again.
Oh, I know what you mean. I feel that every teenager out there should read this book.

3. brilliantly funny
Maja: First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones/Bad Taste in Boys by Carrie Harris
Lisa: The Jane True Series by Nicole Peeler
I just can’t pick one of those two books. First Grave On the Right was just a touch stronger plot-wise, but Bad Taste in Boys was so ridiculous that it required no thinking at all, just pure, undiluted fun.
Jane True is just hilarious. I mean, how often do you talk to your libido?
I know! I was a true Jane True fan, up until the last book. Eye of the Tempest simply didn’t work for me. I hope Tempest’s Fury will be better.

4. best ache-y, heart-breaking, tear-jerker read
Maja: Feed by Mira Grant
Lisa: Feed by Mira Grant
I thought the infamous scene was done really, really well.
*faints* Well, I was rocking back and forth on my floor for a couple of hours, so I’d say it was

5. most beautiful story
Maja: Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey
Lisa: Sophia’s Secret by Susanna Kearsley
Tough one. I choose this, even though it’s not my usual genre. The love story was touching and the landscapes were breath-taking.
I had a really hard time choosing this one. All the books I’ve loved, all the stories, were beautiful. It was impossible to pick just one so I went with Cold Kiss, mostly because I had no place else to put it, and it really was astonishingly beautiful.

6. delicious rainy day comfort read
Maja: Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley
Lisa: Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
This one too was hard, I had so many to choose from. This means I read tons of rainy day comfort reads. It’s the last I read and I miss it a bit.
See? Now I’ll have to read this, even though it’s a dreaded vanilla romance. You’ve made it sound so good, and everyone needs a good comfort read form time to time.
I also made Jessica Darling sound good and it was annoying for you.
Well, that happens. I won’t know if I don’t try, will I? And you’ve recommended some pretty awesome books to me, so I have good reason to listen to you.
I warn you though: the character I liked the most, Sam, some readers got frustrated by him. I’m reflecting on the fact that I might be attracted to obnoxious characters.
O_o, I better let this one slide... :D
I say you try: even in Dairy Queen, whathisname (Brian?) was obnoxious.

7. adrenalin-fuelled, unputdownable award
Maja: Deadline by Mira Grant
Lisa: Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning
This was super easy. There hasn’t been a book this year that has made me more jittery.
Oh, boy. I disliked the first part of Shadowfever so much. All that running around the castle, when all I wanted to know was what happened to Barrons. I wanted to throttle Mac
Still unputdownable for me :)
Fair enough.

8. the beautiful prose award
Maja: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Lisa: The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
The lyrical prose was awesome. After all, Nelson is a published poet.
Oh, I totally agree with you on that one. It was a 5-star read for me too. I loved everything about that book, the story, the writing, that beautiful Walker Books edition. However, the competition is pretty high in this category. If not Zusak, I’m afraid my choice would be one of Stiefvater’s books.
Stiefvater’s prose is also beautiful but I haven’t read any book by her this year.

9. most atmospheric and vivid setting
Maja: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Lisa: The Reapers are the Angels by Alden Bell
I’m realizing I haven’t read most of your choices :D
Yes, I really thought we’d have more books in common. I do agree with you on many of your choices, like this one, I just tried not to use the same one twice and The Reapers Are the Angels fits better in the ‘most powerful book’ category.
Will read The Scorpio Races later on, I promise.
I know you will, but there’s a strong chance that you won’t like it. I promise to still be your friend if you don’t. :D
After Jessica, nothing can tear us apart :D

10. i-so-want-to-go-there award
Maja: Looking For Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta
Lisa: Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta
Here’s another one that didn’t make you crazy. I loved the whole cast, so... I want to go there.
Okay, I’ll admit it, I wasn’t crazy about Francesca at all. I didn’t hate it, I just didn’t love it as much as everybody else. But you did help me choose here, because while I didn’t go rabid over Francesca, I certainly adored Josie.
Clearly, there must be something wrong with you. :D
Oh, no doubt. ;)

11. most original and imaginative
Maja: As I Wake by Elizabeth Scott
Lisa: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor.
Oh, good choice! The instalove bit made it a little less appealing to me, but the setting was pretty original and I liked that part.
Umm, should we call our lawyers?! :D
No, today I’m pushy and bossy and that’s it.
Since I’m usually like that, and you’re always gracious enough to forgive me, I see no reason to call them just now either. ;)

12. best under-appreciated, hidden gem book
Maja: Brooklyn, Burning by Steve Brezenoff
Lisa: Fury by Shirley Marr
This is more hidden than under-appreciated, if only for the fact that it’s been published only in Australia (and soon in Germany). Let’s hope it will get a more global consensus soon. Haven’t read yours yet.
Oh, amazing choice! I ended up liking Fury a lot. It had me crying in that ugly, I-hope-nobody’s-around-to-see kind of way.

13. i-had-no-idea-i-would-love this-so award
Maja: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Lisa: Double Clutch by Liz Reinhardt
Frankly, I thought this would be crap. It wasn’t.

14. most haunting story
Maja: Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Lisa: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
I don’t have a doubt about that. I don’t think there’s been a week since I read it when I haven’t thought about it.
I feel the same about Between Shades of Gray. I think I’m unable to forget it because it is based on actual events. All those people, all the suffering. I really don’t WANT to stop thinking about them. They deserve to be remembered.

15. outside my comfort zone but gosh how i loved it
Maja: Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee
Lisa: Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
Do you realize I don’t even know that book you read?! This is what happens when you do a post like this with someone who’s read more than double the books I have read. :(
Disgrace was just something I’ve read for school and it was so far out of my comfort zone, I needed Scotty to beam me back home. It’s about racial issues in South African Republic, and about a professor who ruins his reputation by having an affair with a student.
Ok, not a rainy day comfort read.
Well, you know how uncomfortable Fingersmith made me feel. I’m still looking over my shoulder from time to time.
That book was such a stressful reading experience for both of us. I doubt I would have finished it without you.

16. series that i’m loving
Maja: Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews
Lisa: Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews
DUH. Do we need elaborate more? I think not.
*coughs* Curran *coughs* And don’t you wish you had Slayer to solve conflicts with from time to time? (This sentence sucked)
Mmhh... I wish YOU will never get Slayer to solve your conflicts :D
I still think it would be a quick and efficient method.
Many comments come to my mind about.... MOVING ON

17. always recommending this book award
Maja: Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar
Lisa: Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar
As stated above on nr. 16.

18. completely awesome premise award
Maja: I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
Lisa: Ultraviolet by R.J. Anderson
Didn’t I threaten to kill you if you don’t read The Book Thief? Really, empty threats are so 2010.
You did. It’s been sitting on my shelf for more than a year and I got two copies. I will be good and promise to read at least one book by your future husband in 2012.
You do realize that he’s already married, right? :D Also, I think Maggie already has a best friend, so there go your plans for my life.
BUT she might not have a nice neighbor. And marriage is highly overrated. Try denying THAT.
Ummm, I plead the 5th.

19. would make the best movie
Maja: White Cat by Holly Black
Lisa: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
If only to see who’d play Akiva.
Don’t you have enough life-sized cardboard cutouts of fictional characters? You need to add Akiva as well? Tsk.
Ahhhh, good idea, thanks. I got one more to add to my personal army of Flats. They will then battle yours in a fight to the death. May the best Flat win!
Flat Akiva sounds kind of pervy, don’t you think? Also, let’s not get into this discussion again or this will become the longest post ever.

20. want to re-read already
Maja: Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park
Lisa: Saving June by Hannah Harrington
Dear Jessica, you changed our lives with Flats. Thank you.
Yes, she did. Now we can have long, heated discussions about something that is both ludicrous and deliciously fun. (Say hi to Flat Barrons. Tell him Flat Mircea will crush him.)

If you've come this far, you might want to check out our next post tomorrow!

Lisa and Maja


  1. oh YAY for saving june (i wimped out on picking my fave ~ but i picked saving june as my fave when i did this halfway through the year)

    brooklyn burning, eh? *takes note*

    oh! my library has suicide notes ~ but i thought it looked like a boy book or something, haha. Going to check it out :)

    i bought sophia's secret for my mother in law for Christmas (totally planning on "borrowing" it from her ;))

    I laughed out loud at this: Lisa: Double Clutch by Liz Reinhardt
    Frankly, I thought this would be crap. It wasn’t.

    go Raw Blue!

    LOVE THiS FORMAT ~ LOVED READING YOU GUYS BEING ALL CHatty together. (sorry, caps)

    anyways, this whole post was awesome.

    (okay, and i still have feed waiting for me on my kindle. should i be ashamed of that? ;))

  2. haha I love your banter :)

    I think I will definitely have to check out Feed now. Love you picks, especially Saving June, Graffiti Moon and Daughter of Smoke and Bone

  3. Yes, I didn't realize Feed was so good! Maja's choice for number 13 I agree with wholeheartedly. Shatter Me completely blew me away. And I agree with Lisa's choice for number 19. I LOVED Daughter of Smoke and Bone and could definitely imagine it becoming a movie. Great choices, guys. :)

  4. I actually haven't read quite a lot of your faves of 2011, but now I'll have a lot of awesome books to look forward to next year!

    Btw loving Nomes idea of faves of 2011, looking forward to the rest of your faves epescially your fave characters! (Maja will Ed be featuring?) :)

  5. I love the format that you guys chose for this post, so fun to see each other's comments on your choices. A bunch of my own favorites made it to your list: Saving June, The Scorpio Races, Daughter of Smoke and Bone the Kate Daniels series. :) I've also enjoyed reading some of the other choices mentioned like The Sky is Everywhere, Flat-out Love, Ultraviolet, Raw Blue, Saving Francesca and Graffiti Moon. Looks like I need to bump up Feed and Deadline in my TBR pile! Still need to look for copies of both.

  6. Love this list and the commentary!! I actually bought Feed based on Maja's insistence that it was one of her favorite reads of all time. I will definitely read it in 2012 although I'm still unsure about how much I will be able to enjoy a zombie book. But I trust her judgment!
    Fury and The Sky is Everywhere from Lisa's list are also two books I plan to read in 2012. I was a huge fan of the first half of Daughter of Smoke and Bone, not so much the rest of it though.
    And The Reapers are the Angels I have decided to grab if I enjoy Feed. I just can't bring myself to buy two zombie books right now no matter how much I trust Maja's opinion!!
    The Book Thief and Between Shades of Gray are also two books that I won't ever forget. Great choices! I'm not a big fan of the Kate Daniels series. Apparently I don't like shifters any more than I do zombies!! Who knew? lol
    Great list you two! There's a couple I just added to my to read list!

  7. This is a great list! It's nice to see what others loved to read in 2011. There were some pretty good books released this year. :)

    Also, thanks for sharing why you liked the books. Your comments were great.


  8. haha! You two are brilliant! I love the back and forth discussion. I think that is what books should be about, stuff that gets you talking!

    And now you have me so curious as to what had you rocking back and forth. Must read FEED!

    And I agree about the first part of Shadowfever! I was like, Tell me what happened to Barrons?!!

  9. haha Well, this was definitely unique!

    - Mary | Anxirium


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