Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
There are so many brilliant books I've read during 2011 - many more than ten, but for the interests of winding it all up in my mind and also for the purposes of my Blogoversary Giveaway, (which will be taking place around about January 8th/9th so keep an eye out), here are the top ten!
1. Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen. I don't have a review for this, as I never got around to writing one, but I adored this book, and it's made me a die hard fan of Sarah Addison Allen. Also, the cover is very pretty:
2. How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran - this is probably the most hilarious book I've read since I first read The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, aged eleven. Moran is brilliant and talks about all the parts of being a woman that nobody else ever does.
3. Howards End is On the Landing by Susan Hill - I love books about books, and this was the most absorbing one I read this year. It's a brilliant concept - for one entire year Hill only read the books that she already had in her house. I thought that I had a lot of books, but compared to her I'm an amatuer. I came away from this book with an absolutely gigantic reading list, and it also has a gorgeous cover.
4. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi - I discovered this accidentally in the library, and it was my first foray into non-fantasy based graphic novels. I cannot stress enough how hilarious this book is. It's Satrapi's autobiography of growing up in Iran, told in graphic form. I got the film, too, and it's brilliant.
5. Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi - 2011 seems to have been my year of reading books about Iran, but Reading Lolita in Tehran was another book about books - about Nafisi's love of books, and her experience of living in a country where they weren't readily available. Her story inspired me, and her bravery in teaching women about literature when they were hardly allowed to do anything amazed me.
6. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - I don't read YA, but so many people were talking about this and it sounded like the kind of thing I might like, and my local library had it, so I caved. I'm so glad that I did. The Hunger Games was brilliant - it made me cry which is a big achievement for a book! I'm not sure about the movie, but I reckon I'll probably give in and see it. I just hope it doesn't kill it for me.
7. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern - this really should have been at number one. It is without a doubt my absolute favourite book of 2011, if not of all time. I have never read anything quite like it before in my life. Not only was it brilliantly written and engaging, it was an absolute work of art, and as soon as I closed it I wanted to read it again. It's been out of our house doing the tour of duty at my mums' for a couple of months, and we are seriously contemplating buying another copy, so we have one to lend and still always have one in the house. If you haven't already read it, read it now and thank me later!
8. The Painted Garden by Noel Streatfeild - A childhood favourite, I re-read this book this year and loved it just as much as I did as a child. Sort of a sequel to Streatfeild's most well - known book, Ballet Shoes, this is the story of the Winter family and their exploits when they take a trip to L.A.
9. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen - Circuses are awesome things. This is less magical than The Night Circus, but I loved the storyline. I have still to see the film, but I'm excited about it.
10. Lost at Sea by Bryan Lee O'Malley - a graphic novel about a girl whose soul has been stolen by a cat. If I'd read the Scott Pilgrim series this year, they would definitely be on this list, but as I didn't this one must suffice!
All of these books will be part of my first blogoversary giveaway in early January so make sure you come back and see me then!