Because I featured my favorite reads at the close of the following year, I felt it only right to provide a little mid-year review of six titles that I just couldn't put down. I'm also excited to share that I've already read three books more than I did in all of 2010. Goals!
1. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Mysteries and secrets. Secrets and mysteries. I'm kidding, but this novel sucked me in. I distinctly remember my boyfriend having to pull me out of the groove of the couch I found myself in after not getting off the thing for hours. In the end, you still have questions. It was dark and fascinating and an awesome thriller. All hands for The Thirteenth Tale.
2. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
I don't know if any of you remember, but a while back, Brenna from Literary Musings and I decided to host a little read-along. The book was a little slow in the beginning, but I soon found that I didn't want to stop reading once I began the second half. We got some great participation and were able to share our opinions and questions, which made the read even more enjoyable. Edith Wharton is seriously amazing.
3. Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran
Another book that I couldn't peel my hands from and one that I mention as a "must read" to any bookworm I encounter. I have this thing for historical fiction (as you probably already know) and thought this was perfectly entertaining and informative. The cover art not so much.
4. The Bird Sisters by Rebecca Rasmussen
I know, I know. I haven't managed to post a review on this one yet. But it has definitely been one of the best reads of 2011. The storyline was not quite what I expected and made the novel that much better. Maybe Milly and Twiss are described as old women who nurse birds back to health, but this title holds so much more. I found Rasmussen's language authentic and engaging. I strongly encourage giving this title a chance!
5. The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent
I finished this novel last night. And loved it. I refused to give it up upon finding that the beginning was a little slow. In the end, I am so glad I stuck with it because not only did I enjoy the historical element of the storyline, but I also really enjoyed the raw expression of emotions and the landscape Kent so delicately describes. I didn't want this one to end.
6. Shakespeare by Bill Bryson
Ok, so maybe I read this one during haze that follows the extraction of my wisdom teeth, but somehow I was able to remain attentive enough to finish the whole thing in a sitting. Bryson is increasingly becoming a go-to when it comes to learning while laughing.
So close to making the list: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath & The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Anne Barrows