My Year in Reading: 2011

Last year I completed 23 books after a shamefully long period of not reading much at all.  I'll admit that my decision to start the book blog really helped me actually get to that number.  So this year, after checking my Goodreads pledge, I'm happy to say I finished 38.  I may not have met my goal of 50, but it's a start.

I don't think I read as many classics this year.  I think I started taking mysteries to a whole new level. It was varied and enjoyable.  All and all, it was a great year on my shelves.

Top Five Reads of 2011


The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

I never did get around to writing a review for this (for shame!) because I remember it was shortly after the haze of dental surgery.  But I do know that I COULD NOT put this one down.  It also lead me to pick up The Woman in White because Setterfield does more than drop a reference or two.


The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

Part I
Part II

I hosted a little read-along last year with the help of Brenna at literary musings. Great pick and very happy that so many participated. We're already considering hosting another in 2012.


Tana French series:

I love Tana French's writing. The end. 


The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

Yep, I finally got around to reading it.  And I loved the characters and the suspense (ok, so it wasn't so much the suspense). 


The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent

This was certainly a strange read.  It was slow going down and the content was usually quite grim.  However, I really loved the landscape and the perspective of a child witnessing the Salem witch trials without the theatrics you often find in books on this subject.  It really seemed like a more accurate representation of the individuals involved in this horrific event.  Again, another I didn't manage to blog about, but one that I still remember reading like it was yesterday.  

Oddly enough, many of these were on my mid-year review.  

Honorable Mention:

The Borrower 

Hope everyone has very safe and happy New Year celebrations!


  1. I loved, LOVED The Thirteenth Tale. All of the references to other books just made me fall in love with it even more. I do plan on reading The Woman in White in 2012 as well, so I'm looking forward to it!

    Kathleen Kent is also one of my favorite writers. I loved The Heretic's Daughter, and if you get a chance, pick up The Wolves of Andover (now retitled to The Traitor's Wife), which takes place before the events in The Heretic's Daughter.

  2. Your first two: YES and YES! I haven't read the other three, but The Heretic's Daughter looks really good to me and I am adding it to my TBR right now.

  3. Natalie,
    I have The Wolves of Andover on my TBR list. I'll definitely have to pick it up in the near future. The Thirteenth Tale is simply fantastic and I'm always wishing I can find more novels that draw me in the same way.

    I think you would really enjoy The Heretic's Daughter, and I'll look out for a review in the future ;)

  4. I have the Thirteenth Tale checked out of the library right now. As I love The Woman in White and all the gothic novels I can't wait to get to it. I just hope it is as good as everyone says it is.

    I enjoyed The Heretic's Daughter too. I keep meaning to read the other books by the same author.

  5. This is a great list. I actually reviewed The Thirteenth Tale and The Woman in White together last year. I haven't read anything by Tana French, but I'm planning to check them out! Happy New Year, Beth!

  6. I have still not read Thirteenth's sitting on my desk at home. I'm putting it at the top of my TBR pile!

  7. The Heratics daughter was a surprise read for me this year, I thought it was going to be a run of the mill bestseller but I really really enjoyed it

  8. Ah, yes, the Age of Innocence was great! I feel like many of my favorite books this year were also read in the earlier part of the year. Like you, I didn't quite make my goal of 50 (only 37) but I was up from 15 last year, so that was quite an improvement anyway. Happy new year!

  9. You had some really great books in your faves. And you have a couple in there I really want to read in 2012. Cheers to the new year!

  10. Happy new year, Beth! You reminded me I need to get my hands on some Tana French books. She blurbed some of my favorite books of 2011.

  11. Sam,
    I think you'll really enjoy The Thirteenth Tale, especially if you enjoyed The Woman in White. You can tell that Setterfield holds a certain regard for Collins.

    Thanks so much! I'll be on the look out for French reviews! I'll also have to go through your blog to find the reviews of the other two novels.

    I think you'll love it!

    I thought the same thing and ended up REALLY enjoying it. Way deeper than I imagined.

    I think that we're both doing pretty good considering all that's going on in our lives otherwise.

    Yes! And I hope you do share!

    Happy New Year to you as well! Please grab the Tana French books. I'll be very interested to see what you think about them. I'm going to look for this blurb you speak of.

  12. Cripes. ALL OF THOSE are on my TBR. Must. Make. Time. To. Read. I've found alternating mysteries with literary fiction to be a very effective tool to push my reading along when it slumps. I have faith you'll get to 50. The key is still being happy when you're at 50:-)

    1. It's so true. I really think I can manage 50 this year, despite the fact that my calendar is already filling up with things that will certainly prevent me from reading as much as I'd like. I will be looking forward to reviews on these! ;)

  13. Interesting list. I enjoyed The Thirteenth Tale and In the Woods, but I'm afraid I wasn't a fan of The Age of Innocence. I loved The Moonstone so should get around to reading The WOman in White one day. I hope you have a wonderful 2012!

    1. Thanks, Jackie. I'm really looking forward to picking up The Moonstone sometime this year. And I really think I enjoyed The Age of Innocence as much as I did on account of the sharing during the readalong.

  14. I've been dying to read The Thirteenth Tale for so long now. You know when you have a book on your TBR that looks absolutely brilliant, but then you keep getting distracted by well, everything else?

    Maybe I'll bump it up a bit now you've said it's that good :)

    1. Hanna,

      I really loved The Thirteenth Tale and hope you enjoy it as well. I have so many on my shelves that are just like that!

  15. I wasn't that hot on the Interpreter of Maladies but I seem to be alone in that.

    And how is 2012 treating you so far? What have you been reading?

    1. So far I'm off to a slow start. I'm trying to finish so many books at one time and it just isn't working. How about you?


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