All in all, that put my totals for 2011 at 156 books with a total of 48,873 pages read. Not bad, even if it's the least number of books I've read since 2008.
Last year I didn't set a goal for how many books to read and I'm not this year either, since I find that it makes me more likely to read short, pointless novels just for the sake of my numbers and also to not give up on books I am finding absolutely not worth finishing.
Anyway, with all that out of the way, here's what I read in October, November, and December:
- How to Be an American Housewife by Margaret Dilloway I feel like I'm all talked out about this book.
- The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot I listened to this one and really found it interesting. But, apparently not interesting enough to review. I amaze myself sometimes.
- Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli I liked this one significantly upon a re-read.
- Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli And I liked this one a lot MORE on a re-read.
- Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor Bart finished this over Christmas break and loved it. Win for me! Anxiously awaiting the next book.
- The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith This book had a great title and cover. But the book itself did very little for me.
- The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine Not as good as her first book, The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had, but still really excellent.
- Make Lemonade by Virginia Euwer Wolff
Usually I can race right through a book written in verse. Not so in this case. Took me ages.
- Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers I have been meaning to read this book for ages, but I just never got around to it. It's kind of just the most horrible thing to read ever because it's all SO AWFUL. I weep for people who live lives like this.
- The Shadows by Jacqueline West This series is ridiculously popular, but I had the worst time getting through it. Just a very slow listen for me and I couldn't keep a lot of it straight (yes, I am now apparently too dumb for middle grade books).
- A Friday Night Lights Companion: Love, Loss and Football in Dillon, Texas by Leah Wilson If you are a Friday Night Lights fan, this book is for you. I loved nearly every essay and I REALLY loved all the little "Why We Love . . . " things about each character.
- The Help by Kathryn Stockett I liked this even more the second time, when I listened to the audio version. It was fantastically narrated. Plus, afterward, we went and saw the movie, which was also excellent.
- Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen Hmmm, I know people LOVE this book and I enjoyed parts of it, but. . .yeah, I wouldn't recommend it. Also I can't bear to watch the movie because it involves Robert Pattinson.
- Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen Another re-read (I can't believe how many I had this quarter!) and I liked it significantly less this time. Maybe because now that I have a child, I have a harder time buying the "I'm seventeen and keeping my baby and all will be perfect, la-la-la" bit.
- The Rivals by Daisy Whitney Significantly better than the first book. I mean, it's still not a top book for me, but . . .it was a big improvement.
- The Cat Who Went to Heaven by Elizabeth Coatsworth This won the Newbery back a million years ago and . . . it is not like books that win the Newbery now. But I read it because it was short (I still didn't quite reach my goal of six Newbery books in 2011).
- Sea Change by Jeremy Page Depressing and literary (which, frankly, usually means depressing, so that might be two adjectives to tell you one thing).
- Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor This was more of what I expect from a Newbery.
- Blood Wounds by Susan Beth Pfeffer I've loved some of her other books, but this one was really dumb.
- Flesh and Blood So Cheap: the Triangle Fire and Its Legacy by Albert Marrin GREAT non-fiction. I loved this book.
- 365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My life by John Kralik Read this for book club and it was, tragically, the book I liked least of the 12 we read, I think.
- The Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards Really a great little book.
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain Glad to have finally read this. Also, Tom Sawyer makes me insane.
- Shelter by Harlan Coben A fun little teen mystery. I'd forgotten how much I liked this one until just now. Definitely worth reading if you want something fun and quick.
- Barn Boot Blues by Catherine Friend A great middle-grade read. I wish I'd had this one to pass out at my elementary schools.
- The Magic Room: A Story about the Love We Wish for Our Daughters by Jeffrey Zaslow I seriously cannot stop telling people about this book. Excellent non-fiction.
- Playground by 50 Cent I. . . kind of can't believe I read a book by 50 cent.
- Everybody Sees the Ants by A. S. King I wouldn't recommend it, exactly, but I enjoyed it.
- Sounder by William H. Armstrong
I felt like a heathen for disliking this book, but this book did nothing for me.
- Wherever You Go by Heather Davis Sweet, but ultimately unmemorable. Kind of too much going on, I thought (poverty, Alzheimers, ghosts, teen relationships, car accidents, etc).
- Dead End in Norvel by Jack Gantos People said this was like The Wednesday Wars. They lied.
- Aces Up by Lauren Barnholdt This book was ridiculously dumb.
- Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua I loved this book (although that doesn't mean I agree with all her parenting choices, of course). I just loved reading it.
- A Separate Peace by John Knowles Some parts were awesome. Other parts were slow.