A Few of My Favorite Things (My Best Books of 2011)

I met my self-imposed reading goal of seventy-five books read during 2011.  That’s approximately twenty-five fewer books than I read in the previous two years, but only about two thousand pages off my normal pace.

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Seventy-five books seems to be the maximum number I can read and still squeeze in exercise and employment.

Some of my favorite reads included the following (click on the link to see my review … if there isn’t a link it’s because I haven’t written a review yet):

Printed Books:


  • Little Fuzzy by H. Beam Piper
  • Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  • Initiate’s Trial by Janny Wurts
  • Field of Dishonor by David Weber

I will set my reading goal for 2012 to 75 or 80 books.  I am also limiting myself to only purchasing ebooks for my Nook Color.  Another goal I’ve set for myself is to reduce the number of books I have in my house by reading and disposing of them (through donations most likely).

My ‘Best of 2010’ Meme for Beyond Reality

First thing I’ll have to do is look up what ‘meme’ means because I’m drawing a complete blank on that.

Beyond Reality’s currently-reading book montage

Beyond Reality 472 members

Welcome to the Beyond Reality SF&F discussion group on GoodReads. In Beyond Reality, each of our me…

Books we’re currently reading

Grand ConspiracyGrand Conspiracy
by Janny Wurts
Start date: December 2, 2010

Under HeavenUnder Heaven
by Guy Gavriel Kay
Start date: December 1, 2010
The Mote in God's EyeThe Mote in God’s Eye
by Larry Niven
Start date: December 1, 2010

View this group on Goodreads »

Share book reviews and ratings with Beyond Reality, and even join a book club on Goodreads.

Our illustrious leader, Stefan, posted this thread and these questions for us to ponder and pontificate upon.  My answers and musings can be found below (and I’ll be reviewing my stats and reviews on GoodReads to bolster my memory).

What was the best fantasy book you read in 2010?

Only five of my reviews this year earned a five star rating, two of which were science fiction novels.  Of the three remaining fantasy novels, one was a re-read, which I won’t count towards this year’s ‘best of’ list.  The final two are difficult to choose between so I will call it a tie between Warhost of Vastmark by Janny Wurts and Breath and Bone by Carol Berg.

What was the best science fiction book you read in 2010?

Hands down, Connie Willis’ All Clear swept me away.  I strongly suggest that you read Blackout first and follow it immediately with the second half/second novel All Clear

Best any-other-genre-that’s-not-SF-or-fantasy book?

I only read a handful of non-fantasy or non-SF novels this year (typical for me, I’m happily stuck in my rut).  I had no five star reads in this category, but a couple did stand out:  The Art of Racing in the Rain and The Murder of Roger Akroyd.

Best new book (meaning, actually published in 2010)?

Again, this will have to go to the dynamic duo Blackout and All Clear by Connie Willis

Best debut novel?

Did not read any debut novels this year.

Best short story collection or anthology?

The Masters of Fantasy collection proved to contain the best overall collection of short stories from my favorite genre and several of my favorite authors.

Best short story?

“Sundering Star” by Janny Wurts from the Under Cover of Darkness anthology.

What was your favorite Beyond Reality “Book of the Month” in 2010?

I suspect it will be the one I’m currently reading . . . Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay

Who’s the best author you discovered this year?

Robin McKinley and her young adult fantasy award winning novel The Hero and the Crown.

Best SF&F-related website or blog?

I don’t follow any of them ‘religiously’ but I get bombarded with a multitude of tweets from myriad sources.  The one I frequent the most is John Scalzi’s Whatever blog.

Best SF&F movie?

I’m even harsher rating movies than I am with books.  I gave no five star ratings this year.  Three movies made it to my four star rating (barely) and they include Avatar, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part I.) and How to Train Your Dragon.

TV show?

Stargate Universe, but not because I really like it, more because there’s little else to watch when it comes to science fiction television.  Yes, I watch Doctor Who, Eureka, Warehouse 13, etc., but they are frivolous and entertaining … popcorn for my mind.