Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Best of 2010

Books-A-Million sent me an email today. The subject read "The Best of 2010" and the email advertised all of 2010's bestsellers. That got me thinking. What are my Best of 2010 books?? As I thought about it, I realized that I didn't read very many books over the summer, and I can't remember at all what I read in the spring, so really this list will be my Best of Fall 2010, but that's close enough, right?

1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Of course. Picking my number one book of this year wasn't really a hard choice, since nothing else came close to The Hunger Games. For those of you who haven't read it, this book takes place in a post-apocalyptic society and tells the story of Katniss Everdeen. Katniss is selected to participate in The Hunger Games, which is a national event where two teens from each district must compete with each other to the death. Sounds awful right? Teens forced to kill each other on national TV? And it's young adult? No way. Those were my first thoughts. But boy was I wrong. I literally could not put this book down. And when I did put it down, I could not stop thinking about it. Definitely the best book of 2010, and one of my favorite books ever.

2. The Uglies by Scott Westerfield. This is another young adult dystopian society book. After reading The Hunger Games I was desperate to read something else like it. The Uglies is the first in a series of four. Main character Tally Youngblood lives in a world where everyone gets plastic surgery on their 16th birthday. And we're talking extreme plastic surgery. Tally is 15 and therfore still an Ugly, and she can't wait until she gets to be a Pretty. I would definitely recommend this entire series, especially for fans of The Hunger Games.

3. Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson. I started reading Brandon Sanderson's stuff after I found out he would be finishing the Wheel of Time series for the late Robert Jordan. I have enjoyed all of Sanderson's books, but Warbreaker is by far my favorite. This fantasy novel centers around two princesses.. Spirited, likable Princess Siri is sent to a foreign land to marry the terrifying God-King. Her realistically unlikable sister Vivenna follows Siri to protect her. The thing that I liked most about Warbreaker is that it is a stand-alone fantasy novel... that's right stand-alone fantasy. Seems like an oxymoron right? Fantasy stories are often never ending... 14 books at 1,000 pages each? I mean come on. Those books are really good, or at least really good at first, but there is no need to drag them out for that long. But Warbreaker was refreshingly short. An entire world, in depth characters, and a detailed plot was introduced, played out, and wrapped up in only 652 pages.

4. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak. I almost stopped reading this book after the first few pages. It is a story that takes place in Germany during World War II, and it is narrated by death. How weird and depressing is that?? But I'm glad I kept going. Death tells the story of Liesel Meminger, a young girl who has a thing for stealing books. The point of view makes this books intriguing, and the characters and plot make it heart-wrenching. Be prepared to cry.

So there it is, my Best Books of 2010, just in time for 2011. Why not start your new year with a great book?!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Goodbye, book comfort zone!

I have a book comfort zone. I tend to stick with fantasy... even more specifically epic or young adult fantasy. It's time to step out. New books, here I come! So, to force myself... here are some requirements. I must read AT LEAST:
-5 nonfiction. I really don't like nonfiction. But, here's to trying new things.
-10 classics. There are so many classics that I really want to read and just haven't gotten around to it. Now I have no choice!
-15 New York Times Bestsellers. They must be bestsellers for a reason. Time for me to find out.

Other than that, I want to read at least one book from let's say, 10 different genres? Yes, 10 sounds good.

And rereading? I don't know. I haven't decided if I want to count rereading or not yet. It sort of feels like cheating, but then again there are a lot of books that I have been wanting to reread. But I want this project to expand my reading horizon. And rereading just doesn't do that. So probably, if I do end up counting rereading, I will keep it to a minimum.

Also, there are a few books that I've wanted to read for forever, and I just haven't gotten around to it. Those are going on my must read in 2011 list, which so far includes:
1984 by George Orwell
The Giver by Lois Lowry
The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
Forgotten God by Francis Chan
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

I realize that this isn't a lot of requirements. But, reading 111 books in a year is a good enough goal in itself. And, at the very least, I will be reading a little bit of everything!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Really? 111 books in 2011?

111 books in 365 days.
Roughly, 1 book every 3.29 days.
Starting January 1, 2011 and ending December 31, 2011.
That is my goal.

Why? Here are my reasons:
1. I love to read.
2. I've always wanted to blog.
3. I really want to keep track of what I read: how many books, what genres, favorites, etc.
4. I have a friend doing the 365 project with photography. Sounds like fun, but I'm not much of a photographer. But I sure am a reader!
5. Book reviews: I love discussing books. But I don't always have someone to discuss them with. So what better an audience than the world wide web? And what better a place than my very own 111 in 11 blog?
6. I've seen Julie & Julia. We all dream of becoming a little famous.

And so it is. The start of a great undertaking. Stick around and this is what you'll get:
-what books I am reading!
-reviews!- my take on books
-my progress! Will I make my goal? You'll have to wait and see!