This great (and extensive) list was thought up over at Inkcrush and seeing as I've read so many awesome books that haven't had a mention here yet (seeing as I only started in May!) I thought they deserved to be recognised. Rules are simple, we can only pick from books read this year, regardless of when they were published.
1. Favourite book read so far in 2011.
This is a no brainer for me, it's rare I find such a complete story and amazing writing in a single book, let alone three of them! This story was by far the best thing I have read all year, I know it's not technically a single book and this is sort of cheating but I just couldn't chose one of them. Don't make me chose!
2. Most powerful book.
On the surface this could have been just another excellent historical mystery romp, complete with murderous cousins, indecent photography and a lovesick peacock. But what made it really powerful for me were the characters I have followed so closely for four wonderful books. I won't spoil anything but this story had me in full on sob mode at the end.
3. Brilliantly funny.
A post nuclear London, a Russian student, an insane AI with an overprotective father complex and a nun with a big gun. This is only the first of three (I'm currently on two, still good!) but man I laughed like a hyena throughout this book.
I think I must have dedicated a good two weeks of solid reading just to get caught up on this HUGE comic which was highly recommended to me by a friend (thanks Matt!). I LOVE Girl Genius, it really does have everything and the best part is the story is nowhere near over, I will be reading this till Phil and Kaja hang up their pens.
4. Best ache-y, heart-breaking, tear-jerker read.
I 'm not ashamed to admit that this book made me all weepy. I loved it but man, why did Raybourn have to whip the rug from under my feet like that? If you have not yet read any of these, get yourself a copy of Silent in the Grave and you can thank me later (I also accept gifts!)
Oh Eugenides you're such a glutton for punishment! You just never give up hope on Attolia despite the awful way she treats you and just when I think you'll throw in the towel you pull the most amazing theft ever. This book totally beat my heart to pulp over all the sadness and Attolia's suspicion where there should have been affection.
6. Delicious rainy day comfort read
So I literally just finished this yesterday, and yeah it wasn't raining but it may as well have been seeing as I did not move from the sofa till I finished it! Shockingly this was also the first ever Meg Cabot book I have ever read and for that I have to thank the awesome ladies over at Forever Young Adult and their amazing review which had me picking it up from the library Friday and devouring it within 24 hours.
7. Adrenalin-fuelled, unputdownable award
Oh yes these were certainly unputdowable. The action was non-stop and so exciting and the steamy swooning was just as rivetingly good. And on top of this I loved the characters (all of them) and completely gave a monkeys about what happened to them. Especially little sweet Jamie, you so sweet!
I've got the third on order and it should arrive any day now, I shall have to set aside a full day for it.
Genius Girl - The beauty of an ongoing webcomic is you never really put it down.
Equations of Life - For most of the book the only thing keeping Petrovich alive and (mostly) upright is adrenalin!
8. The beautiful prose (and art) award
Just look at those covers! These comics have some the best art I have ever seen and it's used so perfectly within the stories, always changing to fit the action. And the writing! To be able to successfully intertwine the most famous and well loved stories into this physical universe where the written word is the most powerful weapon is an amazing achievement. And on top of this to have real feeling characters who you end up really caring about makes this my pick for this category. If you love books you must read these.
9. Most atmospheric and vivid setting.
Another no brainer for me, the world Whates builds here is HUGE! A hundred levels of living breathing humans betraying, loving, rescuing and killing each other within this amazing structural city where the higher they live the wealthier they may be, but they're just as cutthroat and ruthless as the lowest alley crawler. And likewise the story in this book is every big as massive and detailed as the world it is set. Another book where I can't wait to get my hands on the next installment.
10. I-so-want-to-go-there award
I'm sorry but it's a tragedy that this world is not real and I can't go there whenever I want. It has everything from giant airship flotillas, mechanical princesses, TWO love interests who require more saving then the heroine does and Othar Tryggvassen GENTLEMAN ADVENTURER! Who is really anything but a gentleman, more a giant unkillable nuisance.
I would totally spend all my holidays here.
11. Most original and imaginative.
I adored Leviathan and that love only grew with the second book in this series set in an alternative history's World War I. Imagine a world in which the Germans have developed superior steam powered mechanics, they have giant war machines that can level cities and one-man flying contraptions with mounted gatling guns. But more amazingly Britain has been playing God with the genetic code, our war machines are alive. Humungous flying whales filled with an entire ecosystem of animals all genetically created to keep the living airships afloat. Like the colony of bees that turn nectar in to hydrogen and the sniffer dogs who search for leaks on the whale's hide. How could I not pick it for this category.
12. Best under-appreciated, hidden gem book
Thanks to the glowing review I found over on Angieville for Song I decided to pick this baby up and give it a go. And I was not disappointed. So much did I enjoy this story I bought the second one before I even finished! If you like your sci-fi with a bit of steaminess and a lot of peril then you must grab these.
13. I-had-no-idea-i-would-love this-so award
Another great book I have one of Angie's reviews to thank. I'm not normally a purely chick lit reader. I usually demand a little action, adventure or something out of the ordinary to flavor my romance. But this was so perfectly written, I really fell in love with these characters and rooted for them all the way to the end.
14. Most haunting story
As I said above these volumes are so wonderful that really can't recommend then enough.
15. Outside my comfort zone but gosh how i loved it
I know! It's a classic, how on earth have I not read it yet? I just don't gravitate to the classics as much as I should (naughty) my head always gets turned by the new Kate Daniels or Lady Julia Greys and I forget all about the Cathys and Emmas of the classics. This is something I'm desperately trying to rectify this year by making sure I pick up at three more classics before the end of 2011.
16. Series that I’m loving
Again I really loved the first book in this series, The Lies of Locke Lamora, it was the most amazing introduction to the Gentlemen Bastards, the greatest con men the world has never seen. And the tale was so beautifully twisted around itself you never knew if anything happened by accident or meticulously planned. This book is the second in the series and is just as good as it's predecessor, but now with PIRATES!
17. Most memorable voice award
Ok so I promised myself I wouldn't place any of the Chaos Walking books any other category seeing as I already gave them books of 2011, and it would just be way too easy to give them everything, which would be so lazy. But Men of Monsters really does deserve this particular title above anything else I have read this year. The fact that the book is split in to three first person narratives and intertwines them so wonderfully while still keeping them so true to their individual voices was an amazing feat.
18. Completely awesome premise award
Oh god this has to be the only story I could have picked! Homicide detection Tony Chu is a cibopathic, someone who get psychic readings from anything he eats. Except, for some reason, beetroots. So he can munch a banana and see the tropical island it grew on, feel the sun, smell the sea. Or he can bite in to steak and smell the cow's manure, feel the hormones that got pumped into it and witness it's journey to the abattoir. A rather useful talent when a serial killer won't tell you were his victims are buried, useful but not pleasant.
19. Would make the best movie
Read my blurb above and you know this'll make the best movie ever created!
20. Want to re-read already
Because they were all incredible.