I have probably mentioned this before, but let's say it again: I have a Kindle.
Six months ago, you wouldn't catch me dead with an eReader. I was one of those people violently opposed to ebooks. I was sure they'd destroy the publishing world, I didn't understand the appeal of reading books on a screen, and I wondered why anyone would give up the feel of a "real" book. Anytime someone mentioned Kindles or Nooks or what-have-yous, I felt this little bit of acid eating away my chest and I wanted to gnaw people's fingers off.
Well, maybe not that dramatic, but you get the picture.
I don't know what changed my mind. For whatever reason, though, I broke down in July and ordered a Kindle. It showed up July 14th. I remember because I was getting ready to head to the theater. Some coworkers and I were going to watch Harry Potter 7 back-to-back, one part before midnight, one part after. I had just enough time to charge it before I left the house.
And you know? It's probably the greatest purchase I've ever made.
Since July 14th I've read 32 novels and 5 short stories, along with a dozen-odd sample chapters, and I have 11 books purchased but as of yet unread. I read four books over Christmas Eve and Christmas. The only reason the number isn't higher than that is because I realized how much money I was spending. I'm going to have to be more careful in 2012, since I left my second job, but I know I'll figure something out.
But anyway, I wanted to share with you some of the best books I read in 2011!
- This sounds gratuitous, since KM is my roommate and we've been besties for years, but I was honestly surprised by this book. KM understands—she knows I don't play well with sci fi. But I tore through this book in a day. Now I'm watching KM do page proofs for book 2 and reading pages whenever she leaves the room.
- The first book, The Electric Church, is still hands-down one of my favorite books ever. I have forced this series on more people than I can count, coworkers and customers alike. Gritty and foul-mouthed and amazing. I read books 4 and 5 this year, which is why I consider the series eligible for this list.
- Book 1 was everything I wanted in a book. That's the only way I can sum it up. I wasn't as sold on books 2 and 3, but overall it was a brilliant trilogy, and I'll probably reread it in 2012.
- Zombie steampunk with the world's most beautiful cover. Yes, really. Read it now, then come back and wait impatiently with me for book 2.
- Probably one of my favorite heroines. She starts off as a neglected, sheltered princess who comforts herself with lots of food, and she evolves (believably) into a young woman worth following. Waiting eagerly for the rest of the trilogy.
- I'm already reccing this book to people. Lark is another one of those true heroines—not perfect, not conveniently flawed, but completely real and believable. I love the detail in the world and know the next book is going to be amazing, too.
- Australian psycho-pomp laying ghosts to rest and saving the world? Hell yeah! I turned two regulars onto this series and we raced each other to the finish line. Not a perfect trilogy, but pretty close, and it's definitely a fun one.
- Originally called Skinned, I think? I don't remember how I stumbled across this, but I remember landing on Robin Wasserman's homepage where she was displaying the new covers and titles for the series. How could I resist a clever cover like that? I downloaded a sample and knew only a couple pages in I had to own it. This is what I read over Christmas, all three back-to-back. Brilliant.
- I'm glad I knew nothing about this book before I read it. Spoilers would destroy this smart story. Fascinating MC. Have already foisted it off on a friend to read.
- This one shouldn't count, since I'm not done reading it, but I can't leave it off. I can't tell you guys the last time I read anything nonfiction. It was probably back in college when I had no choice. I saw this in a Kinokuniya window display and thought the title interesting enough to write down. As soon as I got home I downloaded a sample, and four paragraphs later I bought it. An American reporter working for a Japanese national newspaper covering the police beat and yakuza? Yes please.
When I sat down to write this list, I thought it'd be short and easy. After all, I enjoyed a lot of books these last six months, but how many were hands-down awesome, totally-read-again-able? More than I thought, obviously! These are the books I'd recommend to all my friends. In fact, half of them are sitting in my Amazon cart so I can ship the printed versions to my sisters in SC.
Even better? Today is January 1st, which means a year of Apocalypsies 2012 debuts and sequels. Better get my Kindle charging now so I don't miss a word.