The Yearly Bookshelf


I read a lot. It’s a plain and simple fact. I devour books like others devour dinner – and in fact, if I’m engrossed in a really good book, I just might skip dinner! (That was a joke, of course. I have a very loving, caring, eagle-eyed mother).

But anyway, I thought it would be fun (as I love it when others do this on their blogs) that I post some of the books I’ve read this year. Bear with me, and just be glad I didn’t keep track of EVERY book I read. *wink*

Urchin of the Riding Stars by M. I. McAllistir: Very adorable; Redwall for slightly younger readers.

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale: I always love Shannon Hale. This book was a bit ‘young’ for me, but still thoroughly enjoyable.

The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson: Can anyone say ‘Peet the Sock Man’? New favorite character, oh yes. Adorable, scatterbrained, deadly Wearer of Socks. Until his transformation – but hush, I don’t want to give anything away!

The Charlatan’s Boy by Jonathan Rogers: The author of the Wilderking Trilogy has done it again. This book is written from a very funny, very heartfelt point of view and we are given an original story.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer: Written in the form of letters, this charming book unfolds the story of Juliet Ashton and her search to write the perfect novel. It isn’t what you’ll expect – but worth the read. I gave it to my mother to read after I finished it, and she loved it as much as I did.

Worldshaker by Richard Harland: I always enjoy a good steampunk, and this one – while a slight bit confusing at times due to odd editing – was very enjoyable.

Foundling by D. M. Cornish: Can anyone say ‘imagination?’ If you’re tired of reading the same book over and over and want something a little childish, full of monsters and adventures and lamps, then this is the book for you.

Pastworld by Ian Beck: This is one of the most unusual, interesting mysteries I’ve ever read. I thoroughly enjoyed it, though the villain might be too much for younger readers to take.

The Vampire Defanged by Susanna Clements: One of the best, most informative books I’ve read. Mrs. Clements takes you through the world of vampires and shows us how Dracula was transformed into Edward Cullen and why, if performed properly and with a godly perspective, we can give the vampire back his fangs.

Trouble Shooter by Louis L’Amour: Cowboys. What more is there to say?

Dragons of the Valley/Dragons of Chiril by Donita K. Paul: This series is funny, exciting, adventurous, and has the most endearing wizard I know.

Heartless and Veiled Rose by Anne Stengl: Two of my favorite from this year, these allegorical fairy-tales are timeless and faith-building. I couldn’t put them down!

The Moorchild by Eloise McGraw: This might actually be my favorite book from this year. This tells the story of a Changeling child trying to accept normal life and find a place in her village. Written with humor, tenderness, excitement, and a good dash of faerie lore, this book is next to perfect.

The Healer’s Apprentice/The Merchant’s Daughter by Melanie Dickerson: I enjoyed both of these thoroughly. Loosely based on “Sleeping Beauty” and “Beauty and the Beast,” respectively, these books – though predictable – are well-written, well-planned, and enjoyable.

The Wolf of Tebron/The Map Across Time by C. S. Lakin: The Wolf of Tebron, a cleverly changed-out version of ‘East o’ the sun, West o’the Moon’ (which happens to be my favorite fairy-tale) was beautiful, and I completely loved it. The Map Across Time was enjoyable, but wasn’t quiet as good – it didn’t want to end. You get yourself prepared for the climax, and THEN – Something Else happens, and the book continues.

Masters and Slayers by Bryan Davis: I love Bryan Davis – he’s one of my favorite authors, with his Dragons in Our Midst series especially. This is more adult than his other books, more of the 18-year-old range rather than 15,  but it was excellent and well-crafted.

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow/Princess of the Midnight Ball/Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George: Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow is the best retelling of ‘East o’the Sun, West o’the Moon’ I’ve ever read. I devoured it, and then my sister devoured it after me. Princess of the Midnight Ball and Princess of Glass are both fun and enjoyable twists on ‘The Twelve Dancing Princesses’ and ‘Cinderella’ – the villains (goblins and a witch, respectively) manage to be essential to the plot without being scary or overly dark. These last two aren’t as good as the first, but they’re still good (and squeaky-clean, too).

Pillage/Choke by Obert Skye: I loved Pillage. Loved it. Plus, talk about an eye candy cover! I kept pausing to look back at it. Written with humor, sarcasm, and unexpected twists, it was a fun little read. Choke seemed to pale in comparison, though, which was a bit disappointing. (You don’t, however, have to read Choke after Pillage).

Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer: Fairies. With technology. Oh, yes. This series is ingenius, hilarious, and very clean, but I would only recommend it up to book 5. (Then the author felt the need to bring demons into play, even though they’re not actual ‘from-hell’ demons but monster-ish fairies).

Here Lies Arthur by  Phillip Reeve: I’m always up for a good King Arthur book. This wasn’t it,

Faerie Rebels/Wayfarer by R. J. Anderson: Faerie Rebels was fun. Wayfarer, however, is one of my favorite books on the planet. The author is a Christian – and while the first book has no real, clear mention of this, Wayfarer has a distinct Christian feel about it.

The Penderwicks series by Jeanne Birdsall: Adorable. Absolutely adorable. If you don’t enjoy the antics of the Penderwick sisters, then your heart is old and I’m very sorry for you.

East by Edith Pattou: Yes, another East o’the Sun, West o’the Moon retelling that sadly fell short of my expectations. It was slow-moving and a tad boring. (Oh, and ‘Ice,’ another retelling I read, is not recommended. At all.)

The Time Quartet by Madeline L’Engle: I love ‘A Wrinkle in Time.’ LOVE it. The ones after it seem to get more bizzarre, though I still enjoy them – but ‘Many Waters,’ the last of the quartet that focuses on twins Sandy and Dennis, was… a bit TOO bizzarre.

Clone Wars Gambit: Stealth by Karen Miller: This book has some of the most priceless banter I’ve ever read. If you know me, you know that witty conversation and good-natured banter are things I value very highly in my literary diet, and this supplied both. Anakin and Obi-wan are hilarious together.

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearson: I began to guess the plot about halfway through the book, but I still had to finish it and see what happens to Jenna. This book, though it may lack in other areas (plus the repeated use of a crude word for humor) definitely hooks you, and keeps you until the last page.

Siren by Tricia Rayburn: Wow. This book was original, eerie, well-written, and considering it’s dealing with sirens, surprisingly non-graphic (though definitely not for young readers).

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa: This book is right up my alley, and I would probably own it – but I would have to take a lot of white-out. The language wasn’t that great, plus one use of the ‘f’ word (though its usage shocks the main character as it’s supposedly coming out of her little brother) and a visit to a voodoo priestess kind of ruin it for me. (Plus some faeries are a bit… uh, ‘loose.’). I would like to recommend this book, but I can’t.

The Realms Thereunder by Ross Lawhead: Feeling confused? Don’t quit, keep reading, it will all make sense, I promise you. I love the Lawheads, and this book met up with my expectations. (Plus, there are two knights I really love).

The Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood: Without a doubt one of the strangest books I’ve read, this book is about a girl who reminds me a lot of whatsnernose in ‘Bright Star’ – and a strange, orphaned young man who comes to live with her and her father. By the end of the book you’re not sure whether the poisons in the garden really have manifestations of personalities – or if the main characters are insane.

Lost in Dreams/Found in  Translation by Roger Bruner: I went into these expecting some light, Christian chick lit. What I got was Christian, yes – but not light. These books really spoke to me and dealt with some of my own issues. It seems, at times, that the author (an older gentleman) is trying too hard to get an eighteen-year-old girl’s point of view, but I would recommend these books anyhow.

Corus the Champion by D. Barkely Briggs: An intriguing mixture of Arthurian, Norse, and Celtic lore, this book was an enjoyable fantasy – though there was one character so Fflewdur Fflammish that  I wanted to hit my head on the wall and go “Please, please, come up with your OWN characters and stop stealing them from legends and the Book of Three!”

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: Okay, so I didn’t actually finish it. I got about halfway through. It isn’t that I don’t like it – I love the story. It’s just I’ve grown up with the Colin Firth/Jennifer Ehl version of it, and that version is almost identical to the book, that there seemed no point to it.

Knight’s Fee by Rosemary Sutcliff: Rosemary Sutcliff’s biggest flaw is, in my humble opinion, too much description and too little dialogue. That didn’t stop this from being a good book (and Herluin has joined the ranks of some of my favorite characters) however, and for lovers of historical fiction this one comes recommended.

There! Quite a few, but I didn’t post all of them. I left out the non-fiction and quite a few fiction books that I forgot to review on The Book Fae (my apologies, I’ve been a bit too busy for it these past couple months) – but here you have the gist!

I just ordered about nine books from, and I’ll be sure and tell you how I liked them. (Among them were Jenny Frietag’s “Shadow Things,” which I’m very excited to read, as well as Ultraviolet by R. J. Anderson, The Errant King by Wayne Baston, Arint Saratir: Warrior’s Light by my friend Taylor Beisler, and a book of poems by Emily Bronte).

What were your favorites for 2011?


13 thoughts on “The Yearly Bookshelf

  1. I have read way too many amazing books this year. Still, if I had to tell you my top ten, they would be the following (in no particular order):

    1. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
    2. One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
    3. The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
    4. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien
    5. Divergent by Veronica Roth
    6. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
    7. It’s (Not That) Complicated by Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin
    8. The Maze Runner by James Dashner
    9. Crazy Love by Francis Chan
    10. 1984 by George Orwell

    I LOVED reading your list, girl!

    Talk to you soon!

  2. Oh, the Penderwicks! I love them to pieces. I read the first one originally in second grade, but it’s been read and reread a thousand times. I got my hands on a hardback copy of the third one for only $8 and loved it as well, though I think I like the first one best.

    I love your list. I didn’t recognize a lot of the titles, but they all sounded interesting, and when I need books to read (which, at the moment, I do not, considering the stack of five or six in my room waiting to be read, AND LotR, which still is waiting for me to finish… book one. 😛 I will read it! Eventually…)

    • I KNOW; the Penderwicks are so CUTE! My sister owned the first and last, and I bought her the second for Christmas. =D LOTR – WHOA! I read all 3 in 3 days. I was very sick. The next time I read them I went “Wow… I missed a lot!” XD I like the Hobbit so much I re-read it about once a year, though. =)

  3. On that list, I’ve read A Wrinkle in Time and Pride & Prejudice . . . But both of those were some time ago. I love them both though! 🙂

    Hm . . . my favorite book of the year would probably be Kestrel’s Midnight Song by J. R. Parker (and I got to meet him at the book trailer filming! *dances*) 🙂 You must read it, Mirriam! You must! And Jill’s trilogy!

    Hm, now I’m wondering what my other favorite books of the year were. I must look at a list . . .

    My To Be Read pile is getting enormously large . . .

    • I REALLY WANT TO READ JILL AND JACOB’S BOOKS!!! I have for FOREVER! AAAACK! I was *almost* able to go down to MI for the filiming of the last trailer, but couldn’t make it. *weeps*
      MWAHA; yes, make a list.

  4. Hm…yes, when I find a book I like, which is fairly often, I tend read it almost too quickly. One or two days is the norm! Reading is like breathing to me…although I think reading is more pleasant than merely sucking in oxygen, don’t you?

    • I know, same here. I have to remind myself to SLOOWW DDOOOWWWNNN. =D And yes – far more pleasant, and no less necessary. =)

  5. OK . . . I made a list, as directed 🙂

    Top 10 books of 2011, roughly in order:
    1 Kestrel’s Midnight Song – J. R. Parker
    2 The Blood of Kings Trilogy – Jill Williamson
    3 The Iron Ring – Lloyd Alexander
    4 The Rogue Crew – Brian Jacques
    5 Father Brown (3 books) – G. K. Chesterton
    6 The Golden Dream of Carlo Chuchio – Lloyd Alexander
    7 The Shadows Fall – Mirriam Neal
    8 Castaways of the Flying Dutchman Trilogy – Brian Jacques
    9 The Rope Trick – Lloyd Alexander
    10 The Railway Children – E. Nesbit

    Book that I’m still reading and therefore cannot go in the list yet but which is really great so far:
    A Tale of Two Castles – Gail Carson Levine

    Favorite books that I re-read this year, in no particular order:
    The Gammage Cup – Carol Kendall
    The Firelings – Carol Kendall
    The Whisper of Glocken – Carol Kendall
    The Hobbit – J. R. R. Tolkien
    The Lord of the Rings – J. R. R. Tolkien
    The Horse and His Boy – C. S. Lewis
    Kestrel’s Midnight Song – J. R. Parker

    And since I only started keeping track of books I read in April, who knows what I read in the first three months of the year? AAAND that was long enough for a blog post in itself. Sorry 🙂

  6. Mirriam, I’m gonna make mine short and sweet. 🙂 Of course, I love books, too many to seriously call my favorites. But an especially good series is “Ranger’s Apprentice” by John Flannagan.
    It’s a great series and I personally don’t think that it deteriorates as it continues, I think you’d enjoy them too 🙂

      • We FINALLY got ahold of the last few books. I have to say that Halt and Horace have to be two of my favorite characters :). Sometimes his romance cane be a *little* cheesy, but still fine :). Halt’s Peril practically made me cry. Guess I’m pretty attached to the characters…

Got something to say?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s