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Favorite Reads of 2011

John is hosting a bloghop where you list the best books your read in 2011. Not books that were published in 2011, but ones I read this year. That’s good, as I read a few older books this year. 😉 I am listing them randomly.

I was going to post ten, but I can’t make up my mind on the last one. Decided to leave it out. I was between Bound by a Vampire Queen by Joey W. Hill or New York to Dallas by JD Robb.

  1. Hit List by Laurell K. Hamilton. In high school, the Anita Blake series was on my automatic read list. (I spent months waiting for the library to get me her backlist! Months!) But not lately because, well, the sex kind of took over. But this book is different; there is only 1 sex scene and there are signs the old Anita Blake is back. I put this book is on this list out of sheer relief. Hit List isn’t my last AB book! Plus, Edward and Olaf are in it. My favorite assassin and the smitten serial killer.
  2. Play Dead by John Levitt. This is the fourth and possibly last book in this series. Play Dead is on this list because he totally destroys his characters at the end. He takes away their magic. How many urban fantasies are there where the main characters lose all their magic? Not many. Got to admire that. Plus, it’s just a really good adventure.
  3. Twilight’s Dawn by Anne Bishop. This is a short story collection by Anne Bishop, set in her Black Jewels world. It is fantastic. It came out this year, but I’ve already reread each story several times. I even blogged about it here.
  4. Divide & Conquer by Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux. This is the fairly intense romantic suspense,  fourth in the series and the last one Madeleine Urban is cowriting. Abigail Roux is on her own from here on out. The main characters, Ty and Zane, are FBI agents and partners. Zane finally admits he loves Ty. Ty thinks it’s passion talking at first, but he believes Zane the second time. 😉 IMO, it’s got just the right mix of romance and suspense. Bombs and robberies and mischief. Plus, Ty comes out to his friends from when he was a marine.
  5. Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay. This is the first book I’ve read by him and it blew me away. It’s hard to describe.  The world is inspired by China’s Tang dynasty. The premise sounds ridiculous – a gift of 250 horses turns the main character  into a target – but it’s not. The world is gorgeous, I like the main character. It’s not the fastest book in the world and the ending is a bit rushed, but it is still pretty amazing. The way he switches between present and past tense is pretty interesting. I am going to read his other stuff soon.
  6. Carnelians by Catherine Asaro. This is the latest in a series I’ve been following for a long, long time. Don’t recall how many books there are, but a lot. It brings together ideas from books she wrote a long time ago. With this book, I can believe peace is finally possibly in this world. Maybe not in the character’s lifetime, but at some point.
  7. Dune by Frank Herbert. Still as good as the day it was first published. 😉
  8. The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. This is the book I wanted all of last year (and the year before that!). It is a middle book and has some of the symptoms of a middle book, but I am not disappointed. Considering how long I’d wanted it and how excellent the first book was, that’s saying something.
  9. Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James W. Loewen. I posted something on G+ and a few people recommended this book to me. I read the preview on Google Books and then decided to get the whole thing. I learned lots and lots of things I never knew before. Some of it bears a little more investigation on my part, but still worth reading.