My Favourite Moments in Reading, 2011

I had so many wonderful moments in reading this year. In an attempt to give this list some restrictions and a sense of order, I’m trying to keep it to books I read in 2011 that also happened to be published in 2011 (or late 2010), with one exception.

So! My favourite moments in reading, 2011:

You can keep your vampires/werewolves/Dauntless pretty-boys, the male love interest that made me swoon this year was Murdoch in Betsy Wickwire’s Dirty Secret. Tall! Bookish! Sweet! Glasses! Arty! Likes picnics at a quarry and submits himself to Value Village pillaging! Sign me up!

Discovering the Dark Library in Kenneth Oppel’s  This Dark Endeavour. What avid reader doesn’t appreciate a good library? This one does not disappoint. How can you NOT love a hidden library full of rare, magical- perhaps single edition!- leather-bound tomes?

Best opening sentence…Kit Pearson, for this doozy of an opening line in the sublime The Whole Truth: “After it happened, they were sent away.” Now THAT is a sentence that draws you in and keeps you up all night reading to find out what happened, who was sent away, and why. (The truth does not disappoint)

I laughed the hardest during Withering Tights. Squirrel room! Step-dancing Heathcliff! I can’t wait for more of the Misadventures of Tallulah Casey, coming in 2012’s A Midsummer Tights Dream!

I cried the hardest during the latest Dear Canada book, That Fatal Night: The Titanic Diary of Dorothy Wilton, proof that you CAN rework the Titanic story (especially if you’re Sarah Ellis).

I also cried when Batty discovers her musical talent in The Penderwicks at Point Mouette.

My new favourite middle grade heroine is Felicity from The Romeo and Juliet Code. I love her spirit, her plucky attitude, her disdain for all things not British…I can still vividly recall the scene in which she builds herself a throne of sand. Magic.

Inside Out and Back Again reminded me how much I love verse novels.

Libba Bray provided me with the most “Oh no she didn’t…” moments in the outrageous Beauty Queens.

The character I most wanted to hang out with was Min Green from Daniel Handler’s piece of angsty YA perfection, Why We Broke Up. Silent film stars? Bitter Sixteen parties? Can we be best friends, please? Actually, maybe it’s Al I want to be friends with…in any case, review coming soon!

Stay made me want to go out and eat everything Deb Caletti wrote about…fish and chips in a basket…chunky homemade spaghetti sauce…tea made with herbs brewed in the garden of a mysterious neighbour…

And last but not least, my favourite summer read- which wasn’t new this year but was new to me and I loved it so much I had to break my own “published in 2011 rule” and include it- The Summer Sherman Loved Me.

If you haven’t yet, check out these fantastic reads yourself and let me know what YOU think. Can’t wait to see what 2012 has in store!

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