So. As I was blog-hopping yesterday, I chanced upon this post over at Tina's. Since I've been contemplating about writing a best-and-worst-of-the-year post anyway, I just decided to copy this one, which is hosted by book blogger extraordinaire Nomes. Here we go.
Day One: The Books
1. favourite book read in 2011
I read a lot of really awesome - as in, hell-yeah-that-was-awesome - books this year, but if I had to choose just one, then I would pick Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. It has all the elements that (in my humble opinion) make up a perfectly-created written work: excellent writing, original plot, real characters. The Pulitzer was definitely deserved.
2. most powerful book
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro is also a five-star read this year, and I say it is the most powerful book because it was one of those books that affected me in such a way that I never imagined.
3. brilliantly funny
I love Stargirl. Her eccentricities were funny, to a certain extent, making her a lovable, endearing character.
4. best ache-y, heart-breaking, tear-jerker read
I completely related to Conor in A Monster Calls, in so many ways than I would care to admit. There were parts that can really make you shed a tear or two, if you're in that mood.
5. most beautiful story
No matter what (negative thing) anyone says about it with regard to originality in plot, Yann Martel's Life of Pi will always be one of the most beautiful and poignant stories that I have had the opportunity to read. There are philosophies included, yes, but at the core of it is the beauty of life itself, and everything being seen from your own perspective.
6. delicious rainy day comfort read
For this category, I'm declaring a tie: it's between Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan and Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos. These books just make you want to swoon, if you know what I mean? :D
7. adrenalin-fuelled, unputdownable award
My husband influenced me to read the A Song of Ice and Fire series, and I'm glad I let him. The first two books, A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings, were the reasons for most of my sleepless nights during the months that I read them. I'm taking a break for a while, but I already started on A Storm of Swords.
8. the beautiful prose award
For this year, it would have to be Love Walked In. I love Marisa de los Santos' writing.
9. most atmospheric and vivid setting
Neil Gaiman is one of my super-favorite authors, and although I've already seen the movie adaptation of Coraline, that didn't prevent me from reading the book. It is one of those books that will send your imagination into overdrive, it's that good. ;)
10. i-so-want-to-go-there award
More than the paranormal plot, which I favor, A Discovery of Witches is also a travelogue of some sort - it will take the reader through Europe and certain parts of the US. A large part of the story takes place in a remote part of France - in a castle - and I know that, given the chance, I would love to visit such a place. It sounds so romantic.
11. most original and imaginative
Snow, Glass, Apples by Neil Gaiman is a short story/retelling of the children's story Snow White, so it can be readily argued that it's not so original. But its originality lies in the fact that the story is told from the Wicked Stepmother's point of view, her perspective. How original and imaginative can that be, right? Likewise, the beautiful illustrations and creative story of The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick deserve mention in this list.
12. best under-appreciated, hidden gem book
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry is about the Holocaust, and how it took place in Poland. I love how true and actual events from history were incorporated in this story. Also, very few people I know have read (or even took a second glance at) The Help by Kathryn Stockett, but it's a very touching story. I hope people will give it a chance.
13. i-had-no-idea-i-would-love this-so award
That would be A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, more because of the fact that I really didn't like Ness' The Knife of Never Letting Go which I read last year. So when I picked up A Monster Calls, I didn't expect to like it, but I did.
14. most haunting story
For reasons I already stated above, this category goes to A Monster Calls, Never Let Me Go and Number the Stars.
15. outside my comfort zone but gosh how i loved it
I'm a diverse reader (or as other readers would call it, an eclectic one) so I don't really have a comfort zone - I read practically everything. I'm putting A Monster Calls in this category more because of who the author is, and not because of the genre. :)
16. series that i’m loving
A Song of Ice and Fire is the series that I'm currently enjoying.
17. always recommending this book award
My two favorite books for 2011 belong to this category: Never Let Me Go and Middlesex.
18. completely awesome premise award
Once again, for obvious reasons. It's Middlesex, a story of Cal/Calliope Stephanides, a hermaphrodite.
19. would make the best movie
Again: Middlesex, but only because practically all of the other favorite books I've listed already have film adaptations.
20. want to re-read already
I'm not in the habit of rereading books, even books I so love, but if I were made to choose one, Middlesex would be it.
That's it! Since the sub-title of the post is "Day One: The Books", then I'm guessing there's more to come, so if and when I find the time before Christmas rolls around, let's see if I can muster up more of these blog posts. Thanks for reading! :)