Books I enjoyed in 2011

January 1, 2012 at 8:16 am | Posted in Books of the year, Reading | 4 Comments
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What better use for a rainy new year’s day (note to NZ: it’s summer, for god’s sake!) than to spend some time listing a few books that I particularly enjoyed this year. These are in no particular order, and just in case they seem like the kind of books you’d enjoy too, I’ve provided buy links for you. Be prepared for some not-very-insightful comments about each of them; there’s a reason why I don’t review anything.

The Table for Two series, by Scarlet Blackwell: Just Desserts, Second Helpings, and The Last Supper.
A famous chef starts a relationship with the food critic who slags him off in the press. Oh, how I adored these books. A lot of whether you like this series will depend on how much you like Luc, but I LOVED him. Highly recommended.

Mongrel, by KZ Snow
A young snake oil salesman meets the king of the half-breeds. Hijinks ensue. Unusual steampunk setting, great character in the form of the bipolar Fanule Perfidor, and Clancy Marrowbone the vampire is also worthy of much love. Very enjoyable.

Guardian of the Dead, by Karen Healy
YA paranormal set in New Zealand, using Maori mythology to great effect. Heroine is a chubby girl who doesn’t save the world on her own and gets the hot boy. Hot boy can’t fight for shit and is an ugly crier. I’m sold.

Spin Out, by James Buchanan
The story of Deputy Joe and Kabe continues. Those boys need their heads knocked together quite a lot of the time, but we love them anyway.

Dragon Bound, by Thea Harrison
A dragon shifter hunts down the girl who stole from him, and all hell breaks loose. I LOVED this. I think it’s probably my favourite of the books I read this year. It does suffer a little from the Nalini Singh school of manly masculine men of manliness, but I could overlook that because Dragos is a fantastic hero, and hilarious, and the worldbuilding is great. Highly recommended.

Come Unto These Yellow Sands, by Josh Lanyon
It seems that every time I do one of these lists, at least one book of Josh Lanyon’s creeps onto it. What can I say, I’m a fan. I know that some people are saying that Josh’s characters are kind of blending into one now, but I still find enough distinction between them to make me happy. This one includes an ex-junkie poet and the local police chief, and a murder. 🙂 I loved Chief Max, and how they called each other Chief and Teach. The scene where Max searches Swift’s house was intense.

Whitetail Rock, by Anne Tenino
You don’t even have to buy this one, because it’s being given away as a freebie at ARe. As the only person of colour in the small town where he was raised by his adoptive parents, Nik has issues. Jurgen, the blond, beefy motorcycle cop, doesn’t give a shit about Nik’s issues, he just wants him. This was funny, sweet and incredibly hot. Do yourselves a favour and go and grab a copy, because it is totally worth it.

Simple Gifts, by LG Gregg
A man runs into his old crush — the brother of his best friend — at the family Christmas party. This was funny, sad, and lovely. The origami motif and the way that wrapped up was really great.

So there you go, the ten books I most enjoyed reading this year. I’m sure there are a few good ones I missed, so feel free to recommend me some for 2012.



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  1. OK, you should SO review more often because the above are brilliant. Especially your review of Guardian of the Dead. ROFLOL!

    I really liked Come Unto These Yellow Sands. I felt the characters, particularly ‘Teach’ to be distinctive from other JL characters. And obviously I need to get on and read Mongrel! So many books – I should stop spring cleaning and read more *grin*

    • I should be writing but I’m looking at beds! I want a new one but I’d prefer not to have to actually pay for it, haha. And I’ve organised my ereader so that everything’s in folders now, which pleases me. Apparently I have 27 of Josh Lanyon’s books, so that just proves my point about loving him.

      Come Unto These Yellow Sands was 2011’s Fair Game for me, where JL is concerned – people seemed quite lukewarm about it, but I loved it. And Mongrel is totally worth it – a bit gruesome in parts, but great. I’ll actually be interested to hear what you think of it, since you read more fantasy than me and so might find the setting more familar than I did. Not that it’s fantasy, but it’s not contemporary, so for me it’s quite different to what I mostly read.

      Guardian of the Dead was great. I saw Karen Healey speak at the Writer’s Festival, and she said some interesting things about what she was trying to do when she wrote it.

  2. […] are incredibly likable, I just adore everything about these books. Mongrel made it onto my “books I enjoyed in 2011” post, and I’m sure that the third book, Machine, will make it only my “books I […]

  3. […] have waxed lyrical about the books in this series before, twice. I love them. All of them. I am very sad there will not be more of them. In this one, Fan […]

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