Saturday, 31 December 2011

Relz Reviewz Top 10 Reads of 2011

The challenge of compiling a Top 10 list is often overwhelming and frustrating as choosing 10 usually means excluding fantastic reads! Still, I enjoy looking back over my year's reading and selecting books that may be literary masterpieces, books that struck a chord within me or simply one out of the box. Here's my list (in no particular order), sneaking in a few extras by way of a series nomination, and some others at the end of my post that I was loath not to include in some way!

I'd love you to post the link to your Top 10 or just let me know your choices in the comments section.

PS.  If any of you actually count you will see I have 11 - I only just noticed as I was about to post ~ LOL!  Well, it's my list so I guess having 11 is okay :)

There You'll Find Me by Jenny B Jones

"Jenny B Jones' writing is the Lindt chocolate of Young Adult novels. Smooth, satisfying and memorable, always leaving you much to savour. There You'll Find Me is a captivating and deeply moving story.."

Digitalis & Wolfsbane by Ronie Kendig

Digitalis: "With the relentless action of The Bourne Identity, the electrifying chemistry of Speed and the emotional punch of A Few Good Men, Digitalis is a stomach clenching, all consuming thrill ride as the Nightshade Black Ops team is attacked on mission and at home."
Wolfsbane: "Supremely talented, Ronie Kendig's military thrillers are imprinted with an unparalleled combination of grit, courage, emotional intelligence and spiritual depth."

Indelible by Kristen Heitzmann

"Delving deep into their psyches, Indelible is character driven and darkly mysterious glimpse into the heart of a gifted woman and man driven to succeed beyond all measure."

Pompeii by T L Higley

"Pompeii: City on Fire will grab you by the throat, shake you around a little and eventually let go, leaving you enlivened and deeply satisfied. A consummate storyteller, TL Higley's talent shines in this story of adventure, danger, intrigue and love."

Freedom's Stand by Jeanette Windle

"Unflinchingly honest in her portrayal of political corruption and human rights abuses, the dilemmas and compromises faced by aid agencies and the positive and negative elements of Western intervention, Jeanette sheds light on the plight of the Afghan people in a confronting and challenging manner."

Waterfall, Cascade & Torrent by Lisa T Bergren

Waterfall: "With more sword fights than The Princess Bride, more swoon worthy heroes than Twilight and adventure and intrigue in abundance, Lisa Tawn Bergren has penned a fabulous story in Waterfall."

Cascade: "The strength of Lisa's storytelling is in the intensity she generates in action scenes as Gabi confronts peril and pain, in the burgeoning romance as Marcello stakes his claim and in the conflict that battles in Gabi's soul as she faces a decision that may alter the future of her family forever."

Torrent: "Intrigue, corruption, secret societies and one gorgeous but ambiguous villain intensify the danger and romance, as Lisa weaves twists and turns together with heart pounding adventure into another unique and thrilling tale."

Paradise Valley by Dale Cramer

"Beautifully rendered and historically detailed, Caleb Bender's journey to Mexico in search of religious freedom for his family is an emotive, adventurous and engrossing read."

To Win Her Heart by Karen Witemeyer

"A heroic yet vulnerable hero, an uptight but compassionate heroine, humour, attraction, conflict and an oversized, cantankerous dog called Ornery ~ what's not to love?"

The Colonel's Lady by Laura Frantz

"Evocative, poignant and joyous, The Colonel's Lady is a story to savour again and again."

The Queen by Steven James

An exceptional wordsmith and intricate plotter, thrillers really don't get much better than this.

Yesterday's Tomorrow by Catherine West

"Gritty. Compelling. Moving. Catherine West's debut novel epitomises these words as she plunges the reader into a much derided war and a time in history many wish to forget."

It was so hard to leave some fabulous reads out so I need to mention Jody Hedlund's The Doctor's Lady, Susan May Warren's Heiress and Baby, It's Cold Outside, Terri Blackstock's Shadow in Serenity and To Die For by Sandra Byrd!


Nicole said...

Here are my best reads for 2011:

How I could've forgotten The Queen on that list, I have no idea! It was as you say the ultimate in well-written thrillers. Great series.

Also must add Dry As Rain by Gina Holmes. Managed to just squeeze that in under this New Year's Eve wire.

Lisa Tawn Bergren said...

Can't thank you enough, Rel, for your continued support of River of Time in 2011. You helped make my year special, in so many ways. BIG xoxo!!

Casey said...

Great list! I can see where our tastes differ, but love seeing such great titles for our perusing. It's one thing we will never run out in Christian fiction!!

Dani Pettrey said...

Great list, Rel! Must have been such a difficult decision with all the great books out there. My favs from your list were Ronie and Karen Witemeyer and the mention for Jody of course. Such talented ladies :)

Sara said...

Great list, Rel! Many of these are still on my TBR list, so hopefully, I'll be able to get to them in early 2012. Happy New Year!

Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

Aaaah 2012 is going to be bittersweet-- no more Discarded Heroes books...what WILL I read? Hahaha. I do love your list Rel and might just have to check into a few of those books you listed that I haven't read yet.

Happy New Year!

XOXO~ Renee

Laura Frantz said...

Rel, What can I say? You've encouraged me so many times since I began publishing - always when I need it most. It's a God thing, truly:) And I pray I keep writing books you savor. Love "evocative, poignant, and joyous." Many thanks for your HUGE heart.

Andi said...

Great List Rel! Here is mine

Erynn said...

This IS a great list. 4/11 made my list too, and the rest I haven't read, but I'm definitely going to look into them now. If my TBR pile doesn't topple over and crush me, that is.

Tracy said...

Depressingly academic reading has overtaken my fiction reading this year. But I've read some magnificent books, thanks to you. All of the year's book club books are instant favourites. I've just read 'Germ' which was great. And I have 3 stacks to read....and only 1 week away. Hmmmmm.

Joy Tamsin David said...

Great list Rel. I've got to get my hands on that JBJ book. I know I'll love it.

Michelle Sutton said...

I have a few of these books but haven't read them yet. A few I loved. Some I don't have.

Rel said...

Love that you have taken time to comment - big thanks to you all!

Michelle ~ hard to believe there are some books you don't have - LOL! There are just so many to choose from these days :)

Joy ~ Seriously, get Jenny's book anyway you can. It is brilliant!

Tracy ~ hey, dear girl - you are balancing family, work and study in an amazingly calm way. I'm surprised you can fit in other reading at all :) I sure miss reading your reviews on my blog.

Hi Erynn ~ thanks for dropping by. I'll have to check your list and see which 4 made it :)

Andi ~ I saw your list the other day but on my phone and it wouldn't let me comment :( I'll have to stop by again!

Laura ~ your kind words are deeply appreciated! You are one of my favourite writers and a lovely, caring woman as well! Hugs

Renee ~ yes, I can't believe our time is up with the boys ;-) Not to worry, September will come soon enough and you will fall head over heels for Trinity...and Heath's not too shabby either!!

Happy New Year to you, too, Sara! Dig them our of that TBR - it will be worth it :)

Dani ~ I agree with you about the amazing talent of Ronie, Karen and Jody :) Mind you, I'm pretty impressed with one Dani Pettrey! Roll on May, 2012 :)

Casey ~ yes, I saw your great list yesterday - you are a romantic at heart, aren't you?!

Lisa ~ such sweet words from you! Thank you :) I've really enjoyed our twitter chats and of course, your Marcello, Luca and Greco have also made an impression on me this year ;-D

Nicole ~ always appreciate your faithful comments! There's always one or two books I see on other people's list that I should have put on mine :)

twiga92 said...

The Queen by Steven James was my top fiction read of the year. My other top books were non-fiction. Like to see people's lists of top books.

Lydia said...

There are 3 or 4 books here that have been bumped up in my TBR pile. I can't wait to start reading! Thanks for sharing your favourite picks :)

Casey said...

Yeah, I kinda am. ;-) But I do love the serious side of things too. It's where I tend to write as well. :)

Ronie Kendig said...

I am so far behind. Blogger wouldn't let me post while I was out of town for some reason. LOl

THANK YOU, Rel!!! You are so awesome, lady. And my book is listed with some very amazing titles/authors. Wow! How humbling!

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