Top 10 Books Of 2011 According To Good Books And Good Wine

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke And The Bookish. It was created by Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner.

This week’s prompt is Top Ten Books Read in 2011.

1. The Aviary by Kathleen O’Dell

The Aviary, Green, Birds, Girl, Kathleen O'Dell, Book Cover

The Aviay

Why?: Friends, I don’t think The Aviary by Kathleen O’Dell is getting the attention it deserves. This book is a quiet, wonderful middle grade read that reminds me of Anne Of Green  Gables but with birds and a decades old murder mystery. It’s very, very wonderful and I want MORE people to read it. Trust me, I would never give you a bullshit book recommendation. The Aviary is legit.

2. Bet Me by Jennifer Cruise

Bet Me, Jennifer Cruise, Trade paperback, book cover

Bet Me

Why?: As an introduction to adult contemporary romance, Bet Me by Jennifer Cruise was solid. After finishing it, I created a list in my brain of potential people to push it on. I also still think of Love Me Tender occasionally and will absolutely re-read this one.

3. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

A Monster Calls, Patrick Ness, Book Cover, audiobook

A Monster Calls

Why?: Sometimes in life we read books that take our souls and rip them into shreds, books that just shatter us. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness is a book that I listened to that totally slayed me. I felt such deep emotion for A Monster Calls that I know my best of 2011 list would be incomplete without it.

4. I’ll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan

I'll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan Book Cover

I'll Be There

Why?: I have this thing for orphans. AND YOU GUYS SAM AND RIDDLE AND AN INNOCENT ROMANCE. And I just love contemporary that is well done that also makes me feel something without schmaltz. And that ending, WOW.

5. The Girl Of Fire And Thorns by Rae Carson

The Girl Of Fire And Thorns, Rae Carson, US Book Cover

The Girl Of Fire And Thorns

Why?: Yo, this hearkens back to authors like Robin McKinley and Tamora Pierce and it was like publishing said, April, what do you wish we would publishing and then they gave me The Girl Of Fire And Thorns which is high fantasy AND AWESOME AS ALL HELL. OMG. I could go on and on all day about HOW MUCH I LOVE THIS book.

6. Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent, Veronica Roth, Book Cover


Why?: So there were one hundred million dystopia books that came out in 2011 because it was the fetch genre. Divergent stood out for me because of my girl Triss who is the shiz. Seriously. if I am in a fight or need a good friend, I want Triss in my corner. AND FOUR. Ahhhh. Utterly impossible to put down and totally exceeded my expectations.

7. Sabriel by Garth Nix

Sabriel, Garth Nix, Book Cover


Why?: Yo, there are bells that fight the dead. BELLS. BELLS. Yes, bells. I shall forever be a fan of new forms of magic and I just love those damn bells a little too much. Plus the title character, Sabriel is da bomb. She rocks. AND MOGGET. Foreva.

8. Daughter Of Smoke And Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter Of Smoke And Bone by Laini Taylor Book Cover

Daughter Of Smoke And Bone

Why?: A good angel book always deserves a shout out. Also people get so apeshit over Laini Taylor and I never knew why. But NOW I DO. Girl can turn a phrase like nobody’s business. Seriously, Taylor’s prose is delicious. She’s got this way with words that completely drew me in.

9. The Girl Who  Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making Book Cover by Catherynne Valente

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making

Why?: You know how some books are totally going to not pass the test of time, but others become classics? I think this book will be a classic. It is delightful and complex with themes and messages not just for children, but for adults too. Plus there are charming illustrations and Ell the Wyvern is my secret BFF, forever.

10. Peter Nimble And His Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier

Peter Nimble And His Fantastic Eyes, Book Cover, Jonathan Auxier, Ravens, Blue, Green

Peter Nimble And His Fantastic Eyes

Why?: OMG THE ULTIMATE ORPHAN BOOK. Poor Peter Nimble gets his eyes pecked out by ravens, then has more crappy luck but then makes friends with Sir Tode who is a baller. And then there is magic and children fighting against an evil force. And apes. And beautiful writing. Pretty much I love this book so hard.

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Awesome list! I have read and loved all but four of these, and the four I haven’t read I own because you told me to buy them!

    The Aviary is next on my list, definitely looking forward to it.

  2. Love your list. Divergent and Daughter of Smoke and Bone made my list too! You have picked some books I haven’t read yet, but now I am going to have to!

    Check out my Top ten. Plus my top two giveaway!

  3. I JUST added I’ll Be There to my wishlist a couple of weeks ago…I hadn’t heard of it until then!! I’m definitely going to move it up my list. Am also going to be getting Bet Me and A Monster Calls very, very soon. Wonder if I should do the audiobook for A Monster Calls…I have some audible credits to use. 🙂 Great list, April!

    Jess @ Gone with the Words
    My TTT post!

  4. Great list. I love how it’s a mix of all different kinds of books (just like mine). 🙂

    Happy New Year!

  5. We share several of the same books on our lists which tells me that I would like those you included that I haven’t read yet. I am a huge fan of A Monster Calls and Daughter of Smoke and Bones. I also like, but didn’t include on my list: The Girl Who Cicumnavigated… and Divergent.


  6. Great list of books! I need to read most of these still…but I did just put The Aviary on hold at my library after reading your review! I can’t believe I still haven’t gotten to Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Must read it soon!

  7. Wow, fantastic list, I added 3 titles for my to read list from it!

  8. I’ll have to check some of those out!
    Here’s my Top Ten Tuesday post. 🙂

  9. Yo, my sister’s been trying to get me to read Sabriel forever. She won’t stop raving about it. I don’t know why I’ve not read it yet, she’s never lead me wrong yet! I’m going to check it out!

  10. Awesome list! I loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone too although it didn’t make my list, and I have Divergent waiting to be read. I’ve also put Bet Me on my wishlist after seeing it mentioned here.

    My Top Ten is here if you’d like a look 🙂

  11. I love your list – especially since it has some new books on there I haven’t heard of before. I’m definitely adding The Aviary to my wishlist! It sounds fantastic!

    And I adore Sabriel! I read it years ago and have loved it since – it’s nice to see people are still discovering it 🙂

    Here’s my Top Tenbooks of 2011

  12. I love your list! I just added The Aviary to my wish list, it sounds like something I will like! I also love The Girl of Fire and Thorns and Daughter of Smoke and Bone!

    My Top Ten Favorites

  13. Divergent and Daughter of Smoke and Bone are definitely on my toplist to read! Thanks for sharing, and thanks for stopping by! 🙂

    Monaliz @ Mind Reading?

  14. YES to so many of the above. And thanks to a few of your posts, Bet Me is now on my list as the next romance I’m going to try!

  15. The Girl of Fire and Thorns looks awesome. I’m sometimes iffy with high fantasy, but I want to overcome that and find a title that I really enjoy. From the reviews I’ve read, this one is probably a good start. I’m glad to see it on your list! Your review of I’ll Be There is the reason it’s on my to-read list.

  16. Yay for Divergent! I loved that one so much for a lot of the same reasons you did. Also I’ve been hearing so many great things about Daughter Of Smoke And Bone lately. I’m really starting to think I need to bump it up in my TBR pile. Great picks! 🙂

  17. Love this list! 2011 favorites that we share: A Monster Calls and Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Bet Me and Sabriel are old favorites. 🙂 So glad you loved these books too! I’m looking forward to reading I’ll Be There, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland and The Girl of Fire and Thorns.

  18. A lot of the books on your top ten list this week are on my to-read list. I really should start reading more, so that I can get more books to read (if that even makes any sense at all).

    I’m especially excited to see Divergent make your list, as it’s my favorite 2011 read. I love it so very much and for the same reasons – Tris and Four! Dying to get a chance to read Insurgent ASAP.

    And I read Bet Me a while back, but I enjoyed it. My favorite book on your list however, which I also read a while back, is Sabriel. Love this book, love this series, love Garth Nix.

  19. Ginger @ GReads! says

    I have I’ll Be There & keep meaning to read it. Must make this happen ASAP.

  20. Deb Nance at Readerbuzz says

    Fairyland should be waiting for me at the library today!

    Thank you for your list.

    Here’s my Top Ten Favorite Books I Read in 2011.

  21. Divergent and Daughter of Smoke & Bone have been on my TBR list FOREVER!! lol.. I swear I’ll get to it in 2012! I also have Peter Nimble but haven’t gotten to it yet either.. totally bumped it up higher now seeing it on your list 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Michele | Top 10

  22. I just ordered The Aviary from the library! I’m excited to read it; I love really good middle-grade fiction. Also, I’m so glad you loved Sabriel so much! Have you read the sequels yet?

  23. Well, you just sold me on Daughter of Smoke and Bone…I have a “thing” for words 😉 I’m adding Monster Calls to my WishList as well…great list!! 🙂

  24. I’d like to eat this list for breakfast. With a side of grits, please, because I’m from the south. Seriously, the ones I haven’t read are on my TBR. And I’m reading one of them now, the Valente book.

    Oh my gah, April, if you can handle A Monster Calls, you can handle Monsters of Men! You can do it!!!

    I’m with you on Laini Taylor’s words. That gal can certainly spin her words and phrases and make me hold my breath. That book killed me and I’m DYING for the next one.

    I remember reading about Bet Me on your blog first, but since then other people have mentioned it to me. So I suppose I need to just give it up and read it, but that cover weirds me out. And you know I do judge covers. It’s a hang-up of mine. I can’t help it. But at least I’m honest. Seriously, great list.

  25. I haven’t read ANY of these. I own some of them, so maybe I need to bump them up my TBR Pile.

  26. Haven’t read any of them, but I am READING Divergent. I’ve heard of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone and I soo want it. Great List you have.


  27. 2011 was such a good year! I loved Smoke & Bone, Fire and Thorns, and A Monster Calls too and am glad to see them on your list. I have Fairyland on hold at the library and can’t wait to read it! (2011 was the year of the long title, wasn’t it?) The Aviary sounds awesome too- I will seek it out next year.
    Hope 2012 brings many more great reads your way.

  28. Love Jennifer Cruise! And Bet Me was so good. And then there’s Divergent and Daughter of Smoke & Bones…drooling just thinking of all the good stuff that came out in 2011.

  29. Love it! I had a teeny bit of a hard time choosing between Divergent and Legend for my list and I went with Legend because, well, I think about it more. But they were both awesome. And TGWCFiaSoHOM (seriously? I abbreviated because I thought typing it out would be INSANE) was magic. I loved it so, so much.
    I need to check out The Aviary, too. I LOVE middle-grade and this one sounds perfect. Sabriel and The Girl of Fire and Thorns are both on my TBR and they are happening THIS YEAR, I SWEAR. I don’t know how much better it gets than a truly great fantasy, and these two sound fab. YAY!

  30. I’m loving the sound of The Aviary and the two orphan books – though “his eyes are pecked out by ravens”, ouch!

    I have to look into this Girl of Fire and Thorns because I hadn’t heard of it before and this isn’t the first list I’ve seen it on! I’ve got Divergent, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland… and Daughter of Smoke and Bone and I’m not surprised to see them popping up on lists, considering how much everyone’s been talking about them all year.

  31. I really want to read A Monster call.I heard it was a really good emotional read so i can’t wait to dig in.
    My Top Ten

  32. It makes me happy to see The Girl of Fire and Thorns on your list too. I loved Divergent too and Bet Me was such a fun read. I definitely want to read some more of Jennifer Crusie’s books.

    I need to read more MG in 2012. I loved Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu (though I forgot to put it on my list!) and The Emerald Atlas. I have been wanting to read The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (what a great title!) and I’m glad you liked it. What a fantastic list!

  33. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making looks great, I’ll have to add that to my TBR.

  34. I have heard way too many things about the Daughter of Smoke and Bone not to read it. Great list! I couldn’t agree with you more about Divergent! LOVE IT!!

  35. I have so many of these on my tbr pile and some that I hadn’t heard of it but are definitely going in my list. I definitely agree with Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Divergent, they were amazing!!!


    i need that on audio book. i mean seriously, if anything can make that package of awesome even more so, it’s the voice of Lucius Malfoy.

    and also, Peter Nimble is always RIGHT there on my tbr…yet I don’t get around to it. for shame.

  37. Nice list! The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making is also going to be on my list.

    I still have Daughter of Smoke and Bone, I’ll Be There, and Divergent on my TBR pile. This is making me way psyched to read them. Thanks for sharing!

  38. You have a lot of books on your list that either made it to mine or were very close to making it. Great picks and thanks for stopping by my blog.

    Check out my Top Ten List

  39. Yay for Divergent! I have Daughter of Smoke and Bone sitting in my TBR pile. I really need to get to it soon.


  1. […] Good Books and Good Wine: Top Ten Books of 2011. April has a page called Project Fill in the Gaps with a list of books she wants to read, so I choose to recommend from that list: Katherine by Anya Seton and Hood by Stephen Lawhead because both of those books are great reads and they seem to fit in with what she enjoyed this past year. […]