5. Kat, Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis
4. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
3. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
2. Stephen King: On Writing by Stephen King
1. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
2011 was the year I read a lot of young adult and middle grade, more than I usually do, so they do make up 3 out of 5 books on my list.
At number 5, I have a wonderful middle grade called Kat, Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis. Honestly, regardless of age, I implore anyone who's a fan of Jane Austen or Regency-era books to pick this up. It involves magic, masked highwaymen and a charming sense of humor that is hard to beat and makes the book s pure joy from start to finish.
Number 4 is The Name of the Wind, the first book in the Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss. A straight-out fantasy that's masterful and immersive and offers the very best of everything that makes the genre so compelling.
At number 3, I have a book that technically comes out in January 2012. I was lucky enough to receive an advanced readers' copy. It's Veronica Rossi's Under the Never Sky. I'm pretty sure this will be The Hunger Games of next year and for good reason. It takes place in a wonderfully imaginative world and has two extremely well wrought main characters along with a slow-burn romance that's just swoony in the best way possible.
Number 2 was Stephen King's On Writing for me. I'm a writer but I don't tend to read a lot of craft books because I find a lot of them pretty dry. Not this one, though. Besides the fantastic insight into King's process, the first part of the book is also a fascinating, extremely candid autobiography that I think anyone would find interesting.
And my number one pick is also a middle grade book although I will say it's probably the most adult middle grade I've ever read. It's When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead and it won the Newbery last year. It's a story filled with intrigue, mystery and gorgeous prose.
[Thanks, Sarv! See you in 2012!]