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Favorite Books of 2011

Nothing says New Year’s like a list! Here are my favorite fiction reads from 2011 in alphabetical order. It’s hard enough to pick only ten, much less rank them. Sadly, many lovely novels taunt me from my to-be-read pile.

Broken Wings by Carla Stewart: Beautifully written with great voice, Broken Wings tells the story of a touching friendship between a young woman trying to escape an abusive relationship and an elderly woman who was a jazz singing sensation. This book handles tough subjects with honesty and sensitivity, and still manages to warm your heart.

The Colonel’s Lady by Laura Frantz: There’s a reason this novel appears on so many Top Ten lists this year – gorgeous prose, the danger of the Kentucky frontier during the Revolutionary War, and compelling characters. Plus, the most beautiful book cover of the year, in my opinion.

A Great Catch by Lorna Seilstad: A grand slam! In a story as refreshing and invigorating as lemonade, Seilstad raises deep questions about a woman’s relationship with God, her dreams, and the people in her life – while making me laugh so hard my kids came running to get in on the joke.

Head in the Clouds by Karen Witemeyer: When I saw the cover of this novel, I knew I had to read it. I was not disappointed. Adelaide Proctor is a funny and lovable heroine, Gideon Westcott is both dashing and flawed, their romance drew me in, and the suspenseful second half of the novel made me neglect my household duties.

A Lancaster County Christmas by Suzanne Woods Fisher: A holiday story with depth. Mattie and Jaime are hampered by fears and insecurities many women can relate to. Their friendship and personal growth is as natural and unforced as it is unlikely. This story not only gives you the heart-warming story you expect from the cover, but it also gives you plenty to think about.

Love Finds You in Homestead, Iowa by Melanie Dobson: More than just another “bonnet book” – this story features endearing but realistically flawed characters, a captivating romance, and a hint of mystery. Add Dobson’s detailed research into the little-known Amana colonies, and you have a thoroughly enjoyable novel.

Mine Is the Night by Liz Curtis Higgs: A completely satisfying conclusion to Here Burns My Candle. The rich character growth, Scottish setting, impeccable research, and not just one romance – but three! Higgs writes historical fiction of the highest quality, and I can’t recommend her books enough.

Remembering Christmas by Dan Walsh: Walsh writes this story with humor and a fun bit of attitude – and still writes a heartwarming tale. The story delighted me, and one twist completely surprised me. Realistic and lovable characters – even shallow Rick – and the refreshing Florida beach town setting make this a memorable Christmas story.

When Crickets Cry by Charles Martin: Beautifully written, as are all of Martin’s novels. The characters are real and intriguing, and the story was engaging.

While We’re Far Apart by Lynn Austin: A beautifully told World War II Home Front story with interesting characters. I appreciated the truthful and sensitive acknowledgement of anti-Semitism in wartime America.

What were your favorite novels from 2011?

11 Responses to “Favorite Books of 2011”

  1. Loree Huebner

    I’ve also read The Colonel’s Lady – great writing, great book.

    I’ll have to check the books on your list.

    I have your book, Blue Skies Tomorrow on my TBR list. I look forward to reading it!

    Happy New Year!

  2. Michelle

    The only one I’ve read is ‘Great Catch’ so I added a bunch of them to my to read list…thanks 🙂

  3. Laura Frantz

    Sarah, I’m so touched and honored to have made your list, given you’re such a wonderful writer. I love some of the same books you love here and the rest are in my TBR pile which may well crush me! Thanks so much for being such a wonderful support and fellow Revell author! You’re a GEM:)

  4. carla stewart

    Sarah, thank you. What an honor! The only one I’ve read is When Crickets Cry – LOVE Charles Martin. I see Laura’s name popping up everywhere – I’m putting it on my list for 2012 (and your new ones, of course). Blessings for a wonderful year.

  5. Sarah Sundin

    Looks like everyone else has a to-be-read stack as high and daunting and tempting as mine 🙂 Who votes for an entire week off of real life to catch up on books?

    Laura & Carla – thanks for giving us all such fabulous books. Looking forward to more from both of you in 2012 🙂

  6. Vickie Boone Pavelko

    Since I enjoy your books so much, I was very interested in seeing your favorite books this past year. I see two authors who have been my favorites (Lynn Austin, Liz Curtis Higgs) and will look forward to getting acquainted with the others. One author I don’t see that I will recommend to you is Dale Cramer.

  7. Suzanne

    I would add your book, Sarah! Thanks for the affirmation. So glad we’re friends!

  8. Noelle

    Happy New Year Sarah!
    It appears I share your taste for at least 4 books on that list (#2, #5, #8, and #10).
    To be sure, I would have a hard time however to limit myself to 10 books (big smile here)…
    However, many thanks for introducing me to 2 great authors this year, Laura Frantz and Tricia Goyer.
    I could not possibly live without books!!
    God is good, I still have a few inches on my shelves…(another big smile here)
    Blessings to all,