Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran (historical fiction, Crown, 2011)
- My other A read of the year. Compelling, riveting, historical fiction detailing the life of Madame Tussaud (of wax museum fame) before she was a madame and living in Paris on the eve of the French Revolution. Loved it!
- Pulpy crime noir set in a suburban high school. Not a book for everybody (Lil' Sis DNF'ed it!), but if you love crime noir, and can deal with a mother-lode of slang, this is a really clever read.
- An erotic romance with some lovely character depth. Also, a sports-themed romance (professional American football) that didn't make me want to drive my fist through a wall. Can't wait for the next book in the series.
- A fantastic star-crossed lovers story with a happy ending! Beautiful period detail, compelling conflict, and achingly romantic.
- A wastrel hero who grows up and a heroine who learns to stop running scared. All while set against the back-drop of Victorian South Africa. Seriously, someone needs to lock Lofty in an attic and tell her to keep churning out historical romances. They're really magical.
- Thought-provoking suspense with a seriously eff'ed up hero and a great sense of place (Canada!). The ending warped my fragile little mind, but I couldn't stop thinking about it for days afterward. A winning debut.
- Gerritsen has been on a roll for me with her last several Rizzoli/Isles books. This one has a great mystery set in Boston's Chinatown and it's a "Jane book." Yippee!
- A picture book for grown-ups. Tells the story of Frances "Frankie" Pratt through her scrapbook. Yeah, it's a gimmick - but it's a clever gimmick. If you're a social history junkie, look no further.
- I love the way Hart takes "ordinary people" and puts them in extraordinary circumstances. Heroine wakes up one morning to discover her husband had a child by his first wife. A child who is now 20, with three kids of her own, and oh - just escaped from a cult that committed mass suicide.
- The final chapter in the author's popular Princess Diaries series. I'm putting this one on the list mostly because it's a series that ended - and it ended beautifully. The author gives her fans what they want, and wraps it up in such a way to make me believe that an 18-year-old girl is going to live happily-ever-after.
I hope you enjoyed looking back with me on my reading year in 2011. It's always fun for me to go back and reminisce on some of the great stuff I read over the course of the year. And hopefully you were able to cull a couple of suggestions from this trip down memory lane.