Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Year That Was 2011: TBR Challenge Books

Hello 2012, goodbye thank you sweet baby Jesus 2011!  Which means it must be time, once again, for the bonanza that is my Year In Reading Review posts here at the Bat Cave.  I like to drag these reflections out over the course of several blog posts, mostly because it flips some secret librarian switch I have in my brain, and also because I like looking back.  My wee lil' geeky heart likes looking at numbers, and I also like thinking back to all the great books I read over the last 12 months.  The not-so-great ones?  Yeah, let's let sleeping dogs lie.

I thought a good way to kick off my recaps would be to start with what I read for the 2011 TBR Challenge.  I was able to complete the challenge every month, which means a total of 12 books read and reviewed out of my ginormous TBR Mountain Range.  Here's how the numbers break down:

Grades:
A = 0
B = 4
C = 5
D = 3

Blah.  I had the impression that my reading this year for the challenge was pretty sucky, and these numbers kinda back me up.  Hey, 4 B reads are great, but C books always leave me feeling uninspired and....3 D reads?!  Ugh.

Genres Read:
Category Romance = 3
Romantic Suspense = 1
Historical Romance = 5
Mystery/Suspense = 2
Young Adult = 1

I'm pretty happy with the variety I read, and even more pleased with the mix of publication dates!

Publication Dates:
1993
1995
1997
2003
2004 (2)
2005
2007 (2)
2008
2009 (2)

So what were all those books I read for the challenge?  Here they are, a trip down memory lane (title links will take you to full reviews).

The B Reads:
  • Mommy Said Goodbye by Janice Kay Johnson - Didn't really work for me as a romance, but amazing conflict and a humdinger of a mystery.  Loved it!
  • Land of Dreams by Cheryl St. John - Vintage St. John that delivered exactly what I expect out of one of her books - pure comfort read.
  • Montana Wife by Jillian Hart - Like St. John, Hart is another author I tend to slap the "comfort" label on.  Oodles of angsty conflict and a nice historical back-drop.
  • Princess Forever by Meg Cabot - Last book in the Princess Diaries series.  A bit padded, but a very good book to end a very good series.
The C Reads:
  • The Last Cheerleader by Meg O'Brien - Amateur sleuth suspense that suffered from unbelievable character behavior and a secondary character who annoyed the crap out of me.
  • Wife for a Week by Kelly Hunter - Loved the sexy bantering couple, but the silly slapped on "suspense" sub plot was beyond tedious.
  • With This Ring by Carla Kelly - Loved the historical back-drop and the heroine, the hero and, at times, farcical storyline?  Not so much.
  • A Seduction at Christmas by Cathy Maxwell - Thin historical detail with a suspense sub plot to match.  But Maxwell continues to reel me in with her brain-candy writing style.
  • Beyond Desire by Thea Devine - Another cracktastic soap opera from Devine.  Has it's moments, but pretty low on the cracky-goodness scale I tend to rate her books by.
The D Reads:
  • Billion Dollar Baby Bargain by Tessa Radley - What can go wrong when you're someone who impulse reads category romance.  The Cult of Biology strikes again!
  • Dead Shot by Annie Solomon - Major issues with the heroine and a big ol' plot hole a convoy can drive through.  Yummy damaged hero though.
  • Officer Down by Theresa Schwegel - Well-written, page-turning suspense featuring a dumb, dumb, dumb heroine.
And there they are.  All the books I read to complete the 2011 TBR Challenge.   My "goal" for the 2012 TBR Challenge?  Well, I'm hoping I find myself at least one yummy A read buried somewhere in the depths of my hording collection (come out, come out where ever you are!).

Speaking of the 2012 TBR Challenge?  Maybe it's time for you to sign-up!  It really is a lot of fun, and a great way to make progress on your own hording collection.  Check out the information page for all the details.

2 comments:

Natasha A. said...

That is really interesting! I wonder if that is why they were in your TBR and not actually read! :D
I still contemplating signing up for 2012, but I don't have a heck of a lot in my TBR.
I guess I will see what I can do!

nath said...

LOL, I do hope you get many A books for 2012!! :) You were just not lucky in 2011.