Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Katiebabs' Official Best Books of 2010

That time of year has come once again! Sound the trumpets because one of the most important end of the year reading lists is about to be announced. I give you KB's official best books (and some duds) of 2010.

*cue screaming crowd*

This year alone, I've read close to 270 books that range many genres. From this amount, I have given myself the task of picking my personal top 20 reads, including specific best of categories, where I'll always have an honorary mention. Sometimes not only one book is worthy of the mention, but a runner-up, and in some cases a third.

By the middle of the year I was worried that I wouldn't have enough books chosen to pull together a top 20 list because the majority of the books I've read were so ho-hum or "meh" for me. But I overcame and was able to pick those books that really blew me away.

Also my categories are a different this year because instead of just sticking to romance, I expanded my read horizons.

The amount of debut authors I read this year was incredible.

Out of my top 5 picks, only 1 is labeled as a romance. My top 5 personal gems in these genres are:

Steampunk Romance
Literary Fiction
Women's Fiction
Fantasy M/M
Urban Fantasy

So, without further ado... KB's best books of 2010

Overall Favorite Read: The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook
Honorary Mention: (Tie) Feed by Mira Grant and Mind Games by Carolyn Crane

Favorite Contemporary: Room by Emma Donoghue
Honorary Mention: Precious and Fragile Things by Megan Hart

Favorite Historical: Nine Rules To Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean
Honorary Mention: (Tie) The Forbidden Rose by Joanna Bourne/ Promise me Tonight by Sara Lindsey/ Jazz Baby by Lorelie Brown/ Seven Nights to Forever by Evangeline Collins

Favorite Paranormal: Demon From the Dark by Kresley Cole
Honorary Mention: (Tie) Blood of a Demon by Diana Rowland and Archangel’s Kiss by Nalini Singh

Favorite Urban Fantasy: Mind Games by Carolyn Crane
Honorary Mention: City of Ghosts by Stacia Kane

Favorite Science Fiction: Touched by an Alien by Gini Koch
Honorary Mention: Enemy Within by Marcella Burnard

Favorite Young Adult: Sing Me to Sleep by Angela Morrison
Honorary Mention: Enlightened: Little Boy Lost by J.P. Barnaby

Favorite GLBT Book: Lord of the White Hell Part 1 and 2 by Ginn Hale
Honorary Mention: Enlightened: Little Boy Lost by J.P. Barnaby

Favorite Debut Author: Carolyn Crane
Honorary Mention: (Tie) Gini Koch, Lorelie Brown, Sara MacLean, Courtney Milan and Lila DiPasqua

Favorite Hero: James Archer from Seven Nights to Forever
Honorary Mention: (Tie) Terrible from City of Ghosts and Mencheres from Eternal Kiss of Darkness

Favorite Heroine: Mina Wentworth from The Iron Duke
Honorary Mention: (Tie) Georgia Mason from Feed, Kitty Kat from Touched by an Alien and Chess Putnam from City of Ghosts

Favorite Sex Scene:
City of Ghost: Sewer and bathroom loving between Chess and Terrible.
Honorary Mention: (Tie) Eternal Kiss of Darkness: Mencheres and Kira Graceling levitation underground Disney cavern sex.
Mind Games: Justine Jones and Otto Sanchez find the cucumber hotub scene.

The Top 20:

1. The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook
2. Feed by Mira Grant
3. Room by Emma Donaghue
4. Precious and Fragile Things by Megan Hart
5. The Lord of the White Hell Part 1 by Ginn Hale
6. Mind Games by Carolyn Crane
7. Double Cross by Carolyn Crane
8. City of Ghosts by Stacia Kane
9. Sing Me to Sleep by Angela Morrison
10. Shalador’s Lady by Anne Bishop
11. Archangel’s Kiss by Nalini Singh
12. Changeless by Gail Carriger
13. Song of Seduction by Carrie Lofty
14. Demon from the Dark by Kresley Cole
15. Pegasus by Robin McKinley
16. Jazz Baby by Lorelie Brown
17. Blood of the Demon by Diana Rowland
18. The Forbidden Rose by Joanna Bourne
19. Enlightened: Little Boy Lost by J.P. Barnaby
20. Nine Rule to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah Maclean

And a spare… Touched by an Alien by Gini Koch

There's always one book that really sticks with me after I finish reading. My top 5 are all examples of this, but I would specifically like to recommend Jazz Baby by Lorelie Brown. Jazz Baby takes place in the early 20th century during the prohibition era. There are not too many romances or books that I know of that are written during this time. How many books can we read time and again set in Regency England? It gets boring after awhile.

I commend Lorelie for writing a very atmospheric story with a wonderful romance. This is one debut author who I look forward to reading in the future and one I urge you all to try. Jazz Baby is a perfect romance for any romance reader.

And I cannot forget my top 5 less than thrilling reads aka KB’s worst for 2010:

1. The Passage by Justin Cronin – Wannabe, but it fails Lit-Fic vampire apocalypse dreg
2. Spellbent by Lucy Synder- Two words- “Jizz Kids”
3. I Spy a Wicked Sin by Jo Davis- Have read better erotica on Literotica
4. Backstage Pass by Olivia Cunning- I know this is a book that is a big crowd pleaser, but I just couldn’t get over the first initial introduction where the heroine still wants to have sex with the very drunk hero. Plus the sex act she does on him with her mouth to his ass within hours of meeting really grossed me out. Drunken rimming on a polluted stranger who may or may not have showered in days is so not sexy for me. Blerg.
5. And Falling, Fly by Skylar White- I have no clue what I read. So very confusing.

I thank each and every 255,000 of you that have visited this year for my reviews, author and book pimpage, wacky discussions and most of all, your overall support.

As a reader, reviewer, blogger and now an author, I hope more people will continue to get the word out about those authors and books they love, as well as those they don’t. Because a world without writers and books would be a very cold and lonely place indeed.

See you in 2011 for more wacky adventure from this eccentric redhead and her lovable sheep Mho. *Cheers!*



Mary said...

I like the way you broke your bests into categories. I may try that next year. I did an honorable mention list today and my favorites list will post tomorrow.
I hope 2011 is a fantastic reading year!

Blodeuedd said...

Some great books there :) My list is gonna be so weird, I am inventing categories to fit in all the awesome books ;)

Julie said...

I really like the way you set up your list...and I can't believe how many of these books I have not read! I better get movin'!

Lily of Darkness said...

Love the way you wrote this post darling. Wonderful.

RRRJessica said...

love the arrangement by genre. Lots of good ideas here. TOO many!

Mary said...

IRON DUKE was one of my faves of the year, too. Loved the steampunk element. And I agree completely about AND FALLING, FLY--I really tried to read this one, since it was one of the first ARCs I'd ever won but really, WTF? A big DNF for me...and a question mark hanging over my head.

Happy Reading in 2011!
The Book Swarm

Mandi said...

I love how you did this!!

Great lists!!!

HistoricalRomanceJunkie Rita said...

Sexxy List!
Some of your favs I didn't get a chance to read this year, so I'll have to 'to-read' them asap.

*sigh* Oh, James Archer *sigh*

Ren Thompson said...

I love your list! Almost every blog I follow has a great wrap up of their reads for the year. My list is soooo long now.
I have that And Falling, Fly and I still don't know what the title means. I tried to read it but I had to put it down...

heidenkind said...

I'm downloading Jazz Baby right now! And I will have to figure out how to get my hands on Lord of the White Hell.

Fiction Vixen said...

Oh very nicely done. Great list as well. Looks like I need to get busy on my TBR list because I just added to it. :)

Lila DiPasqua said...

Thanks so much for the Honorary Mention! :)


Twimom227 said...

Great list! Thanks! I haven't read many of the books you mentioned - so I'll be looking up some new authors in 2011. But I do have The Iron Duke on my list as well. SO GOOD!

Happy New Year!

Smokinhotbooks said...

Bathroom scene City of Ghosts --> le growl

Tracy said...

A great list, once again KB!