Posted by: Trisha Leigh | December 10, 2010

A Bottomless Pit of Books

Like most writers I know, I’m also an avid reader. My stacks of books that are waiting to be read are threatening to take over my house and no matter how many I read it never seems to dissipate one tiny little bit. Not even by one book!

When I’m writing a first draft or revising, I tend to not read as much. I worry that an author’s voice or style might inadvertently influence my own. That might be silly, but hey. It’s what I think. So in those in between periods, when I’m stuck on a draft or waiting to hear from readers or my agent on revisions, I read. I’ve been in one of those modes for the past couple of weeks and I. Can’t. Stop.

I’ve read some good books, some fun books, some books I just like, some stories that piqued my curiosity, others that I liked some things and hated others, but I didn’t read any that I’ve hated. Yet.

I thought I’d share what I’ve been reading, along with the books I’m most excited about picking up in 2011.

What I’ve read since Thanksgiving:

A Drink Before the War, Darkness Take My Hand, Sacred, and Gone Baby Gone by Dennis Lehane: I lumped them together because they’re companion books that feature the same two detectives, Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro. Many of you have probably seen the film Gone Baby Gone. I saw it. Loved it. The book blows it out of the water. I love these books. They’re some of my absolute favorite reads of the year. He also wrote the books that inspired the films Mystic River and Shutter Island, FYI. Yeah. I’m a huge fangirl now.

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen: I’ve heard wonderful things about this novel for so long, and it seems like it’s been on my list forever. My friend Denise and I both bought Nooks recently, and wanted to figure out how the book sharing works. She bought this novel and lent it to me. It’s great. The setting of the old circus really makes the story, and it’s one of those stories you have to try to come out of when real life demands your attention.

The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger: This contemporary YA also got tons of buzz, and I follow the author on Twitter. The narrator’s voice is honest and enough to keep you turning pages until you get to the last one and there’s no more. A fast, truthful, nice contemporary story.

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver: I’m not sure what to say about this story, mostly because I don’t want to spoil anything. For me, there was a ton that worked – and I spent days pondering it afterward – and a few unresolved issues that drove me mad. It’s a different story with a painfully unapologetic narrator and one of the most interesting YA’s I read this year.

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White:  A very cute, lighthearted YA with a unique twist on your typical paranormal story. I read it in one day, and it would be a great gift for your younger YA readers.

ROOM by Emma Donoghue: A story of abduction and abuse, followed by liberation and learning to live in the world, told by a charming and funny five-year-old boy’s perspective. I devoured this in less than two days, though the jury’s still out for me on how I feel about the choice of narrator. It’s different, and a powerful story.

There are a few books scheduled for release in 2011 that I’m pretty excited about. Here’s a few:

Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers: This is totally cheating, because the publication date for this book is December 21, 2010. Can you tell I’m excited? Courtney writes real, honest, contemporary YA with amazing characters that kind of make me want to bang my head against a wall because I didn’t write them. She’s awesome, and I only expect her to get better. Her first two novels are Some Girls Are and Cracked Up to Be. Both wonderful.

Divergent by Veronica Roth (publication date May 3, 2011)

The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab (publication date August 2, 2011): See her announcement and synopsis here.

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton (publication date February 15, 2011): Courtney is my agent sister and I’ve read the first 100 pages of Angelfire. Trust me, Ellie is not a heroine you’ll forget. Also, Will is a totally swoon worthy love interest.

Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma (publication date June 14, 2011 ) I follow Nova on Twitter, and she is gorgeous. So is her first novel, Dani Noir. Can’t wait for this one, it sounds amazing.

Across the Universe by Beth Revis (publication date January 11, 2011): Lots of buzz. Can’t wait to get my hands on it.

Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz (publication date April 19, 2011): Hannah herself is a force and I can’t wait to read her books. She has a previous publication, Break, which I also can’t wait to read. It’s in my pile.

I can’t believe I forgot to add County Line, by Bill Cameron (publication date June, 2011): Bill and I are Twitter “friends” and I adored his first three novels and their endearing, interesting, real characters. Catch up before June by reading Lost Dog, Chasing Smoke, and Day One. If you’re a fan of mystery or noir (or even if you’re not), you are GOING TO LOVE THEM.

Incidentally, the book I want to read RIGHT NOW DAMMIT but I’m buying Christmas gifts instead is Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. Go, read it for me and tell me what you think. I’ll be jealous.

What are you reading? What are you dying to read? I WANT TO KNOW MY SHELVES HAVE MORE ROOM I SWEAR.

What I’m watching right this second: Bones. Last one of the fall.



  1. The Book of Ruth. This is my second time reading it. Shame on me for not remembering the author at this moment. 🙂 If you haven’t read it, you should! To me, its beauitful, with a crazy twist at the end.

    • Thanks, I’ll put it on my list!!

  2. Not reading much of anything right now, since I’m in a trying-to-finish-a-first-draft phase, and, like you, don’t read a lot while I’m writing.

    Can’t wait for Courtney’s and Victoria’s books, though! The others you list sound great, too.

    *sigh* So many good books, so little free time…

    • I know, I feel like I’ll never read everything I want to. I’ll still keep trying, though! 🙂

  3. Right now I’m in the middle of Justin Cronin’s The Passage. For some reason I keep reading all these vampire books (recently also read The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova and The Fall by Guillermo del Toro, and have the Sookie series I’ve read a couple of too) even though I am not concious of being all that excited by vampires. Odd.

    • Oh, The Passage is on my list too! Also, I love love LOVED The Historian – favorite read of that year. I absolutely could not stand Kostova’s second novel though, so fair warning on that one.

  4. I’m crying myself to sleep because you forgot the further adventures of Skin and Ruby Jane! See my tears? SEE them!?

    Random aside, fun word: interrobang. Which is this -> !?

    I’ve just started GRACELING by Kristin Cashore, and so far I am utterly hooked. Sign I am hooked: reading at red lights, which is probably not a good idea. But the book is worth not noticing the light has turned green, causing those behind me to honk and show me their Mr. Digit finger puppets.

    • I fixed it, BC. I guess I didnt realize I wouldn’t have to wait too long for County Line. I wants me some more Ruby (and Peter :).

      Thanks for the new word. It is pretty much made of awesome.

      Graceling has been on my list FOREVER. With that recommendation, I do believe I’ll have to move it up the list.

      • My tears have dried. And yes, Graceling is very much worth it. Thanks to @janellealexander, @DianaPaz_ and my editor @AlisonEdits for the recommendation.

  5. Great list! There are a couple 2011 books on that list I love and hope you will too! (DIVERGENT, INVINCIBLE SUMMER, FALL FOR ANYTHING). Have you read the newest Lehane book that’s the sequel to Gone Baby Gone? So good.

    • I have Prayers for Rain and Moonlight Mile on my Nook right now, they’re definitely next on the list – after grad school finals and my own revisions of course ;). I stinking LOVE those books. I’m kind of sad about almost being caught up because then I have to wait for more. I hate waiting.

  6. I can’t wait for COUNTY LINE! I love me some Ruby Jane!

    • I know, Ruby Jane is awesome. Bill better not do anything *too* heinous to my girl. *evil eye*

      • As long as Skin saves her in the end I don’t care. Go Skin!

  7. I just devoured Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George – It’s a sequel to Princess of the Midnight Ball. If you like fairy tale retellings, you will love these! I can’t get enough of them. Also just read Jane by April Lindner. If you like Jane Eyre this is a great modern YA telling that’s different enough you don’t feel like you’re reading the same story, but similar enough to have you falling in love with the story all over again!

    • Oh, good suggestions! I have been hearing things about JANE lately. Good things.

  8. I devoured ROOM and Water for Elephants recently as well. Very impressed with both. I’m currently reading Into Thin Air (Krakauer), Freedom (Franzen) and Identical (Hopkins). I want to read Anna and the French Kiss RIGHT NOW, too!

    Great list; I got a few suggestions off of it!

    • I’ve got Franzen on my To Be Read list also. Let me know what you think!

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