Friday, December 31, 2010

Top 10 Books of the Year

This year I read 119 books. They varied from classics to nonfiction and back to romances and everything in between. I have to say that I think it was one of the best years I've had so far with new books. There are a lot of very talented authors out there putting out great novels. I wanted to include more than I have on this list. In the end my list is more about what touched me personally - and how they did. So, without further ado, (and in no particular order) my list:

1. Jenna's Cowboy by Sharon Gillenwater

All you have to do is gaze at the cover. lol  Seriously this was a touching romance all about second chances and acceptance of people for who they are. The romance was the kind that stays with you and felt "real" in a way some don't. I really appreciated the message and the characters.

2. Swinging on a Star by Janice Thompson

I really want to be adopted into this family. Part of me knows they don't really exist but in my heart of hearts they do. I laugh, cry and learn so much from them. When you want to become part of the book, it has to be part of your top ten.

3. She Walks in Beauty by Siri Mitchell

I know, some of you might be wondering why this is on the list again. If you've read it, you'll understand. I see this as my "overall" list and had to include all the books that most touched me - and that meant some crossover. This book had such a compelling message, gorgeous cover, great writing and characters... I could read it over and over again. 

4. Seaside Letters by Denise Hunter

This really should be for her entire Nantucket series. I didn't discover them until this year and absolutely fell in love with her writing style, the series, Nantucket, the characters... I couldn't decide whether the first one or this one was my favorite so I chose the most recent. They are all worthy reads. 

5. Surrender the Heart by MaryLu Tyndall

One of the things I said about this book was that I felt like it could be the next big action movie. It made me have to turn the pages not just because of that sense of destiny and urgency about the action - but also about these people. They were fascinating - strong and yet vulnerable. They wanted to stay apart but they were meant to be together... 

6. Maid to Match by Deeanne Gist

What can I say? You can't get a better setting for a book than Biltmore and then you add in a fabulous story with a great message and you have a top ten for sure. I loved learning more about the history and innovations of Biltmore but the love story added with the tale of the orphanage made this one of my very favorites.

7. A Case for Love by Kaye Dacus

I think when you've been reading a whole series you're more attached to the books and the characters. I know I was very anxiously awaiting this book because I was so curious about how his romance would end up. He was always so polished and in control - and so good looking. I was more than a little in love with him myself. By the end of the book I was all the way in love. lol 

8. A Hope Undaunted by Julie Lessman

This is another one of those I waited on - for seemingly forever. This is also another family I would love to be adopted into. Julie writes the best heroes - and the best kisses. ;o)  Keep a fan handy and don't worry, you won't need a bookmark. Just remember to breathe once in a while and have some snacks handy before you start.

9. Crossing Oceans by Gina Holmes/ Rooms by James L. Rubart

I know what you're thinking - she cheated. You're right. I told you I chose this list by what books touched me. I looked at how they made me feel. These two left a similar impression on my heart even though they're very different books. Crossing Oceans taught me about how precious each day is. It also talked about sacrificial love and making hard decisions. Rooms talks about the choices placed before us - what we value and what voices we listen to. Both books talked about forgiveness and both were so important to me I couldn't leave them off the list. 

10. The Raven Saint by M.L. Tyndall

This was another series ending book that was fabulous. I knew it was going to be something special when I started hearing about the hero and she described him as "Orlando Bloom in the Pirates movies." That was a picture for my imagination. ;o) Then I read the book and it was such a wonderful story with fabulous depth. I really wanted these two to have their happy ending. It was also exciting and filled with other interesting characters too. Another book I think could do well on the big screen. 

Well that's it for 2010. Time to start a new year. I can't wait! What were your favorites? Did you like any of the same ones I did?


  1. I have loved the first two books in the Brides of Bonneterre series. I really need to take A Case for Love out of my TBR pile, and just read it! :o)

  2. Awesome list, Lee!!

    I loveeeed she walks in beauty too! I think that's the only one I've read. but i own undaunted beauty and maid to match! I'm going to look up Jenna's cowboy now.

    Happy New Year!!

  3. LEE!!! Thank you SO VERY MUCH, my friend, for including me on this incredible list -- I am blessed!!! I have read many of these wonderful books and will definitely check in to the ones I haven't.

    Happy New Year and here's to a boatload of blessings in 2011!


  4. Christy - You really should pull it out. Forbes is so... awesome, sexy, smart... She really did a great job "creating" him. lol I loved this book maybe better than any of them. There was a really wonderful message about family too.

    Carrie - She Walks in Beauty was wonderful. I think you'll enjoy those other books too - and, like I said, Jenna's Cowboy is worth it just for the cover. Those eyes... lol

    Julie - You are the best and I am the one blessed to get to read them. Blessings to you and yours throughout this new year.

  5. Great list...I just saw today that Fools Rush In by Janice Thompson is free!! I loved She Walks in Beauty and I really enjoyed Maid to Match especially since I went to Biltmore once with my mom and Aunt. :) I have quite a few of the books you listed just haven't read them yet. Thanks for sharing. :)

  6. Angie - Aren't the free books from Kindle awesome? I think mine has paid for itself with all the ones I've downloaded. I've used it for lots of classics too.

  7. Oh my gosh, love the free books. :) I've downloaded quite a few classics too. Recently downloaded, A Christmas Carol, I've seen hundreds of different versions of it but never read it. I probably wouldn't have thought about reading it if I hadn't seen it on the Kindle for free. I'd like to read a lot more of the classics...we shall see what happens. :)