Dec 192011

6 days until Christmas


We still have a few more author spotlights coming up for you. However, since Monday is my normal review day, I thought I would take this opportunity to answer the questions we’ve been asking the authors, as well as share my top ten reads of 2011. Mindy will do the same on Wednesday, and Sheila on Friday.

Ready? Okay, let’s go!

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LDSWBR: What Christmas-related activity would you like to do this year that you have never done before?

SHANDA: I would LOVE to have all the presents wrapped and under the tree BEFORE Christmas Eve. Not sure if that’s possible this year, but I’ll give it a shot. If not, there’s always next year.

LDSWBR: If you could find one book under the tree this year, what would it be?

SHANDA: Hm. I think either Of Grace and Chocolate by Krista Jensen or Sarah Eden’s next book, but since they both come out in January, I don’t have to wait very long to get my own copies.

LDSWBR: What is your favorite childhood Christmas memory?

SHANDA: One of my favorite things to do was read by the Christmas tree. I still remember the different colors on the pages of the book as the lights blinked on and off. I’m sure it was horrible for my eyesight, but I loved it.

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I read so many great books that it was hard to narrow the list down to ten. Enjoy! **NOTE: I am modifying my Top 10 into 11 because I remembered another book that I can’t leave off the list!**

Shanda’s Top Ten Reads for 2011
(in no particular order)

  1. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  2. Of Grace & Chocolate by Krista L. Jensen
  3. Obsession by Traci Hunter Abramson
  4. Variant by Robison Wells
  5. Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George
  6. Bad Guys of the Book of Mormon by Dennis Gaunt
  7. Ammon by H.B. Moore
  8. The List and Not My Type by Melanie Jacobson
  9. Trespass by Sandra Grey
  10. Bloodborne by Gregg Luke
  11. Rearview Mirror by Stephanie Black
There is a very good chance – okay, it’s pretty much guaranteed – that I’ve forgotten a book or two that should be on this list, especially considering I’ve easily read 100 books this year. I need to keep better track on Goodreads!
Have you read any of the books on my top ten of 2011 list?
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To enter the Countdown to Christmas 2011 contest, complete the following and then tell us what you did:

  • **Required entry (+1) – Leave a thoughtful comment on this post. (More than just “Great contest!” please.) You must leave a comment on this post for your other entries to count. If you are reading this post through email or an RSS reader, please click through to leave a comment.
  • Bonus entry (+1 total) – Post this message on Twitter and/or Facebook and comment or send an email to ldswbr (at) gmail (dot) com telling us that you did: Last week to enter to win $50 at Amazon & 21 great books! @LDSWBR Countdown to Christmas 2011
  • Additional entries (one time +1 entry each) – 1) Subscribe to LDSWBR through email 2) Follow @LDSWBR on Twitter 3) Like LDS Women’s Book Review on Facebook (all found at the the top of the right sidebar on the LDSWBR blog). NOTE: If you already subscribe through email, follow us on Twitter, or Like us on Facebook you must tell us in a comment for the extra entries to count.
  • By leaving a comment and entering the Countdown to Christmas 2011, you agree to the contest information found here.


***If you haven’t read the contest rules and info, read them here.***


Book prizes donated by their authors:

  • Winners choice of  Divinely Designed, Luck of the Draw, or Minor Adjustments by Rachael Renee Anderson (new addition to the prize list!)
  • Winner’s choice of Secret Sisters, Dearly Departed, or Hang ’em High by Tristi Pinkston (new addition to the prize list!)
  • Montana Summer by Jeanette Miller
  • Ribbon of Darkness by Julie Coulter Bellon
  • Not My Type by Melanie Jacobson
  • Cinder & Ella by Melissa Lemon (ebook)
  • Pride & Popularity by Jenni James
  • The Kissing Tree by Prudence Bice
  • Rearview Mirror by Stephanie Black (paperback or Kindle)
  • The Next Door Boys by Jolene B. Perry
  • Winner’s choice of one of the books in the Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery Series by Josi S. Kilpack (including Banana Split which will be released in February 2012)
  • Seeking Persephone by Sarah M. Eden
  • Obsession by Traci Hunter Abramson
  • Circle of Secrets by Kimberley Griffiths Little
  • Indelible by Lani Woodland and a swag bag!
  • Identity by Betsy Love
  • The Hainan Incident by D.M. Coffman (autographed copy)
  • Count Down to Love by Julie N. Ford
  • Geek Girl by Cindy C. Bennett
  • The Breakup Artist by Shannen Crane Camp
  • Seers by Heather Frost
Don’t forget to comment! Merry Christmas and happy reading!


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  20 Responses to “Shanda’s Top Ten Reads of 2011 – Countdown to Christmas 2011”

  1. I have read Not my Type, The List, and Obsession…all multiple times. I really want to read some of the others on her list and hope to do so in the new year. I know most of the authors and love seeing that others like them as well. Have a very Merry Christmas!!

  2. No, I haven’t! Though I purchased “Bloodborne” for my husband for Christmas. I’m looking forward to reading it together– it sounds great!

  3. I tweeted the little blurb.


  4. I have read The Help and really want to see the movie. I also read The List. I like your list of books and even though I have heard of many of them there are a few I need to look up. I am excited to see the other top 10 lists this week.

  5. When people ask me about my favorite books, I really have to think because I read so many books, too. I have to say that my favorite book this year is “Divergent” by Veronica Roth-hands down…mine excluded, that is. :)

  6. I’ve read “Tuesdays at the Castle” and part of “The Help.” “Variant” is on my “to-read” stack.

  7. I read The Help. If I win the Amazon gift card), I will soon be reading Rearview Mirror, and Of Grace and Chocolate.

  8. I’ve read Variant, Blood Borne, and Rearview Mirror. My favorite was Rearview Mirror. Very suspenseful!!

  9. I have read most of the books on your top ten list. The ones that I haven’t are on my to read list. The only two I haven’t read are Of Grace and Chocolate and Bad Guys of the Book of Mormon. Although I found the help too slow starting and didn’t get past the first 90 pages.

  10. I’ve read The Help, The List and Not My Type — loved all of them. I’ve bought Variant, Ammon and Tuesdays at the Castle (which my two girls just devoured) and hope to read them soon! The others on the list all look great too — there are always too many books in the TBR pile!

  11. I’m not entering. Just had to say I love you a lot right this minute. Mwah!

  12. Melanie: Right back at ya, sweetie! :)

  13. Woohoo! I’m honored that you included Rearview Mirror on your list! From your list, I’ve read Bloodborne, Variant, Trespass, and The List.

  14. I’ve read six of your top ten and couldn’t agree more. All great books!

  15. Josi – The only reason Pumpkin Roll isn’t on this list is because *gasp* I haven’t read it yet. I’m as shocked as you are! That just means you’ll probably sweep 3 spots in my 2012 list. :)

  16. I’ve read both of Melanie’s books, but haven’t read the rest… I know. Send me a virtual slap. :)

  17. Oh, thank you, Shanda! I’m grinning. Right now. Such a great list! And the prizes are fab, too! I definitely will be taking time to read over the holiday. I’ve read The Help and Variant, and have really wanted to read more on your list…some are staring at me from the TBR pile. I’ll retweet your contest. You ladies do such a great job with this every year!

  18. I read and loved The Help by Kathryn Stockett.

    I own Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George is sitting on my bedside table and plan to read it soon. I also plan to read Variant by Robison Wells sometime in 2012. Ammon by H.B. Moore is on my wish list.

  19. I’m honored you chose Bad Guys as one of your top ten of the years! Thank you so much!

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