Our Number One Favorite Reads for 2011!

We’ve all read some amazing books this year here at What the Cat Read. Between the three of us, well four of us when you include our human, we’ve read a grand total of 87 books! ~tails wave in pride~ These books have spanned a wide range of genres, publishing dates, and lengths. Some of them we loved, others were enjoyable, and yes sadly there were a few disappointments as well. Still, it was an exciting year to be a feline reader! And that’s what made choosing just one book apiece as our ultimate favorite for the year difficult, because really when all is said and done, they were all pretty memorable in one way or another.

So how did we pick our number one favorites? No we didn’t throw mice heads at the list and see on which title they landed (though we did consider doing that). To be honest, we all went with the book that made the biggest impact in our lives. The one that stayed with us in our thoughts long after we had finished. That made moving on to any other book a challenge because it just wasn’t the same. As we said, it wasn’t entirely easy, but as we post this list, we each feel that our choices are correct and we hope that, should you read these books, you feel the same way we did upon completion.


Willow’s Pick: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

I loved this book! If you want to see my review on it, please click on the link here: The Night Circus Review.


Sara’s Pick: Legend by Marie Lu

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths – until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.

While I enjoyed and have a great many favorites from this year, I must admit that this book was by far my favorite. From page one I simply could not put it down. Murr! To see my review on this book, please click here: Legend Review.


Buggy’s Pick: Austenlandby Shannon HaleJane Hayes is a seemingly normal young New Yorker, but she has a secret. Her obsession with Mr. Darcy, as played by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, is ruining her love life: no real man can compare. But when a wealthy relative bequeaths her a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-crazed women, Jane’s fantasies of meeting the perfect Regency-era gentleman suddenly become realer than she ever could have imagined.

Decked out in empire-waist gowns, Jane struggles to master Regency etiquette and flirts with gardeners and gentlemen;or maybe even, she suspects, with the actors who are playing them. It’s all a game, Jane knows. And yet the longer she stays, the more her insecurities seem to fall away, and the more she wonders: Is she about to kick the Austen obsession for good, or could all her dreams actually culminate in a Mr. Darcy of her own?

As a lover of Jane Austen, this book was a wonderful surprise and a joy to read this year. My review on this book is pending edits and will be posted soon. I shall let you all know when it goes up.


Cameron’s Pick: Shadow Kin by M.J. Scott

Welcome to the Half-Light City.

Imagine a city divided. On one side, the Night World, ruled by the Blood Lords and the Beast Kind. On the other, the elusive Fae and the humans, protected by their steadfast mages. A city held together by nothing more than a treaty-and even then, just barely…

I was born of a Fae mother, but I had no place amongst her kind. They called me “soulless.” An abomination. Perhaps they’re right…I’m a wraith, a shadow who slips between worlds. I was given into the service of a Blood Lord who raised me to be his most feared assassin. Still, I’m nothing more than a slave to my master, and to the need that only he can fulfill…

Then he orders me to kill Simon DuCaine, a powerful sunmage. In the blaze of his magic, my own disappears. Instead of seeking revenge, Simon shows me mercy. He wants to free me. But that’s one thing my master and his kind will never allow.

And even if I thought I could trust Simon, stepping from the shadow into the light isn’t as simple as it sounds…

This was extremely hard for me since I don’t divide my reading into genres like the felines do. So out of all 87 books read between the felines, my personal favorite was M.J. Scott’s first book in the Half-Light City series. You can see Sara’s review of the book by clicking on the link here: Shadow Kin Review.


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