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I was really inspired by www.bundleofbooks.org’s list of Top 5 Books from 2011 and I immediately thought, “Yes! I’ll make my own list naming the top books I read in 2011!” But then, the more I thought about it, the less it sounded like a good idea.

You see, factoring in a new baby, a busy new job and the writing of my book, 2011 has not been as full of reading as many years past! So instead I’m going to make my list “My Top 5 Books Of All Time”, because that gives a lot more opportunities to highlight really wonderful books, instead of just picking the best and worst out of the limited number of books I read this past year.

1. Most Laugh Out Loud Moments

This is totally going to undermine my name as a mature, discerning reader, but you know what? Sometimes I just need a brainless read to let my mind rest. I read Confessions of a Shopaholic on a train ride through France and I had to repeatedly remind myself not to burst out laughing so I wouldn’t attract too much attention from the french train occupants. I am the definition of buyer’s remorse when it comes to shopping, so I found this glimpse into the brain of a serial over-spender absolutely hilarious- escapism at its finest.

2. Most Tearjerking

I read this book during a snowstorm a few years back, curled up under about ten blankets, crying my eyes out. The book follows a young girl and her experiences living through the Revolutionary War in Charleston, South Carolina. It starts off with tragedy and darn near the entirety of the story continues with that trend. I can’t really tell you why I so much loved a book that had me sobbing through three hundred pages. I can only tell you that I would read it a hundred times over, it was just that good.

3. Most Disappointing Read

I love a good suspense novel, and this one had all the earmarks of one; a stay-at-home mother who is beginning to doubt her sanity, foreboding phone calls from a gravelly-voiced stranger, screams overheard from an old abandoned house. I was looking forward to a really mind-blowing ending to the mystery, but I found the author’s attempt at tying up loose ends to be completely unfulfilling. Sadly, it turned out to be the definition of anticlimactic.

4. Most Unputdownable

Now, I’m not saying that an addictive book is a good book, but I was deeply fascinated by The Hunger Games. My family got quite a few agitated looks when they tried to distract me from reading and I literally lost track of everything around me as I cried (a lot) and bonded with the characters along the way. I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite book of all time; it made me think and I got a lot out of it, but I don’t think I can honestly say that I enjoyed it. But as for that addictive quality, this book fits the bill.

5. Most Well Written Book

Without a doubt, my favorite book of all time. The plot line is pretty simple when you look back at it in hindsight, but this book just so well put together that it blows my little mind every time I think about it. I walked around with a stupid grin on my face the entire time I was reading it because I was in such wonder at the storytelling expertise of Madeleine Brent. She is my hero.

How about you? What is your favorite book? Have you read a book recently that you just felt like throwing across the room once you reached the end? Tell me about it!