Spring Splendors

Spring Splendors

Friday, December 30, 2011

Favorites of 2011

I'm sorry I haven't been around here as much lately... I think I'm going to blame it on Christmas-break laziness. ;) I just haven't had as much energy for blogging lately, but I've been enjoying the time with my family. I am hoping, though, that the new year will bring a new beginning for my blog - hopefully with some more new posts!

But looking ahead to 2012 is for tomorrow. Today I'm looking back on 2011, remembering some of my favorites!

Favorite Books

These are my favorite Christian fiction books published in 2011. I chose 11 for 2011 - but don't let the ranking fool you, as these are all great books!

#11 Torrent

Such a fun time-travel series - full of romance and adventure! Love the quote from this third installment that encompasses the titles of the books in this series (Waterfall, Cascade, and Torrent):

"My eyes shifted to the trickling river. Come spring, it would be ten times as wide and just as deep. On and on it went, rushing toward the distant horizon. Like time. Like life. Sometimes gently falling from one pool into the other, other times fast and cascading, and still other times narrowing into a funnel, a torrent of knots and waves."

#10 Blue Skies Tomorrow

Sundin's writing is so engaging, full of great imagery. Love the characters - American heroes from WWII!

#9 A Wedding Invitation

Wisler's writing strikes a chord with me - especially with the heroine in this book! Unique style and great descriptions make this a sweet, meaningful read.

#8 Undercurrent

After devouring Griep's first book (Gallimore) a while back, it came as no surprise that I fell in love with this book, too! Another time-travel book, this one has vikings, exciting romance, and a message about sacrificial love. Awesome!

#7 The Search

Fisher's writing is so down-to-earth, but also surprising and lovely! This one is my favorite of hers so far, but I do have The Keeper to review soon, so we'll see how it goes... =)

#6 The Colonel's Lady

The story is just as beautiful as the cover! Great historical romance.

#5 A Lasting Impression

Just like The Colonel's Lady - an historical romance that is as lovely as its cover! Very well-done! (In my opinion, it's hard to go wrong with a Laura Frantz or Tamera Alexander book - they're both such talented authors!)

#4 Spring for Susannah

Most of the books on this list are by authors whose work I've loved for a while - so it's not much of a surprise that their more recent works blessed me. But Spring for Susannah was an unexpected treat from a new author - something fresh, different, and oh-so wonderful!

#3 Surrender the Night

Tyndall writes such thrilling sea-faring romance - but how wonderful to discover that she writes great romance on land, too! This is my favorite of the "Surrender to Destiny" series - full of romance, danger, and (of course!) destiny. Loved it!

#2 Yesterday's Tomorrow

When my blogging friend Renee raved about this book, I knew I wanted to read it - and it certainly didn't disappoint! This is a bold, moving look at the Vietnam War with a unique romance story.

#1 There You'll Find Me

Another sweet, sweet surprise! (Well, not a surprise in the sense that others have been praising Jones' work for a while, but a surprise in the sense of how much I loved it!) This book is just so well-written - humorous, romantic, but with a slow-building seriousness and a powerful ending.

Favorite Blog Posts

While I'm discussing favorites, I thought I'd share with you 11 of my favorite posts that I wrote in 2011. I'd love to hear if you have any favorites!

Blogging has been such a blessing to me, and I'm so glad to know all of you because of it!

Last year I also had a post for my favorite movies of 2010, but I decided to skip that this year. I'd love to hear about your favorites of 2011, though - books, blog posts, or movies!

21 comments:

Bluerose said...

I've had Christmas break laziness, too! Time away from the computer has been great, though! There's more time for reading. :)

I've only read 3 on your list. One of them made it on mine, but the other 2 were very close.

Laura Frantz said...

Amber, I'm so touched/humbled that TCL made your list. Knowing just HOW MANY books you read, that's quite an honor. I'm so thankful for you and all the effort you put into your blog, your own novels, college, and yet STILL find time to support Christian authors. I've gotten to know quite a few authors I wouldn't have before through you and thank you so much for that. We need a million more Ambers! God bless you today and always.

Katie McCurdy said...

great list, Amber! I've read a bunch of the ones on your list, and the ones that I haven't are in my TBR stack. Now I am looking forward to reading them even more!! :-D

2011 was a great year for books!

Casey said...

GREAT list, Amber!! We had several similar titles and many of which I read too. I love to read. Sigh. ;-)

SO glad we got to meet this year. Might we do it again in 2012?? ;-)

Have a GREAT new year, Amber!!

Faye said...

Looks like you have done some great reading this year! It'll be so fun to see what's up for review this next year!

Amber S. said...

Bluerose,

So agree! And glad I'm not the only one. ;)

I checked out your list, too, and a couple that are on yours are ones I loved, as well! There were just so many great releases this year in the Christian fiction world. :)

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Awww, Laura!

Thank you so much for your encouraging words! :) I'm so glad I could introduce you to new authors! And I'm so glad I've gotten to know you through blogging! :D

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Katie,

Agreed! It was an awesome year for books! :)

And glad that you have some of these on your TBR stack - hope you enjoy them, too!

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Casey,

Hahaha, I love to read, too! ;D

I'm so glad we got to meet (twice!!), too, and I would love to meet up again in 2012! Thank you for your friendship, and I hope you also have an awesome year!

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Faye,

Ooooooh, yeah! ;) (On both counts!)

~Amber

Amber S. said...

P.S. I should emphasize that these were some of my favorite Christian fiction books published this year. There might have to be a longer list if I was including any books I read this year! :) If there were such a list, you might find:

Chateau of Echoes by Siri Mitchell

Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

The Legacy of the King's Pirates series by MaryLu Tyndall (Re-reads)

Heartless by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

Praying for Your Future Husband by Robin Jones Gunn and Tricia Goyer

~Amber

Christina B said...

Ok, am I the only one who hasn't read The River of Time series? I'm seriously lagging here... :)

LOVE The Colonel's Lady-anything by Laura Frantz is a winner. I've also read some of Tamera Alexander's books, though not A Lasting Impression, and will say, she writes compelling stories.

The rest on your list look like good reads, so I'll have to check them out! Thanks for sharing some titles I hadn't heard of before. :)

Michelle said...

Love the new blog look, Amber, and your list of favorites for 2011! I've read a couple of those, and have a couple more waiting on my shelf.

Some of my favorites books that I read in 2011 are The Frontiersman's Daughter, The Colonel's Lady, The Doctor's Lady, A Heart Revealed, and Surrender the Heart.

I don't watch a lot of movies, but The Help is a favorite for this year. Actually, I think that movie has moved it's way into my top 5 favorite movies of all time. The others are Titanic, Steel Magnolias, Forrest Gump, and Fried Green Tomatoes. : )

Thanks for sharing your favorite books -- I'll definitely be adding some of those to my TBR pile.

Happy New Year!
Michelle

Joy Tamsin David said...

Great list Amber! I'm going to bookmark it and make sure I've read all the books on this list. :) Happy New Year!

Amber S. said...

Christina B,

It's possible... ;) It's a fun series, and I hope you get the chance to read it sometime!

Oh yes - I so agree about Laura's writing! I love all 3 of her books so far, and I'm eagerly awaiting the first book in her upcoming series!

I think you'd really enjoy A Lasting Impression. :) It's a little long, but so well-written, with plenty of great details and (of course!) a sweet romance.

Thank you for checking out my list, and I'm glad I could help introduce you to some new books!

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Michelle,

Thank you! :)

Those are some great lists of books and movies! I haven't seen The Help yet, but I've been hearing some good things about it. :) The Titanic is great, too - just so, so sad. It should be interesting checking out the new Titanic books coming out this year in honor of the 100th anniversary of the tragedy.

Happy New Year to you, as well, dear friend! :)

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Joy,

Thank you! I'm honored that you trust my judgment, and I do hope you enjoy these books if you get a chance to read them! :)

~Amber

Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

Hehehe love that you had 11 books too, there was no way I was narrowing my best books list to just 10. I'm so glad that you liked Yesterday's Tomorrow, I never thought I'd like a Vietnam story so much!

Happy New Year!

XOXO~ Renee

Amber S. said...

Renee,

There were so many great books, I could have made this list much longer! ;) Like I said in a previous comment, if I were including all the books I read this year and not just the CBA 2011 releases, there might be a few additions/changes. Definitely difficult to narrow the list down!

Yesterday's Tomorrow was sure powerful! Thank you for intriguing me with your awesome review! :)

Happy New Year to you, too!

~Amber

Sarah Sundin said...

Amber - thank you so much for including Blue Skies Tomorrow on your list! I'm honored to be in such fabulous company.

Amber S. said...

Sarah,

You are very welcome! I love your work, and I'm excited to learn more about your new series! :)

~Amber