11 Great Books: Perfect Gifts for the Hard-to-Buy-For

Library at Strahov Monastery, Prague: A setting in my work-in-progress novel, Water Lily

A book must be an ice-axe to break the seas frozen inside our soul.  -Franz Kafka

Library at Strahov Monastery, Prague: A setting in my work-in-progress novel, Water Lily
Library at Strahov Monastery, Prague: A setting in my work-in-progress novel, Water Lily

It’s December, and we’ve arrived at the final days of 2011 (already!). Every year, here on my blog, I reflect on the books that I have read and enjoyed over the past year, and post the names and titles. After all, books make the best gifts, especially for the hard-to-buy-for friend or family member, because a great book sticks with us long after we’ve turned the last page to The End.

Here, my top 11 list of books I’ve read in 2011: (linking to books on Barnes and Noble.com (BN.com) because I love their clean and easy to navigate site)

For Women:

  1. The Violets of March by Sarah Jio  (debut novel, part mystery, part love story)
  2. Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman  (deep South fiction, coming-of-age, uplifting)
  3. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton  (love Kate Morton’s work, part mystery, part literary family saga)
  4. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern  (magical circus, incredible setting)
  5. A Place Called Freedom by Ken Follett  (sweeping Scottish historical)
  6. Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum  (a tough read, on the Holocaust and its survivors, but deeply moving)

Classics I Love:

  1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte *the movie, Jane Eyre 2011, was fabulous!*
  2. The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher
  3. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (great book for young readers, especially girls age 9-12)
  4. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  5. Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney *all-time favorite children’s book*

Other book recommendations for Boys (a whole post from June 2011, 10 Books to Hook Your Boys)

Looking ahead to 2012:

I am setting a goal to read more than the 30 books I read this year in 2011 … hoping to read 50 books in 2012. I love to read, and look forward to spending more time with my nose in a book this coming year! As I have for the past couple of years, I post my reading and reviews of books I like at Goodreads. Join me over there– Goodreads is becoming a great place to talk about books with friends (like a giant book club).

Also, several writer friends of mine have books coming out in 2012:

I look forward to interviewing them here as their publication dates approach! (The best way to support an author you love is to write a review of their book, paste it into the review section of online store sites, and to click their Facebook fan pages to stay up to date with their newest work.)

For you: What are your reading goals for the coming year, 2012? What books have been your favorite reads of 2011? I’d love to hear what you have to say! Thanks for leaving a comment!


Published by Jennifer Lyn Art

About Jennifer Writer Author Photographer Artist Corporate Marketer Happy Wife & Mom World Traveler Grateful.

5 thoughts on “11 Great Books: Perfect Gifts for the Hard-to-Buy-For

  1. I’m incredibly honored to be on this list. Thank you so much. And what a stunning library! I was speechless as I gazed at the photo.

    1. Thank you, Beth! The Strahov Libraries, yes, they are amazing. I can’t ever feel like I’ve seen them enough. Great writing inspiration!

  2. Thank you so much for including me in this post!

    I’m working on a Best of 2011 reading list as we speak. I’ll be sure to let you know my favorites.

    And I can’t wait to read your novel! What a gorgeous scene setting!

    1. Thanks, Erika!
      Maybe I can link to your recommendations from here, after you post. I really enjoy books you rec. Thanks, about the Strahov Library. It’s hard to believe it’s only 10 minutes away… Prague is loaded with treasures. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts!

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