50 Books in 2011

In January of 2011, I set out to complete the challenge of reading 50 books in 2011.

Yeah, I didn’t reach 50… yet. Currently, I am on book #27. I’m not really disappointed because I found it hard to read from January-May because I was working, going to school full time, and on a swim team that practiced for over two hours a day..5 days a week. I also had other obligations like going to church, hanging out with my boyfriend, friends, and family.

I’m not trying to make excuses as to why I didn’t reach 50 though.

I think if I would have had an iPhone for the whole year of 2011, I might have finished 50 books. I got my iPhone in late July (I think?!) and downloaded the Nook app from Barnes and Noble and never looked back! 

For some reason, reading books on my phone really works for me. I already take my phone everywhere, so I technically always have a book with me. I read while I walk my dog, I read while I run on the dreadmill, I read if I’m waiting at the doctor’s office, etc. All these short periods of reading add up and I finish books pretty fast. What can I say, I like multitasking 😉 


*I wanted to share some of my favorite books that I’ve read in 2011.*

The Glass Castle – By Jeannette WallsThis memoir recounts Jeannette and her siblings’ unconventional, poverty-stricken upbringing at the hands of their deeply dysfunctional parents. I was given this book by a co-worker who warned me that it was a bit crazy. At first, I didn’t believe the stories she wrote, but I grew accustomed to the craziness and ended up liking the book.

Unbearable Lightness – By Portia De RossiPortia de Rossi captures the complex emotional truth of what it is like when food, weight, and body image take priority over every other human impulse or action. This book was very intense and I couldn’t believe how honest she was and what she went through. 

Shanghai Girls – By Lisa SeeThis book centers on the complex relationship between two sisters as they go through pain and suffering in leaving war-torn Shanghai and try to adjust to the difficult roles of wives in arranged marriages and of Chinese immigrants to the U.S. I loved this book because the author had such a great understanding of sister relationships. 

Water for Elephants – By Sarah GruenA veterinary student abandons his studies after his parents are killed and joins a traveling circus as their vet. I loved this book for the love story it portrayed and for the love of animals. This became one of my favorite books, ever. Plus the movie was great!

Somebody Else’s Daughter – By Elizabeth BrundageThis novel is about an adoption under stress and tragic circumstances. Willa, brought up in elegant prosperity, is now a student at the prestigious Pioneer School. But her biological father, a failing writer and former drug addict, can’t live with himself without seeing her again. I love the author of this book, she writes extremely good psychological thrillers! 

The Hunger Games (trilogy) By Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games series was so hard to put down! I honestly read the back of the book and thought I wouldn’t like it. I didn’t read the books until I was forced to for summer reading. This isn’t a series for everyone. You will be drained emotionally by its end. Each book makes you think about society and what it is could come to one day.

A Stolen Life: A Memoir – By Jaycee Dugard

When Jaycee Dugard was 11 years old, she was abducted from her bus stop and was missing for eighteen years, held captive by Phillip Craig and Nancy Garrido. She gave birth to two daughters during her imprisonment and on August 26, 2009 was set free when Phillip brought her and her daughters to his parole officer’s office with him. I was so sad when I read this book, her life literally was stolen. She overcame so much to be where she is today emotionally.


So, those were my favorites of the year! I’m not sure if I will try to read 50 in 2012 or if I will continue the 50 from 2011 into 2012. I hope that made sense. I’ll let everyone know 🙂


Did you read any of these books?

Do you have any recommendations of books I should read?!


  1. Hunger Games all the way! I read so many books during the summer (not close ot 50… or 27 for that matter).. but once the school year starts, I stop reading. I know I a busy, butI should make time!

    1. I never thought I would enjoy psychological thriller books, but Elizabeth Brundage changed my mind!

      The book by Jaycee was intense and made me so upset, but it was a good read for sure.

  2. I got the Kindle in September and now I can’t stop reading. It is so awesome to be able to have any book I want in a matter of seconds! After reading the Dragon Tattoo trilogy, I started reading the Jo Nesbo books because I they were similar. The Snowman is worth reading, even though it is a little dark. I don’t find the character development as strong as the Dragon Tattoo books though…I really loved all three of them!

  3. The only book I’ve read from your list was Water for Elephants. I’d love to read some of the other! I miss reading so much but I am so busy right now. Maybe over winter break I will hit up the library. Thanks for the recs and your honest insight!

  4. Wow I am so envious that you were able to read that many books! I’m a creative writing minor so I read a lot, but it’s only stuff that’s assigned. I did get to read Jaycee’s book as well as read the first Hunger Games, and I loved them both 🙂 Keep it up girly! Such a good habit

  5. I LOVED THE HUNGER GAMES. And yes, it totally makes you think about society and how that could really happen in the future. I would run. Far, far away. Love this idea though!

  6. I didn’t want to read “Unbearable Lightness”…seemed too intense for me. The best book I read was The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo series. FANTASTIC!

  7. Unbearable Lightness was AMAZING. One of the most intense books I read this year. Water For Elephants is also one of my favorite books. (And I loved the movie as well, surprisingly!) I still have yet to read The Hunger Games series- I need to get on that!
    I definitely recommend Little Bee by Chris Cleave. It’s very unique and a bit disturbing but good nonetheless. I’m currently reading Imperfect Birds by Anne Lamott which I’m really enjoying. 🙂

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