Friday, December 30, 2011

The Best Novels of 2011 (From My POV)

This is always one of my favorite of favorite posts to write every year.

It's also the HARDEST!

Because while it is great fun to look back on a great year of phenomenal novels, it is also incrediably hard to make it a list of ONLY ten.

But thus, I still try and give you my Top Ten Novels of 2011. Also included is a direct link to buy on Amazon and one line from my review.

Share your list too!!

A Bride's Portrait of Dodge City Kansas by Erica Vetsch

Vetsch crafts a story with amazing imagery, but most of her all her characters LEAP from the page.

Surrender the Night by MaryLu Tyndall
Every story is predicable, but it’s how you get there that makes it UNpredictable. This is one such story.

Reinventing Leona by Lynne Gentry
I felt as though I’ve now walked a mile in their shoes and to me, there is no better sign of good storytelling.

When Sparrows Fall by Meg Moseley
There is really one word for this book: unique and un-put-down-able. Okay that’s two. Yes, it was THAT good.

She Makes it Look Easy by Marybeth Whalen
I could not put this book down. The writing is superb, the characters deep and the plot wide and full.

Wings of a Dream by Anne Mateer
When I closed the cover on this book last night, after staying up nearly two hours past my bedtime on a Sunday night, I couldn’t have been more thankful for one of the best finds I’ve had this year in Christian fiction.

The Colonel's Lady by Laura Frantz
Never in all the books have I read, have I come across an author who writes with more lyrical and beautiful quality than Laura Frantz.

The Doctor's Lady by Jody Hedlund
Jody Hedlund is a new name in today’s fiction, but one I firmly believe will not be leaving us any time soon. I certainly hope to never see that day!

A Heart Revealed by Julie Lessman
I am a diehard Lessman fan, but none of her novels have been able to knock A Passion Most Pure (her debut novel) from the coveted “favorite” position. I’m sorry APMP, take a back seat, because I’ve got a new favorite.

My Foolish Heart by Susan May Warren
My heart aches to return to the setting among friends and a love that surrounds me in the town of Deep Haven.

I think I might be craving donuts…

Wow! That was a hard list to put together and so many other books that didn't make my list, but I still loved and want to list here:

Save the Date by Jenny B. Jones; A Great Catch by Lorna Seilstad; To Win Her Heart by Karen Witemeyer; The Harvest of Grace by Cindy Woodsmall; Love on the Line by DeeAnne Gist and Dry as Rain by Gina Holmes

WHAT a reading year!! And 2012 looks just as promising!! :D

Friday's Note:

The winner of Rodeo Dust by Shannon Vannatter is...

Lane Hill House!!

And the winner of her choice of one of M.L. Tyndall's first series is...


You've been emailed ladies, be haunting your inbox!



  1. What a great list. Thanks Casey! You have some books on that list that I haven't gotten a chance to read yet but hope to soon. :)

  2. Mine will be up on Dec 31st and will look quite different to yours with one or two exceptions! Just means there are lots of great books out there for all our diverse tastes!!

    Have a wonderful new year, Casey xo

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  4. Now I know what books I need to read in 2012!!! Thanks, Casey!!!!

  5. Looks like I have some more titles to put on my to read list. (Like it already isn't long enough!) I'm honored to be among this group of stellar writers, many of whom are also friends!

  6. WHOO-HOO, Happy New Year to me!!!

    Oh, girl, I gotta tell you that THIS put a HUGE smile on my face because if there's anyone's list I want to make, it's yours, and I am BEYOND BLESSED to there with the caliber of authors you have here. I have read five of your ten and couldn't agree with you more -- LOVE everything MaryLu Tyndall and Laura Frantz writes and Erica's book simply stole my heart away! I need to get busy on the rest of these books, though, especially Anne Mateer's since you specifically told me you thought I would love it.

    Thank you SO much, Casey, not only for putting me on your list but for your precious friendship.

    Love you!

  7. Oh gosh! I have to start narrowing down my list which is going to be SO difficult to do, I've read so many great books. You did a great job and I have to say that our lists will look similar. :-)

    XOXO~ Renee

  8. Great list! And I'm excited to see several of my writer friends on it. :)

  9. OH, Casey! I second Julie here and say I'm so thankful you are a part of my life as a writer/blogger/friend/prayer partner and more! Your list is wonderful and a great source for those who haven't been caught up in those pages:) I need to get to a few of these myself. Bless you for being such an encouragement and inspiration!

  10. Great list, Casey! I've read three of them that you've listed, and have two of the others on my shelf (so I'm half way there). : )

    Thanks for all the hard work you put in to point your readers in the right direction!

    I only read 20 books this year, so I'm going to post 5 of my absolute favorites (in no particular order), since they all tie for first place in my book. I'm very diplomatic that way . . . right, Julie L.? ;-)

    Surrender the Heart
    A Heart Revealed
    The Colonel's Lady
    The Doctor's Lady
    The Frontiersman's Daughter

    I read some great non-fiction as well . . .

    Grace for the Good Girl by Emily P. Freeman
    A Confident Heart by Renee Swope

  11. Great list. I haven't read so many books this year, but have a Ginger Garrett and a Chris Fabry in the January pile.

    Craving donuts?? That cracked me up!

    Thanks for a wonderful year and helping me to up my productivity. You are a great support and I'm grateful for you.

  12. Honored and thrilled to be included in such a wonderful lineup of authors. I'm so glad you enjoyed A Bride's Portrait, and I totally agree with you re Wings of a Dream. I am eager to read Anne's next book!

  13. Loved your list, Casey!!! We've got several books in common (although I haven't completely finalized my list just yet). :o) Bravo on choosing My Foolish Heart...that was my first read ever by Susie, and I'm now a fan for life. *sigh*

  14. Awesome list, Casey! I've read four of the ones on your list(Surrender the Night, The Colonel's Lady, A Heart Revealed, and The Doctor's Lady) and agree with you that they were some great reads!

    As you already know, my top ten list is up and can be found here. The Doctor's Lady seems to be a universal favorite among my blogging friends! :-)

  15. What a COOL post, Casey!! You're making me want to read a lot of these books. And you're making me realize that I need to read MORE! I'm reading Meg's book right now and am loving it!

  16. I'll have you know this list was NOT supposed to go up until tomorrow. Sigh. Guess I made a little formatting mistake. ;-)

    NAOMI, imho, these are some of the best of the best. SO thrilled I had the chance to read them!

    REL, very true! I'm excited for your list as well. :) It is exciting to see cross-over titles though. ;)

    DAWN, you're welcome! They are SO worth it! Hope you enjoy them too! :D

    ANNE, lol, aren't they all! Can't wait for book 2 from you next year!!!!

    JULIE, oh yeah! That book of yours is awesome. :D But you already knew that. ;-) Couldn't say it better on those authors--lots to love these days! Good thing God gave us big hearts. ;)

  17. RENEE, oh man it was hard!! I used the Goodreads stat site and that helped, but my list could have EASILY been 15 titles, but then it wouldn't have been easy. ;-) Can't wait to see your list!!!

    JULIE, thanks for swinging by to peek!

    LAURA, I'm watching like a hawk for your next book cover--can't wait!! So thrilled I got to meet you this year--I'm blessed to know you!!

    MICHELLE, lady 20 books is awesome! And those 5 titles are great as well! What was Renee Swope's book like? That one sounds interesting.

    JULIA, right back atcha! Sure do love our connection. :D Which Chris Fabry novel?? I've really enjoyed discovering his fiction. Want to get more...

  18. ERICA, after what you said at the ACFW bookstore, I was eager to read Anne's novel and was FAR from disappointed. And of COURSE my SIGNED (yes I'm going to flaunt that) copy of ABPIDCK holds top honor on my book shelf. :D

    CHRISTY, ahhh, I'm sighing too. I LOVED that Susie Warren book. Her best of the BEST by far! I'm excited to see your list--that's got to be one of my favorite parts of the end of the year. :D

    KATIE, lol! I think JODY is a univeral favorite. :) Aren't you just so eager for her third novel?

    KATIE G., Meg's book is really, really great. Another one I *almost* didn't read. I did that a lot this year, didn't I? :) Can't wait to dig into YOUR book this next year. :D

  19. I've read a handful of these books and I agree! I have to read more too, like Katie said.

    Thanks for posting them!

  20. Aw, Casey, your post warmed my heart and all of your comments did too. I SO appreciate the encouragement and kind words! I was just telling someone that God knows how to encourage us right when we need it. So thank you! You are a blessing to so many writers! :-)

  21. JESSICA, but that's a good thing right?? It means we will NEVER run out of good things to read. :D

    JODY, I completely agree! And may I and so many other readers who LOVE your fiction be that for you and so much more. :D

  22. Casey - I'm on pins and needles waiting to hear more about Jody's next book! No matter what it is, I know I'm gunna like it! :-)

  23. Awesome list, Casey! So excited that because of your blogoversary (and Anne's generosity!) I have a chance to read Wings of a Dream. :) Yay!

    A Bride's Portrait in Dodge City, Kansas has been getting such great reviews! Sounds great! :)


  24. LOL yep Goodreads is my go-to tool for keeping track of all my favorites...and those I didn't like so much. :-P

    XOXO~ Renee

  25. I've only read three of those books. One I couldn't seem to finish, and a few others I never started. A few I don't even have. I know, that's shocking...

  26. I've only read one of the books (The Colonel's Lady) on your list, but many are on my wish-list/TBR!

    Great post!


  27. Forgot to add the link to my top ten list:


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According to new FTC rules I must let you, the reader know, that all views shared on this blog are strictly my own. Books to review are either provided for me by the author, publisher or ones I have purchased and I am under no obligation whatsoever to present anything, but my true opinion on any product. I receive no monetary compensation for anything written on this blog. Any giveaways on this blog are provided by the author/ publisher and I am not responsible for any views they express in their work or on this site. Giveaways are void were prohibited and chances of winnng are based on the number of applicants. A random winner is draw when a book is given away.

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