My Favorite Book from 2011


We’re home sweet home!

Although it will be nice to get back into a normal routine, we were really sad leaving Washington DC and my in-laws this morning. Eight days out there completely flew by, and it stunk seeing our vacation come to an end. :(

I should really spend tonight unpacking, getting started on my massive to-do list, and taking down Christmas decorations (xmas decor on display after the holidays is always a little depressing, don’t you think?) but instead I’m going to enjoy what’s left of my vacation and finish reading New Moon. :)

I started it on our first flight today and got swept away in the land of vampires and warewolves. Again. It’s my second time reading it, muwahaha!

OMG, that reminds me, I finally read The Help!


I’m not sure what took me so long – I think I believed it to be over hyped – but I was 1,000% wrong. I started it on our first flight out to DC last week, and finished it the same day. I do believe it was my favorite book of 2011!

Now I’m just dying to see the movie even though Emma Stone, who plays Skeeter, couldn’t be further from the skinny, awkward character I grew to love from the book.

Readers & viewers – what did you think?

It was also kind of neat that we saw the brand new Martin Luther King Jr Memorial out in DC this week, after I finished reading it.









What was your favorite book of 2011? Read any good ones over the holidays?

’til tomorrow! :D

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  1. I loved The Help too, although I think Unbroken was one of my favs that I read in 2011.

    I just watched the movie version of The Help and was sort of disappointed/bored.

  2. I looooved The Help! The movie is really great – go rent it soon!!!

    My favorite book of 2011 was probably the same as yours, and also One Day. Which, after seeing the movie made me love it even more. Weird, right?

  3. heather 01.02.2012

    “11/22/63″ it. is. MESMERIZING. the fictious parts are intriguing and the attention to historical detail is great. favorite of 2011 by far!

    • heather 01.02.2012

      garrrrr, i got too excited to type correctly. fictitious*

  4. Patti 01.02.2012

    I read The Help a few years ago when it first came out and it is my favorite book since then – and I read a lot! The movie is great also. I saw it 3 times and I never see a movie even twice! Emma Stone becomes Skeeter so SEE IT. I think Ben would like it too. Love your blog!

  5. JennP 01.02.2012

    The movie is awesome too! And you will be surprised by how mousy Emma Stone is in this role. They definitely de-glammed her.

    • Iowa Girl Eats 01.02.2012

      Ok good. It kind of drives me nuts when Hollywood throws a pair of glasses and a wig on a gorgeous actress, and tries to pretend she’s not!

  6. I saw The Help on Christmas and I feel like the book would be so much better. I liked the movie, but wasn’t in love with it. I feel like if I read the book I would indeed be in love with it. I think the best book I read this year would be…The Ethics of What We Eat. I’m kind of a nerd and like to learn stuff from the books I read haha.

  7. I read the help and saw the movie. Loved both! Especially the fashion (in the movie). I loved Bryce Dallas Howard and the girl who played Celia.

    The books I’m loving right now are the Hunger Games series. I finished the second book in about three days and now anxiously awaiting the third at the library.

  8. Sadly I read manly graduate school books, which I dought y’all have read. I’m excited to read for pleasure after graduating in may!

    My fiancé proposed right on the water in front of the MLK memorial. That memorial is dear to my heart for many reasons.

  9. I loved the book too! I waited a while to read it as well. I thought it probably wouldn’t be as good as the hype but I was wrong.

    As for the movie…I was a little disappointed, but others have said they really liked it. I think some of the casting wasn’t the best, and they changed so much! I guess they had to. Have fun watching it!

  10. Amanda B. 01.02.2012

    The Help was great and so was the movie!

    I’m on the second book of the Hunger Games right now. I’ve been whizzing through them.

    What I didn’t like won’t be finishing the series of is the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It was interesting the middle but the beginning and end are boring book ends. A lot of pointless details.

    • Kristin from MN 01.02.2012

      The next two in the series are more action-packed and much better IMO! I really liked the series, but agree book 1 started off super boring and the end seemed anti-climatic. Book 2 and 3 pick up right where the previous left off and you get into the mysteries right away!

  11. I LOVED The Help! The movie is great too, although I almost always prefer books to their movie versions!

  12. Dione 01.02.2012

    Oh to pick one book for the year is entirely too difficult.:) I did read The Help and enjoyed it but I wouldn’t even say it’s my favorite. A couple recent reads I really loved were ‘Graceling’ by Kristin Cashore (an incredibly romantic fantasy novel) and ‘Divergent’ by Veronica Roth (dystopian). I can’t play favorites ha.

  13. Lindsey 01.02.2012

    LOVED The Help, but haven’t seen the movie yet. I also just started to read the Gossip Girl series which I really like, and they are easy reads.

  14. Gloria 01.02.2012

    I just got finished watching movie THE HELP for the second time. My daughter got it for me for Christmas. I also read the book. I lovedthem both. the movie is slow to start but gets better as it goes on. I just got a Kindle for Christmas and am anxious to read this winter. I started Cane River and am really enjoying it.

  15. I have The Help sitting on my bedside table….it’s screaming “READ ME!!!” I just have yet to grab it….I just finished 13 Reasons Why….it’s a young adult novel that my students have been reading like crazy. It was a really good book!!!

  16. dawn 01.02.2012

    I just watched The Help last night! Awesome. Thank you for sharing the new monument with us. I LOVE it. I can’t wait to see your other posts about your visit.

    BTW.. My Christmas has been put away for DAYS… just sayin’! ;-)

  17. Allison 01.02.2012

    What Alice Forgot was one of my favorite books. The other was Faith: A Novel, the description didn’t sound appealing to me, but I ended up loving it.

  18. Jessica V 01.02.2012

    The movie The Help was done very well, I think you will enjoy it! Emma did a wonderful job as Skeeter.

  19. I really enjoyed the Help as well! I read it when it first came out, and had been excited to see the movie ever since I heard it was being made into one… and it didn’t disappoint me :)
    I also read Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett this year and absolutely loved it!

    • samantha 01.02.2012

      I LOVED Pillars of the Earth – would say is my favorite of all time!

  20. Karla 01.02.2012

    My favorite book I read this year was The Hunger Games! Highly recommend it! I am currently reading The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I’m a little late on the hype with that one but I am really pulled in and loving it!

  21. Water for Elephants and The Help were my two favorite books from 2011. I saw The Help movie and was disappointed, but I’m always disappointed with movies based on books because the books are always better. I still need to see the Water for Elephants movie.

  22. Francesca 01.02.2012

    Loved The Help! Favorite for the year would have to be Cutting for Stone, though. It is long but reads quick and is extremely well written.

  23. chantel olson 01.02.2012

    if you love twilight…try the Trylle trilogy by Amanda Hockings….she is from Austin MN… will LOVE it….

  24. Chris 01.02.2012

    Love the pics of MLK Memorial by night! I saw it last month, during the day and it was magnificent, but these night time photos are Awesome!

  25. Hallie Sawyer 01.02.2012

    It was on my list of best books of 2011 as well. I also finished LETTERS FROM HOME by Kristina McMorris during the holidays that I just loved. It is set in WWII and it made me cry. I always love when a book does that.

    Happy holidays and welcome back!

  26. Kristin from MN 01.02.2012

    I read SO MANY good books in 2011! My #1 favorite would have to be The Hunger Games Trilogy. Other really good books I read that I just have to share are: Water for Elephants, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series, Discovery of Witches, House of the Scorpion, Divergent, The Passage, the Mortal Instruments series, Clockwork Angel, Vampire Academy books, Bloodlines, Sookie Stackhouse books (TrueBlood series), and Incarceron & Sapphique.

  27. Molly 01.02.2012

    Water for Elephants was definitely the best read of 2011 for me.

  28. Jenn 01.02.2012

    I always think popular things are probably overhyped so it’s good to hear someone who thought the same thing loved it! It’s so fun reading about things and then seeing them in real life. Right now we are traveling the country in an RV while studying US history. It’s amazing!

  29. Sarah crowley 01.02.2012

    I loooooved The Help. Read it very quickly, couldnt put it down! I just watched the movie today. I cried several times. Unbroken is my #2 fave of the year as well.

  30. Molly 01.02.2012

    Sometimes the book lives up to the hype! For sure true for The Help. And I was so hesitant for the movie since I loved the book so much. But… I loved it too! It’s different in some ways, but the characters are just as endearing and the story is well told. My favorite of 2011 was probably The Art of Racing in the Rain. The narrator is a dog! Loved it. It makes me all dog-crazy and excited for when we don’t live in an apartment and can get one.

  31. sarah 01.02.2012

    the book was certainly better. it shed light on the reality of the times in a much more intense way than the movie did. i enjoyed the movie but felt it was much more light hearted than the book was.

    my favorite book(s) of 2011 were the hunger games series by suzanne collins! i can’t wait to see the first movie in march!

  32. danielle 01.02.2012

    I finally read The Help this holiday break too! And then watched the movie the next day. Not surprisingly, the book was so much better :)

  33. Carrie 01.02.2012

    I thought the film was horribly miscast and cut out a lot of important stuff. Didn’t love it.

  34. abby 01.02.2012

    Loved The Help! My other favorite book of 2011 was The art of racing in the rain…my book club loved it…seriously great book!

  35. ktlovespie 01.02.2012

    I haven’t read The Help yet but I saw the movie. Now I’m dying to read it! The movie was great and I even got my boyfriend to watch it. He even thought it was good.

    I sadly don’t have a favorite book this year….I haven’t had time to read much. Maybe Room by Emma Donoghue. It’s quite good but not amazing enough to be considered my abosolute fave.

  36. Kristen 01.02.2012

    The Hunger games series was definitely my favorite read of 2011…I flew through all 3 books in about 4 days!

  37. Michelle 01.02.2012

    I also read The Help but my FAVORITE book of 2011 is by far The Hunger Games! I am reading the 3rd book in the trilogy and have not been disappointed! Wasn’t sure what to expect but it’s one of the BEST books I have read in a while:)

  38. Melissa 01.02.2012

    The MLK memorial is amazing at night. I’m in DC all the time for work, so I’ve run by it, and I was inspired that early in the morning. But at night! Wow.

    My favorite book this year was The Violets of March by Sarah Jio–I think I actually found right after you first started blogging through a comment you wrote on Vitamin G! Anyway, the book is amazing. I read it in a day, then immediately re-read it. Such a great story. I’m reading her second book now and loving that one, too! I found them both at Target!

  39. Jill 01.02.2012

    The Help was AMAZING! I got the movie for Christmas and cannot wait to watch it. I was looking for another good book to read so thanks for all the help. :)

  40. Stacie Gorkow 01.02.2012

    You will fall in love with Emma Stone in the movie. Make time to watch it soon! I read it in 2010, but my fav read in 2011 was The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. Just a great story.

  41. jennifer 01.02.2012

    My favorite book of the year was ‘Unbroken’. I also loved the Hunger Games series and the first four Game of Thrones series. Also, if you have a Kindle, snatch this one up while it’s a steal for 2.99

    • Jill 01.02.2012

      I am adding these to my list of books to read. Do you remember the author for Unbroken.
      Thanks so much!

      • jennifer 01.02.2012

        Hi Jill!
        the author of ‘Unbroken’ is Laura Hillenbrand.Enjoy! I LOVE reading favorite book lists of people. I always end up picking up a new book and loving it!

  42. I’m a new follower and I’m do glad I found your blog! Anyway, isn’t the help an amazing book? I’ve read it twice already and love it. Emma Stone does a pretty decent Skeeter, though Bryce Dallas Howard does the best Hilly! I really didn’t think Bryce could act after watching New Moon (even though I love that movie) but this movie really showcased her acting chops. Though as usual the book was better than the movie, the movie is still incredible.

  43. Ellen 01.02.2012

    I also loved The Help, but ROOM was my very favorite. I read that one in one day.

  44. Ashley 01.02.2012

    The book was way way better than the movie!!

  45. kellyo 01.02.2012

    Loved The Help. The book and movie both. Cutting for Stone was also excellent and The Violets of March was a good one.

  46. Kerry 01.02.2012

    My favorite is The Help also. I could not put it down, but I didn’t want it to end either. It wad so touching and heart breaking at times, then you’re laughing at other times. The way Kathyrn captured the atmosphere of the times in which this story played out is so well written. It captures a sad time in our country’s history, but it showed some brave women who represent people who risked their lives to make a change. I just hope if I was born at that time and place that i would have done my best to make a difference. I recommend this book whole heartedly, and watching the movie, too!!

  47. Whit 01.02.2012

    Favorite book of 2011 was definitely “11/22/63″ by Stephen King. It blew my mind, changed my life, etc.

    So neat to see the pictures of the MLK Jr. memorial. I work at a newspaper, and we’re running an entire page about it tomorrow. All of the photos were computer generated models so this really brought it to life for me!

  48. Amanda Grask 01.02.2012

    I just watched the movie The Help today. It was very good….emotionally exhausting in ways and hard to believe our country was like that not all that long ago. But it was well worth watching. Now I vow to pick up the book that has been sitting on my dresser for months and read it (since usually the book is better than the movie.)

  49. sheena hanson 01.02.2012

    You MUST read ‘Nefertiti’ by Michelle Moran. So much to love about it!

  50. Kelly 01.02.2012

    I LOVED the book the Help, but I have to tell you I was not at all a fan of the move- and exactly for the reasons you mentioned in your post. I felt that Skeeter did not look like I had envisioned {I wanted the really unruly hair that they talk about so much in the book!} and neither did the maids. That said, every single other woman I have spoken with about my dislike of the movie thinks I am crazy so you should give it a shot!
    I also LOVED the Hunger Games trilogy- read each on in one day! Happy reading in 2012!

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