My favorite books of 2012

I gotta say, it’s been a good year of reading. Part of that may be because I have made more of an effort to abandon books that aren’t doing it for me — and furthermore, not to even pick up a book unless it really interests me or has been personally recommended.

It’s still hard for me to ignore a free book, or not feel guilty if I haven’t read whatever the latest/hottest bestseller is, but I’m trying to remember: let things pass.

Anyway, these were my favorite reads of 2012, in order of when I read them:

The Night Circus The Fault in Our Stars Sweethearts The Paris Wife Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1) The Language Of Flowers Silver Sparrow The Scorpio Races The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns, #2) Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar Gone Girl

To be honest, I debated the inclusion of GONE GIRL and LIFE OF PI, both of which were “total mind fraks.” In the end, I listed GONE GIRL because I’m more likely to reread it, due to the intricate plotting and character arcs, which I really admired, even though the story/characters didn’t touch my heart. (Emotional impact is a big factor in favorite-ing for me.) With LIFE OF PI, I’m glad I read it once, but from now on, I’d rather just watch the movie.

So, what were your favorites (books, movies, songs, whatevs) of the year?

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15 Comments

  1. Becky Wallace

    I finished Crown of Embers today and I loved it! Totally looking forward to the finale.

  2. A MILLION TIMES YES TO CROWN OF EMBERS!

  3. I agree: lots of great books in 2012. Two that stand out include Black & White by Wes Albers and The Prophet by Michael Koryta.

    Almost every list I’ve seen so far includes Gone Girl. It has been on my to read list for months. I’m caving in and starting it tonight!

  4. My reading this year was largely based on what was free on Amazon (mostly out of copyright) and things written by people I know.

    Oh, and novels written by former cast members of Dark Shadows (I should write a blog post about those…).

    Favorite movie was definitely Moonrise Kingdom. :-)

  5. Ooh, I’m interested in reading Gone Girl and the Mindy Kaling memoir. And maybe Sweethearts and Scorpio Races, though I’m not sure if I’ll like those. Thanks for sharing! Maybe I should do an end-of-the-year favorite list, too.

  6. I’ve had THE NIGHT CIRCUS on my to-read list for months. Must get to it in 2013!

  7. I always appreciate a list of good book reco’s. The only one of these I’ve read is GONE GIRL, which I LOVED! I’ll add these others to my list of books to read.

  8. Julia

    Not sure when they were published, but here is a list of my favorite reads this year:
    The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie;
    Graceling;
    Bridge of Sighs;
    The Spellman Files (and the rest of the series);
    Outlier;
    Damned;
    And since I’m a political junkie – The Big Short, Twilight of the Elites and Our Divided Political Heart.

    I agree that “Moonrise Kingdom” was one of the best movies. It made me want a bullhorn. I also really liked “Robot and Frank” and “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.”

  9. You have some great book choices! I loved THE FAULT IN OUR STARS and GONE GIRL too! I have Mindy’s book as an audio-book and can’t wait to listen to it! And I need to read THE SCORPIO RACES and THE PARIS WIFE (McLain teaches near me, and I got to take a workshop with her).

    Happy new year and here’s to some great reading in 2013!

  10. Man, Moonrise Kingdom was playing on one of my flights to/from Spain (can’t remember which) but I had slept and missed like half of it, so I didn’t really watch. Hope it comes to Netflix… :/

    Julia-
    Ooo, you read GRACELING too?! Glad you enjoyed it!

  11. The best thing I read in 2012 was Ben Loory’s short story, “The Duck.”

    I honestly can’t think of a novel I read in 2012 that really stands out. Then again, I haven’t read that many novels in… a few years now, yikes. I did just trudge my way through my first William Faulkner novel, but the most I can say about that is I won’t ever have to do it again.

    I have bought a lot of music that I really like this year though, three of which were debut albums: Yuna, Ben Howard, and WALK THE MOON (holla Cincinnati!) come to mind right away.

    I also got *really* into This American Life.

  12. Eee, you read some great books! I saw the LIFE OF PI movie (loved it) and mean to read the book soon-ish. My friends read it back in high school and really liked it, so it’s been on my TBR forever. GONE GIRL is also on my TBR, but I’m still on the waiting list at my library; it is like a mile long. :P

    I’m so glad you enjoyed Scorpio Races! It was my favorite read of 2011, one of my new Forever Favorites, and it was what convinced me to give Maggie Stiefvater another chance (I had read Shiver and liked it okay). It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I loved the story and the writing. It gave me ALL THE FEELS, haha.

    Graceling was also a 2011 read I loved. I still need to read Bitterblue, even though I bought it ages ago.

    My favorite YA read was CODE NAME VERITY. I almost never cry at books and this one nearly did it. It’s even more amazing because it really does justice to the power of female friendship, not to mention both girl protagonists are strong in different ways, complex, and nuanced. Such a good book and especially rewarding if you’re a patient and careful reader. :)

    I also really liked SERAPHINA, THE RAVEN BOYS, VESSEL, SHADOWS ON THE MOON, and Laini Taylor’s follow-up DAYS OF BLOOD AND STARLIGHT. I just finished that a few weeks ago, and it was so good. I really liked DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE, but I had a few significant issues with it that would have affected my reading experience more if Laini Taylor weren’t such an excellent writer. Most of those doubts were put to rest with the sequel though.

  13. Sonje-
    I really enjoyed that duck story too. Thanks for pointing me to it! Woot for Cincy music, and oh, and I like the 3-4 Yuna songs I’ve heard as well.

    Krispy-
    Ooo, I just got CODE NAME VERITY for xmas!!

  14. Jon

    This list looks so good, I don’t even know where to start. I feel like I’m twenty years behind on contemporary lit!

  15. Lol yeah it’s impossible to keep up.

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