Stacey’s Top Ten -or so- of 2012! (if you’re wondering…)

I love to look at these end-of-year lists, but it’s actually kind of hard to make my own! It’s like picking a favorite flavor of ice cream or saving out your favorite candies from the box of chocolates -all the choices will make you happy, but what are you in the mood for at the moment? Am I right? So, taking into consideration that this list is my *current* Top Ten of 2012 -and that we have three weeks before 2013 starts- here are some of my favorite titles I read during the year:

Most Talkative by Andy Cohen
I listened to this one -and I’m so glad! The author read his own memoirs, so hearing him read the letters he sent home from summer camp? Priceless! Plus, his references to pop culture were lots of fun.

Throw Out Fifty Things by Gail Blanke
More than a book about reducing the clutter from your house, this is also a book about clearing the clutter from your life and your mind. Inspiring and thought-provoking -really!

A Jane Austen Education: how six novels taught me about love, friendship, and things that really matter by William Deresiewicz
As a confirmed Janite, I’ll try just about anything that features Ms. Austen or her stories but that also means that I find myself being fairly critical of each new adaptation of her work(s). I enjoyed how well Mr. Deresiewicz was able to incorporate, learn, and find personal meaning from all of Austen’s novels.

Emperor’s Conspiracy by Michelle Diener
This is one of the the two books on my list that I have such a hard time explaining why I enjoyed it as much as I did. You’ll just have to trust me that this mystery, set in early nineteenth-century, has a lovely blend of intrigue and romance with characters you care about right away!

Overseas by Beatriz Williams
This is the second of the two books… Part of my difficulty in explaining why I liked it so much would be that a major part of the story involves time travel -something I generally don’t enjoy. Except in this story. I found the characters charming, the explanation of time travel acceptable, and the lengthiness to be almost not long enough.

Walnut Tree by Charles Todd
It’s hard to imagine a book about World War I being a sweet book, but here it is!

The Ashford Affair by Lauren Willig
This one is not part of the author’s Pink Carnation series, so readers who are new to the author can jump right into this book without feeling like they’ve missed something. Plus? It’s just a fun, interesting, clever book with multiple settings, time periods, and storylines that keep the pages turning.

Aimed at teens (but fearless adults will enjoy these too!):
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
If 1984 by George Orwell made you stop and think, this book will make you sleepless! The technology and how it’s being used (or abused) by the people in charge -in the name of safety- should be required reading! By everyone!

Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses by Ronald Koertge
Odd, dark, funny, and fast reading, the author has provided a twisted, updated version of familiar fairy tales.

Cinder by Marrisa Meyer
If Cinderella were a cyborg… Oh wait, Cinderella *is* a cyborg in this story! Do you need any other reason to rush to the shelf for this one?

Divergent (and Insurgent) by Veronica Roth
A future world, divided into five distinct cultures that have each focused on only one particular trait: intelligence, peace, daring, selflessness, honesty. Both books (with more to come) are chock-full of action, adventure, observations on how society structures function, and learning about who you are/want to be, plus there’s a little romance!

You’ll find this one in the children’s section:
Horten’s Miraculous Mechanisms: magic, mystery, and a very strange adventure by Lissa Evans
It looks small and unassuming -sort of like the main character- but there’s a great mystery, lovable characters, and illustrations for the reader smart enough to sleuth this one out of the crowd. Bonus? There’s already a second book in the series!

Ta-dah! And if you’ve been paying attention… This year, like last year, I 100% -and on purpose- chose a variety of genres! I also read new favorites from authors who I had on my 2011 list, and decided not to repeat anyone. Not only did all this help me narrow down my list, I like to think it means there’s a greater chance more people might be able to find something of interest. Of course, I’d also like to add this disclaimer: There are so many books I thoroughly enjoyed that are not on this list -Ask me! Otherwise… how’d I do?

Most importantly… Here’s wishing you all -always!- a Happy Year in Reading!

— Stacey


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