Top Ten of 2012

Here are my tops:

1. Living in Gratitude by Angeles Arrien

2.  Gilded Shroud by Elizabeth Bailey

3.  Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron

4.  Have You Seen Marie by Sandra Cisneros

5.  700 Sundays by Billy Crystal

6.  Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier

7.  Elephant Keeper’s Children by Peter Hoeg

8.  Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry

9.  Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple

10. Detective Inspector Huss by Helene Tursten

I think there’s something for everyone in this list, give ’em a whirl!


Twelve for Twelve

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My top favorite books read during 2012 are-
Gone Girl– Gillian Flynn  “Delightfully wicked”
The Informationist– Taylor Stevens  “Vanessa Michael Munroe is one tough cookie”
Broken Harbor– Tana French  “Creepy and dark”
Colo’s Story : the Life of One Grand Gorilla- Nancy Roe-Pimm  “Colo rules!”
The Twelve– Justin Cronin  “Beware of the virals”
The Butterfly’s Daughter– Mary Alice Monroe  “A girls’ road trip”
The Expats- Chris Pavone–  “Spies, spies everywhere”
Lone Wolf– Jodi Picoult  “A howling good read”
Defending Jacob– William Landay  “Guilty, or not guilty?”
Dawn Patrol- Don Winslow  “Surf’s up”
The Call– Yannick Murphy  “CALL: Looking for a great book; ACTION: Read this”
12/22/63– Stephen King  “Change the past, change the world”
Ever by My Side– Nick Trout BONUS TITLE  “Vets are pet parents too”


Don’t Shelve These Books from 2012

Keep them handy to enjoy like candy!

Fiction Titles:

A Surrey State of Affairs by Ceri Radford
A Place in Time: Twenty Stories of the Port William Membership by Wendell Berry
A Killing in the Hills by Julia Keller
Mrs. Queen Takes the Train by William M. Kuhn
The Buzzard Table by Margaret Maron
India Black and the Widow of Windsor by Carol K. Carr
A Christmas Garland by Anne Perry

Nonfiction Titles:

America’s Other Audubon by Joy Kiser
Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity, and the Perfect Knuckleball by R.A. Dickey
Visiting Tom: a Man, a Highway, and the Road to Roughneck Grace by Michael Perry
The Bluebird Effect: Uncommon Bonds with Common Birds by Julie Zickefoose
Open Heart by Elie Wiesel


Top Ten of 2012

Here are some of the books I loved in 2012 and why:

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon—for reminding me of the magic of books and their powerful impact on my everyday

The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon—for continued, masterful storytelling

The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon—for brilliantly twisting the narrative of the characters and places I’ve grown very fond of—extra points for the Cemetery of Forgotten Books!

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn—holey moley

Girl Walks Into a Bar by Rachel Dratch—as funny as I expected

This Will Make You Smarter by Edited John Brockman—for over 150 scientific concepts (had to pass on some) but each typically two- to three-pages long so enough to give me something to ponder without making my head explode

The One World School House: Education Reimagined by Salman Khan—made me want to go back and do it all over again

Portrait of a Novel by Michael Gorra—written like fiction about the creation of one of my favorite fictions, The Portrait of a Lady

Canada by Richard Ford—for his style

Kayak Morning by Roger Rosenblatt—for helping me feel the healing powers of nature

~ Chris

My Top 12 of ’12!

I read many great books in 2012. Below are my top 10 (plus 2!) of 2012, in no particular order of fabulous-ness. Feel free to read and enjoy them all.
The Chaperone
The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty

11/22/63 by Stephen King. Yes, technically this came out out at the end of 2011, but as I read it in ’12, it made the cut.

The Diviners by Libba Bray

Arcadia by Lauren Groff

A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash

where'd you go
Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple

The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving by Jonathan Evison

Heft by Liz Moore

Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

Heading Out to Wonderful by Robert Goolrick

Trail of the Spellmans: Document #5 by Lisa Lutz

The Rook by Daniel O’Malley

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