Best Reads 2012

I didn’t read as much as I wanted to, this year and I still have a stack of books on my pile just waiting to be read. Luckilyy, while my reading list was short, it was packed with awesome. Here is a short list of  my #bestreads2012

The Ghost in Love by Jonathan Caroll

There are some books that you read at exactly the right time in your life. This happened to be one of them. The book is funny (the ghost is a gourmet chef and watches the food network obsessively), crazy (the angel of death manifests in a fried egg), and deeply philosophical at the same time (Caroll has some wise words about love). I’m not sure I’ll ever wrap my head around it completely.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland  by Catherynne Valente

I haven’t read a book so full of imagination in a long time. It is now one of my favorite books ever. I smiled, and I laughed all the way through, but it was also spiced with very adult sadness, tragedy, and blood. Fairyland is not a forgiving place. Valente perfectly balanced the tale to appeal to both young kids and adults. The end made me teary, and hopeful, and happy at the same time. I’m looking forward to more adventures in fairyland. This is also a book that would be a delight to read aloud.

Lavinia by Ursula LeGuin

This book destroyed me and it took a few days to recover. It is a historical novel, written from the point of view of a minor character in one of Virgil’s poems. The writing is musical, almost hypnotic, capturing the feel of a poem. It also a tragedy. I think few people could have pulled this off with such grace.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

This novel is a YA that doesn’t read like it was written down, or made simpler for the audience. This was the most fun I had reading a novel in a long time. I tore through it in a couple of days. Taylor’s dialogue is awesome, the characters are engaging, intriguing. The book is not what I expected it would be. Taylor pulls no punches, and throws her characters into the absolute worst situations possible.

So those are mine. What books surprised you this year?


  1. I’m still very new to LeGuin. One of her books will make my list, too. Went through three of them this year. Need to polish off Left Hand of Darkness and Lathe of God in 2012.

    And I know exactly what you mean about reading the right book at the right time in your life! Those are wonders, or some times, terrors.

  2. I was thinking about this the other day. The book I needed that came at exactly the right time is non-fiction, The Sound of Paper, by Julia Cameron (of The Artist’s Way). It’s about writer’s block, which I had, but it helped me get through the grief and change and fear that was behind the block, all while talking about writer’s block and not those other things.

  3. I’m planning to do a 2012 Year In Reading recap post soon, so I’ll share what I’ve read at that time.

    The first Fairyland book is still high on my To Read list. I’m not sure what I’ll get to in 2013, yet, but I’m sure I’ll take the time to read it soon.

  4. SO glad you enjoyed DOSAB. 🙂

    And I’ve heard mixed things about THE GIRL WHO CIRCUMNAVIGATED FAIRYLAND, but it was written as an online serial around the same time as I was doing TWENTY-SOMEWHERE, so that makes me feel a certain fondness for it, hehe. I should probably read the actual book at some point. 😛

    I’ll be doing my “best of 2012” post soon, but for now I’ll just say that THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green is, despite being over-exposed, also on my list. I also discovered Melina Marchetta this year, and Maggie Stiefvater’s THE SCORPIO RACES.

  5. Topping my list – Charity Shumway’s TEN GIRLS TO WATCH. It’s one I bought primarily due to a blurb and the jacket copy, and it’s become my favorite of anything I’ve read all year. SO GOOD.

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