"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sunday Salon...Favorite Books of 2012

Top books of 2012.

Here is my list of all books read this year.

Favorites with a brief rationale each by category:

1. The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dustbowl by Timothy Egan...before reading this book I knew very little about the Dustbowl. Egan made this bit of American history come alive by including information from survivors.

2. What is the Least I Can Believe and Still Be a Christian? By Martin Thielen...I know this title is very intriguing. I actually used this book as a study tool for a Christian Ed. class. It was helpful in framing my thinking and ability to articulate my beliefs, especially in an election year.

3. Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game that Made a Nation by John Carlin...a fascinating look at Mandela and how he used Rugby to remake South Africa into a new nation without any bloodshed.

Adult Fiction:
1. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline...I don't think I've been more excited about a book ever.  This book feeds the geek in me.  I've told everyone who will listen to read it.

2. State of Wonder by Ann Pratchett... I love Pratchett's writing style even though I am completely determined to NEVER go to the Amazon after reading this book. Ha!

3. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern...A magical circus, a contest between two talented magicians, and an everlasting love story.  What's not to like?

Young Adult Fiction
1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green...this was my favorite book of the year. Two teens with cancer form a relationship and find a spot in the world for themselves. I was captivated from page one.

2. Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater...a horse race with magical water horses and a love story set on a wind swept island off the Scottish coast. The setting came to life for me , as if I was actually present at the Scorpio race.

3. Dying to Know You by Aidan Chambers... a young man with dyslexia asks a local author to help him write a love letter to his girlfriend. So begins a friendship that ultimately saves both men.

*Dodger by Terry Pratchett...I am only half finished with this book and I doubt I'll get it done by tomorrow so I can't really count it as a 2012 book, but I am really enjoying it.  Pratchett is a master. This book makes me laugh.

Young Adult Fantasy
1. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman...this book won this category hands down. Dragons, humans, and half dragons. A fully conceptualized world. Very satisfying.

2. Cinder by Marissa Meyer...a futuristic Cinderella retelling. I can't wait for the sequel.

3. Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers...an assassin nun.  Need I say more?

Audiobooks (of books not listed above):
1. Peace Like a River by Lief Enger, read by Chad Lowe... a family in crisis. The oldest son commits a crime, the father trusts in God and his miracles, the daughter writes cowboy poetry, and the youngest son is the witness to it all. This is a reread/relisten. I am a huge fan.

2. The Old Kingdom trilogy (Sabriel, Lirael, Abhorssen) by Garth Nix, read by Tim Curry...this is high fantasy at it's best. I loved the whole series and was sad when I finished it.

3. Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, read by Will Patton...recognize the author? I am a Stiefvater fan and this book, the first of a trilogy has it all, mystery, love, and a bit of paranormal activity. Will Patton is one of my favorite voice actors. I could listen to him forever.

Poetry or books written in verse
1. October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard by Leslea Newman... Matthew Shepard was a young homosexual who was killed because of his sexual orientation. This book is dedicated to him and his legacy. Very moving.

2. God Went to Beauty School by Cynthia Rylant...even thinking about this book makes me smile.  If God went to beauty school he'd focus on hands. Hands, one of his best creations. Actually very funny.

3. The Good Braider by Terry Farish...a story of survival in Darfur and immigration to the USA. Thought provoking.

Graphic Novels
1. Mirrormask by Neil Gaiman...an artistic gem.

2. Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral... scrapbook style book. Reading this was like telling myself a story.

3. Pyongyang: a Journey in North Korea by Guy Delisle...a graphic biography/memoir about the artist's experiences in North Korea.

So many books. So little time. What were your favorite books of 2012?


  1. I can't wait to have time to read Ready Player One. I started it but had to set it aside for a bit and I keep hearing these massively great things about it!

    100% agree about TFIOS. From experience I can say he has the whole 'cancer' dichotomy spot on!

  2. Great list of books! Pyongyang was really interesting and I had fun reading Cinder

  3. Cinder was a book that I really enjoyed reading this year. I can't wait for book two to come out. I started reading The Worst Hard Time a few months ago but had to stop because of finals. Reading your post reminds me that I need to get back to it. Great list.

  4. Yay for Ready Player One! And I really should read State of Wonder soon, it sounds good!

    Happy New Year!

  5. There are many books in your list that I really want to read. I'm glad that you enjoyed them.

    Chopsticks sounds terrific :)


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