December 30, 2012

Quirky Bookworm's Best Books of 2012

It's time! The 2012 wrap-up you've all been breathlessly waiting for!

Best Books of 2012

First, one quick clarification, they weren't all published in 2012. They're just the 10 best books I read this year. Right now, out of 149. But... I'm almost done with The Elusive Pimpernel, so it should be the best 10 out of 150 by tomorrow!

Remember in July when I shared my 10 Best Books I've Read So Far in 2012?

Well, I took five books from that list, and then five from the second half of the year. And I restricted myself to only one book by each author, or else about 4 of my 10 would have been by Deborah Crombie.

So, without further ado, here are the 10 lucky winners for the year.


Best Use of the Civil War - Confederates in the Attic  by Tony Horwitz. I'm a new Horwitz fan - I like his wry, vaguely intellectual style. And, having lived in the south for nine years, I knew a few rabid Confederate fans - but nothing like the people he encounters in this book! Some of his stories are absolutely unbelievable.

Best Ironic Narrator - Northanger Abbey  by Jane Austen. So, for all that I claim to be an Austen-phile, I really was mostly a PrideandPrejudicephile. I've read that book at least a half dozen times, but I read Northanger Abbey  for the first time this year, and loved it!

Most Lovey-Dovey - The Scorpio Races  by Maggie Stiefvater. I keep telling everyone to read this book! It has a gorgeous Irish island, an irresistible horse-trainer, a stubborn, plucky heroine and, of course, man-eating horses. What's not to love? (This is one of those books that sounds silly when you describe it, but it's wonderful. Go read it!)

Best Use of an Irish Accent - Faithful Place  by Tana French. This is the best audiobook I listened to so far this year. I really, really loved it, even though the plot was ridiculous, because the audio production was so good.

Most Likely to Require a Tissue - The Fault in Our Stars  by John Green. Sniff. Sob. I love Augustus and Hazel. Such a sweet, sad story. Read more of my lunatic ravings about this book here.

Best Use of Duncan and Gemma - Where Memories Lie by Deborah Crombie. This one is a close tie with The Sound of Broken Glass, also by Crombie. Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James are drawn into investigating a series of murders whose roots lie in a terrible crime committed during WWII. As usual, brilliant and haunting.

Best Historical Fiction - Song of the Voyageur by Beverly Butler. Set in 'Ouisconsin' - this tells the story of French fur traders and pioneers surviving the cold, brutal conditions of the upper Midwest. It's sweet and engrossing - with a nice little romance (a very innocent, YA-ish one), and some surprising details about life in that era. 

Most Likely to Make You Go On an Adventure - Gone-Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright. I also had a hard time narrowing down the kid books I read this year, thanks to October's 31 Days of Awesome Kids' Books. But you can't go wrong with a classic author like Enright, and Julian and Portia's adventures were just too fun.

Best Link to Meg Ryan - Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild. Since reading this one, I've gone on to read 2 other Streatfeild books. They're superb kid fic, centered around life in the theatrical arts in the 1930s and 1940s in London. Such charming little books, I can't believe I didn't read these as a kid.

Best Mystery - The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton. I almost went with Gone Girl, but I feel a little more comfortable recommending The Secret Keeper to a wide audience. I really loved it, as you probably remember. Again a mystery that flashes back to WWII, but focusing on one family's secret from that era.

Hm. I'm noticing several themes here: I read a LOT of kid and YA books in 2012, hence why 5 of my 10 fall into those categories. 3 of the 10 are mysteries, and 2 of those 3 have ties to WWII. 

I feel so boring. Perhaps I'll have to revise my 2013 reading goals a bit to add in some new genres! (Oh, and speaking of: I'll be sharing my reading goals with you later this week).

What are the best books YOU read in 2012? 
Did you write a post about it? Leave a link in the comments!

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