It’s time for one of my favorite top 10 lists of the year: the best books I read in 2012. This year my reading varied widely in quality from the absolutely amazing to the frustrating and dull. That’s to be expected, of course; but fortunately, it was very easy for me to come up with 10 books that I really liked! Here they are, in no particular order:
1. Maggie Stiefvater, The Scorpio Races — Absolutely my favorite book of 2012, and maybe one of my favorite books of all time! The wild, strange setting of Thisbe enchanted me, and I loved the slow-burning romance between protagonists Sean and Puck.
2. Elizabeth Wein, Code Name Verity — My other favorite book of 2012. It’s either tied with The Scorpio Races or a very, very, very close second. It’s a wonderful WWII adventure story, as well as a portrait of the close relationship between two best friends. It’s also told in a unique and interesting way that packs a huge emotional punch.
3. Poul Anderson, The High Crusade — Good writing, a kick-ass premise, and unexpected character depth made this book a pleasure to read. I’m not big on aliens in general, but when they land on Earth in the middle of the Crusades, well, color me intrigued!
4. Jean Webster, Daddy-Long-Legs — An adorable book that is destined to become a lifelong comfort read. It’s sweet and old-fashioned and reminds me a lot of Anne of Green Gables.
5. Sarah Addison Allen, The Sugar Queen — A delicious book in more ways than one. Main character Josey comes out of her shell and finds true love amidst the lush, magical backdrop of a small North Carolina town.
6. Kathryn Miller Haines, The War Against Miss Winter — I really enjoyed this book’s unique approach to the World War II period. Rather than using the setting as a shortcut to manipulate the reader’s emotions (as I think some WWII books do), this book simply treats it as the grim everyday background of the characters’ lives. The novel also has a great twist ending!
7. Josephine Tey, Brat Farrar — Books set in English country houses are my not-so-guilty pleasure, and this novel has a wonderful setup The protagonist is a con man pretending to be the long-lost son of the family, but he soon finds himself changing in response to their kindness.
8. Jennifer Echols, Such a Rush — I really like Echols’ romantic dramas in general, but this is one of her best. I loved main character Leah and her passion for flying airplanes. She’s deeply flawed but strong as hell and determined to succeed in life. Also, the romance is wonderful, both sexy and sweet.
9. Rainbow Rowell, Attachments — This book is a delightful romantic comedy with old-fashioned flair. The love story is given a unique twist in that the hero falls in love with the heroine through reading her email conversations with her best friend, even though he’s never met her in person.
10. Helene Hanff, 84, Charing Cross Road — A must-read for every bibliophile! This collection of letters between the American Hanff and a reserved British bookseller is funny and witty and smart and charming and just amazing! It’s a real testament to literature and its ability to create lasting friendships.