This week’s Top Ten Tuesday asks us to list our all-time favorite books from the past three years. I love this topic, but I found it unexpectedly difficult to create my list. I’ve had the same list of all-time, desert-island favorite books since my teens, probably, and it’s very rare that I’ll add a new book to that pantheon. I have a theory that we all tend to latch onto books the hardest in our early teens, and those books become our all-time favorites for life. I first read Pride and Prejudice at age 12, for example, and I will always love it the most, no matter what other amazing books come into my life. So I must admit, not all of the books on this list are all-time, desert-island favorites; but they are all books I really enjoyed and will undoubtedly read again (if I haven’t already!). Here they are, in the order in which I read them:
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 Thisby enchanted me, and I loved the slow-burning romance between protagonists Sean and Puck. My review is here.
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. My review is here.
3. 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. My review is here.
4. 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. My review is here.
5. Mary Doria Russell, Doc — This book is not only a great Western (and I don’t really care about Westerns) but a great work of historical fiction. I felt transported to Dodge City in the late 19th century, and it was one heck of an interesting ride! My review is here.
6. Kate Ross, Whom the Gods Love — Honestly, why aren’t ALL novels about Regency dandies who also solve murder mysteries? I mean, seriously. My review is here.
7. Chris Wooding, Retribution Falls — I was very pleasantly surprised by this sci-fi novel, which I’d picked up several years ago when Borders was going out of business. With its anti-hero airship captain and a ragtag crew of misfits, it reminded me strongly of “Firefly,” and that can only be a good thing! My review is here.
8. Connie Willis, Miracle and Other Christmas Stories — I loved this collection of Christmas-themed short stories with a speculative twist. There’s a lovely variety of genres in this book, from a screwball romantic comedy to an alien invasion tale to an apocalyptic retelling of the Epiphany story. I can definitely see myself re-reading this book every year during the holidays. My review is here.
9. Genevieve Valentine, The Girls at the Kingfisher Club — This is a wonderfully unique retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses fairy tale, set in New York City during the Roaring Twenties. I loved that each of the 12 sisters had her own distinct personality, and I really enjoyed the setting as well. My review is here.
10. Jandy Nelson, I’ll Give You the Sun — I honestly think this book cast a spell on me somehow. I adored the vivid writing style and loved watching the story of Noah and Jude slowly unfold. My review is here.