My Favorite Reads of 2012

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I read two or three books a week and I keep track of everything I read in a small, alphabetized notebook… a handy reference when I browse the shelves of the library, The Book Man, or the internet.

Here, in no particular order, with a pint-sized comments about each, are my favorite fiction reads of this year:

  • ANGELA’S ASHES, ‘TIS, & TEACHER MAN  by Frank McCourt.  The voice of the first book drew me into the world of sadness and loss. I read nothing else until I had finished the trilogy… and wished for more when I was done.
  • OLIVE KITTERIDGE by Elizabeth Strout. I felt so close to Strout’s characters that I could hear the thump of their hearts.
  • THE THIRTEENTH TALE by Diane Setterfield. A trek back into the world of nineteenth century literature… Jane Eyre style. A haunting story.
  • FALL ON YOUR KNEES by Anne-Marie MacDonald. Dark. So dark. A cavern, spiralling down, down, down. I couldn’t stop reading.
  • THE NEIGHBOR by Lisa Gardner. On the surface, the family was perfect. But the wife disappears… My heart was pounding from beginning to end. Gardner is a master of suspense.
  • FREEDOM by Jonathan Franzen. Powerfully-written epic of contemporary life. Funny and tragic.
  • THE GLASS CASTLE by Jeannette Walls. A memoir of survival and resilience, remarkably told.
  • MY SISTER’S KEEPER by Jodi Picoult. Sensitive and inspiring story told by the characters. Stunning ending.
  • THE PILOT’S WIFE by Anita Shreve. Enjoyable, absorbing read. Great plots turns. Details drew me into the story.

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  • THE ACCIDENTAL TOURIST by Anne Tyler. Very real, touching moments. Have to admit that there was one character I hated… but the writing was superb.
  • THE LOVELY BONES by Alice Sebold. Stunning, haunting tale. Drawn in by the first paragraph.
  • THE POISONWOOD BIBLE by Barbara Kingsolver. The individual voices of the family members were magnetic. A powerful story that stayed with me for a long time.
  • MADAME BOVARY by Gustav Flaubert. An old favorite that I revisit from time to time. An immortal story.
  • TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee. An unforgettable story about the nature of human kind.
  • THE CRIMSON PETAL AND THE WHITE by Michel Faber. A lugubrious crawl and salacious romp through the streets of Dickensian London. Nearly 900 pages… yet I did not want it to end!
  • WHO HAS SEEN THE WIND by W. O. Mitchell. A stunning story of a young boy’s search for meaning in life, told in simple, musical language. I felt the vastness and loneliness of prairie and the omnipresence of the wind…

All done… except for the fact that there appears to be a hierarchy to this list after all. My top two favorites are THE CRIMSON PETAL AND THE WHITE (I had so much fun reading it) and WHO HAS SEEN THE WIND (can’t figure out how I got this far in life without having read this book!)

That’s it. All done. Maybe you will add some of these to your reading list. Any suggestions for my 2013 list?

My notebook is at the ready…shutterstock_118555885

Happy Reading!

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6 thoughts on “My Favorite Reads of 2012
    • Hope you read and enjoy some of those books! Right now, in this new year, I am looking for new reads. It’s been a while since I found a story that I could simply fall into… Any suggestions would be appreciated!
      Happy New Year!

      • Here are my favorite books of all time. You’ve probably read most of them, but just in case, I thought I’d list them. You might get something out of them:

        Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
        Ask the Dust – John Fante
        Women – Charles Bukowski
        Post Office – Charles Bukowski
        Ham on Rye – Charles Bukowki (I’m a big Charles Bukowski fan)
        Slaughterhouse Five – Kurt Vonnegut
        The Sirens of TItan – Kurt Vonnegut
        One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest – Ken Kesey
        A Confederacy of Dunces – Robert Kennedy Toole
        Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – Robert Pirsig
        Sophie’s World – Justine Gaarder
        Hearts in Atlantis – Stephen King
        The Gunslinger Series – Stephen King
        The Stand – Stephen King (with hesitation due to the ending)
        (note: these are not horror Stephen King books. I do not like his horror novels)
        Any of the first seven Stephanie Plum novels – Janet Evanovich
        The Lost Symbol – Dan Brown (although I hate to admit it)
        Confessions of a Shopaholic (my dirty little secret, but I like chicklit)

        That’s all I can think of right now. I enjoyed all those books immensely. There’s probably one or two on that list you haven’t read. Maybe not. I now how much of a voracious reader you are 🙂 ! I read one book every two months or, and it’s usually a non-fiction book on writing or public speaking or something. You read like two or three novels a WEEK, don’t you? I envy that. My brain doesn’t work the way yours does.


        • That’s quite an extensive list… and there are a few that I have not read. I will add them to my notebook and seek them out the next time I visit the library or The Book Man. Yes, I read a lot. Always have. Mostly fiction… but I also read many books on the art of writing and the art of life (Tolle, Chopra, etc.)
          Thanks for all the suggestions!

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