Monday, December 24, 2012

Top 10 of 2012: Best Books Read in 2012




I am taking part in this event, hosted by the bloggers at Fiktshun, A Life Bound By Books, Confessions of a Bookaholic, Two Chicks on Books and Magical Urban Fantasy Reads. Visit any of these links to see all the other bloggers taking part.




Trying to get this list down to only ten was very difficult, so I have cheated a little bit by counting a few series as single titles. Here they are, in no particular order:


A Song of Ice and Fire Series by George R.R. Martin is a long, long read, but very well worth it: it may even have replaced The Lord of the Rings as my favorite fantasy. It is driven by the wonderfully flawed and realistic characters who capture your heart and carry you with them as the try to survive in this grim world. Of course, special mention must go to The Mighty Tyrion, who is possibly my favorite character ever! You can read my reviews of the first four titles:   A Game Thrones   A Clash of Kings   A Storm of Swords   A Feast for Crows



The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson was a very pleasant surprise for me as I had never read his work before. I am now a firm convert to his writing and will be devouring all I can find over the next year. A big "Thank you!" to Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings for running the Read Along that introduced me to this series and author. You can read my reviews for the titles:   The Final Empire   The Well of Ascension   The Hero of Ages


  
The Gentleman Bastard Series by Scott Lynch. These will always have a special place in my heart because book one was my very first Read Along, led by the wonderful Redhead at the Little Red Reviewer. Locke is a wonderful character: devious, cunning and almost totally amoral and yet staunchly protective of his friends and a fierce rescuer of kittens. You can read my reviews of the titles:   The Lies of Locke Lamora   Red Seas Under Red Skies



The Simon’s Cat Quadrilogy by Simon Tofield are not really proper books, but they are hilarious, especially if you have ever been owned by a cat!






World War Z by Max Brooks was a reread for me this year, but I enjoyed it just as much the second time around. It is a very novel approach to the typical zombie title, being more of a social commentary than a horror story. The forthcoming film looks like it barely has any connection to the book, which is hardly surprising, because this is not your typical gore fest.







The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman was yet another great Read Along from Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings who was responsible for introducing me to Mr Gaiman's work with Neverwhere earlier in the year. This is a young adult title, but it is suitably dark and threatening, as one would expect from Mr Gaiman. The inversion of typical tropes combined with excellent writing and the basic outline of a fairy tale make this a wonderful read for all ages.







The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins was a winning choice for my book group, and we were all swept away by Katniss and her struggle for survival. I could have done without the romance element, but it did make sense in the plot. The death of Rue remains one of the more poignant moments of my reading year.




 




Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor was another book group selection that was a real winner. The central character, Karou, was very endearing and not as 'too stupid to live' as so many heroines. The writing is wonderfully evocative and the humor helps to lighten the tone. Zuzana is the best best friend that I have read for a long time. 








Range of Ghosts by Elizabeth Bear was an ARC that I received from Kristen at Fantasy Cafe that totally blew me away. This possibly the most impressive fantasy that I have read for many a year. It is set in a world that seems very Earth-like, but becomes less so as the book progresses and more details are revealed. 








The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley was yet another book group choice, and I was very pleased at how Mr Bradley handled the setting in England. The heroine, Flavia, is probably my favorite new character this year, especially because she reminds me so much of myself at that age!






I would also like to mention the other strong contenders:


The Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger has a great heroine and lots of humor. You can read my reviews:   Soulless   Changeless   Blameless




41 comments:

  1. Such great choices! Especially A Song of Ice and Fire and World War Z. I've been meaning to get to the Mistborn series, but I have to make my way through the Wheel of Time books first :) And I started Daughter of Smoke and Bone and somehow never got around to finishing it because of school; though I do remember how amazing I found it.

    Here's my top 10 for this year: http://bookshelf.shotgunopera.net/?p=2349
    Happy reading!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow, this looks like a great reading year! A Song of Ice and Fire, the two Scott Lynch books, The Graveyard Book, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and Range of Ghosts are all ones I would pick during the year I read them. And the Parasol Protectorate books are wonderful, too (and have been on my end of the year favorites lists before as well).

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm really looking forward to reading Game of Thrones next year as I've only heard good things and the TV show is epic! I loved Soulless and Dead Witch Walking too.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I actually need to read the Song of Fire and Ice series. A friend of mine keeps sending me Facebook messages and asks, constantly, if I have finally started them or not. XD


    Thank you for stopping by BE! :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ooo, so many great covers here! I haven't heard of a few, so I'll be off to check them out!
    I still need to read Daughter of Smoke and Bone - I feel like I'm the only one who hasn't, lol!
    Great list, thanks for sharing :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I also love the covers for ASoIaF! <3

    Thanks for stopping by my post! :D

    - Kazhy @ My Library in the Making

    ReplyDelete
  7. It looks like it will be good next year as well . . . but I am not sure that I can wait until 2015+ for The Winds of Winter . . . George really needs to write faster! :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Mistborn was a real eye opener for me but thoroughly enjoyable, with amazing characters and a wonderfully original magic system. :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. If you like the TV show you will love the books because they are actually better . . . although the show has done a decent job of adapting them. Be warned though: there are a lot fewer naked women! :D

    ReplyDelete
  10. Yes you do! They are wonderful and not as heavy going as I had expected because they are so character driven. Give them a go and then your friend will stop bugging you! :D

    ReplyDelete
  11. I see everyone else's lists and feel bad because there are so many books that I want to read, so you are not alone! :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. The one for The Winds of Winter is just as awesome . . . I just wish he'd write faster!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wow, I absolutely love your list! Lots of your series are on my tbr list for years now, but still haven't gotten to them :) I hope you'll read the rest of Neil Gaiman's works, they're all brilliant :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. So many great books on that list. I just started the GRR Martin saga last month and look forward to continuing with book 2. Scott Lynch was also my first Read Along and I enjoyed it so much. I have had The Wood Wife on my TBR list for a while. I really should check it out from the library.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh I have to check out The Graveyard Book and Range of Ghosts. Adding them to my TBR pile now! Thanks for checking out my list at Riffs and Reviews :-)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Ha ha! I love Simon's Cat! I even watch the little cartoons on YouTube.
    Thanks for stopping by Ketch's Book Nook!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I'm determined to get started on the Martin series this year! I'm even going to buddy read one to guilt myself into it ;)

    World War Z is one of my favourite Zombie books, I loved the interview style!

    Fab list :-D

    ReplyDelete
  18. Oooo, great picks! I love Brandon Sanderson and Scott Lynch. Looks like you read a lot of good books this year!


    Thanks for stopping by!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Great list! I read the Lies of Lock Lamora this year and really liked it! It was pretty original. A song of Ice and fire is AWESOME and the same goes for Daughter of smoke abd bone. Not to mention Hunger games.

    ReplyDelete
  20. This is a great list!! I haven't heard of a lot of those but they sound interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Love The Hunger Games and I have been meaning to read Daughter of Smoke and Bone for so long! Great list! :)

    Thanks for stopping by my post!

    ~Sara @ Forever 17 Books

    ReplyDelete
  22. The Sugar Queen caught my eye! I have a paperback coy of Soulless and still need to read it. Great choices.

    ReplyDelete
  23. God, I've been meaning to read The Parasol Protectorate for 6 months now, somehow I never get to it. I love your titles, some of them I didn't read yet but I've heart awesome things about!
    Great list!
    P.S.: New follower, loving your place :D

    ReplyDelete
  24. Nice list! I haven't read any of these but I'll be adding a lot to my TBR. Thanks so much for sharing! And thanks so much for following! I followed back :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. The Hunger Games! Loved that book!

    ReplyDelete
  26. the mistborn trilogy and range of ghost has been on my wishlist for a while

    ReplyDelete
  27. Great list! I loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone too, and I'm reading the second book of the Parasol Protectorate series right now :) I read The Hunger Games books last year or else they'd be on the list. You also have many books here that I've heard of and been meaning to read, like the Mistborn trilogy or Song of Ice And Fire - I've only seen the HBO series but have been wanting the books ever since. And I really need to read the Graveyard Book. It's embarrassing that I haven't!
    Thanks for stopping by my post earlier :) I followed back.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Thanks for stopping by my top 10 list. You read some really interesting books this year. I want to try the Game of Thrones series, and the Parosol Protectorate. I read The Hunger Games this year, and really enjoyed it as well. Here's hoping you have as many great reads in 2013!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Glad to see Hunger Games and Daughter of Smoke & Bone on there! I haven't read many on that list, although I do want to read Game of Thrones. I absolutely LOVE the Simon's Cat comics!!


    Thanks for stopping by :)

    ReplyDelete
  30. I love that GRRM is on the list! Love those books! Thanks for following, I returned the follow

    ReplyDelete
  31. New follower, There are a lot of books you have here that are on my tbr pile, and also some that I have read, great picks, thanks for stopping by.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Oh my gosh, okay.. I love your list! First, I LOVE the Kim Harrison series. It's one of my favorites! The Strain is a book I started to read when it was released, but then the book got misplaced. I never got around to finishing it. The Hunger Games... just yes! You have a lot of good ones!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Oh my stars! I'm going to have to check out the Simon's Cat books. I am seriously owned by a cat! LOL!

    ReplyDelete
  34. I've only read the first book in The Hunger Games trilogy but I loved it too. The book on your list I'm most looking forward to reading is Daughter of Smoke and Bone; it has a lot of fans :)

    ReplyDelete
  35. HI-five to the Song of Ice and Fire series! I too have been captured by these books and I'm currently, at this very moment, watching Game of Thrones. Literary brilliance I tell ya!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Great books. My sister gave me The Graveyard book recently, so I'll definitely have to bump that up on the list. Simon's Cat sounds perfect! I'll definitely look into that. Thanks for stopping by Proud Book Nerd! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  37. I LOVED The Parasol Protectorate manga series (give them a try if you haven't yet!), I might try the actual novel series and I'll be reading her new spin-off series Etiquette & Espionage. I also loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Mistborn (I really should finish the rest of the trilogy soon).

    Happy 2013 reading! :)

    ReplyDelete
  38. You cheated! *gasp* ;) I have only read Daughter of Smoke and Bone, am currently listening to The Hunger Games and recently bought, will be reading in Jan, A Game of Thrones. Will go check out the other books. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I haven't read all of these, but love The Hunger Games, and Daughter of Smoke, I also read Soulless, but I have to continue with the series.


    Thanks for stopping by!

    ReplyDelete
  40. I really need to read The Game of the Thrones series. Everyone is raving about it.

    ReplyDelete

Please let me know what you think, because comments make me happy!

Link Within

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...