Top Ten Reads of 2012

You guys, I have had such an awesome reading year! I have read 345 books, and picking only 10 was CRAZY hard. (Which is why I snuck in some honorable mentions at the bottom of the post…)

Keep in mind, these are the best books I read in 2012 – but some of them weren’t actually published in 2012. Also, miraculously enough, I think these are more or less in order…

Top Ten of 2012 Part 1

  • Kindling the Moon by Jenn Bennett. This was a pretty slow year as far as paranormal romance/urban fantasy goes – the Arcadia Bell series being the one major exception. Definitely a new favorite for me, easily equaling my love for Kate Daniels and the Chicagoland Vampires. Magicians and demonology meets great characters meets great plotting. I can’t wait for the third book to be released in a few months! Goodreads / Amazon
  • The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare. Why didn’t I read this when I was a kid, you guys? MAJOR FAIL on my part. Fantastic children’s historical novel with a great setting and wonderful characterization. Goodreads / Amazon
  • I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga. I had high expectations for this book, and I wasn’t disappointed in the slightest. A teenage kid afraid he is predisposed to life as a serial killer trying to catch an actual serial killer? Enter in hemophiliacs and wary cops and a scary-to-the-bone father…pure magic, y’all. I am dying for the sequel. Goodreads / Amazon

Top Ten of 2012 Part 2

  • Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. I know the dude is like the Chick-fil-A of authors, and that is why I put off reading this for as long as I did…but SERIOUSLY. I can’t help it, this book is just good. Great, even. Also, I really don’t have any desire to continue with the series because this stands alone perfect as-is. I am definitely looking forward to seeing how the movie adaptation goes! Goodreads / Amazon
  • The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. Another book that was able to blow away what were already incredibly high expectations. You guys seriously have to read this if you haven’t already. Be prepared to see Achilles in a way you never have before. Goodreads / Amazon
  • Lovely, Dark and Deep by Amy McNamara. I am a sucker for beautiful writing, and this was probably the most gorgeously written book I picked up all year. Lyrical and poetic and breathtaking. Goodreads / Amazon

Top Ten of 2012 Part 3

  • The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R King. A friend of mine on Goodreads recommended this to me years ago, and I’ll be kicking myself over not picking it up sooner for a long time. Beyond fantastic characterization – Sherlock Holmes finally meets his match! Goodreads / Amazon
  • The Emperor’s Soul by Brandon Sanderson. This is the first year I’ve really given novellas a chance – and I am seriously glad I did. In less than 200 pages, Brandon Sanderson was able to blow my mind. The coolest magical system I read all year, hands down. I would give a lot for more set in this world, you guys. I HIGHLY recommend this one – there is an incredible amount of story packed into a very short book. Goodreads / Amazon
  • The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay. Ever since reading the prologue, I have been putting the full force of my book pushing abilities behind this book. There was crying, there was disbelief and there was awe. I am so in love with these characters that I can barely form coherent thoughts about them. Goodreads / Amazon

Death in the Floating City by Tasha Alexander

  • Death in the Floating City by Tasha Alexander. I’m actually still in awe of this one, you guys. If you’ve known me for long, you know how much I adore the Lady Emily series – it was already on my favorites list before I picked this up. I still wasn’t prepared for how amazing this new installment would be. Tasha Alexander was so inspired by the city of Venice and it shows on every single page. The characters, story, writing – EVERYTHING – was elevated because of it. Brilliant. Brilliant. Brilliant. Goodreads / Amazon

**************

Honorable Mentions

Black Ships by Jo Graham / A Matter of Magic by Patricia C. Wrede / Firelight by Kristen Callihan / Cross My Heart by Sasha Gould / Luck in the Shadows by Lynn Flewelling / Grace Grows by Shelle Sumners / The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle / Survive by Alex Morel / Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson

{ 6 comments… add one }
  • April Books & Wine December 31, 2012, 10:46 am

    I guess this means I need to FINALLY purchase The Song of Achilles, eh?

    AND OMG I WILL GET ON LOVELY DARK AND DEEP.

    AND LADY EMILY.

    All of them.
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  • Kat @ A Myriad of Books December 31, 2012, 11:18 am

    Wow, 345 books! That’s nearly one for every day of the year, I’m in awe! I loved The Song of Achilles and Ender’s Game I read a long time ago (don’t really remember it– must read again for the movie!) Lovely Dark and Deep is one I’ve never heard of, but it sounds fantastic. Hope you get to read just as many great books in 2013.
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  • Amy @ Turn the Page December 31, 2012, 11:21 am

    I love coming across Top 10s where it’s not just the heavily hyped books I already know about 🙂

    You list is great and has encouraged me to pick up I Hunt Killers and Song of Achilles. I also love the look of Death in the Floating City and The Witch of Blackbird Pond – two I hadn’t heard of before 🙂

    Happy New Year!

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  • Angie December 31, 2012, 1:30 pm

    Lovely, lovely list, Allison! I’m still all tickled about your love for the Mary Russell books. And I’m delighted you read and loved THE WITCH OF BLACKBIRD POND and ENDER’S GAME this year as well. Such wonderful books.

    I got KINDLING THE MOON for Christmas. Excited to dive into that series!
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  • Redhead December 31, 2012, 10:28 pm

    yay for Enders Game and The Emperor’s Soul! that was my first Sanderson, and holy cow was it amazing! I’ve read Enders Game a few times over the years, i should really reread it and review it one of these days.

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  • Chachic January 3, 2013, 8:04 am

    I also love Ender’s Game! I’m so glad to see it in your best of 2012 list. Just in time for the movie’s release this year. 😛
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