Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Favorite reads of 2012

Well it's the time of the year, dear readers! The time when we all go through the books we read this year and come up with our list of favorites.

It's been a good reading year for me, although I don't think I'd be going beyond 100 books. So far, I've read  83 books and I don't think I'll be adding more to that this month.

I've rounded up my 10 favorite reads: 9 fiction (all novels) and 1 nonfiction (philosophy). Out of the 9 fiction reads, 4 are from debut novelists! Woot woot for outstanding debut fiction!

Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Laini Taylor
As I mentioned, this was a surprise favorite. I was never into this YA paranormal genre. It's a reflection on the horrors of war as well. The 2nd book is good too.
How Proust Can Change Your Life
Alain de Botton
I love all of de Botton's books, but this one is a favorite. You don't even need to have read Proust when you read it. This book, however, makes you want to.
Melmoth the Wanderer
Charles Robert Maturin
This is possibly the longest Gothic novel that I've read, and the most satisfying, and the hardest to describe.
The Sisters Brothers
Patrick DeWitt
This comedic but heartfelt Western, a finalist for last year's Booker Prize, is one entertaining read. If you've never read a Western, this will make you a fan.
The Age of Miracles
Karen Thompson Walker
Part sci-fi, coming-of-age, and family drama. How fitting that I should read this in 2012, as it tackles apocalyptic themes.
The Patrick Melrose Novels
Edward St. Aubyn
This is actually a compilation of the first 4 Patrick Melrose novels, which I devoured one after another in less than a week.
The Rook
Daniel O'Malley
This is probably the funniest novel I've read recently. It's like X-Men meets Harry Potter meets Ghostbusters.
War Horse
Michael Morpugo
The only children's book to make it to my list this year. And it also tackles the horrors of war.
Where'd You Go, Bernadette?
Maria Semple
This reminds me of Special Topics in Calamity Physics, which is another favorite read. Semple's narrative, however, is just so unconventional.
The Song of Achilles
Madeline Miller
The one book that I keep pushing to my friends. I think it's the best love story that I've read ever.

So there you go, dear readers, my 10 favorite books of 2012. I won't tell you yet which is my favorite among these 10 books, nor the books that I absolutely hated this year. That's for another post.


David Wagner said...

Good list. I think of all those, I recall reading the sample chapters of The Rook and The Sisters Brothers... I may track down the Patrick Melrose Novels and The Song of Achilles based on your recommendation.

I think my favorite books (that weren't re-reads) this year were The Riddler's Gift by Greg Hammerton (and the sequel Second Sight) and Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence.

Thanks for posting. Let the Favorites Lists Begin!

Peter S. said...

Thanks too, David! I'll look up those 2 titles you mentioned!

Kaz said...

Interesting list! I've not kept track of all mine...so disorganised.

Posted on a Dianna Wynne Jones - thought of you while I was writing...suggest you go hunt a copy - it's quite utterly delightful!

Peter S. said...

I'll check it out, Kaz!

Ryan said...

I really want to read Melmoth the Wanderer at some point in time. I did read The Castle of Otranto this year and bought The Monk, but haven't read it yet. I'm trying to read these early Gothic novels.

Peter S. said...

Hello, Ryan.

The Monk is also one of my favorites. In fact, I think I like The Monk better than Melmoth the Wanderer. I hope you find the time to read these classics of Gothic fiction. They're really great reads.

bennardfajardo said...

There are a lot of books here that I want to read especially Sisters Brothers and Song of Achilles.

Peter S. said...

Those are really enjoyable novels, Bennard!

Mrs. B. said...

Interesting list! Song of Achilles made my list too! Now I want to read Smoke and Bone and The Rook (both sound strange though).

Peter S. said...

Hi, Mrs B! As of now, my best read is a toss-up between The Song of Achilles and Melmoth the Wanderer. I still have to decide!