The year 2012 is drawing to an end. It’s been a good year for me (hey, my first novel was published this year!), but I’m definitely looking forward to the new energy of 2013. Of course, many of us look back at the year as the new one dawns, and I thought it would be fun to look at my list of books I’ve read over the last 12 months to pick my five favorites for 2012. So here they are, counting down from 5 to my most favorite at number 1. Please note: these are the favorites I READ in 2012–they weren’t necessarily PUBLISHED in 2012!
5. UNSAFE HAVEN by Char Chaffin.
I loved this romance novel by my Soul Mate sister, the divine Char Chaffin. It features two wonderful characters, resilient Kendall and handsome police chief Denn, warming each other’s lives (and assorted body parts!) in the wilds of Alaska. The sparks between Kendall and Denn are sizzling, smart, and funny, and the love scenes are hot enough to melt even the most cynical heart. If you love romance, don’t miss out on this one. Char is a terrific writer, and I know you’ll enjoy the journey in this book.
4. 20th CENTURY GHOSTS by Joe Hill.
Joe Hill writes amazing, frightening, gripping tales. (Well, he does have good writing genes, I suppose, since his dad’s on my list, too. See #3 below.) This book of short stories, originally released in 2005 in the U.K. and in 2007 in the U.S., is chock-full of inventive and harrowing reads. From the first story, the titular tale, to the last, I couldn’t put it down. I have read all of Joe’s work and can’t wait to see where he goes in his next book.
3. 11.22.63 by Stephen King.
Stephen King is a best-selling author for a reason. His books suck you in, compel you to keep reading, and keep you tangled in their web until the very last page. And in this one, Uncle Stevie does what he does best: creates unforgettable characters in realistically impossible situations that have you biting your nails as they reel through the maze he’s laid out. Of course, he scares the pants off you, too. But the thing I liked most about 11.22.63 was the beautiful love story and human heart at its center. Take the plunge into this time-warped novel and see why King is still, well, king.
2. PRINCE OF THORNS by Mark Lawrence.
This novel left me breathless, irritated, angry, and completely in love with a character I absolutely hated. How in the hell did writer Mark Lawrence do that? I am still asking myself that very question. This book is not for anyone with a faint heart or a stationary moral compass. The anti-hero at the center of this story is a 13-year-old murderer with no conscience to speak of. And yet, still, he somehow manages to make an indelible impression that you will remember long after the book is over. Lawrence’s second in this series, KING OF THORNS, is on my Kindle now, and I know I will re-read PRINCE OF THORNS before delving into the second part of the story. These thorns are real, they hurt, and they will twist in your head for a long, long time–but in a very good way.
1. THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morgenstern.
This book enchanted me from the moment I started reading. I fell in love immediately with the two main characters as well as with the wondrous setting of the circus that only appears at night. I couldn’t read fast enough–I literally devoured this book in the course of a couple of evenings. And as soon as the story was over, I wanted to read it again. That, to me, is the mark of a magical book. I’m so glad I bought this book for my Kindle so that I can enjoy it again and again and again.
So there are my picks for the best reads of 2012. How about you? Please feel free to tell me about your favorites in the COMMENTS below. I’m always looking for something wonderful to read.
(And, just for the record: I’m currently reading GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn and LOVING it. Wonder if it will make my Top 5 for 2013?) 🙂