Monday, January 21, 2013

In Which I Rate Some Books

So. Here we are with a new year and a new year's worth of books to consume.

Which means it's time to look back on last year and pick my top 5 books I read in 2012.

In no particular order:


The Lies of Locke Lamora - Scott Lynch



I'd been hearing about this book for awhile. I think Alex Cavanaugh said it was one of his favorite books of 2011. And also, I'd heard Scott Lynch speak a few times at a local conference and he's kind of awesome and funny.
I was not let down by this book. I loved it hardcore. The magic, the debauchery, the violence, the characters. Even when horrible stuff was happening (and so much horrible stuff happens, guys) I couldn't put it down.


The Book Thief - Markus Zusak



My good friend TL Conway told me that this book kind of changed her life. So even though it was sort of on my radar, her rec bumped it up some.
It's a little slow to get into. And it's long. But oh so worth it.
I read the last third in a hotel in Madison (at the Wiscon conference) sobbing in my hotel room and using up all the Kleenex. Because even though I knew it would be sad (and there is plenty of warning in the book that specific bad things will happen) I wasn't prepared for HOW sad and heartbreaking it would be. I think this book made me cry more than any other book ever (even more than Where the Red Fern Grows).

Ready Player One - Ernest Cline



Learned about this one from my good pal Teebore at one of our writing group meetings. I went home that night, downloaded it for my kindle, and started reading.
I think I finished it the next day. Then I made Twin read it. Then I bought it for Brother's b-day, even though he rolled his eyes at me (he loved it too).
I mean, a book where it's all about video games and pop culture from the 80s? Yeah. Sign me up for that. Sign me up HARD.
I really hope the movie happens, though it seems it has stalled out some since the crazyness of trying to snatch up the rights.

Fire - Kristin Cashore



I liked Graceline a lot. I mean, really, I loved it Hard. But Fire - Fire I loved even more. It had all the awesomeness of what I loved about Graceling (the adult fantasy themes which I frequently find missing in YA fantasy (ie: pregnancy, violence towards women, poverty, etc) but then the world building pretty much blew my mind. I mean, a place where monsters are animals (or people) that are so beautiful they ensnare non-monsters? And how monsters crave monster-flesh?
Awesome. And the characters. LOVED all the characters.
I kind of wish I was Kristin Cashore. But not really, because then I would miss out on reading her books.

The Lost Girl - Sangu Mandanna



I snagged this book at an SCBWI conference. There was only a small stand selling books, and this was the only YA novel they had for sale, and since I'll be damned if I don't buy a book when there are books for sale, I snatched it up, not really knowing much about it.
Oh man, totally a good decision.
This book also made me cry. It's broken up into 3 section, and I cried all through the middle. It's really a novel about loss, and grief and love and trying to learn your place in the world. I highly recommend it to everyone. It's wonderful.



So there you have it! What were some of your favorite books of 2012?

14 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You did hear about that book from me! Wasn't it awesome?
Sangu's book is on my iPad, waiting...

Leah (aka Mary_not_Martha) said...

Great Rex's . I will have to check out Ready Player One. I couldn't agree more about Fire. I listened to it the way to college each day and the imagery is so strong I feel like those monster-birds are going to get me when I'm alone on the back roads.

Leah (aka Mary_not_Martha) said...

Sorry-spell check jacked my word- Rex was recommendations:)

Mia Hayson said...

The Book Thief is amazing! I too had prior warning about all the crying I might do but I was still unprepared for the ending!

<3

CourtneyC said...

Just added The Lost Girl to my Goodreads "to read" list. Thanks for the rec!

Johanna Garth said...

Really good recommendations Sarah! I just put The Lost Girl and The Book Thief on my to read list.

Annalisa Crawford said...

The Book Thief is a really excellent book.

Rena said...

You know, I have Graceline in my to be read pile, I guess I'll have to bump it up.

Thanks for the list of books.

Michael Offutt, Speculative Fiction Author said...

I've been meaning to read a few of these titles.

Southpaw said...

Oooo, there are a couple there that are new to me and you made them sound so enticing.

Jamie Gibbs said...

I really want to read Ready Player One - it sounds like it's right up my street :)

Jamie

Nate Wilson said...

My brain isn't what it used to be. I can barely remember what I read last year, let alone my favorites. I know the list wouldn't have The Book Thief (read in 2010) in it, or Ready Player One (in my to-read pile).

Oh well. I suspect your recs are more valuable, anyway. Thanks for sharing 'em!

Ninja Girl said...

I loved Fire as well! Cashore really has a way to create these huge, sweeping worlds with fantastical plots and people. Bitterblue was kind of disturbing, but I still really liked it. Looks like you read some great books! :)
Ninja Girl

Teebore said...

The best book I read last year was, no joke, Marvel Comics: The Untold Story. Riveting, fascinating and, surprisingly, a total page turner. I stayed up much later than I should have several nights because I couldn't put it down.

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