Thursday, December 27, 2012

Best Books of 2012

Top books I read in 2012 with descriptions in 10 words or less. In no particular order.
  1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
    A great book. Too bad she didn't stop at that one.

  2. Gospel of Mark (Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture) by Mary Healey
    Very accessible while still being scholarly. (my review here)

  3. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
    A children's story that isn't just for kids. I listened to Gaiman's excellent narration. (discussion/review at A Good Story is Hard to Find)

  4. The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
    Made me wish both sides could win the Battle of Gettysburg. (review at Goodreads; discussion/review at A Good Story is Hard to Find)

  5. Howard's End is on the Landing by Susan Hill
    A book about books, people, places, and life. (review at Goodreads)

  6. The Hidden Princess by Stephanie Angelini
     Enchanting new "classic" fairy tale (My review here)

  7. The Art of Faith:A Guide to Understanding Christian Images by Judith Couchman
    Just what the subhead says (my review here)

  8. Heidi by Joanna Spryy
    An old classic still has the power to surprise. (my review here)

  9. The Beckoning Fair One by Oliver Onions
    Subtle ghost story a la Turn of the Screw (review at Goodreads, audio reading/discussion at SFFaudio)

  10. Bleak House by Charles Dickens
    Mystery, horror, romance, character examination, and riveting  (review here,  review/discussion at A Good Story is Hard to Find)

  11. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
    In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit... reread. (review and related items here,  review/discussion at A Good Story is Hard to Find)

  12. Introduction to Christianity by Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI)
    Dense but accessible in tons of places. (excerpts and review at Goodreads)


  1. Great list, Julie - thank you for the books and the links! One nit - Killer Angels is by Michael Shaara, not Jonathan Maberry.


    1. No kidding! Can you tell I used last year's list as a template and didn't change that author? Thanks for the heads up. :-)

  2. By the way while the books from Michael Shaara's son are not as good, they are still quite good.

    This year I had first read "Gods and Generals" before I read "Killer Angels" again and it gave me so much more background as it meshes in quite well. Killer Angels really just mows right in. Then "The Last Full Measure" finishes it up. While Jeff Shaara does not have quite the poetic style of his father there is much in common especially regarding the personalities behind these historic figures.

    I had first read Killer Angels shortly after it came out when I was about 17. I distinctly remember reading it during my after school job. I had a job at a upscale gym/club where basically I passed out towels so it gave me long periods of peace just reading - pretty much ideal but for the pay.

  3. Wow...!! I loved this post. Aside from a few I have not read any of these but you made me want to read them all. Okay for Now, The Killer Angel and Bleak House sound the best. I still cannot believe I have not read Introduction to Christianity. That is going to be my number one book to read next year. I would also like to mention one of my favorite books also here. Hope you people will like it.
    Patterns For College Writing A Rhetorical Reader and Guide

  4. I've kind of avoided the Hunger Games because of all the it really good as a stand-alone story? Whenever I ask an opinion, I have only received uncontrollable gushes of "It is so addictive!" This had lead me to have an inkling that it's just a popular dystopia, not a good one-am I wrong?

    Love the 'one-sentence reviews.' For someone who has verbose opinions on just about everything, I am TERRIBLE at writing book reviews...concise ones, at least (one thing that escaped me in library school!). These one-liners are a great place to start.

    1. I also tend to go on and on and on. :-D

      Those 10-worders are a challenge but rather like doing a puzzle.

      I liked The Hunger Games as a stand-alone. I can recommend the second book solely for the sheer genius of how Collins constructs the games in that book. Aside from that, it is an angsty disaster of epic proportions only to teenage girls. (Yes, snarkiness in full gear. ha!)