As I look back at 2012, I realize it wasn’t a good reading year for me. Planning a wedding took up much of my free time for most of the year, at least that’s my excuse, but I’m still surprised by the unusually short list of books I read this year. I may have forgotten one or two along the way, and I didn’t include rereads, such as Janet Fitch’s White Oleander, one of my favorite books of all time, which I read for the third time a few weeks back.
Here is a look back at what I read in 2012:
War Horse – Michael Marpurgo
The first book I read in 2012. “War Horse” is based on a true story about a horse named Warrior. It tells the story of Joey a horse purchased by the Army for service in World War I France and the attempts of young Albert, his previous owner, to bring him safely home. A touching story.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Jonathan Safran Foer
This is not a story about September 11th, but a story of the aftermath of tragedy, living with loss and the search for answers. Nine-year-old Oskar Schell discovers a key in a vase that belonged to his father who died on 9/11. He believes his father left the key for him as a clue and he searches all around New York for information about the key. The joy in this story is in the people Oskar meets on his journey. It is heartwrenchingly sad, very emotional, but powerful, I couldn’t stop thinking about Oskar long after I put this book down. I saw the movie version and cried like a baby.
The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay -Suzanne Collins
I was skeptical of the Hunger Games series, as I am with most overly-hyped series, (i.e. Twilight) I expected nothing more than a mildly entertaining read, however, the entire series is suspenseful and interesting. For those who may be skeptical as I was, or who may think it’s no good because it’s categorized as young-adult lit, I encourage you to give the books a try.
The Switch and Chill Factor – Sandra Brown
Mystery thrillers, these selections were a little out of the norm for me. However, they were both entertaining, page turners.
Second Glance – Jodi Picoult
Second Glance is a ghost-story in that the plot is based on mysterious happenings in a small Vermont town that begin when a developer is slated to build a strip mall on an ancient Abenaki Indian burial ground. But at its heart, Second Glance is ultimately a story of love and family.
Though the paranormal subject matter strays from Picoult’s typical topics, her story is still compelling, her characters in-depth (despite the number of them) This book may require a bit of patience on the part of readers.
Ultimately, Second Glance was a fun, interesting, read. Just don’t bring it to the beach and expect to whip through it in a day or two.
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail – Cheryl Strayed
A memoir of an amateur hiking 1,100 miles along the Pacific Crest Trail and coming to terms with the path her life has taken. Told in a voice that is blatantly honest, it is, at times, funny, and raw – particularly in the sections where she talks about her mother’s death.
Winter Garden – Kristin Hannah
I turned to this book expecting an easy yet engrossing read which I have come to expect from Hannah. It was a much darker book than I expected, telling two parallel stories, one of two sisters in the present, and one in the past of their mother’s life which the sisters know nothing about. In this book, Hannah shifts from contemporary issues to take on the past, specifically, Leningrad during World War II. Hannah’s story set in the present is not as strong as the story set in the past, but it is an interesting book nonetheless, and the story will haunt you after you have put the book down.
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
The Light Between Oceans – M.L Stedman
A lighthouse keeper on a remote island off the coast of Australia, and his wife who cannot bear children discover a boat washed up on the shore carrying a dead man and a baby who is miraculously alive. They decide to keep the child and claim her as their own. Their decision comes into question when they discover the child’s mother is still alive and searching for her missing husband and daughter. I’ll be reflecting more on this book, check back for a more in-depth review.
Age of Miracles – Karen Thompson Walker
This may be my favorite book that I read this year. The Age of Miracles is a coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of an altered world: the earth’s rotation has suddenly begun to slow. I will also be a more in-depth review of this book in an upcoming post.
If I have a New Year’s resolution, it is to read more in 2013! What was the best book you read this year?