I managed to read 13 books this year, 7 shy of the number I accomplished last year. I bought tons of books too for the first 3 quarters of this year. That lessened considerably on the last quarter after I bought my best purchase for this year, my Amazon Kindle Paperwhite.
Since this year is 2012, I’m listing my 12 favorite books read this year, only 3 of these were published in 2012. John Grisham’s The Racketeer did not make the cut. I haven’t loved a Grisham book in years.
1.25 The Fault in Our Stars. I admit I shed tears while reading this book about a love story between 2 cancer patients in their teens and I didn’t feel manipulated at all. The book has its heart in all the right places and reading about two souls falling in love and knowing their love has a dead end and grenades is just heartbreaking.
1.25 The Name of the Wind. This is the first book in Patrick Rothfuss’ trilogy The Kingkiller Chronicle about the travails of a mischievous and brilliant student in a school of magic and his quest to find his parents’ killers. I first heard of this book from a fellow blogger who listed this as his favorite a couple of years back and it also has become mine.
1.25 The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Charlie, a teenager who writes letters to an anonymous person, yearns for friendship in his new school which he gets from step-siblings Patrick and Sam. Its author, Stephen Chbosky, has a knack for simple but terrific sentences. This is one of my favorites – “It was the kind of kiss that made me know that I was never so happy in my whole life.”
1.25 The Wise Man’s Fear. This is the sequel to Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind. Kvothe, the book’s main protagonist, continues chronicling his story at the school of magic, the circumstances that chased him away from the university, and the woman in his life in the person of Denna who repairs then breaks his heart repeatedly in a vicious cycle.
5.00 This is How You Lose Her. I became a great fan of Junot Diaz after reading his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. In his new book, Diaz does not lose touch on his writing style as he aims his prose on a series of short stories about a man’s infidelity issues and how to get over it and how, sometimes, one cannot fully get over an indiscretion that a man has brought upon himself.
6.25 A Dance with Dragons. The fifth novel in George R. R. Martin’s epic A Song of Ice and Fire pentalogy. The novel is a thick read and took me more than a month to finish. That does not mean the book is a difficult read. It is not. The stories are continually engrossing. I can’t wait for the 6th book, The Winds of Winter, and what awaits Sansa Stark and Jon Snow – my two favorite characters from the book.
6.25 Gone Girl. An absolute page turner of a book, the suspense reminiscent of the early John Grisham or Richard North Patterson books. The twists keep on coming about a missing wife and an accused husband. You want to know how nail-biting the suspense is? I read the last few pages of the book when I was barely halfway through. I haven’t done that in years. The ending? Bleh. I didn’t like it. But the pages that came before it is a-terrific.
6.25 The Known World. It took me months to engross myself into the world of slavery – at a time when not only whites, but blacks can keep slaves of their own. The book is not a difficult read. I was, at my 1st and 2nd attempts to read the book, not in the right mindset to read a Pulitzer Prize-winning book about slavery. But when I did, I absorbed the story and subplots and the exquisite sentences Edward P. Jones created for this book.
6.25 The Solitude of Prime Numbers. The premise of the books lies on the mathematical definition of a prime number – a natural number greater than 1 that can only be divided by 1 or itself. Alice and Mattia are damaged souls resulting from personal tragedies at a young age. They grow into their teens and into adulthood and into each other’s loneliness. And the author, Paolo Giordano, poses this question – Can two prime numbers ever find a way to be together?
10.0 Cloud Atlas. One of the more difficult books I’ve read in years. Mitchell creates an outstanding book consisting of six subplots, the timeline among the subplots stretching hundreds of years, and using six varying styles of prose. The first subplot proved to be the most difficult, me having to rely on my Kindle’s dictionary to get the meaning of a particularly difficult word. Once you get pass that, the rest is a breeze.
11.0 Fifty Shades of Grey. I know. My guilty pleasure read of the year. Pun intended.
12.0 The Casual Vacancy. JK Rowling tells the story of council members of a suburban town fighting over a vacant position left behind by an unexpected death of the parish councillor. Rowling’s first foray into adult literature is a disappointment. The plot looked like it was going nowhere. The climax too cinematic for my taste. The prose is a bit YA-ish too. And I have no animosity against YA books, 2 or 3 books from this list coming from that genre.