Thursday, January 10, 2013

Best Books of 2012

In 2012 I set a goal to read 52 books.  I had read 60ish in 2011 while spending 4 months in grad school, so I figured that would be a great goal to have.  Around June I shattered that goal, and decided to up it to 100.  I ended up reading 113 books in 2012, which is my all-time most.  I consider reading to be my 3rd class of each semester (that I don't have to pay for, huzzah!) and I set aside every lunch break that I'm not doing homework to read, and occasionally before bed.  It's really important to me to read as much as possible for my future profession, plus I love to do it, and there are so many books out there I want to read.

I know I've bombarded you with a list of the books I've read over the last year, but I enjoy doing a "best" list, so without further adieu, here's a list of my favorite reads in 2012.  These aren't all books published in 2012, although some are, but just the best I've read this year.  Enjoy, and make sure to let me know your thoughts if you read or plan to read one of these!  Helping people connect with a perfect book for them, is one of my greatest pleasures.  Uff, that was cheesy, but true.

10.  Once a Runner
A book every runner should read.  This fictional tale of a runner's quest to break the 4 minute barrier in the mile and his tenacious attitude and training regimen throughout.  If this story doesn't motivate you to kick ass, nothing will.

9.  Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?
I'm a big Mindy Kaling fan, and this book did not disappoint.  Her memoirs and lists will make you snort-laugh outloud.

8.  Lover's Dictionary
This book structure is so unique, that everyone must read it.  A story is told with each letter of the alphabet telling a small tale of a relationship from A to Z.  The reader is left to infer much of the relationship due to the brevity of the book, which adds another element to the story.

7.  The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Brian Selznick is a genius.  The story and illustrations in this book are gorgeous.  While the story is quick to flip through, take time to pour over each page of illustrations.

6.  Gone Girl
Within a chapter of the book, I was obsessed and recommending it to anyone that would listen.  Any book that can have me obsessively devouring it, page by page, is a great book.  The ending wasn't as I was predicting, which was good, but I didn't thoroughly love the ending either.  It was essentially a 6 star book minus the ending, so I ended up with 4 stars.

5.  Still Alice
Prior to reading this book I had no knowledge or experience with dementia or Alzheimer's.  This story opened my eyes to all the trials and heartbreak that dealing with the disease personally or familially can cause.  A beautiful but heartbreaking story.

4.  The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
I listened to this book on audiobook per the recommendation of a librarian friend.  The book is narrated by the author, Sherman Alexie, and his great accent lends an extra element to his story.  A tale of his growing up on the Spokane Indian reservation and attempts to leave are chronicled in his novel, amongst crazy childhood tales.  Some crass language and stories could offend, but it is definitely worth the read.

3.  When You Reach Me
This story takes some twists and turns that are completely unexpected in a modern day twist reminiscent of A Wrinkle in Time.  

2.  Ready Player One
A story set in the future in a world that most wouldn't want to inhabit.  In this world, everyone is plugged in to a gaming system to explore multiple planets.  When the creator of this gaming system dies, he loads a quest in to the game for people to attempt.  This book will appeal to gaming geeks, those that identify with the 80s, and people who love a good book.

1.  Fault in Our Stars
I read this book early on in 2012, and nothing ever topped it.  John Green is a genius, and this book is no exception.  A story of a terminally ill cancer patient and his cancer stricken love, and their relationship while dealing with their illnesses.  One of the most heart wrenching reads ever.

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