Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The 12 Picks of '12 on 12-12-12

I've saved this post just for this special date!  And I also somehow managed to squeak out twelve of my favorite reads of the year.  I had to eliminate a few that were top contenders, but these are the books that stood out to me, that I still remember reading and loving, and that might not be in the spotlight as much.  These are books I read this year, not necessarily books published this year.

Top 12 of 2012 
(listed in the order in which when I read them, since I can't really put them in order of favorite-ness)

Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George
This book, a Cybils read, wins the most loveable castle award.  Seriously, I challenge any of you to read this and not end up wanting such a changeable castle of your own.

The Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a Tale by Carmen Agra Deedy and Randall Wright
Another delightful Cybils read (and winner in my category) that easily takes the prize for most loveable animal characters.  I'm not usually a critter-story kind of person, but this one won me over easily.

Variant by Robison Wells
And this one handily wins the most jaw-dropping, didn't-see-that-coming twists of any 2012 book.  Seriously, I dare you to predict what happens.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer
I know most everyone is raving about this one, but put me on that bandwagon, because this was the most fabulous and unique fairy-tale retelling of the year.

Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen
I'm not quite as big a fan of Robin Hood stories as Angie or Suey, but this retelling with knife-wielding Will Scarlet as a girl in disguise had me from the first page.

Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer  
A not-so-new book but a fantastic discovery for me this year, Jacky has got to be the spunkiest, liveliest, most incorrigible girl the British navy never wanted!  And best of all, the audiobooks are narrated by the most excellent Katherine Kellgren.  What more could you want?

The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy
Another absolutely fantastic audiobook with Bronson Pinchot narrating, this story stole my heart and my breath as I laughed beyond control.  Hand this one to the most stony-hearted soul you know and see if they don't crack a smile for this band of misfit Princes Charming.

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund  
Predisposed to love this retelling of my favorite Jane Austen, Persuasion, I was blown away by the beautiful way the story changed and the fantastic future world created for my favorite characters.  A must for Austen-lovers or fans of classic retellings.

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins  
My first and definitely not last Wilkie Collins book had me so absorbed in the story I almost got lost on my commute home!  A rich, detailed, and surprising mystery that easily earns its place as a classic. 

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Another book that many have raved about and which I wholeheartedly throw my support behind.  This one had me in tears and in knots, worrying about and loving the friendship between Maddie and Queenie.

Insignia by S.J. Kincaid  
This book not only pulled me out of a giant reading slump, it reminded me just how much I love a good sci-fi/dystopian-ish story.  And its constant action and twists left me begging for more, despite its 400+ pages.

Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson
I just finished this book last night and I felt so happy afterward that I knew it had to make this list.  Despite its flaws, I fell hard for this book.  It reminded me why I love Regency romance, Jane Austen, and good old-fashioned love stories.

And there you have it!  Let's hope I don't read any more last minute great books this year (wait, why would I hope that).

What are your favorite picks from 2012?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. I agree that I really loved The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom. And For Darkness Shows the Stars was pretty good too.

    What about In a Glass Grimmly or Throne of Glass? Those were two really good MG/YA books in my opinion.

    1. In a Glass Grimmly was a great read, but I haven't been able to finish Throne of Glass. I'd love to see your list!

  2. Fun idea! I agree with you on the majority of them, especially CINDER and BLOODY JACK. VARIANT wasn't a favorite, but that's okay ... we can't agree on EVERYTHING :)

    1. I guess we don't always have to agree :) I can see there are flaws in the book, but I was too caught up to notice them much!

  3. I LOVED Code Name Verity!!! Also, Tuesdays at the Castle is our mother/daughter book club choice for January...now I have something to look forward too.

    1. Oh, I hope you guys enjoy Tuesdays, it's so fun!

  4. great list. I love these, and what a smart way to post it, 12-12.

    I think I am going to re-evaluate my to-read lists based on these "top pick" lists.

    ~L (omphaloskepsis)

    1. Ah, thanks for maybe adding some of my favorites to your to-read list!

  5. Cinder would definitely be on my list too! I really need to get to Variant and Edenbrook. Sigh!

    1. They are both quite lovely, so of course I recommend them! Hope you make a list sometime this year too - I'd love to see what your favorites of the year were.

  6. What a great and varied list! And I ended up reading four of these this year too (SCARLET, FOR DARKNESS SHOWS THE STARS, THE WOMAN IN WHITE, and EDENBROOKE). I have a feeling a couple of them might end up on my list for the year too. :)

    1. Ooh, I'm excited to see what makes your list. It was a great year for reading!

  7. I love your list! I want to read so many of them on there. I'm glad to know you've loved them (which I knew from your reviews, but it's good to know they're "top" material).

    1. I know, I like seeing people's "top" lists too, just to know what is the best of the best!

  8. I LOVED Tuesdays at the Castle - can't wait to read the upcoming sequel!

    1. There's a sequel? Oh, now I'm super excited to see what happens next. Thanks for the heads up!


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