Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Lady C's Best Books of 2012

I read 81 new books this year (and heaven knows how many rereads; I'm counting Jane Eyre as a new book, though, because I read it so long ago that it felt new). I rate each book from 1 to 4 stars; below is the list of everything that earned at least 3 stars from me:
  • Red Mist by Patricia Cornwell
  • Happy Accidents by Jane Lynch (nonfiction)
  • V Is for Vengeance by Sue Grafton
  • Impossible by Nancy Werlin (YA)
  • The Romantic Obsesions and Humiliations of Annie Sehlmeier by Louise Plummer (YA) (which was probably evident from the title)
  • Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen (YA)
  • You Are My Only by Beth Kephart (I wrote, "I would've liked it more if the mom hadn't been quite so crazy, and I definitely wanted MORE at the end!! But a very compelling read")
  • How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr (YA — and my first 4-star book of the year)
  • Circus Galacticus by Deva Fagan (YA)
  • I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella
  • Sweethearts by Sara Zarr
  • Trail of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz
  • Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr (YA — I was clearly on a Sara Zarr kick)
  • Once Was Lost by Sarah Zarr (YA)
  • Number the Stars by Lois Lowry (YA)
  • I'll Be There by Holly Goldberry Sloan (YA — I wrote, "What a wonderful book! Sweet, romantic, suspenseful. I adored it")
  • Toys Go Out by Emily Jenkins (children's book)
  • Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony (YA — I wrote, "Intriguing but ultimately unsatisfying")
  • The Most Dangerous Thing by Laura Lippman
  • The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey (I wrote, "PERFECT. Suspenseful and moving and sweet. LOVED")
  • The List by Siobhan Vivian (YA)
  • Tempest by Julia Cross (YA)
  • A Grown Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson
  • The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth (YA)
  • Hand Me Down by Melanie Thorne (YA? I can't remember. I wrote, "Wonderful! And deeply upsetting," which doesn't give me a good clue. Ah, if only there were some interweb thingy that could help me . . .)
  • The Submission by Amy Waldman (I wrote, "A good read and very interesting themes, but also a cold book. I never warmed up to a single character. Still, I'm glad I read it")
  • Conversations with the Fat Girl by Liza Palmer
  • The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka
  • The Life Boat by Charlotte Rogan
  • The Geek Girl's Guide to Cheerleading by Charity Tahmaseb and Darcy Vance (YA)
  • The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (YA)
  • Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon
  • Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake (YA — I wrote, "Wonderful! Though I wish the mystery involving Dad's death was less random — I thought Daisy or Gilbert would play more of a role. Sequel?")
  • Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Weir (YA — I wrote, "So heartbreaking! So wonderful!")
  • A Dance for Three by Louisa Plummer (YA)
  • Touch Blue by Cynthia Lord (YA)
  • The Girl Is Murder by Kathryn Miller Haines (YA)
  • My Teenage Werewolf by Lauren Kessler (nonfiction)
  • Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan
  • Ripper by Stefan Petrucha (YA)
  • Jeneration X by Jen Lancaster (nonfiction, and hilarious)
  • Ali In Wonderland by Ali Wentworth (nonfiction)
  • I Couldn't Love You More by Jillian Medoff (I wrote, "I'm not sure why it was so compelling, given that every character annoyed the snot out of me! But I had to keep reading")
  • Annie's Ghosts by Steve Luxenberg (nonfiction)
  • Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer (YA)
  • The Selection by Kiera Cass (YA)
  • Gallows Hill by Lois Duncan (YA)
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  • My Life as Laura by Kelly Kathleen Ferguson (nonfiction)
  • Fifth Avenue 5 A.M. by Howard Wasson (nonfiction)
  • Loving Frank by Nancy Horan (creative nonfiction?)
  • Shadowfires by Dean Koontz
  • Baltimore Blues by Laura Lippman
  • Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Cutcher (YA)
  • Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson (nonfiction)
  • Dare Me by Megan Abbott (YA)
  • Alice On Board  by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (YA)
  • Heartbroken by Lisa Unger (I wrote, "HERE is the great read I've been waiting for! [I'd had a long streak of 2-star books.] LOVED!")
  • Fairest by Gail Carson Levine (YA)
  • Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed (nonfiction)
  • The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner (I wrote, "LOVED. A new favorite by this author, whose last books have disappointed")
  • Spilled Blood by Brian Freeman
  • The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton (I wrote, "LOVED. Loved!!!!!")
  • Wish You Were Eyre by Heather Vogel Frederick (YA)
  • The Freedom Maze by Delia Sherman (YA)
  • Ransom River by Meg Gardiner
  • Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher (YA — I wrote, "I didn't love the ending and kinda wished the "surprise" had actually been one, but this is a very good book")
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • Never Knowing by Chevy Stevens
  • The Girl Is Trouble by Kathryn Miller Haines (YA)
  • Heat Wave by Nancy Thayer
  • The Smitten Kitchen by Deb Perelman (cookbook — and I read every word)
There you have it! I hope you find an intriguing title or two on this list.

And, as always, here are the ever-popular Worst Books I Read in 2012, all of which I gave 2 stars (no 1-star books for me this year, woo-hoo!):

  • Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult — a disappointment from a usually stellar author
  • More Like Her by Liza Palmer — her first book was so good! This book was so not!
  • The Red Book by Deborah Copaken Kogan — I wrote, "I wanted to finish it, though I disliked every character. A real disappointment"
  •  Family Happiness by Laurie Colwin — some of my favorite friends worship at the cult of Laurie Colwin, and I just don't get it . . . but I keep trying. About this one, I wrote, "Whiny and insufferable, but weirdly compelling. I did like all the discussions of food"
  • Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man's Quest to Be a Better Husband by David Finch; I really wanted to like it, but I found him so annoying  and the book completely depressing
As reading years go, I've had way worse.

On to 2013! I've already finished my first book of the new year, See You at Harry's by Jo Knowles (3 stars). Happy reading!

—Lady C, bookworm


  1. Thank you for the list! Your literary opinions are golden! Are they in order of lovedness?
    Mrs. Cynicletary

    1. Nah, the order I read them. If you print the list and bring it to lunch, I'll star the ones that I think YOU will especially like, my friend of great lovedness!