Top 10 Books I Read in 2012

I’m really pleased to report that I managed to read 80 books in 2012 – I think that’s the most I’ve ever read in a year. Looking at my list, I wanted to pick my ten favourites – not 10 that were published in 2012, but 10 I read during the year, in no particular order. Here goes…

1. Dandelion Wine – Ray Bradbury

I read three Bradbury books and loved them all, but picked Dandelion Wine because almost every sentence is gorgeous and poetic, his language is evocative, and in this book his descriptions of childhood really made me think about my own childhood, and the similarities despite different decades, countries, upbringings. I urge everyone to read it.

2. Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? – Jeanette Winterson

I love Jeanette Winterson, as you probably know by now, but her memoir was brilliant. Funny, sad, well written, made me think. A lot.

3. The Song of Achilles – Madeline Miller

I’ve always been into my Greek legends, and really enjoyed this retelling of Achilles’ story and the Trojan War. I’ve seen it on a few other bloggers’ lists of the year, too.

4. Billions and Billions – Carl Sagan

I’d never read any of his stuff before this and love how he’s passionate about science but also socially responsible. The last chapter, written by his wife after he died was really upsetting.

5. Citadel – Kate Mosse

I’d been waiting for this with anticipation, after really enjoying Labyrinth and Sepulchre. Although I think Sepulchre is my favourite of the three, I thought Citadel was an excellent conclusion to the trilogy and the World War II setting really gave it emotional resonance.

6. Sightlines – Kathleen Jamie

After Findings, I was excited to read another of her collections. I love how she writes prose as if it’s poetry, and makes you want to go to all the places she does and see all the things she sees.

7. Dark Matter – Michelle Paver

Atmospheric, creepy, and brilliant. I loved the book, and the Arctic setting made me want to read all about the Polar expeditions.

8. The House of Silk – Anthony Horowitz

I’m a huge Holmes fan, and was really impressed by the way he managed to write in Conan Doyle’s style. I’ve read a lot of Holmes stuff by other people, and some of them are awful, some of them are good, but none as good as this. I really want him to write more.

9. The L-Shaped Room – Lynne Reid Banks I loved the way she writes about normal, everyday things and makes them interesting. And it’s interesting now that being a single parent is a normal, everyday thing, to go back and read about the days when it really wasn’t. Made me glad we’ve moved on.

10. Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You – Marcus Chown

I read a whole book about physics, and while it fried my brain at times, I really enjoyed it, and understood most of it. I’ve since read another of his books and will be reading the others soon.

What were your favourite books you read in 2012?

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7 Responses to Top 10 Books I Read in 2012

  1. Sharkell says:

    Hi. I’ve just found your blog via a comment you made on Savidge Reads. I haven’t read any of your top ten for 2012 but I do have the Paver book on my wishlist and the Miller book in my tbr pile. You may have seen my top ten on the Savidge Reads blog but here it is –

    The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
    Plainsong by Kent Haruf
    The Colour of Milk by Nell Leyshon
    The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt
    A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
    Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes
    A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
    The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry
    Gillespie and I by Jane Harris
    All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

  2. Thanks for visiting and commenting, I’m new to blogging so it’s really nice to get comments.
    Looks like a good list – I have The Snow Child in my TBR pile and am really looking forward to reading it after all the good things I’ve read. Also keep thinking of reading The Secret Scripture too. I’m really enjoying seeing everyone’s lists of 2012.

    • Sharkell says:

      I had The Secret Scripture in my tbr for a couple of years and a librarything friend told me I must read it as it is one of Sebastian Barry’s best. I’m glad I did.

  3. FleurFisher says:

    That’s a wonderfully diverse list. I loved The Song of Achilles, and The L-Shaped Room wich I reread at the beginning of the year. I hope you do as well in 2013!

  4. I’ve just read Findings and I am looking forward to reading Sightlines, which I have in fact already bought and given away to two family members as gifts, but relishing the thought that I still have more of Jamie to read. My top read for 2012 was also The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey, outstanding and one to reread definitely.

    • I really want to buy her stuff for everyone too, it’s such gorgeous reading. When I first read Findings a few years ago it really stayed with me.
      Lots of people seem to like The Snow Child so I’m really looking forward to reading it!
      Thanks for commenting.

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