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?