The Best and Worst of 2012

(After a nice long winter break, the writers of A Novel Thing have come out of hibernation)

It’s been a great year for reading. First I was able to join this blog and write about my love for books, and then I made my ridiculous goal of finishing 120 books last year. Thankfully, some of those books were awesome!

The Best

10. The Best Laid Plans, Terry Fallis The Best Laid Plans

-This book is on here mostly because I expected nothing from it and it ended up being quite good, and also it’s Canadian fiction which gives it some bonus points. It was cool to read something that resonates a bit closer to home, and was a good laugh.

200px-Life_of_Pi_cover9. Life of Pi, Yann Martel

-Another reread which I forgot was as good as it was. Still must see it in theatre, I’ve only heard good things!Harper Collins, 2011

8. Divergent, Veronica Roth

-It seems that good Young Adult fiction can be hard to come by, and this was one of the good ones.  The ‘dystopian future’ theme has not burnt out yet!

Mennonite in a Little Black Dress7. Mennonite in a Little Black Dress, Rhoda Janzen

-My review of this book says it all. I was struck by the moving message contained in this story, as well as the humor and writing. But it’s rather polarizing and for as many as like it, there are those who don’t.

6. Fire, Kristin CashoreFire by Kristin Cashore

-One of the few fantasy books I read at all this year, it was by chance that I happened to pick it up at the library. The story was great and the characters were great so what’s more to love?

5. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee50th Anniversary Edition

-I wasn’t expecting much from this novel, despite it being such a beloved classic. It was associated with all the horrible books I had to read in school, but somehow I never had to suffer through. Well I was wrong, and this intriguing story was one of my favourite reads ever.

4. The Selection, Kiera CassThe Selection, The Elite

-I read this one close to the end of the year and it automatically went to the top of my Young Adult favourites. It didn’t have the most amazing story or the best writing, but the characters were great and I’m hooked. And now impatiently awaiting the sequel The Elite at the end of April 😦

3. Bridget Jones’s Diary, Helen FieldingBridget Jones's Diary

– One of the few books where I’ve seen the movie first, and liked it so much (Colin Firth!) I had to pick up the book. It reminded me of the Shopaholic books (but way better), so if you’re looking for some ChickLit, this would be a great one to pick up.

2. The Hobbit, J.R.R. TolkeinThe Hobbit

– This might have been my biggest surprise of the year. I picked this one up the week before I went to see the (awesome) movie and though it was the second time I’ve read it, I had completely forgotten what happened. It was so good. I didn’t realize that it would be a much ‘easier’ read than the Lord of the Rings series.

1. The Millennium Trilogy (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest), Stieg Larsson

-These may be number one because I just finished rereading them last week and are fresh in my mind, but I don’t care and I love these books. I’m just confused Steig Larsson's Millenium Trilogyas to why. They aren’t particularly well-written, the story is all over the place sometimes and, especially in The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, the author can get a little ranty. But it just happens to work and they’re so on my annual to-be-reread list.

The Worst

5. The Casual Vacancy by J.K RowlingLittle, Brown and Company, Sept. 2012

-It was well-written and had a moving story with some good characters, but it was too depressing and had none of the ‘magic’ of her other books.

4. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Johnathon Safran FoerExtremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Jonathan Safran Foer

-Like above, this one had a lot of things going for it and I admired the authors creativity in telling his story, but I was never able to get really into the book and the story lost me. Though some people are crazy about this one, it didn’t quite work with me.

3. Catching Fire & Mockingjay by Suzanne CollinsCatching Fire, Mockinjay

-These were both rereads so it was more like self-inflicted torture. ‘Why am I rereading these?’ you may ask- a great question. Because The Hunger Games was so great and I want to keep on going with these characters, as painful as that might be.

2. The Painted Cave by Jean M. AuelLand of Painted Caves

This is the next installment in the Earth’s Children series which began back in 1980 with The Clan of the Cave Bear. The first five are excellent novels I highly recommend, but this sixth one is an unnecessary money-grab.

1. Shiver by Maggie StiefvaterShiver

The only book that I skipped a few chapters of this year. It was just awful. Don’t even know where to start. Maybe this is how Twilight-haters feel?

Some Goals for 2013

One Hundred Years of Solitude1. Read Les Miserables, and some other classics like Anna Karenina, Wuthering Heights, Ulysses, and One Hundred Years of Solitude.

11-22-632. Give Stephen King another chance. Too many friends of mine keep trying to make me pick up another, so there’s gotta be something there. Hopefully better than Pet Semetary which I read when I was about 14.

3. Try out some Science Fictions novels like 1984, Dune, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Foundation.2001 A Space Odyssey

4. Open up some mystery novels like Murder on the Orient Express, The Shadow of the Wind, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, and The Complete Sherlock Holmes.Murder on the Orient Express

5. Read the poor books that have been collecting dust on my shelves. Every year I feel bad for owning books I have not yet read and always try to polish some of them off- usually finding some hidden gems. This year’s best hidden gem went to Robin Hood by Henry Gilbert, and you can read it’s review here.

6. Make my books look pretty. I’m just about to move into a new apartment, so planning out some good library space is something I’m looking forward to very much. It’s only a one bedroom, so planning out some a good reading area is going to be a bit tricky.beauty and the beast library

7.  Lend out as many books as possible. It’s not hard to get me started on a conversation about books and I love nothing better than to find the right book for the right reader.

8. To volunteer in book-related areas. I’ll be looking into opportunities at my local library, but I’ve also signed up to help out at a charitable book sale and hopefully some other things will pop up.Moby Dick

9. Finally finish my nemesis, Moby Dick, and then I can forget about it forever.

10. To keep on writing blog posts for you guys! I do it as much for myself as anyone else, but it’s great seeing your thoughts written in front of you. It also keeps me going while I’m not in school.

Well, hopefully some of you made it all the way through these lists! What do you think? Are you setting any book-related goals for yourself this year?

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3 responses

  1. Pingback: Joint Review: The Selection, Kiera Cass | A Novel Thing

  2. Pingback: My Spring TBR List | A Novel Thing

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