My top books of 2012

Posted On 27 December 2012

Filed under Book Reviews

Comments Dropped 34 responses

Well,  I’ve held off writing my ‘best of’ list for as long as I can.  I keep thinking I might just read one more book that turns out to be so awesome it would need to go on here but I’ve decided enough already and just pick your top ten.  So here they are, in no particular order

  1. King of Thorns by Mark Lawrence.  Last year Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence was also on my top 10 list and at that point I couldn’t imagine how he could top that novel.  This year King of Thorns was released and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.  I was even nervous before I started reading (why I was nervous I haven’t the first notion – it’s not like I’m the author!).  As it happens my case of the nerves was completely unwarranted.  King of Thorns was absolutely amazing.  It surpassed my own expectations and raised the bar yet even higher for the third novel (no pressure there then!)  Seriously, I couldn’t love this book any more even it I tried.
  2. Summer Knight by Jim Butcher.  The Dresden Files are my new No.1 fantasy series.  Harry Dresden is very easy to read about and it’s easy to see why he’s gained such a large and loyal following.  The series is a great combination of all sorts of paranormal thrown together with a little magic, a little mystery, a little romance, some scary moments, wit and a good dose of sarcasm and occasional bad language.  What’s not to love?
  3. The Troupe by Robert J Bennett.  The Troupe is a brilliant read and one that I will definitely read again.  Robert Bennett is one of those unusual authors who seems to defy any sort of genre and who also manages to come up with a different style of book every time he sets pen to paper.  On the back of reading this I also read Mr Shivers and The Company Man which are also great reads.  I can’t wait for his next book to see where he will take us next.
  4. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.  I don’t think this book needs any introduction.  It’s a masterpiece and this year I’ve read such a lot of Neil Gaiman that I actually think I may be in danger of falling in love with the man!  Seriously, I don’t know where he’s been hiding all my life but I’m so glad I’ve finally discovered his books.  Lots of fangirl gushing could actually have happened right about now…. but, I’ve decided to exercise restraint.
  5. The Blue Girl by Charles de Lint.  Charles de Lint is another author that I’ve only recently discovered.  Blue Girl was a lovely introduction and I already have a few more of his books based in Newford waiting to be read.  A lovely story teller.
  6. The Sisters Brothers by Patrick de Witt.  Out of all the books I read last year I can genuinely say that The Sisters Brothers was the biggest surprise for me.  Its a western and completely out of my comfort zone.  I picked it up and read it on the strength of a recommendation from one of my longest known book buddies.  What can I say, this is harsh, funny, dark, brutal and very entertaining to read.  The dialogue is top class.  All I can say is it was a must read.
  7. Shadows by Ilsa Bick.  Shadows is the second in this trilogy which started with Ashes and will apparently conclude autumn next year with Monsters. I can’t wait for the conclusion.  This is a very dark and frankly quite brutal read.  It’s not for the squeamish.  Set in a post apocalyptic world, telling the story of the survivors battling against terrible odds – not least of all the zombie types that seem to be taking over.
  8. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her Own Making by Catherynne M Valente.  I think that Catherynne Valente could become one of those authors where I sit tapping my foot impatiently waiting for the latest release.  Fortunately I have a little catching up before I reach that stage! The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland looks deceptively like a children’s story book but don’t be deterred.  Appearances can be misleading and this novel quite effortlessly spans all ages with a lovely blend of fairytale reminiscent of Victorian classics and yet with a more modern bearing.  The story telling is charming, quirky, fun and imaginative.  Apparently there are to be five novels in this series so still so much to look forward to.
  9. Wolfsbane by Gillian Philip.  This is the third in the Rebel Angel series which burst onto the book scene with Firebrand.  This is about the fey.  No soft and fluffy fairies these.  Rough and tough.  Living beyond the mortal world and separated by a veil that seems to be rather more fragile than some of them would wish and that others would desire be removed altogether.  The series is full of conflict and blends this strange, beautiful and dark other world with the world in which we live.  Not to mention this brings to us the creation of Seth.  And, lets face it – a thing of beauty is a joy forever (how right you were John Keats).  Okay, Seth is a rather lovely hunk of delicious mind candy and I don’t mind admitting it!
  10. Mockingbird by Chuck Wendig.  Just literally read this days ago and was blown away.  I didn’t read the first book and actually hadn’t particularly planned on reading this series but picked this book up quite by accident.  I’m glad I did.  After a little bit of a shaky start I literally couldn’t put this down.  Very entertaining indeed.

I feel I should also mention Scott Lynch’s Red Seas Under Red Skies – which isn’t on the list because even though I did read it this year this wasn’t for the first time.  I do love that series though so wanted to give it a special mention.  So excited about Republic of Thieves.

34 Responses to “My top books of 2012”

  1. nrlymrtl

    I am glad to see Neil Gaiman and Jim Butcher on your list. I really enjoy their works. Stardust by Gaiman is one of my alltime favorite books.

    • lynnsbooks

      Jim Butcher’s books seem to be growing stronger and stronger with each new edition. I’ve just bought Death Masks. Went on a spree with my Christmas vouchers!
      Plus looking forward to reading more Sandman this year. Neil Gaiman is a literary genius!
      Lynn 😀

  2. Coffee & a BookChick (@CoffeeBookChick)

    I just read Book 1 of The Dresden Files a few weeks ago and liked it a lot; I’ve heard it gets even better, so I’m looking forward to continuing the series. Happy New Year!

    • lynnsbooks

      Happy New Year to you too. This series improves with each book (or so it seems to me so far). That isn’t to say it gets off to a bad start but just that Butcher has a wonderful way of expanding his world and including characters from other novels as he goes along. I’m only up to book 4 so whether this will continue I don’t know but given his rather large following and the fact that people seem desperate to get their hands on his books as soon as they’re released I’m guessing he maintains the quality.
      Lynn 😀

  3. Booky Pony

    Aaa I’m so jealous about King of Thorns, I still haven’t gotten to it! Good to see it on your list though, so I know it’s good!
    Really looks like I need to get to Sisters Brothers and Circumnavigating, too. So many books, so little time…

    • lynnsbooks

      Oh no! You definitely need King of Thorns – are you struggling to find a copy?? It really is, without question, brilliant. I loved it. I can’t wait for the next but then in a sense I’ll be sad to read it because I hate the final book because then the series is at an end – no more Jorg. The Sisters Brothers was also such an entertaining surprise.
      Like you say, you can’t read them all though!

      • Booky Pony

        I’m having a bit of a hard time finding a copy of King that’d match my copy of Prince – but I will be victorious, eventually! For what is Christmas break for if not book hunting? 😀
        Oh gods, so weird that there actually is a good series that will end so soon… All this Lynch and Martin makes it hard to believe a series can actually end! 😛

      • lynnsbooks

        I could sort of carry on reading about Jorg! So is it the size of the book that is different? I don’t think mine are the same and they’re both the hardbacks but I just wanted to read it so badly – it could have been sky blue pink with a yellow border (although I am rather partial to the covers as they are)! Perhaps you should try and get a library copy then you could read it and still pursue the copy you want to buy for your collection. (Do I come across at all as desperately wanting you to read it? LOL)
        Lynn 😀

      • Booky Pony

        I’ve got the white trade paperback, and I’m a bit of a pedant when it comes to books matching. xD The library doesn’t have it yet, but I *will* find it eventually! 😀

      • lynnsbooks

        Aw, I hope you do. It’s so good!
        Lynn 😀

  4. Delia (Postcards from Asia)

    That’s a great list. I’ve been meaning to read more fantasy/vampire/werewolf kind of books (as if I don’t read enough of them already) and I should probably jot down some of the titles on your “best of” list.
    Gaiman is indeed, great, this year I’ve read Neverwhere and liked it, let’s see what next year is going to bring. I definitely want to read more of his books.

    • lynnsbooks

      You should read Stardust and Coraline – they’re both good books. Too many books and too little time!
      Lynn 😀

      • Delia (Postcards from Asia)

        I’ve seen the movies so they’re not new to me anymore. I want to read The Graveyard Book, though. Looks like you enjoyed it a lot.

      • lynnsbooks

        I know what you mean. I do find it difficult to read a book after I’ve seen the movie.
        Lynn 😀

  5. TBM

    Yeah for Gaiman!!! I think that’s the only one on your list that I’ve read. These end of the year lists are killing my TBR piles. That sounds like a complaint, but it isn’t. I love it! Happy New year!

    • lynnsbooks

      Yay for Gaiman indeed. Mount TBR!!

      Happy New Year to you too and I hope you’ve had a lovely Christmas.

      Lynn 😀

  6. Genki Jason

    Interesting list. I’ve read a few on this list but I’m a total novice when it comes to some of these authors – Jim Butcher. We share similar tastes so I will have to check them out.

    One of the chaps at work read The Graveyard Book and recommended it.

    And The Sisters Brothers was a really great surprise, wasn’t it!?!

    • lynnsbooks

      Well, I really like Gaiman I must admit. And, he has a bit of a diverse range of books which I’m working my way through. Still not read American Gods but will do soon! I thought the Graveyard Book was really great. It’s a really quick read but very entertaining.
      I really liked The Sisters Brothers and yes, it was a surprise – I would definitely not have picked this up but I think it’s made me a bit more open minded.

  7. Carl V.

    We were having the same experience, I almost didn’t post mine today because I was worried I might get one more awesome read in, lol.

    I neglected to mention on my year end review that I chose not to put any re-reads on my list. Had I not done so then both Neverwhere and The Graveyard Book would have been on my list. Such a pleasure to group read those books this year. And in the spring it will be Stardust! I can’t wait, its been a long time.

    Love seeing de Lint on there. He is such a fantastic writer. His Newford stories, short and long, are such a pleasure to read.

    • lynnsbooks

      I know, I almost still didn’t post it because I’m currently reading the Jo Walton book and you never know!

      I think I’m going to love DeLint. The Blue Girl was great and I have some more books lined up already. I have to read one of the books that you recently reviewed Wool – not out over here yet but I’m on a mission with that one! I also forgot on my mentions about the Mistborn books – I just look back over my review list and the readalongs don’t always go on there because I haven’t actually reviewed them! Double Doh!!
      Really looking forward to the readalong in January – already got the book – on Kindle no less!!
      Have a great New Year Carl
      Lynn 😀

      • Carl V.

        I assume you are talking about Among Others? Oh, so love that book. But I’ve also seen some scathing reviews too.

        I saw on another review that Wool is being released in print form here in the U.S. next year as well and I plan on supporting the author by buying a copy of that too.

        I need to be better about reviewing all the books I suspect will end up being contenders as I read them during the year. I always go through these blocks where I don’t review what I am reading. Did much better with it this year though.

        I’m looking forward to Dragonflight too. Have my copy sitting right here next to me.

      • lynnsbooks

        Yes, Among Others. Only about 50% through – all the book references and talk of libraries – it’s like a book lovers dream! So far wondering whether there is any magic or if it’s a mechanism she’s using to get through things? We’ll see.
        I’m bad with some of my reviews. This year I started quite a few books that I didn’t finish and it just feels unfair to review them on that basis. Also, I didn’t review a few books where I read along. That being said I did actually did read less books this year but it’s a pass time not a chore and I was enjoying myself talking to people about books in the blogging community and getting involved with things and the time does fly when you’re having fun! You’ve done well this year though with all your books and your running. It all sort of takes over and before you know it the year has gone. I’m looking at my New Year’s resolutions now and I think you’ve inspired me!
        Have a great New Year.
        Lynn 😀

      • lynnsbooks

        Actually, forgot to mention I’m about 100% sure that I first read about Among Others on your blog. So thanks yet again!!
        Lynn 😀

      • Carl V.

        No problem. That is a book I heard about when listening to my first SFF related podcast, Coode Street, and I ended up being so thankful for the recommendation that I love being able to sell others on it.

        It is very much a love letter to reading.

        Reading is a for fun activity and its been nice over these last few years to not feel pressured about hitting a number and instead just allow myself to enjoy the reading.

  8. Tea Time with Marce

    Ok, I need to read Graveyard Book next year for sure.

    • lynnsbooks

      It’s a really good book and Gaiman has such an amazing imagination. So many people who I know have read this book and loved it that I really don’t think you would be disappointed. I hope not anyway!
      Lynn 😀

    • Carl V.

      If you haven’t read Stardust, Marce, you should consider group reading it with us in April. 🙂

  9. Tanya Patrice

    Ooh so many of these books I had hoped to get to and didn’t – must remedy that in 2013, especially with The Sisters Brothers and The Graveyard Book – I’m definitely going to read a lot more of Gaiman since I loved Neverwhere so mcuh.

    • lynnsbooks

      The Sisters Brothers was brilliant. I really didn’t think I was going to like it and in fact went into the whole thing with the wrong attitude so to turn me around from ‘meh’ to ‘wow’ is a pretty cool achievement. Will definitely look for more by the author.
      Lynn 😀

  10. jessicabookworm

    I haven’t actually read any of your choices, but sounds like you’ve had a interesting reading year in 2012. Happy New Year! Here’s hoping for another great reading year in 2013.

    • lynnsbooks

      Yes, I’ve enjoyed my reading this year although in actual fact I’ve read less than in previous years. Lots to look forward to in 2013 though.
      Happy New Year.
      Lynn 😀

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      Strictly speaking these weren’t in any order, just my favourite 10.
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