Happy 2013! Best Books of 2012!

Happy 2013!!!

It has been a busy, busy holiday season!  Hence, I am a little late in posting the best books of 2012.  Below you’ll find my take on my favorite ten 2012 reads as well as some links to “Best Books” lists I have found elsewhere.

So, I have enjoyed the following ten books:

Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel. The second in a trilogy, this novel won Mantel her second Booker award.  Yes, the first was for Wolf Hall.  No, you don’t have to read WH to “get” BUTB, and the latter is much more accessible, easier to read.  Henry the 8th, Anne Boleyn, palace intrigue…what’s not to love?  This book is scooping up all the major prizes, by the way.  More importantly, it is Literary Masters selection for May. 🙂

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter.  Funny, poignant, multi-layered.  This wonderful novel will make you laugh out loud and cry into your tissues.  Best of all, it just may make you be a little more forgiving of people around you.  And of yourself.  It has landed on many “Best Books” lists; in fact, it was one of the NY Times‘ Notable Books of 2012.  But not until after it was Literary Masters’ selection for September 2012!

The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham.  No, it wasn’t published last year, but I read it in 2012 because it was Literary Masters’ selection for October.  By far the most popular book across all my Literary Masters book groups and salons, this little novel has it all.  If I awarded stars, I would give it five!  Much, much better than the movie.  Here’s my original post on it.

What Happened to Sophie Wilder? by Christopher Beha.  I loved this book.  I found it while trolling some other blogs–I can’t remember who to thank for this recommendation–but I couldn’t put it down and I look forward to more from this author.  A very literary yet readable novel, a love story, a deeply thought-provoking book.

West With the Night by Beryl Markham.  Another oldie but goodie that I read last year.  Here’s my original post on it:

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach.  This was Literary Masters’ May 2012 selection, and just about everyone loved it.  Some of us were even inspired to read (or re-read) Moby Dick.  If you haven’t read TAOF yet, you are in for a treat. 

Gillespie and I by Jane Harris.  I have Reading Matters, a blog I follow, to thank for this one.  Hard to get into at first, but then you can’t put it down.  A psychological thriller, set in Victorian times.  My niece read it and came away with a totally different interpretation than I did.  I love it!

Coral Glynn by Peter Cameron.  I couldn’t stop thinking about this slim novel after I read it.  Here’s my original post.

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates.  Another classic.  One of the best books I read in 2012, and probably one of the best books I’ve ever read.  Here’s my original post.

In the Country of Men by Hisham Matar.  Yes, another Literary Masters 2012 selection.  Here’s my original post.

Once you’ve read all of the above, here are some other lists to consult:

From the NY Times, a list of ten–click here.

From The Huffington Post, a longer list–click here.

From the Guardian, a really long list–click here.

From Trevor over at The Mookse and the Gripes, another blog I follow, click here.  Thanks, Trevor!

And from Kevin over at Kevin from Canada, click here.  Thanks, Kevin!

I could sit here all day and do this, but my other duties call!  Here’s wishing you and yours a wonderful 2013–read a book, join a book group, talk about it with others, and as E.M. Forster so aptly put it: only connect!

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