Saturday, January 5, 2013

Book Picks of 2012

Several years ago I discovered setting a goal for how many books I could read in a year sort of pushed me to read more than usual.  While I love and the groups they have to promote this idea- the group "50 Books in a Year" is very daunting. 

I have never read quite that many (unless you count picture books to the kiddos), but I have found that 35 is a nice number that pushes me to read a little quicker and try different genres.  This also includes any audio books that I listen to, usually that is about a half dozen a year.

I did hit 35 this year- and I am going to weed through them and give you my top picks. (Not in any particular order, I can never pick a 'favorite' because that changes day to day.)

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

This is a great little book with a strange twist on the retired life.  When Harold receives a mysterious letter from a friend that he knew decades ago, his life of chair sitting and TV watching gets turned upside-down.  I loved this sweet book, it was unexpected, simple, and warm.  It leaves you to ponder what parts of yourself you give up when you don't live life with a purpose, and it leaves you inspired by an every day man who decides to walk for a cause.  Lovely sentences such as "He walked so surely it was as if all his life he had been waiting to get up from his chair."  and "Everyone was the same, and also unique, and that was the dilema of being a human being."  remind you not all writers are created equal. Perfect to warm your heart on a wintry day.

The Night Circus by Erin Mortgensen

I read this book completely blind, meaning I had no true review or summary to go off of.  I loved it that way, so I will say very little here, too. You probably have heard people talk about it by now, anyway...suffice it to say it is different from most books you have probably read this year.  It is imagiative, luxurious, and sensual (but not graphic in any way), and written in a way that makes you want to read it all the day you pick it up.  The plot isn't necessarily stellar or shocking, but there is enough other bits of story telling fun and written loveliness that you won't care. After ward, enjoy the Night Circus pins and fan based trailers all over the place online.  Pure escapism......

Born To Run by Christopher McDougal

My brother has been trying to get me to read this for a year- and this was the summer I tackled it.  It is amazing, with feats of fitness described that are almost unbelievable, statistics that will leave your jaw on the floor (the more you spend on running shoes the greater your chance of injury???really????) and just  loads of inspiration that will make the runner happy and the non-runner want to run.  Lots of non-fiction trivia that is informative and interesting.  I did enjoy this a lot. (bit of language peppered throughout) It got me running again, even if it's just slowly, after almost a year hiatus.

For the historical fiction fan who loves stories about stories read:
The Distant Hours by Kate Morton

For the new age thinker who wants to deepen their thinking of self read:
A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle

The Best-Seller you should skip:
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Unrealistic, vulgar, raunchy and unbelievable.
Twist and turns, yes, but you hate everyone so bad who cares which way they go anyway?

Happy Reading!

see my complete book shelf and read more full reviews at


Lee said...

I'm gong to copy this list down! I need to join the local library and read more- my brain is getting bored and sluggish!!

Artzy Heart said...

These are great reviews--I wish they'd been posted BEFORE I bought Gone Girl. I think you should post these on the book club page as well.
I'm amazed at all you do. I'm just now getting back to blogging again. Why did I put it off for so long?