Thursday, January 3, 2013

Curmudgeon's Corner: My favorite books of 2012 (CB Guest Post)

Happy New Years, everyone! My sister requested a list of my favorite books of 2012 so here it is!

1. Code Name Verity (Elizabeth Wein). This book about female friendship in WWII was my favorite book from 2012. Clearly a huge amount of research went into writing this, but it's the emotional weight of it that gets me every time.

Code Name Verity Goodreads Book Description: I have two weeks. You’ll shoot me at the end no matter what I do.

That’s what you do to enemy agents. It’s what we do to enemy agents. But I look at all the dark and twisted roads ahead and cooperation is the easy way out. Possibly the only way out for a girl caught red-handed doing dirty work like mine — and I will do anything, anything, to avoid SS-Hauptsturmf√ľhrer von Linden interrogating me again.

He has said that I can have as much paper as I need. All I have to do is cough up everything I can remember about the British War Effort. And I’m going to. But the story of how I came to be here starts with my friend Maddie. She is the pilot who flew me into France — an Allied Invasion of Two.

We are a sensational team.

Till We Have Faces 2. Till We Have Faces (C.S. Lewis, reread). I will freely admit that this book pushes all my buttons like anything. But I do think it's the best and most adult thing Lewis ever wrote. I don't like his SF trilogy, but I adore this book.

Goodreads Book Description: This tale of two princesses - one beautiful and one unattractive - and of the struggle between sacred and profane love is Lewis’s reworking of the myth of Cupid and Psyche and one of his most enduring works.

3. tiny beautiful things (Cheryl Strayed). Best of her Dear Sugar columns. Read those first, and get this book if you want a hard copy of them.

Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar Goodreads Book Description: Life can be hard: your lover cheats on you; you lose a family member; you can’t pay the bills—and it can be great: you’ve had the hottest sex of your life; you get that plum job; you muster the courage to write your novel. Sugar—the once-anonymous online columnist at The Rumpus, now revealed as Cheryl Strayed, author of the bestselling memoir Wild—is the person thousands turn to for advice.
Tiny Beautiful Things brings the best of Dear Sugar in one place and includes never-before-published columns and a new introduction by Steve Almond.  Rich with humor, insight, compassion—and absolute honesty—this book is a balm for everything life throws our way.

 4. Team Human (Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan) - In any other year this book would have been my favorite (not its fault it came out in a year with a lot of other strong contenders). Vampire meta that still manages to be its own spectacularly funny book.
Team Human
Goodreads Book Description: Just because Mel lives in New Whitby, a city founded by vampires, doesn't mean she knows any of the blood-drinking undead personally. They stay in their part of town; she says in hers. Until the day a vampire shows up at her high school. Worse yet, her best friend, Cathy, seems to be falling in love with him. It's up to Mel to save Cathy from a mistake she might regret for all eternity!

On top of trying to help Cathy (whether she wants it or not), Mel is investigating a mysterious disappearance for another friend and discovering the attractions of a certain vampire wannabe. Combine all this with a cranky vampire cop, a number of unlikely romantic entanglements, and the occasional zombie, and soon Mel is hip-deep in an adventure that is equal parts hilarious and touching.

Acclaimed authors Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan team up to create a witty and poignant story of cool vampires, warm friendships, and the changes that test the bonds of love.

 5. Bitterblue (Kristin Cashore) - Cashore takes the world of Graceling and Fire and amps it up a notch. Not a perfect book, but an ambitious and fascinating one.

Bitterblue (Graceling Realm, #3)Goodreads Book Description: The long-awaited companion to New York Times bestsellers Graceling and Fire

Eight years after Graceling, Bitterblue is now queen of Monsea. But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisors, who have run things since Leck died, believe in a forward-thinking plan: Pardon all who committed terrible acts under Leck's reign, and forget anything bad ever happened. But when Bitterblue begins sneaking outside the castle--disguised and alone--to walk the streets of her own city, she starts realizing that the kingdom has been under the thirty-five-year spell of a madman, and the only way to move forward is to revisit the past.

Two thieves, who only steal what has already been stolen, change her life forever. They hold a key to the truth of Leck's reign. And one of them, with an extreme skill called a Grace that he hasn't yet identified, holds a key to her heart.

What were your favorite books that you read in 2012, and why?

 Current Giveaways
1. Interview with Jennifer Lane, author of Streamline, US giveaway of signed paperback + bookmark and International giveaway of e-copy, 12/16
Streamline Giveaway

2. New Years 2013 Blog Hop, featuring Interview with Morpheus from Splintered by A.G. Howard and Giveaway, 1/1/13-1/7/13 (INT)
Splintered giveaway


  1. Code Name Verity was my favorite read of the year-so glad to see it at the top of your list :)

  2. What a great list and what a year for fantastic books!! I am so impressed by the YA genre, and if i had to choose a top 5 they would be:
    1. Asunder
    2. There comes a Prophet
    3. Beautiful Creatures
    4. Code Name Verity
    5. Venom

  3. Great list! I haven't read any of those but I am intrigued and adding them to my tbr

  4. Those look amazing. I never read any of them, but they are now on my tbr.

  5. The only one I read on this list is Bitterblue, and I loved that one! But my Favorite read of 2012 would have to be Beautiful Redemption!

    Thanks for the list, now I have a few more books to read!!

  6. Great list. I think I'll have to compose a list of my favorites at the end of 2013 and post on my blog!
    Oh, and I need to check out that C.S. Lewis book! I'm sure I heard of it but I didn't know what it was about-- sounds really good.

  7. Interested with Team Human. Thanks for sharing this list! :)

  8. I haven't read any of those books yet. I'm going to have to check them out :)

    Thanks for sharing :)

  9. I haven't read any of the books you mentioned but 'Team Human' sounds very interesting. I didn't even know that I already had it in my TBR shelf until I checked it on goodreads. Thanks for the awesome list !

  10. I would agree on the top 5 for the most part, but I would place Till We Have Faces at the #1 spot. It is an incredible book and I have even read it 2 more times. Thanks for the great insight into your top 5

  11. I have read almost everything by CS Lewis but have not read Till We Have Faces. I'll have to check it out!

  12. My fave books of all would be the unbecoming of mara dyer + the second book, the evolution of mara dyer.

  13. I need to finish the Graceling trilogy! I've only read the first book and I really enjoyed it so I can't wait to get to the second one! :)