TTT: The Best Reads of 2012

As the year draws to a close, my reading and blogging slow down. Nothing like the festive season to remind you to relax and  spend quality time with the family. The hustle and bustle of 2013 is just around the corner.

2012 was certainly a good reading year. In January I set a goal of 20 books read, not knowing how much I could get done with school and hospital keeping me occupied. So far I have read 73. Today, along with The Broke and the Bookish, I reflect upon the very best books I read this year.

Zoo City by Lauren Beukes – an urban fantasy set in Johannesburg, South Africa, with beautiful cover art and dark and twisty characters. Even though I don’t write many reviews, I couldn’t resist writing one for Zoo City. There is a lot of hate and a lot of love for this book, and it’s very different to anything else I’ve ever read. I fall on the love-side.

Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn – non-fiction books are difficult to read sometimes, and often they’re downright depressing. These journalists managed to address a depressing issue – poverty and illiteracy and modern-day slavery – and still leave the reader with a sense of hope.

The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani – a bold picture of 17th century Iran, this book rings of Khaled Hosseini but is still original and beautiful. History and the Middle East and women – I was sold.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor – this book left me speechless. WOW. A completely new look at the paranormal, a hint of romance that is not treacle-sweet, a good dose of action and confusion. And Prague! Oh, wow.

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness – an amazing YA-novel that had me at the edge of my seat. This one was simply unputdownable, and kept me guessing. I loved the premise too, and I neeeeed to find the next book!

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson – this is a fairytale retelling like no other. I was a Peter Pan fanatic as a little girl, and this point of view was simply beautiful. The writing is literary and lyrical and the story unpretentious.

The Karma Suture by Rosamund Kendal – this was that book for me: the one you identify with at a dark time of your life, the one that changes your perspective. A work of fiction, but certainly based on reality. As far as books about doctors go, this one is the best.

Divergent by Veronica Roth – I’m so glad I finally read this one. In 2011 I discovered The Hunger Games Trilogy, in 2012 it was Divergent. The pace and twists of this book had me enthralled. I loved it.

Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Green – I adore the POV coming from the imaginary friend, and I became quite attached to the little boy as well. This novel is art, it is creation, it is pure beauty.

Room by Emma Donoghue – some say that it was presumptuous of the author to write this from the child’s POV. I say, he lived through the horrendous events as well, and I find his POV to be genuine and as important. His behaviour and insight at different times are not always congruent, but then what can you expect to stem from the incongruencies of his life? Simply beautifully written, and of course a little sad.

I haven’t cheated on a TTT in a long time, but I have to include these special mentions:

The House of Special Purpose by John Boyne – a Russian history, don’t you just love Romanov-type histories? Along with new life and romance and a sneaking suspicion… I like this one a lot!

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender – this was less about the story and more about the character building, the personal struggles and the stunning writing.

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18 thoughts on “TTT: The Best Reads of 2012”

  1. Daughter of Smoke and Bone was my favorite read in 2011!!! Its so lyrical and powerful and just mind-blowing. Definitely the kind of read that renders you speechless.

    Divergent was really awesome too. :]

    I haven’t read any of the other books on your list yet but I plan on checking a few of them out. Especially Tiger Lily and The Knife of Never Letting Go.

  2. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake was my ultimate read this year, I loved it, and yes, mostly for the writing, beautiful! I have just read Divergent and am itching to read the next one -have been trying to get to the book shop to purchase it, but have not managed to get there, today its a must! I read Room this time two years ago, fabulous book, thought it was really well done and as for memoirs of an imaginary friend, have to say, that I was not expecting the twist…! I tried to read Lauren Beukes but couldnt get into it and haven’t tried again. And of course, The Karma Suture is one of my all time faves. Happy holiday reading!

    1. I only got into Zoo City on the third try… you have to be in a certain mood! I’m looking forward to reading Insurgent as well, and of course I have you to thank for Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend 🙂

  3. As usual I’m finding more books to add to my reading list thanks to you! And I loved Daughter of Smoke & Bone, The Knife of Never Letting Go and Divergent. I’m almost finished with Zoo City too.

  4. Room was on my list too!
    I remember you mentioning the Karma Suture before. I still want to get my hands on it! Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend sounds fascinating, as well.

  5. I also really liked Room, and thought the narrator and narrative structure was captivating! It missed making my TTT by a hair. Zoo City has been on my TBR list for ages…I’ve resisted only because my library doesn’t have it, but maybe in 2013!

    Great choices; thanks for sharing!

    Feel free to check out my TTT here!

  6. I really loved Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend. The scene where he starts to “grow up” made me cry. It was a wonderful book. I haven’t read Room yet, but I am hopefully going to get to it soon.

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