Inspired by the latest Books on the Nightstand podcast, in which they list their favorite books of 2012, I decided to look over my Goodreads website and create my own “best of” list.
First a disclaimer: I’m not all that book hip, so this list includes books that I read during the year but weren’t necessarily published in 2012.
For instance, I just read The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy. It was published in 1986. It didn’t make my list, but it could have because this is not a “best books published in 2012,” but a “best books Heather read in 2012” list.
And here they are (in the order they were read):
History of a Pleasure Seeker by Richard Mason
Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
Sacre Bleu: A Comedy d’Art by Christopher Moore
The Night Circus by Eric Morgenstern
The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
Girlchild by Tupelo Hassman
Looking at this list, I wondered if the novels have anything in common, something specific that appeals to me as a reader.
Two of them are set in Paris, two in the American south, one in Amsterdam and the last takes place all over the world.
Some are first person narratives, some are third.
Some feature male protagonists, some female and some both.
But every single one of these authors created a rich world that sucked me in.
In History of a Pleasure Seeker, I swore I could smell the canals and alligators will forever be Seths in my mind thanks to Swamplandia!
The Night Circus’s atmosphere was so powerful that I felt like I was waking up from a dream every time I set it down. Sacre Bleu was just as magical but in a completely different, and funnier, way.
The Paris Wife transported me back in time and, even though I probably would have hated Hemingway in person, I kind of wanted to stay there.
And Girlchild was disturbing and yet compelling. I couldn’t pull myself away.
I’m no reviewer so I can’t clearly explain exactly why I loved each of these books, but I’m so glad I read them. They, along with a whole host of other wonderful stories, made 2012 a great year in reading.