Best Books in 2012
1) Best Book You Read in 2012? Like Velox, I can't choose just one. I like his system of choosing the top five, which is also hard:
~The Fault in Our Stars (TFIOS), by John Green--It's like Green takes all these wonderful ideas you had floating around in your head and didn't even know it and then placed them perfectly on paper to amaze you at how marvelous human conscousness is.
~Mr.Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan--Such a wonderfully written narrative with plenty of popular culture references for geeky Easter eggs. It's also nice to break away from the space operas, laser blasts, and teenage-death-love-triangles every once in a while but still read something not rooted entirely in reality.
~Stargirl, by Jerry Spinelli--The characters are so drawn out from every day individuals you know (including yourself), I started to wonder what I would do in the main character's shoes, hoping, believing I was different enough at his age to make the right decisions.
~Sandman series, by Neil Gaiman--I restarted this series (having barely read volume 1 a while back) and am now 3 volumes in. It's absolutely fantastic the way Gaiman writes and crafts his stories.
~Every Day, by David Levithan--While not perfect, this book had me growing with the character, understanding the situation so well, feeling the pain and joy as they jump into a new body, and a new life, every day.
2) Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going to Love More But Didn't?
~Matched, by Ally Condie--I dropped it halfway through. John Green recommended it I picked it up and was surprised at how enthralled I was with it. Then I had to wait a week or so before picking it up again, and it was at that point that the story slowed down from the excitement I had in the first few chapters and lost its glamour. The pacing was off and things weren't happening, so I decided to take my useful time elsewhere.
3) Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2012?
~Stargirl--I had been resistant to reading this back in 8th grade, then picked it up this year and couldn't put it down!
~Mr. Penumbra's--I didn't know what to expect at first.
4) Book you recommended to people most in 2012?
~I suddenly fount myself telling many customers to buy Mr. Penumbra's, because it's fiction with a hint of mysticism. I am also always recommending Looking for Alaska by John Green (which I read less than a year ago, at the end of 2011). It was the first book that got a few tears out of me (Stargirl being the second), and is excellent.
5) Best series you discovered in 2012?
~The Giver Quartet, by Lois Lowry--I had read The Giver back in 8th grade (by choice, no class assignments to make me hate a book) and loved it. I bought the second and third "companion novels" to it in the summer of 2011. With the fourth novel, Son, having come out to wrap it all up in October, this was a great chance for me to reread a favorite book and catch up on the series too. Each one was wonderful in its own right.
6) Favorite new authors you discovered in 2012?
~Technically I hadn't read David Levithan's work until this year. I read Will Grayson, Will Grayson and Every Day, and am open to reading whatever else he's put out. But really, I started John Green's books around Christmas last year and he's definitely my favorite author. And I've met him!
7) Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
~Stargirl, because I didn't think I'd enjoy it, avoided it in 8th grade when my English teacher recommended it (I thought it was a girl book--surprise! It has a male voice narrating, and at my age I stop caring about that anyway), snuffed it when my best friend a few months ago said it was her favorite, and then picked it up anyway to see what the fuss was about. Now I can't stop thinking about how much it's touched me.
8) Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012?
~Every Day, TFIOS, Stargirl--Because they're so good!
9) Book You Read In 2012 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
~TFIOS--I'd been wanting to reread it every since I finished! Actually, my best friend and I are having a sort of "John Green book club," where we'll read Paper Towns, TFIOS, and then Looking for Alaska together (she hasn't read PT or TFIOS, or An Abundance of Katherines).
10) Most memorable character in 2012?
~Stargirl--I'm in love.
11) Most beautifully written book read in 2012?
~The Sandman, by Neil Gaiman--Between the art and the story, it's a work of brilliance.
12) Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012?
~TFIOS, Stargirl--Both had me thinking, choking up a little, and Stargirl especially left me emotionally scarred, in a good way that only a book can.
13) Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read?
~Stargirl, Sandman--I explained my delay for Stargirl, and I wonder what kind of effect it would have had on me had I read it in 8th grade. I feel like I was meant to read it now. It had been hard to get into Sandman because I had to borrow them from the library, but now that I'm not in school that's easier. Plus they take longer to read than most comics.
14) Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2012?
~Presently on my mind is a line from Green's The Fault in Our Stars: "I am not in the business of denying myself the pleasure of saying things that are true." Seems like a good philosophy.
15) Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2012?
~Stargirl was pretty short. Everything else was around the 300-page mark, give or take. I'm about to read The Edge of Nowhere by Elizabeth George, which is over 400 pages.
16) Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a huh moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!
~There were moments when I wanted to call my friend up to discuss how Stargirl was ripping my heart out and stepping on it, then giving it back, only to repeat the process. But I wanted to keep the fact that I was reading it a surprise.
17) Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2012 (be it romantic, friendship, etc)?
~There are lots of solid friendships in John Green's books. I really liked the budding relationship in Stargirl.
18) Favorite Book You Read in 2012 From An Author You Read Previously?
18a) Favorite Book You Read in 2012 From An Author You Had Not Read Previously (and not solely recommended as seen in 19)?
~A Princess of Mars--Very different and cool to read.
19) Best Book You Read That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else?
1) One Book You Didn't Get To In 2012 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2013?
My top unread books of 2013 include: NW, American Gods, Ready Player One, Gone Girl, Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and V for Vendetta. (Also Redshirts and Robopocalypse. (And The Dresden Files.))
2) Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2013?
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, and The Goliath Stone by Larry Niven.
3) One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging in 2013?
Read more! I've made an Excel spreadsheet
(Final note: The Batman graphic novel Hush by Jim Loeb is absolutely superb and the epitome of the Batman comics I have read so far (which includes Scott Snyder's Court/Night of Owls this year and The Killing Joke).