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message 1: by Lee, Mod Mama (new)

Lee (leekat) | 3959 comments Mod
Hello comfy readers!
The end of 2012 is approaching and I'd love to hear about your favourite reads of 2012. They don't have to be comfort reads, I want to know what blew you away in any genre. Go!

message 2: by NayNay (new)

NayNay Oh my, there are so many....

Mariana by Susanna Kearsley
The Rose Garden Susanna Kearsley
The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley
Her Highness, the Traitor by Susan Higginbotham
The Sumerton Women by D.L. Bogdan
Innocent Traitor by Alison Weir
Mary, Queen of France by Jean Plaidy
Epitaph for Three Women by Jean Plaidy

Mariana by Susanna Kearsley The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley Her Highness, the Traitor by Susan Higginbotham The Sumerton Women by D.L. Bogdan Innocent Traitor A Novel of Lady Jane Grey by Alison Weir Mary, Queen of France (Tudor Saga, #9) by Jean Plaidy Epitaph for Three Women (Plantagenet Saga, #12) by Jean Plaidy

message 3: by Lee, Mod Mama (new)

Lee (leekat) | 3959 comments Mod
A historical fiction fan! Thanks, NayNay.

message 4: by Audrey (new)

Audrey Perry | 1 comments The Violets of March by Sarah Jio-so soo good! Got it for Christmas and didn't put it down until I finished it.

message 5: by Diane (last edited Dec 28, 2012 07:57AM) (new)

Diane  (dianedj) One for sure was my first read of 2012:

Wesley the Owl The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl by Stacey O'Brien

Just thought of more after reviewing my list:

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton ; and

Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri

message 6: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) Wow, great question, Lee and all.

Diane and all, I finished Wesley the Owl: The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl on 12/20/11; otherwise it would be on this list, if I'd finished it just a couple weeks later.


Well there were probably almost a dozen vegan cookbooks, including Wild About Greens: 125 Delicious Recipes from Hearty Soups & Stews to Succulent Sautes & Smoothies.


The Fault in Our Stars

Trail of the Spellmans

The Invisible Bridge

The Art of Miss Chew

The Casual Vacancy

That Scatterbrain Booky

Address Unknown

and probably many more.

message 7: by Kim (last edited Dec 28, 2012 03:17AM) (new)

Kim (kimmr) | 931 comments I read (and listened to) lots of great books in 2012. The ones which immediately come to mind are:

Cannery Row, The Grapes of Wrath, East of Eden, The Moon is Down and Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck (it's been a bit of a Steinbeck year for me);

Lolita (definitely not a comfort read!);

The Children's Book (lots of characters, lots of research);

Bring Up the Bodies and A Place of Greater Safety by the incomparable Hilary Mantel;

The Count of Monte Cristo (lots of fun and as unbelievable as the most OTT soap opera)

The Book Thief (which made me cry);

Sweet Tooth (I loved the clever twist);

Birds Without Wings (It took a while to get into, but really packed a punch);

Wives and Daughters (Such a shame that Gaskell died before finishing this book);

The Secret River (a must for Australian readers).

message 8: by Lee, Mod Mama (new)

Lee (leekat) | 3959 comments Mod
I'm so glad I asked this question, some great books are showing up!

message 9: by Lisa (last edited Dec 28, 2012 10:27AM) (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) Kim, The Book Thief is on my favorites list, and it made me cry too.

As Lee said, lots of great books. I'm hoping more people will post.

Lee, Let's do this every year!

ETA: Diane, Ditto Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close being read in an earlier year. Otherwise, it would have also made my list.

LOTs of books to go check out!

message 10: by Diane (new)

Diane  (dianedj) Lisa, I'm glad I'm including some of your favorites from earlier than 2012 :)

message 11: by Becky (last edited Dec 28, 2012 11:26AM) (new)

Becky (ebab) The WitnessThe Witness by Nora Roberts

Deep in the Heart Deep in the Heart by Staci Stallings

While You Were Dead& Dead Reckoningboth by CJ Snyder

The Blue Fire series by Scott PrussingBlue Fire Heat

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 529 comments The Years of Rice and Salt, by Kim Stanley Robinson

George, Nicholas and Wilhelm: Three Royal Cousins and the Road to World War I, by Miranda Carter

The Swerve: How the World Became Modern, by Stephen Greenblatt

The Beekeeper's Apprentice, by Laurie R. King

A Letter of Mary, by Laurie R. King

Bring Up the Bodies, by Hilary Mantel

The Grand Sophy, by Georgette Heyer

Persuasion, by Jane Austen

The Help, by Kathryn Stockett

Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis

In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote

Our Mutual Friend, by Charles Dickens

message 13: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 12 comments Dylan and Jesse by C.H. Admirand
Quinn by R.C. Ryan
Big Sky Country by Linda Lael Miller
Deep in the Heart by Staci Stallings

message 16: by Laura (new)

Laura (apenandzen) | 157 comments Here are mine:

The Presidents Club: Inside the World's Most Exclusive Fraternity - tremendous if you're interested in US presidents, heartwarming too!
The Casual Vacancy - I almost didn't read it, so glad I did
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry - particularly if you're 40 plus
City of Thieves - gritty and real but funny too
To Be Sung Underwater - a romance and more, makes you think
Steve Jobs - here you have genius author and subject both
Mrs. Kennedy and Me: An Intimate Memoir - tearjerker and revealing
Small Island - may be my favorite of all, historical, dark, yet light
Please Ignore Vera Dietz - tremendous YA lit

The Presidents Club Inside the World's Most Exclusive Fraternity by Nancy Gibbs The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce City of Thieves by David Benioff To Be Sung Underwater by Tom McNeal Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson Mrs. Kennedy and Me An Intimate Memoir by Clint Hill Small Island by Andrea Levy Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King

message 17: by Diane (new)

Diane  (dianedj) Laura, I almost did not read The Casual Vacancy either and I'm with you - so glad I did. Thanks to the nudging of some GR friends :)

message 18: by Laura (new)

Laura (apenandzen) | 157 comments I have a whole new respect for her, beyond the fact I already thought she rocked. Same here, two friends' reviews convinced me to try it. I'm so glad. A book not to be forgotten.

message 19: by Lee, Mod Mama (new)

Lee (leekat) | 3959 comments Mod
Well it seems I read an awful lot of mediocre books this year because after taking a look at my shelves, I only found 2 books rated with five stars.

Rules of Civility
Tell the Wolves I'm Home

message 20: by Laura (new)

Laura (apenandzen) | 157 comments I set a goal to find 12 5-star reads this year and barely made it.

If anyone knows how to guarantee (or practically guarantee) a 5-star read, please tell me, because I'd like to learn to choose better.

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 529 comments I dunno, Laura; I only gave 5 stars twice in 2012; and it was more than I gave in 2011. (I tend to be very stingy with 5 stars, but generous with 4, for whatever reason.)

message 22: by Lee, Mod Mama (new)

Lee (leekat) | 3959 comments Mod
I don't think there's any way to guarantee finding a five star read. If a book has an average rating above 4.00, depending on the genre, than it may have more of a chance. Also, if you've read and loved an author's previous works, that's a good way to find excellent books. Reading is so personal though, it depends on what you like and how you rate the books. I don't rate for technical perfection because I don't have the expertise or knowledge to do that. I definitely rate books based on how much I liked/loved them, how much they resonated with me personally or if I learned a lot while reading. Also, if a book/story/character stays with me more than a day or two after I finish, that says a lot.

message 23: by Lee, Mod Mama (new)

Lee (leekat) | 3959 comments Mod
Susanna, I tend to be the same. Lots of fours and pretty stingy with my fives.

message 24: by Laura (new)

Laura (apenandzen) | 157 comments Having the average GR rating above 4 I think is helpful for me. Was helpful the past year. Maybe I just got lucky but I tried to choose really carefully.

I agree re the technical stuff, I tend to rate a 5 based on how it affected me, and whether I know it'll stay with me helps also.

message 25: by Kim (new)

Kim (kimmr) | 931 comments My average rating is about 3.75 or thereabouts, so I'm very glad to have read so many 5 star books this year. Falling in love with Steinbeck's writing certainly helped with that process. Most of my 5 star books are ones which I'm still thinking about days after I've finished reading or listening to them. Most of my ratings are 4 stars, some are 3 and I read very few 1 or 2 star books. Mostly I know what is not going to appeal to me, so the books I won't like don't even get started.

message 26: by Chrissie (last edited Dec 29, 2012 10:00PM) (new)

Chrissie We are all looking for books that we will love. My method is pick a book that has a subject that is interesting, something you want to know more about. Then if the author isn't that good, you at least have leaned something and you have not wasted your time.

My average is 3.52.

I want to learn and I want to be emotionally moved. I have found very few authors who can write more than one really exceptional book, but you do get tempted to try another when one blew you over. I LIKE trying new authors and genre because you never know what is out there! What if you are totally missing something!

message 27: by Laura (last edited Dec 30, 2012 06:57AM) (new)

Laura (apenandzen) | 157 comments I wasn't referring to my GR rating, I meant choosing books whose GR rating was above 4 seemed to help me find better books (which Lee suggested). I think that definitely helped, and being a numbers person, I think I gravitate to the higher rated books.

My GR average is 4.04, but that's probably because I give up if I don't like a book, and I tend to shy away from something I think I won't like. If I gave up or didn't finish, I almost never rate it on GR or log it in as read.

message 28: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie Laura, I agree that choosing books with a rating above four is always a good bet....but not fullproof!

message 29: by Laura (new)

Laura (apenandzen) | 157 comments Very true.

message 30: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks I tend not to rely on average ratings, I tend to put more of an emphasis on reviews. And because many of the books that interest me, are not all that commonly read (and are sometimes quite academic and subject specific in nature), I often have to decide on reading a book simply by the title (as there are very few ratings and/or reviews). Actually, if I am not sure about a book, especially a book of fiction, I often try to get it from the library and will only purchase a copy, if after reading about 50 pages of the library book, I still enjoy the book.

message 31: by Laura (new)

Laura | 294 comments Here is my list:

Heart of War by John Masters

The Eden Passsion by Marilyn Harris

The Black Velvet Gown by Catherine Cookson

Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens

The Invisible Mountain by Carolina de Robertis

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy

Sunset Song by Lewis Grassic Gibbon

The Towers of Silence by Paul Scott

A Time of Gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor

Sissi : L'Impératrice anarchiste by Catherire Clement

Ride with Me by Thomas B. Costain

To Serve Them All My Days by R.F. Delderfield

Elizabeth and Her German Gardenby Elizabeth von Arnim

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 529 comments I tend to trust good ratings from friends who like the same sort of books I do.

message 33: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie Thanks, Laura. I am going to check out some I do not recognize at all. A Time of Gifts is exceptional, but it will not fit everyone. What a different world there was then.

message 34: by Tracey (new)

Tracey (stewartry) I was surprised to see that I gave forty books five stars this past year. It was partly because I re-read a bunch of old favorites and read a few new books by favorite authors, but - forty! I won't take up the room here - I listed them on my blog:

If I had to pick just a few, though, my favorite reads were:
Brat FarrarJosephine Tey
Bride of the Rat GodBarbara Hambly
DraculaBram Stoker via Craftlit
Dust and ShadowLyndsay Faye, audiobook read by Simon Vance
Golden Feathers FallingMarcin Wrona
Her Majesty s WillDavid Blixt
The Hunger GamesSuzanne Collins
Moon Over Soho (audio) – Ben Aaronovitch, read by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
My Loving Vigil KeepingCarla Kelly
River MarkedPatricia Briggs
Royal StreetSuzanne Johnson
The Sandcastle GirlsChris Bohjalian
and last but the opposite of least -
UnspokenSarah Rees Brennan

message 35: by Lee, Mod Mama (new)

Lee (leekat) | 3959 comments Mod
Wow, 40 five star ratings. That's incredible, Tracey. It must have been a pleasure to read so many wonderful books. I'll take a look at the full list on your blog.

message 36: by [deleted user] (new)

My best non-fiction was Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity .

Favorite fiction books were Gone Girl , The Woman in Black , and Replay

None were comfy reads, hmmmm.

message 37: by Laura (new)

Laura | 294 comments Bratt Farrar is available at eBooks@Adelaide, thanks to remind me.

message 38: by Tracey (new)

Tracey (stewartry) Somehow that was the one Tey I'd never read before - it was terrific.

message 39: by Laura (new)

Laura | 294 comments I do love Tey's books, thanks for sharing Tracey.

message 40: by Diane (new)

Diane  (dianedj) Tracey wrote: "I was surprised to see that I gave forty books five stars this past year. It was partly because I re-read a bunch of old favorites and read a few new books by favorite authors, but - forty! I won't..."

Tracey, I plan to read The Sandcastle Girls this year.

message 41: by Tracey (new)

Tracey (stewartry) I hope you love it, Diane! It blew me away.

message 42: by Joy (last edited May 07, 2013 10:16AM) (new)

Joy | 314 comments My favorite book so far this year is definitely The Silver Linings Playbook. I just picked up the DVD at the library yesterday - can't wait to watch it!

message 43: by Renee (new)

Renee | 8 comments Fern Michaels Godmother series. They were all great!

message 44: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 5 comments This year I discovered 2 new authors that I love: W R Gingell, and R. Cooper. Cooper writes parnormal romance and Gingell writes fantasy and urban fantasy (my go-to genre). Both are good writers and both have shown me original and entertaining things. And both are prolific.... yay!

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