Thursday, January 3, 2013

Jenn's 2012 Books in Review

Usually I do my end of the year wrap-up post earlier, but we've been pretty busy with posts around here... so you may have seen this post on my seldom used personal blog, on New Year's Eve.  If so, please skip over what follows.   I apologize for the repetition. Here are the stats:

My Goodreads Challenge:  75 Books
Books Read:  76*
E-Books: 45
Hard Covers (& a few paper backs): 31

*Some of these were novellas but I read some novels twice (all of the Cassandra Clare books) and I re-read the Harry Potter books ~they aren't counted on my list), etc. so I think it evens out that I've finished this challenge.

I am always amazed at how much I use my Nook... especially for someone who didn't think she wanted an e-reader.  I find I read more books and I read faster.  I will be interested to see how or if that number changes in 2013.

My least favorite books read are few and far between, but there were some books I did not appreciate this year. These are authors whose writing style I did not enjoy so I doubt I will read anything further from them. The exception is Mr. Grossman whose literary voice I liked but whose story I didn't.

There were some magnificent reads this year too.  With 75+ reads one might think it would be hard to pick favorites; there were many.  Some of my favorites came from challenges, some are my favorite authors who rarely fail me, some were books I've been trying to get to for some time, and some were requested reads.

These were the read's that I rated 5/5 but there were many others that came close.

Here is what made the top of my list this year:

  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern - this was completely unexpected and has actually made the list of all time favorites. The writing was magnificent and the story was ingenious.  It was beautiful, and I think I shall be re-reading it again soon.
  • Taken at Dusk (Shadow Falls, #3)  by C.C. Hunter - this is one of my favorite series and it just keeps getting better. I look forward to the series conclusion in 2013
  • The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick - a beautiful multi-media display. Scorsese did a good job with the film, but the brilliant innovation of Selznick's masterpiece is not to be missed. 
  • Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare - once I picked it up, I couldn't put this series down. I read the first three books back to back... And then I read them again. (I've only read the first half of the series because the sixth book won't be published until September of 2014 and I don't want to be left hanging like that). 
  • Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare - everyone told me that this series was better than the Mortal Instruments; I didn't think that was possible... but it is!  The third book will be out March 19th and I can hardly wait.  Both of these series are going on my all time favorite list!
  • The Winds of War by Herman Wouk - this is one of my favorite made for TV miniseries and, true to form, the novel is even better, though I must say that thanks to Herman Wouk's involvement in the project, it's very close. This is heavy with history, but a fabulous WWII read. 
  • The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan - I loved the Percy Jackson series and the last book was by far my favorite. I hope to start Mr. Riordan's Heroes of Olympus this year before I move on to Egyptian mythology with the Kane Chonicles.  
  • Tempest by Julie Cross - I am fascinated by time travel stories... always have been, but they are hard stories for authors to pull off well... Ms. Cross does it superbly.  It was creative and refreshingly original.  I can't wait to see where she takes it; I won't have to wait long because book two comes out January 15th.  
  • A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness - there was a ton of hype surrounding this one, and it truly lived up to it.   While I enjoyed the next book in the series, it was far more cumbersome and it was only my love of the first book that pushed me through. I look forward to the third installment.
  • Perfectly Matched by Heather Webber - we love the Lucy Valentine series at GJR (no, really, go read it!) and this is the fourth book in the series. It was fantastic and has me eagerly awaiting Lucy's next adventure. 
  • Frozen Heat by 'Richard Castle' - This started out as a way to aussage the Castle hiatus blues, but I've really come to enjoy these books in their own right. Is there some cheese there?  Sure.  But it's really well written and pulls me in, and that's kind of the point isn't it?
  • Howl's Moving Castle by Dianna Wynne Jones - ok, this is one of my favorite books from my childhood, and it still an all time favorite. I get something different out of it every time I read it.  Ms. Jones was a master and I think I will spend some time reading and reviewing more of her books for GJR in 2013
  • Ransom River by Meg Gardiner - I adore Ms. Gardiner's two series, so it stands to reason that I would adore her new stand alone novel too.  I love her voice, I love her strong female characters, I love her dry wit.  I love every book she writes.

I think I'll keep my 2013 reading goal at 75 or so, because I did come down to the wire on it.  I cannot wait for another year of reading...  just looking at my TBR pile makes me want to dive in!

The Magicians
The Marriage Plot
It Takes a Witch
Murder on the Mind
Aftertaste: A Novel in Five Courses
Destiny and Deception
The Night Circus
Dead in Red
I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You
The Book of Lost Fragrances
Sisterhood Everlasting
Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy
The Thirteen: A Novel
Joy For Beginners
The Black Echo
Taken at Dusk
The Invention of Hugo Cabret
City of Bones

Jennifer's favorite books »


Kaley @ Books Etc. January 3, 2013 at 10:46 AM  

Ah, yes. I read Dogs Have Angels Too. Not a fan. I also loved Percy Jackson and am waiting for the whole Olympians series to be released before I dive into it. Awesome to see A Discovery of Witches on your list! I also can't wait for the final book in the trilogy. The Night Circus is on my Absolutely Must Read List for 2013. And I think I might tackle the Castle books, too. :)

Anonymous ,  January 4, 2013 at 11:13 PM  

great titles! I also enjoyed a lot The Invention of Hugo Cabret [by the way, the movie in HD was awesome].
here is my wrap-up, with pies and charts:

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