I like the lists that come out at the end of the year whether that is NPR, The Times, or my fellow book bloggers. Most of the lists catalog the best books that debuted that year. The New York Times Best Books List is my favorite. In fact, the cute icon above was shamelessly “borrowed” from them. I take their list as suggestions of good books to read this next year.
I also like to make my own list each year. For my list I pick the best books I’ve read this past year no matter when they were published. As it happens, four on my list were published this year.
1. In Need of a Good Wife by Kelly O’Connor McNees – Historical fiction (post Civil War) at it’s very best. The women seeking a better life in Nebraska came to life as only this author can do.
2. City of Women – An absolute page turner. The people and the setting pf the book really got to me. The book had me right in the heart of Berlin during World War II. I even dreamed about it.
3. A Good American – A pure American immigrant story that could have been my family.
4. The Lost Art of Mixing by Erica Bauermeister – Honestly, can this author do anything but outstanding novels? She captivated me again. This one had me revisiting some old friends from a previous novel.
Two of my best books came from a new-to-me author and an author I’ve been reading since my teens. In the future I’ll keep reading from the works of these two.
5. Agatha Christie: And Then Their Were None – Ten people go to an island and all end up dead. No one else is on the island.. How did that happen?
6. Joshilyn Jackson: Gods In Alabama – Southern charm and quirkiness all rolled into one fun and thought provoking story.
I reread three classics this year and was reminded why they have been life-long favorites. I suspect, if I live long enough, I’ll read them again someday.
7. My Antonia by Willa Cather
8. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
9. The Good Earth by Pearl Buck
My final best book is a quasi-cookbook. I liked the idea of it when I first scanned through the book at the beginning of the year. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed using the book often throughout the year.
10. The Book Club Cookbook by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy - A collection of favorite books that many book clubs have enjoyed coupled with food and recipes that have been consumed along with the discussion of the book. Most of the recipes were inspired by the content of each book.
2012 was a good year for reading. I didn’t read as many books as I normally do. I slowed down to concentrate on quality. I’d like to thank all the authors, editors, publicists, and, well, the whole publishing industry for bringing me so many hours of pleasure this past year.
I’m looking forward to more good books in 2013. I already have a good list ready to go. So – raise your mug of coffee or tea along with me. Let’s toast the old year in books and welcome in the new one.