Saturday, December 15, 2012

Best Books of 2012

I've been seeing a lot of "Best Books of 2012" lists popping up, so I thought I would add mine to the mix.   Here are my top three favorite books (and one honorable mention) published in 2012.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.   I loved this book so much.  While written for teens, it transcends age groups and can be appreciated by adults as well.  I have a huge amount of respect for John Green's writing.  He has such a great way with words, and his writing is intelligent, funny and witty.  The Fault in Our Stars is a love story about two teenagers with cancer.  And it is just amazing.  A great story with interesting characters and amazing dialogue dealing with a difficult subject in an uplifting (albeit sad) way.  After writing this review, I think I have just convinced myself it's time to read it again.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.  This book is dark and twisted and at times vulgar.  It is not for everyone, especially if you are bothered by bad language.  But I really loved it.  It is a totally screwed up love story about a marriage that has gone terribly wrong.  And it is just a fun read.  I am generally a fan of crazy, dark characters, and there are some really crazy ones in this book.  I read a lot, and I find that many books are predictable and obvious in their plot lines and characters.  Gone Girl is not predictable or obvious, and I think that is why I liked it so much.

Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo:  To shake things up a bit, this one is non-fiction.   It is the true story of people living in a slum in modern day Mumbai, India.  Katherine Boo lived among the people in this slum for years, recording their lives and stories.  It reads like a camera is panning through the slum and examining the lives of the various residents, giving you bits and pieces of various conversations and events.  It is not the most fast-paced book, but it is a story that has stayed with me all year long.  It is an amazingly real portrayal of poverty in a corrupt world.  It is both eye-opening and frustrating, because you finish the book and want to do something to change things, but you feel totally helpless because the situation appears to be so hopeless.

Honorable Mention:
 A Walk Across the Sun by Corban Addison:  This book won't win any awards in the most well-written department.  But it is an intriguing story about an extremely important subject:  human trafficking.  This fictional story is a suspenseful page turner that not only kept me reading but also got me caring about something that would be so much easier just to ignore.  It is not an easy subject, but it is a worthwhile read.

There you have it.  Not stop reading this, and go read a book!!


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