Pretty Reads: Favourite Books of 2012!

Hello hello!

I hope you all had a very enjoyable holiday!! Unfortunately, I was having some pretty awful allergy problems so it wasn’t the best it could be but I’ve definitely had worse. 🙂

This year, I found that I had a lot of books that I loved which is terrific. Thanks to Goodreads, I’m actually able to remember them by the time December rolls around. Honestly, what did I do before Goodreads? I love it so much! Also, I easily achieved my goal of reading 60 books this year. This went a lot better than last year’s goal of 50 that I kept putting off until the fall and then rushed to complete. Using goodreads to track books actually reminds me to make more time for reading. It’s so easy to put it off when you can easily spend an hour on your iphone doing nothing.

Anyway, here are my favourite books for 2012!

1. Favourite Thriller: Before I Go To Sleep – S.J. Watson

This was easy for me. I literally could not put it down. It’s a quick read but I was so anxious about the outcome that I couldn’t stand to wait until the morning. I think I stayed up until about 3 am to finish this. Then I just laid back, stared at the ceiling and thought about it some more. I loved the layout as you discover what’s happening at the same time as the main character. Fantastic!

2. Most Unexpected Favourite: The Sisters Brothers – Patrick DeWitt

This was a book club selection. Otherwise, I’m not sure I’d have ever picked it up. I mean, it’s a Western and that’s not really my think, is it? However, I really found this book to be so interesting. It was another one of those stories where you don’t really have all the information until the end so even if it’s not really a mystery there are some things you’re curious about. This book details the relationship of The Sisters brothers who are hired hit men as they go in search of their latest job. The dynamic between the brothers was really interesting and I liked how their roles changed throughout the book. I also really enjoyed how much joy they got from brushing their teeth for the first time.

3. Favourite New (to me) Series: Her Royal Spyness – Rhys Bowen

Easy for me to pick this series. I love it so much as you may have read here. I have to say I really enjoyed watching the Downton Abbey Christmas Special where they visit Scotland. I thought that Lady Georgiana would approve.

4. Favourite Memoir: Paris in Love – Eloisa James

I am a sucker for an expat in Paris memoir. Unfortunately, I never enjoy them as much as I think I’m going to. Fortunately, I really loved this book. Their life in Paris wasn’t really a non stop drama like many of these memoirs are. It was really just a snapshot of their day to day lives. That’s always the part of travelling that I love the best. The imagining that you live in that particular city at that moment. This is why I never really come back with a lot of stuff. I can’t stand to be in stores when I can be walking the streets!

beautifulruins5. Best Travel Fantasy: Beautiful Ruins – Jess Walter

Speaking of travel, I don’t think I visualized a book more this year than Beautiful Ruins. It was such a lovely story combining all of my favourite things : old hollywood, Italy and mystery. It really made me wish I were luxuriating on the coast of the Italian Riveria. {Book Image}

6. Best Chick Lit: Ten Girls to Watch – Charity Shumway

This was actually a recommendation I found on Freshly Pressed! I’m not sure I would have come across this book otherwise. The basic premise is that Dawn finally has her first proper magazine job which is to research the previous winners of a magazine’s Ten Girls To Watch for its 50th Anniversary. Of course there’s roommate and boyfriend drama but that’s not really what I was so impressed with. It’s embarrassing to say this but it was one of the few books I’ve read in this genre where all the women mentors are really very supportive. There’s no Miranda Priestly types here.  I honestly expected some kind of backstabbing, manipulative woman to show up at some point. However, that’s not the purpose of the book. It’s about navigating her life as a new professional  not how many times can she be humiliated in 400 pages.

7. Favourite Ensemble: A Game of Thrones – George RR Martin

You all know how obsessed I am with this series. Hence the scarf:
Now that my holiday presents are complete, I should be able to finish this by the end of the weekend. Nerdtastic!

8. Favourite Historical Fiction : The Queen of Last Hopes: The Story of Margaret of Anjou – Susan Higginbotham

I didn’t read as much historical fiction as I did last year which surprised me. I really liked this book as I knew very little about this particular part of history. This was a Goodreads European Royalty Book Club pick. I find it so interesting that many of these stories have suspicions about the heir’s actual parentage. It’s as though the easiest way to bring down a house is to imply that the wife was unfaithful. Sadly, this continues through to the present day. However, at least now there’s DNA testing to silence the critics.

9. Favourite Real Life Book Club Pick : The Forgotten Garden – Kate Morten

This was one of my picks for our book club this year but that’s not the reason it’s on the list! I really loved it! I loved that this story had many different plot points that worked so well together. This story has romantic elements but it’s essentially about the inner dynamics of a family and what you’re willing to give up to keep others happy. This was the first book I’ve read from this author and I can’t wait to read the rest!

10. Favourite Book that lived up to its Hype : Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn

I really did not want to read this book. I didn’t like the title or the cover art for some reason. On that basis alone, I decided it was not the book for me. However, I couldn’t ignore how often I read about it on one book blog or another. In the end, I decided to pick it up from the library and just give it a go. I had no expectations except maybe wanting to not like it. Well, this was a literal don’t-judge-a-book-by-its-cover moment. Much like Before I Go To Sleep, I could not put this down. I think I was up until 3 or 4 am with this. I had put it down a few times in a effort to go to sleep but I was too anxious about what was happening. I literally gasped three times during this book and once I finished, I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

What was your favourite book this year? Let me know! Also, please join me on Goodreads!

8 thoughts on “Pretty Reads: Favourite Books of 2012!

  1. Back before goodreads I had an Excel spreadhsheet on my computer where I’d track each book I read. Of course that computer died and I lost that list, which is why I love goodreads so much, since my list won’t disappear!

    As for your list, there’s only one I’ve also read, Gone Girl, which is actually on my top books of the year too. Although there are a few, Ten Girls to Watch and The Forgotten Garden mainly, that I’ve been wanting to read for a while now.

  2. I read Before I Go To Sleep back in September 2011. It was one of my favorite reads of 2011. It was an incredible thriller. Absolutely amazing read. I’ve been wanting to read Gone Girl. I never would have put it on my TBR list, had it not been for the hype. Good luck on your reading this year 🙂

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