I completed 2012 with a total of 119 books read; my Goodreads reading challenge goal was 120 books, but I just couldn’t get to that last one. Of the 119 that I read, here are my Top 10 — the ones with worlds that I still find parts of my mind living in despite having read them months ago. In no particular order:
The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan: Exceptional characterization and use of language; a feast for the senses but without the brutality of Tender Morsels.
The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There by Cathrynne M. Valente: Quite possibly one of the most perfect little stories ever.
The Rook by Daniel O’Malley: Clever, entertaining, fun. There’s a lot to like about this one. Looking forward to Book #2.
The Curiosities: A Collection of Stories by Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff: Such a variety of excellently written short stories here, with commentary on the writing process by the three authors. Lots of great extras here.
Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta: I didn’t think I could love anything more than Finnikin of the Rock, and then Froi came along. He’s grown so much since the first novel, and I have to say that he might be one of my most favorite book characters of all time. This one — wow.
Jamrach’s Menagerie by Carol Birch: I predicted that this one would make my Top 10, back when I read it in March, and that prediction held true. An epic adventure not for the faint of heart.
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch: Lynch isn’t afraid to put his characters through hell, but Locke has you rooting for him despite all the ways he messes up. A great new adult fantasy series (I find too few of these worth reading any more…)
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell: Huge. Sprawling. Metafiction. Science fiction. Like a Russian nesting doll of a novel. So worth the hype.
Everybody Sees the Ants by A. S. King: Just read everything she’s written. Really. Go do it. And then come back here and thank me.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern: This is the novel that I kicked off 2012 with; can I be lucky enough to find another fabulous read to christen 2013 with? I’m not sure; this novel was perfect (for me) in so many ways. I love it when it feels like an author has gotten inside your head and included everything you want in the book they’ve written.