With only 3 days to go before the year ends, I deem it best to list down now my most favorite reads for 2012. I don’t expect to read much until the 31st, considering that all I want to do these days is just sleep most of the time, so there is no more any probability of having another favorite or best read before 2013 arrives.
I consider 2012 as my the best reading year so far since I started being serious with my reading plans.This is the year that I did not just reach my reading goal of 50 books — I was able to even surpass the number because as of this moment I have read a total of 54 books! Yay! This is already a feat compared to the 39 I read last year and the 22 in 2010. Plus, I am proud of the diversity in the genre I have read. I have explored and enjoyed genres which I though I never would (i.e. fantasy and YA). Of course, I still struggle with classics but I am not giving up yet. I believe that reading (classics) is an acquired taste so I might as well try again next year. 😀 Finally, during the middle of the year I have started to read more local books and have found a new local author to love! 🙂
Because I am a reader who is easily pleased and who is not very stingy of giving stars, it was a bit hard for me to pick my top 10 best reads. In fact, I have a tie for the top 1 spot because I just couldn’t make up my mind, haha! Not all of my best reads are 5-star ratings but I included them because of their staying power in my memory. Most books in the list, though, are those that surprised me — those which I thought I would never liked but I did. And who doesn’t love surprises? 😉
Now, on to my top 10 best reads for 2012:
10. Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli (5/5 stars). I just love Stargirl, including her eccentricities. And the quotes. You just got to love the quotes.
“I’ll still be OK. I’ll say it again – loving you, but I won’t abandon myself for you. I cannot be unfaithful to you without being faithful to myself. I’ve reclaimed my future. If we are destined to be together again, be happy to know you’ll be getting the real me, not some blubbering half me.”
09. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain (5/5 stars). This is actually a re-read, but it was still as wonderful as when I first read it when I was in grade school. I plan to read to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn next year, just so I can prep up my classics reads. 🙂
08. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova ((5/5 stars.) I still owe a blog post for this one but this is definitely one of the best historical fiction I have ever read. I love the travelogues and the history major in me was piqued again at the mention of manuscripts and archives. The part about Dracula aka Vlad Tepes may be a bit off for some, but I still find it fascinating to read about this mythical creature who has become a great legend even up to this time.
07. Love Your Frenemies by Mina V. Esguerra (4 /5 stars). I started reading chick-lit this year and also reading more local books. I really really love this novella that I can say I have instantly become a Mina V. Esguerra fan! I already have all of her books (thanks, Cary!) and I can not wait to start reading them all at once. 🙂
06. Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler (4 /5 stars). Now this one is quirky and at the same time melancholic. This is my second Anne Tyler book and she has this wonderful way of making you feel and fall for her characters. I was secretly pining for Ezra in this one. Ssshh. 😉
05. Angela’s Ashes and‘Tis by Frank McCourt (5/5 stars). Allow me to count these two books as one because I just couldn’t put one book in the list without the other.;) This is a touching memoir of Irish immigrant Frank McCourt and his adventures and misadventures in Ireland and America. It is a bittersweet story and until now I can still imagine some of the scenes described in the book.
04. The Oath by Frank Peretti (5/5 stars). I have said this already and I will say it again: Frank Peretti is love. So it is no surprise that the only book of his that I read this year is included in the list. I totally love the imagery for sin in this one and the spiritual implications reflected in the story. I would love to re-read this if not for the other un-read books in my shelf.
03. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin (5/5 stars). High fantasy isn’t actually my cup of tea but the raves I heard (and read) about this series had me curious. Don’t let this door-stopper intimidate you because the story is as swift as it can be. And I just love the direwolves! I must confess that I am still stuck halfway with the second book — it just isn’t as interesting as the first one. I doubt whether I’ll be able to finish all the books in the series (I have the complete set as wedding present and all books are door-stoppers) but at least I had my taste of fantasy and found that it isn’t as bad as I thought it would be. 😉
02. Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness (5/5 stars). Ahh, this book. This is YA and dystopian and totally a bomb, pun intended. This is the final book in a three-part series, the first two books of which I finished reading last year. What can I say? This. Is. Spectacularly. The. Best. Ending. To. A. Trilogy. Ever.
And finally, my top 1, which is a tie:
01. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green (5/5 stars). Oh my. But I just bawled over in tears over this one. It is sad and heartwarming and bittersweet and crazy all at the same time. And did I say sad? Despite the blurbs, it is not a cancer book, I tell you. It is a book about living and loving and what it means to be alive.
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (5/5 stars). If The Fault In Our Stars made me sob and bawl, Never Let Me Go made my soul groan. No tears fall from my eyes, but my heart is definitely in shatters. It was so beautiful and melancholic I was staring into space for quite sometime after I finished reading it. To be honest, I still have this heaviness in my heart every time I remember Kathy and Tommy and Ruth. Sigh.
I am tempted to put in the runners-up to the list but I am already sleepy and tired. If you’re curious, you can check out my 2012 books here.
Cheers to a wonderful reading year that is 2012. I am sooo looking forward to what I might discover, bookish-wise, in the coming year! 🙂