With 2013 upon us, it’s time to look back on 2012. I read a lot of books last year, loving some, enjoying most of them and then there were a few that, quite frankly, I just didn’t care for. Here’s my list of the best and worst of what I read last year.
1. The Man from Primrose Lane by James Renner
A locked room mystery that morphs into a sci-fi novel. To say more would be to give away the twists and turns. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough as Renner poured on twist after twist, each of them compelling. One of the few books I read this year that I wanted to re-read as soon as I was done with it.
2. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Another book that grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. If you’ve read it, you know why. If you haven’t and you’re wondering if it lives up to the hype–yes, it does. I read it as the wave of adoration was beginning to build and that may have helped me love it that much more.
3. The Fault In Our Stars by John Greene
If you’re dismissing this one because it’s a young adult novel, you’re missing out. A prime example of why books should not be judged by where they’re shelved in the store or library.
4. What’s the Least I Can Believe And Still Be a Christian
Ten things that Christians shouldn’t believe and ten bedrocks we should, all Biblically based. Read it if you haven’t already.
5. Age of Miracles by Karen Walker Thompson
An end of the world book, but it’s so much more. I’ve read a lot books about the apocalypse and this is one of the best. It’s different. Try it, you’ll like it.
6. Redshirts by John Scalzi
I was so looking forward to this one, I wasn’t sure it could live up to my expectations. It exceeded them. Read it. You will love it.
7. A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of the Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Audio versions read by Derek Jacobi. Reminded me why I love the Holmes stories.
8. The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume I edited by Robert Silverberg
A great collection of classic genre stories. If you want to see why the genre is so good and get a good sample of some of the great authors and their stories, this is the only collection you need.
9. Call the Shots by Don Calame
A couple of years ago, Swim the Fly had me in stitches. This year, I caught up on the next two installments. Of the two, Call the Shots was the best, reminded of me what I loved about the original. If you’re looking for a book to get teenage guys to read, this is worth it. Think American Pie, only toned down to PG-13. But be warned–these are told by guys who think and talk like typical teenage guys.
10. Tough Sh*t: Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good by Kevin Smith
If you’ve listened to his podcasts or commentaries, odds are you’ve heard many of the stories Smith relates about his life and career here. It doesn’t matter. Smith’s natural storytelling ability shines here and he may even insprire you a bit. I listened to the audio version of this one and loved it.
My Least Favorites:
Batman: A Death in the Family — The worst of 90’s comic storytelling.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I think this one was overhyped. It had potential, but I never could quite connect with it. Felt overwritten in some places.
The Secret Soldier by Alex Berenson. Not nearly as great the cover blurb made it out to be. I plowed through it but guessed most of the twists long before our hero did.
And if you’re curious, I’ve got the full list of what I read last year below. It’s a long list, broken down into categories.
Now, onward to 2013 and let’s see what’s out there….