Monday, December 31, 2012

Top Ten (Or So): Books Read in 2012

A lot of my rankings is related to how well I remember the books in question. Several books I remember really enjoying, but I hardly remember the actual content of the books themselves. I think this is indicative of overall less enjoyment on my part, and thus they rank lower.
But really--it kind of feels like I'm almost randomly putting this together. As soon as I decide upon the books and order, I remember another book that's just as fabulous. I switch it all around...and then back again...and I'm so HOPELESS at making up my mind.

So, without further ado, I give you in sort-of approximate ascending order some of my favourite books read in 2012:

--Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy. Great fun, awesome illustrations, and multiple princes to choose from.

--Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson. I love language, and always have. This book is not only filled with an amazing amount of fascinating information about the English language and language in general, but also Byrson's sense of humour.

--A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge. One of the most original Middle Grade authors I know. The worldbuilding is rather incredible, but the characters and plot are not far behind.

--Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake. Reminiscent of Buffy and Supernatural; contains two romances I actually kind of liked, tons of humour, a gorgeous cover, and dried-blood coloured text.

--Ender's Shadow by Orson Scott Card. Psychological insights, genius children, more Ender Wiggin, and a tiny little strategist from Rotterdam.

--The Winter Prince by Elizabeth E. Wein. Dark, but really, really good. An introspective look into a very complex character. Also sort of a re-telling of King Arthur, which is pretty cool.

--Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata. Great art, gripping story, two central characters I'm going to remember for a long time. Decidedly my favourite manga I've ever read, and more interesting than most of the books I've read as well.

--A Posse of Princesses by Sherwood Smith. Lovely and fun and full of unique characters. This is sort of the ultimate comfort read in some ways. But it's not only fluffy and fun; there's some actual growth in maturity for these characters.

Runners Up (In No Order Whatsoever and Possibly Missing Some Good Ones Because I'm Really, Really Bad at Making Up My Mind)
--Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? This is a staple of SciFi for a reason.
--Code Name Verity. One of the best fictional female friendships ever.
--The Dragon's Tooth. Ancient society of explorers!
--Kat, Incorrigible. Family, magic, and shenanigans in the 19th century!
--I Hunt Killers. Serial killers!
--Flatland. Dimensions!
--The Pirates! In an Adventure With Whaling. Sooooo funny.
--How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy. Just look at the title. It explains everything.
--Loss. Anthropomorphic personifications of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse!


Johnna said...

I love Mother Tongue! I've always been fascinated by the history of language as well, and this is such a readable overview of it!

A Face Like Glass is also fantastic. It's the only book by Hardinge I have read, but I was blown away! Incredible world-building. I do think you need to be a fan of fantasy to appreciate it, though.

RED said...

Oh, you should definitely read Hardinge's other books! She is absolutely wonderful. Though I seem to remember Fly By Night may have had some weird philosophy in it...but it was ages ago that I read it, so I can't quite remember, and I may have been confused. All of them are great and really original though, Gullstruck Island especially (also called The Lost Conspiracy).