Jessica Day George

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Jessica's Favorite Books of 2012


It's that time of year again!  That wonderful, exciting time when awards are given out, and lists are made, and everyone is all abuzz with the books they read last year that have stayed in their brains until 2013.  And I?  I am no exception!  I love to make lists!  All kinds of lists!  But especially lists of books!

So here, without any more rhapsodizing or navel-gazing, are my favorite books from last year, in the random categories that I felt like putting them in!

Adult Nonfiction

  1.     Life’s That Way - Jim Beaver
  2.     Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? - Mindy Kaling
  3.     Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Most True Memoir - Jenny Lawson
  4.     Steve Jobs - Walter Isaacson
  5.     Confessions of a Scary Mommy - Jill Smokler 
  6.     Hoboken Fish & Chicago Whistle - Daniel Pinkwater
  7.     Bringing Up Bebe - Pamela Druckerman
  8.     It Itches. - Franklin Habit
  9.     In the Pleasure Groove - John Taylor
  10. The Place of Knowing - Emma Lou Warner Thayne
      Adult Fiction
  1.     The Snow Child  - Eowyn Ivey
  2.     I Am Forbidden - Anouk Markovitz
  3.     The Sisters Brothers - Patrick deWitt
  4.     The Casual Vacancy - J. K. Rowling
  5.     The Twelve - Justin Cronin
  6.     Lost Melody - Lori Copeland and Virginia Smith
  7.     Size 12 And Ready to Rock - Meg Cabot
  8.     Death of a Kingfisher - M. C. Beaton
     Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy

  1.     Blackout/All Clear - Connie Willis
  2.     Among Others - Jo Walton
  3.     Wise Man’s Fear - Patrick Rothfuss
  4.     The Way of Kings - Brandon Sanderson
  5.     The Hollow City - Dan Wells
  6.     Ghost Story - Jim Butcher
  7.     Monster Hunter Alpha - Larry Correia
  8.     Redshirts - John Scalzi
  9.     Tongues of Serpents - Naomi Novice
  10. Ganymede - Cherie Priest


    YA Fiction

  1.     The Underdog/Fighting Ruben Wolfe/Getting the Girl - Markus Zusak
  2.     Everybody Sees the Ants - A. S. King
  3.     Every Day - David Levithan
  4.     Smile - Raina Telgemeier
  5.     The Diviners - Libba Bray
  6.     Scarlet - A. C. Gaughan
  7.     Withering Tights - Louise Rennison
  8.     Keeping the Castle - Patrice Kindl
  9.     Dead End in Norvelt - Jack Gantos

    YA Sci fi/Fantasy/Horror
  1.     Goliath - Scott Westerfeld
  2.     Hold Me Closer, Necromancer/Necromancing the Stone - Lish McBride
  3.     Rot & Ruin - Jonathan Maberry
  4.     Because It Is My Blood - Gabrielle Zevin
  5.     Rampant/For Darkness Shows the Stars - Diana Peterfreund
  6.     Feedback - Robison Wells 
  7.     Eternally Yours - Cate Tiernan
  8.     Cinder - Marissa Meyer
  9.     Team Human - Justine Larbalestier and Sara Rees Brennan
  10. Seraphina - Rachel Hartman
    Middle Grade

  1.     The Finn Family Moomintroll series - Tove Jansson
  2.     Big Bad Ironclad - Nathan Hale
  3.     One Dead Spy - Nathan Hale
  4.     The Chronicles of Harris Burdick - Various Authors
  5.     The Thirteenth Child - Patricia C. Wrede
  6.     A Tale Dark and Grimm - Adam Gidwitz
  7.     Unexpected Magic - Diana Wynne Jones
  8.     Earwig and the Witch - Diana Wynne Jones
  9.     Lady Friday - Garth Nix
  10. Darth Paper Strikes Back - Tom Angleberger
    Picture Books

  1.     Grandpa Green - Lane Smith
  2.     I Want My Hat Back - Jon Klassen
  3.     Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs - Mo Willems
  4.     The Duckling Gets a Cookie - Mo Willems
  5.     The Santa Trap - Jonathan Emmett, Poly Bernatene
  6.     Dinosaur vs. The Potty - Bob Shea
  7.     Olivia and the Fairy Princesses - Ian Falconer
  8.     Llama Llama Time to Share - Anna Dewdney
  9.     Dracula – A Babylit Counting Primer - Jennifer Adams, Alison Oliver
  10. Hooray for Amanda and Her Alligator - Mo Willems

So there you have it!  If I had to say what was my FAVORITE book overall, it would be Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis.  (Technically it's one long book split into two: Blackout and All Clear.  But the second you finish Blackout you will need All Clear.)  So freaking fantastic!  And such an amazing feat!  I cannot even begin to understand how much research she must have done to create what has to be one of the clearest and most heartrending portrayals of English life during WWII . . . AND it's a science fiction novel.  Also, I cannot stress this enough: Markus Zusak's Underdogs trilogy are some of the greatest YA books ever written.  Yes, I love The Book Thief.  I know it won lots of awards.  But I'm sorry: Getting the Girl is better.  Before you try to argue with me, kindly read Getting the Girl, then we'll talk.

* Remember kids: the books listed as "Adult" are for adults, and Auntie Jessica is not responsible if you read, say The Casual Vacancy, your brain explodes from all the swears, and your parents get mad.  Please read responsibly.
**I will say that Blackout/All Clear is suitable for teens. 


Lillian said...

I love your book lists! Now to go back and re-order my reading list accordingly. Thank you, thank you!

Meredith said...

I loved Life's That Way by Jim Beaver. That book made me cry buckets!

Mara A. said...

CINDER, KEEPING THE CASTLE, and SERAPHINA were a couple of my favorites, too, though I didn't read CINDER until this year.