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Top 10 of ’12: Best Books I’ve Read This Year

Since it’s the beginning of a new year (and thankfully not the end of the world), it’s time for me to list my favorite books that I read in 2012.

Note that not all of these books were published this year –  these are just my favorites out of the ones I have read.

Without further ado:

(in the order I read them):

jumbeeThe Jumbee by Pamela Keyes

I gobbled up this modern-day retelling of Phantom of the Opera set in the West Indies. It’s very unique and fans of romantic ghost stories or theater in general will likely enjoy it as well.




North and South by Elisabeth Gaskellnorth and south

Read the book that became the basis for the hit BBC miniseries starring Richard Armitage and Daniela Denby-Ashe. Minister’s daughter Margaret Hale and factory owner John Thornton don’t exactly hit it off when they first meet, but their circumstances and conflicting backgrounds will change them both in the end.



The-Scorpio-RacesThe Scorpio Races
 by Maggie Stiefvater

Gorgeous writing, a well-developed setting, and two tenacious main characters make this “horse book” a delight.





This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth OppelThis Dark Endeavor Final Cover

A really, really creepy prequel to Frankenstein that should definitely be read with the lights on. Victor Frankenstein isn’t always such a likeable or sympathetic protagonist, but that’s the point, the way Oppel writes from his perspective is very well done.




the-adventures-of-sherlock-holmesThe Adventures of Sherlock Holmes/The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes/The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

I may as well call this the “year of Sherlock”: I saw A Game of Shadows in theaters, got hooked on BBC Sherlock as well as CBS Elementary, and not to mention that I  read some of the original stories while traveling through the areas of England where they are set. (I definitely wouldn’t want to be alone on the moors of Dartmoor at night, especially if there’s a gigantic hound roaming around). A century later, the adventures of Holmes and Watson are still taking on new forms all the time, but nothing beats the original canon.


rebeccaRebecca by Daphne du Maurier 

It’s sort of a 1930s revision of Jane Eyre. A timid young girl marries a much older man and goes to live at his English estate. The creepy housekeeper seems like she’s out to get her, and the memory of Rebecca, the first wife to live at Manderley, casts an eerie shadow over the place. I never did get around to writing a review of this one, but it’s good.



janeeyreJane Eyre
by Charlotte Bronte

It’s a crime it took me this long to read Jane Eyre! It’s a Gothic love story told in a very clear first-person style by an orphan girl firmly convinced of her own worth. I can’t recommend it enough.




Scarlet Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

Great new Robin Hood retelling that reimagines Will Scarlet as a tough young woman disguising herself as a boy. I could hardly put it down!




by Rachel Hartman

Fantastic “dragon” book involving murder, music, and a search for acceptance. One of the best fantasy books I’ve read all year.



hobbitThe Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Technically it’s a re-read, and technically I just finished it today, not in 2012. But it’s been around ten years since I’ve read it, and I just felt my list wouldn’t be complete without it. It’s a simple adventure with some surprising depth and gives a wonderful taste of the world Tolkien created. Plus, it’s a lot of fun. I can’t wait to see how Peter Jackson brings the rest of the book to life on-screen.



5 of these books were borrowed from the library.

3 of these books were read on Kindle.

2 of these books I bought from a physical bookstore.

Have a Happy New Year!

Check out my list from 2011.


4 comments on “Top 10 of ’12: Best Books I’ve Read This Year

  1. jackie
    January 6, 2013

    So many books, so little time…thanks for the reviews! They all look good…

  2. ashleecowles
    January 7, 2013

    What a great list!

  3. backtothebookshelf
    January 8, 2013

    Thank you!

  4. Pingback: Top 7 of ’13: Best Books I’ve Read This Year | Back to the Bookshelf!

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This entry was posted on January 6, 2013 by in 5 Stars, Best Read This Year, Books, Young Adult and tagged , , , .
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