The 2012 Year in Review

Happy New Year, everyone! I can’t believe it’s actually 2013, and I’ve finally put my challenge to bed for the second year in a row. To celebrate, I’ve compiled my Year in Review! You can look forward to lists upon lists upon lists (the best and worst 10 of 2012, and some genre-specific lists). I almost had an infographic but it didn’t want to work for me, so everyone will just have to be happy with lists.

I’ve also included the full 100 books at the end of the post, as well as the list of the books I managed to read from the Stylist challenge list this year. (In case you were wondering what was happening with that, I’ll be continuing the mini challenge into 2013.)

A disclaimer: as with last year, all of these rankings are purely my own personal opinion. Don’t be surprised if they clash with the real critics’ reviews (and, believe me, some will). Oh, and they’re counted down backwards from 10 (or 5, on the smaller lists).

Best 10 of 2012:
10. A TWO-WAY TIE: Nine Dragons — Michael Connelly AND Tigers in Red Weather — Liza Klaussman
9. The Night Circus — Erin Morgenstern
8. Into the Darkest Corner — Elizabeth Haynes
7. Before I Go To Sleep — S.J. Watson
6. The Emperor of Paris — C.S. Richardson
5. Old City Hall — Robert Rotenberg
4. The Far Side of the Sky — Daniel Kalla
3. The Russian Concubine — Kate Furnivall
2. The Marriage Artist — Andrew Winer
1. When She Woke — Hillary Jordan

Worst 10 of 2012:
10. Seriously…I’m Kidding — Ellen DeGeneres
9. From the Secret Files of J. Edgar Hoover — Athan G. Theoharis*
8. Casino Royale — Ian Fleming
7. Love in the Time of Cholera — Gabriel Garcia Marquez
6. A Home at the End of the World — Michael Cunningham
5. Chasing the Dime — Michael Connelly
4. The English Patient — Michael Ondaatje
3. If You Were Here — Jen Lancaster
2. Atonement — Ian McEwan
1. Sense and Sensibility — Jane Austen
*Fabulous as a history-essay resource, less fabulous for casual reading.

Ten Best “Humanity”:
A self-created category for the novels that were all people-centric stories that didn’t fit neatly into identifiable genres. Naturally, these were some of the books I loved the most.
10. The Professor of Desire — Philip Roth
9. Everyman — Philip Roth
8. Little Bee — Chris Cleave
7. Beauty Plus Pity — Kevin Chong
6. Tigers in Red Weather — Liza Klaussman
5. Maine — J. Courtney Sullivan
4. The Uncoupling — Meg Wolitzer
3. Why Men Lie — Linden MacIntyre
2. The Emperor of Paris — C.S. Richardson
1. Daughters-in-Law — Joanna Trollope

Ten Best Romance:
10. The Last Boyfriend — Nora Roberts
9. The MacGregor Brides: Julia — Nora Roberts
8. The Very Thought of You — Rosie Alison
7. The Perfect Hope — Nora Roberts
6. My Dear I Wanted to Tell You — Louisa Young
5. The MacGregor Grooms: Ian — Nora Roberts
4. Jane Eyre — Charlotte Bronte
3. The Marriage Artist — Andrew Winer
2. Arranged — Catherine McKenzie
1. The Russian Concubine — Kate Furnivall

Five Best Chick-Lit:
5. Waking Up Married — Mira Lyn Kelly
4. Sweet Talk — Julie Garwood
3. The Singles — Meredith Goldstein
2. One Fifth Avenue — Candace Bushnell
1. Behaving Badly — Isabel Wolff
*Yes there is a difference between romance and chick-lit. Chick-lit is usually a lighter, funnier story. (Not that Nora Roberts isn’t light reading, but she qualifies as romance because the sole purpose of her novels are getting together two characters.)
**I recognize that chick-lit can be used as a derogatory term to devalue writing which is targeted specifically for women. I mean it in only the best of ways, as a self-proclaimed chick-lit lover.

Ten Best Crime/Mystery:
10. Echo Park — Michael Connelly
9. The Narrows — Michael Connelly
8. A Darkness More Than Night — Michael Connelly
7. The Closers — Michael Connelly
6. The Drop — Michael Connelly
5. Lethal — Sandra Brown
4. Angels Flight — Michael Connelly
3. Nine Dragons — Michael Connelly
2. Low Pressure — Sandra Brown
1. Old City Hall — Robert Rotenberg

Five Best Horror/Thriller:
5. Tigers in Red Weather — Liza Klaussman
4. The Creeper — Tania Carver
3. The Surrogate — Tania Carver
2. Into the Darkest Corner — Elizabeth Haynes
1. Before I Go To Sleep — S.J. Watson
*I almost had to scrap this category because it only really had 4 books that qualified, but I slipped Tigers in Red Weather into the line-up because it has a really creepy sub-plot.

Five Best Fantasy/Science Fiction:
5. The Bane of the Black Sword — Michael Moorcock
4. The Sailor of the Seas of Fate — Michael Moorcock
3. The Weird of the White Wolf — Michael Moorcock
2. The Night Circus — Erin Morgenstern
1. When She Woke — Hillary Jordan
*Thanks to my step father, I actually read enough fantasy/sci-fi books to justify a best-of list for the genre.

Five Best Historical Fiction:
5. The Very Thought of You — Rosie Alison
4. My Dear I Wanted to Tell You — Louisa Young
3. The Winter Palace — Eva Stachniak
2. The Russian Concubine — Kate Furnivall
1. The Far Side of the Sky — Daniel Kalla

Five Best Biography/Memoir:
5. Bossypants — Tina Fey
4. A Thousand Farewells — Nahlah Ayed
3. The End of Your Life Book Club — Will Schwalbe
2. Tolstoy and the Purple Chair — Nina Sankovitch
1. Intolerable: A Memoir of Extremes — Kamal Al-Solaylee

Ten Best Canadian Novels:
I read so much amazing Canadian literature this year that it needed its own list.
10. A Thousand Farewells — Nahlah Ayed
9. The Sentimentalists — Joanna Skidsrub
8. The Winter Palace — Eva Stachniak
7. Beauty Plus Pity — Kevin Chong
6. Arranged — Catherine McKenzie
5. Old City Hall — Robert Rotenberg
4. Intolerable: A Memoir of Extremes — Kamal Al-Solaylee
3. Why Men Lie — Liden MacIntyre
2. The Emperor of Paris — C.S. Richardson
1. The Far Side of the Sky — Daniel Kalla

For anyone who’s interested in the full 100 books, and the status of the Stylist
list, you can head under the jump and see the final tally for the year.

The 100 Books of 2012:
1. Best Friends Forever — Jennifer Weiner
2. The Very Picture of You — Isabel Wolff
3. First Impressions — Nora Roberts
4. Blithe Images — Nora Roberts
5. Beauty Plus Pity — Kevin Chong
6. The Drop — Michael Connelly
7. The Great Gatsby — F. Scott Fitzgerald
8. Sense and Sensibility — Jane Austen
9. Jane Eyre — Charlotte Bronte
10. The Year of Magical Thinking — Joan Didion
11. Behaving Badly — Isabel Wolff
12. The English Patient — Michael Ondaatje
13. Atonement — Ian McEwan
14. One Fifth Avenue — Candace Bushnell
15. Daughters-in-Law — Joanna Trollope
16. From the Secret Files of J Edgar Hoover — Athan Theoharis
17. Casino Royale — Ian Fleming
18. Into the Heart of the Country — Pauline Holdstock
19. The Uncoupling — Meg Wolitzer
20. The Far Side of the Sky — Daniel Kalla
21. Why Men Lie — Linden MacIntyre
22. My Dear I Wanted to Tell You — Louisa Young
23. Phaedrus — Plato
24. The First Wife — Emily Barr
25. The Last Boyfriend — Nora Roberts
26. Love in the Time of Cholera — Gabriel Garcia Marquez
27. Intolerable: A Memoir of Extremes — Kamal Al-Solaylee
28. Arranged — Catherine McKenzie
29. Bossypants — Tina Fey
30. Little Bee — Chris Cleave
31. Solaris — Stanislaw Lem
32. The Waste Land, Prufrock, and Other Poems — T.S. Eliot
33. The Singles — Meredith Goldstein
34. The Notebook — Nicholas Sparks
35. If You Were Here — Jen Lancaster
36. The Creeper — Tania Carver
37. The Surrogate — Tania Carver
38. Lethal — Sandra Brown
39. Before I Go To Sleep — S.J. Watson
40. When She Woke — Hillary Jordan
41. The Winter Palace — Eva Stachniak
42. Lost Light — Michael Connelly
43. Echo Park — Michael Connelly
44. Hilarity Ensues — Tucker Max
45. A Home at the End of the World — Michael Cunningham
46. Trunk Music — Michael Connelly
47. The Professor of Desire — Philip Roth
48. A Darkness More Than Night — Michael Connelly
49. City of Bones — Michael Connelly
50. The Narrows — Michael Connelly
51. The Overlook — Michael Connelly
52. Chasing The Dime — Michael Connelly
53. Sweet Talk — Julie Garwood
54. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin — Louis de Bernieres
55. Tolstoy and the Purple Chair — Nina Sankovitch
56. Close Your Eyes — Amanda Eyre Ward
57. The Last Coyote — Michael Connelly
58. The Emperor of Paris — C.S. Richardson
59. Into the Darkest Corner — Elizabeth Haynes
60. The Marriage Artist  Andrew Winer
61. The Very Thought of You — Rosie Alison
62. Possession — A.S. Byatt
63. Maine — J. Courtney Sullivan
64. Winnie the Pooh — A.A. Milne
65. Brokeback Mountain — Annie Proulx
66. 44 Charles Street — Danielle Steel
67. The Perfect Gentleman — Imran Ahmad
68. And Laughter Fell from the Sky — Jyotsna Sreenivasan
69. The Sentimentalists — Johanna Skibsrud
70. Old City Hall — Robert Rotenberg
71. The Perfect Hope — Nora Roberts
72. Tigers in Red Weather — Liza Klaussman
73. Waking Up Married — Mira Lyn Kelly
74. For One More Day — Mitch Albom
75. The Russian Concubine — Kate Furnivall
76. F For Effort — Richard Benson
77. Darth Vader and Son — Jeffrey Brown
78. The Closers — Michael Connelly
79. Seriously…I’m Kidding — Ellen DeGeneres
80. Angels Flight — Michael Connelly
81. Low Pressure — Sandra Brown
82. How Should A Person Be? — Sheila Heti
83. The End of Your Life Book Club — Will Schwalbe
84. The MacGregor Brides: Laura — Nora Roberts
85. The MacGregor Brides: Gwen — Nora Roberts
86. The MacGregor Brides: Julia — Nora Roberts
87. The MacGregor Grooms: D.C. — Nora Roberts
88. The MacGregor Grooms: Duncan — Nora Roberts
89. The MacGregor Grooms: Ian — Nora Roberts
90. Elric of Melnibone — Michael Moorcock
91. The Sailor on the Seas of Fate — Michael Moorcock
92. The Weird of the White Wolf — Michael Moorcock
93. The Vanishing Tower — Michael Moorcock
94. The Bane of the Black Sword — Michael Moorcock
95. Stormbringer — Michael Moorcock
96. Nine Dragons — Michael Connelly
97. The Last Crossing — Guy Vanderhaeghe
98. The Night Circus — Erin Morgenstern
99. A Thousand Farewells — Nahlah Ayed
100. Everyman — Philip Roth

Stylist Books Read in 2012:
1. The Great Gatsby — F. Scott Fitzgerald
2. Sense and Sensibility — Jane Austen
3. Jane Eyre — Charlotte Bronte
4. The English Patient — Michael Ondaatje
5. Atonement — Ian McEwan
6. Love in the Time of Cholera — Gabriel Garcia Marquez
7. The Notebook — Nicholas Sparks
8. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin — Louis de Bernieres
9. Possession — A.S. Byatt
10. Winnie the Pooh — A.A. Milne
11. Brokeback Mountain — Annie Proulx

With that all out of the way, I’m heading off to bed to catch some much-needed shut-eye. When I wake up, it’s back to the drawing board! 100 books in 2013…hopefully at a much more leisurely pace.

– Kelsey

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