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Welcome to bookchat where you can talk about anything...books, plays, essays, and books on tape.  You don’t have to be reading a book to come in, sit down, and chat with us.

It is the time of year when we think about the best books we have read in 2012.

So far, I have read 180 books and I will probably add a few more by December 31rst.  

I enjoyed nearly all the books, but I did get rid of a few.  

Which books that you read this year were your favorites?  They do not have to be published this year, but may be from any year.


Twelve drummers drumming

1.   Bamboo and Blood by James Church (Inspector O)

         The whole set of four go together:
             A Corpse in the Koryo (Inspector O)
             Hidden Moon
             Bamboo and Blood
             The Man with the Baltic Stare

2.   Dead and Buried by Barbara Hambly (Benjamin January #9)

3.   The Confession by Charles Todd (Ian Rutledge)

4.   An Unmarked Grave by Charles Todd (Bess Crawford)

5.   The Terra-Cotta Dog by Andrea Camilleri (Inspector Montalbano)

(I read and liked all of his this year except The Shape of Water which was the first one)

    The Snack Thief
    The Voice of the Violin
    Excursion to Tindari
    The Smell of the Night
    Rounding the Mark
    The Patience of the Spider
    The Paper Moon
    August Heat
    The Wings of the Sphinx
    The Track of Sand
    The Potter’s Field
    Age of Doubt

6.   Broken Harbor by Tana French

7.   The Double Comfort Safari Club, The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party, and The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection by Alexander McCall Smith

8.   Bruno, Chief of Police; The Dark Vineyard, Black Diamond, The Crowded Grave by Martin Walker

9.   The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny  

( I recommend reading all of hers in order)
    Still Life
    A Fatal Grace
    The Cruelest Month
    A Rule Against Murder
    The Brutal Telling  
    Bury Your Dead
    A Trick of the Light

10.  A Wanted Man by Lee Child

11.  The Pure in Heart by Susan Hill (Inspector Simon Serrailler #2)

   The Risk of Darkness
   The Vows of Silence
   The Shadows in the Street
   The Betrayal of Trust
   A Question of Identity

12.  The Fashion of Shrouds by Margery Allingham

      (I enjoyed all of her books with Albert Campion)

Fantasy/Science Fiction

   (Most of these are series stories)

Eleven pipers piping

1.   The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

2.   Initiate's Trial by Janny Wurts

3.   Snuff by Terry Pratchett

4.   Intruder by C J Cherryh

5.   City of Dragons by Robin Hobb

6.   Crucible of Gold by Naomi Novik

7.   Crossed Blades by Kelly McCullough

8.   Invisible World by Patricia McKillip (short stories)

9.   David Falkayn: Star Trader by Poul Anderson

10.  Cast in Peril by Michelle Sagara

11.  The Whitefire Crossing by Courtney Schafer


Ten lords a-leaping

1.  Taylor Branch series:

 Parting of the Waters: America in the King Years 1954-1963
 Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years 1963-65
 At Canaan's Edge: America in the King Years 1965-68

2.   An Ordinary Man: autobiography of Paul Ruesabagina with Tom Zoellner

3.   Zeitoun by Dave Eggers

4.   In the Sea There Are Crocodiles: Based on the True Story of Enaiatollah Akbari by Fabio Geda

5.   Empire of the Summer Moon by S. C. Gwynne  (Story of the Comanches and Quanah Parker)

6.   Tolkien and the Great War by John Garth

7.   Lake with No Name: A True Story of Love and Conflict in Modern China by Diane Wei Liang (about Tiananmen Square)

8.   Waiting for Snow in Havanna by Carlos Eire

9.   Eudora Welty: Bio by Suzanne Marrs

10.  The Elephant to Hollywood by Michael Caine


Five golden rings

1.   The Hemingway Book Club of Kosovo by Paula Huntley

2.   Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work by Edwidge Danitcat...essays

3.   The Writing Life by Annie Dillard

4.   Physics of the Future by Michio Kaku

5.   The Living Great Lakes by Jerry Dennis

War: True  

Four calling birds

1.   The Cat from Hue by John Laurence

2.   Operation Mincemeat by Ben Macintyre

3.   No End Save Victory ed. by Robert Cowley

4.   A Rumor of War by Philip Cavuto, a memoir of Vietnam


Three French hens

1.   Get Real by Donald Westlake

2.   The Bromeliad Trilogy by Terry Pratchett

3.   Owls Well that Ends Well by Donna Andrews

Historical fiction  

Two turtle doves

1.   Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett (re-read)

2.   Queen's Play by Dorothy Dunnett (re-read)

And a partridge in a pear tree!


Jinx by Sage Blackwood


The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

True Adventure

The Curve of Time by M. Wylie Blanchet

General Fiction

The Charioteer by Mary Renault

Of the best books listed above, the very, very best, imo:

1.   The Charioteer by Mary Renault

2.   The Cat from Hue by John Laurence

3.   Taylor Branch series:

Parting of the Waters: America in the King Years 1954-1963
Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years 1963-65
At Canaan's Edge: America in the King Years 1965-68

4.   The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

5.   The Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett

6.   An Ordinary Man: autobiography of Paul Ruesabagina with Tom Zoellner

Diaries of the Week:

Write On! Snarling Slippage
by GussieFN and Sensible Shoes

SNLC, Vol. CCCLIII/UDKCJ 20: Timon of Athens Edition
by chingchongchinaman

NOTE: plf515 has book talk on Wednesday mornings early

Originally posted to Readers and Book Lovers on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 05:00 PM PST.

Also republished by Progressive Friends of the Library Newsletter.


How many books did you read this year? Yes, audio books and e-readers count as reading

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