Top 3 Squees for 2012: Books

We meant to get to the theme of retrospectives before the end of the year, but then the holidays happened. Oh well, better late than never.

First up, the contributors to Squee1313 will each share our top three favorite books discovered in 2012. Next post, we’ll talk about our top three favorite Movies discovered in 2012…if we can get our mess together.

From Squee1313:

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1. The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern. Great images, beautiful prose, quirky wonderful characters, magic, love, pain, redemption. If I was going to write a book, this is the kind of book I wish I could write. Also, it’s not a part of a series. It stands on its own and is fully satisfying.

2. Daughter of Smoke and Bone, by Laini Taylor. I like Taylor’s writing style and voice, and I have a weak spot for star crossed lovers. Smoke and Bones has Romeo and Juliet elements but with more mature characters. Akiva is no fickle Romeo; he’s never been in love like this before and knows he probably never will be again. There’s necromancy and interesting chimera creatures. I appreciate the twist in moralities; angels are not necessarily the good guys and the “demons” are not always bad. I also recommend Taylor’s Lips Touch Three Times.

3. I debated making Seraphina, by Rachel Hartman my third pick, but decided to go with Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson because it was a devastating book. Another stand-alone without a series to prop it up, this book wrenched my heart. The characters are drawn from Disney’s Peter Pan, but any resemblance to that movie end with the characters’ names. This story is magical and lovely at times, but always gritty and realistic. It’s told from Tinker Bell’s point of view, but she doesn’t talk, except as a narrator. She’s too small to affect anyone or anything, so she can only watch, sometimes in horror, sometimes in jealousy, sometimes in love and admiration, the interactions between Tiger Lily and Peter, the Lost Boys, Hook and his pirates, and a “well-meaning” missionary who brings ruin to Tiger Lily’s village.

From CDSquee:

(3? Sheesh – I had 12 on the list originally): Lesson learned from this process? I read a lot of crap. Not bad crap, just not stuff I’d “recommend” or put on any year’s best list. So here’s my list plus some because I’m wordy:

1. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I had to put this book down at times because I didn’t want to know what was going to happen. Also, it made me say “Holy Mary @#$” several times. Also, read “The Sociopath Next Door.” It’s a good reference. I’m probably not a sociopath because I cry at movies even when I’m alone.

2. Before I Go to Sleep by SJ Watson. Another psychological thriller. Apparently I love these although I certainly wouldn’t want to be involved in a real life psychological thriller and wind up on Dateline or anything. Also, don’t confuse SJ Watson with SJ Bolton who also almost made it on this list. Do read Now You See Me & Dead Scared (by Bolton) as well. The English apparently love the initials S.J.

3. Hmm what to do? Go for Jim Butcher’s Cold Days? No – you need to read the Dresden novels in order. I’m gonna veer here. Numero three-o is Mindy Kaling’s “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?” A humorous memoir of an Indian-American comic actress. Mindy Kaling is from the Office and now has her own show: The Mindy Project. It’s a very funny show although it seems she lost all creativity when trying to name the thing. There’s one episode where she (an ob-gyn) is sort of battling her friend/ob-gyn over who would be more uncomfortable if he were to be her ob-gyn. She whispered to herself that she was a warrior and “Your warrior name is Beyonce Pad Thai.” Beyonce Pad Thai totally won. Anyway, this book is a lot like watching that show. I laughed a lot. I would hang out with Mindy anytime.

From Kimtastic:

1. This book is about the intertwining lives of four women living on Masada, a mountain in the Judean desert in the months preceding attack by the Roman army. The book is divided into four parts with each woman telling her story in the first person. I have to admit I almost bailed on this book after the first story because I found the first of the four women to tell her tale, Yael, really unlikeable. As the other women tell their stories, we see how intertwined their lives become and the transformation, good or bad, of each woman and their families.

2. I saw this book on Squee1313’s list and I’m sure she has a much more well worded review, so I’m just going to say this is one of the most beautifully descriptive and imaginative books I’ve ever read. Like no other love story you’ve read.

3. I think I read this book from January 1- January 3 of this year, so it makes it on my list by a thin braid on Katniss’s head. And of course I loved it. That is all.

From Merryangler

1. The People, Yes by Carl Sandburg. As the political campaigns raged on this summer, I got more and more down on this little democratic experiment we’ve got going on. I pulled this epic poem off the shelf to try to remember why democracy and the American people should be celebrated. Written in the midst of the Great Depression, it was part of Sandburg’s efforts to lift the spirits of his fellow Americans. It still worked for me some 80 years later.

2. America Again: Rebecoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t by Stephen Colbert

I’m drawn to this book for the same reason I was drawn to the Sandburg poem, election years are awful and I needed to lighten the mood. I have to admit, I don’t actually have this book yet. I read bits and pieces at the bookstore, and I’m hoping my family can take a hint and someone got it for me for the holidays.

3. ” The Corrections” by Jonathan Franzen. More than a decade after this book was first published and won the National Book Award, and I first thought I’d like to read this novel about this Midwestern family, I actually procured a copy of it. That was some time in the summer. It’s been sitting on my book shelf for months now, making me look smart. I have every intention of intending to read it in 2013!

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. cdsquee
    Jan 02, 2013 @ 23:54:25

    Guess I need to read the night circus. Also, I know I will lose my non-existent smart person card but I ha-ha-hated the Corrections. I didn’t give a damn about those people and wanted them shut the f up .i was very Dennis Leary about that book and just wanted to yell that those whiny babies should Shut the F up! I haven’t read but the introduction to America…. But my daughter and I were laughing uncontrollably in a BJs store because of it. I too definitely need to read it this year.

    Reply

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