Best Fiction of 2012

Saturday, December 29, 2012

I've chosen my seven favorite fiction books read this year. I had what I consider a tie for a couple of places though, so in reality I've narrowed it down to top five with two essential ties. :) All were published in 2012 except for the two that tied for #1!


The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty (2012) and The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman (2012)

I've seen these two on a lot of lists and the thing is they aren't necessarily extraordinary, but they just had really great stories that I loved reading. The Chaperone takes us to 1920's New York City as a woman takes on the challenge of chaperoning a rebellious teenage girl who ends up becoming a big movie star. The Light Between Oceans had me questioning what I would do if I had the opportunity to raise another child as my own but had to pretend it literally was of my own flesh and blood and what I would do once the situation started having holes poked in it.


Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (2012)

I think I've seen this one on every "best of" list this year. It's a mystery/thriller of sorts but also a psychological portrait of an unhealthy, or crazy, marriage. The two main characters are some complex people! This was hard to put down and has pretty much convinced me and everyone else to read the rest of Flynn's books.


The Darlings by Cristina Alger(2012)

I find this to be one of the more underrated books this year; I haven't really heard much about it and think it deserves much more recognition. It focuses on one family in which the son-in-laws both work with the father-in-law at a financial firm when a scandal explodes, questioning everyone's loyalty. In my review I called it the "perfect amalgamation of white collar suspense and homage to life in New York City". I really enjoyed this one.


The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers (2012)

This one has received much of the recognition I think it deserves; it was a finalist for the 2012 fiction National Book Award, though I have to say I enjoyed this one much more than the actual winner. The writing was gorgeous and the portrayal of the soldiers in war was astutely done.


State of Wonder by Ann Patchett (2011) and Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (2009)

I couldn't do it. I couldn't narrow it down any further for my favorite read of the year. And interestingly, I compared State of Wonder to Cutting for Stone in the former's review. They both have a medical component that I found fascinating (sometimes I think I should have gone into medicine rather than mental health, ha!) But both stories were also so full of depth and were full of beautiful writing and evoked gorgeous atmospheres. Neither were published this year, but both will be books that will stay with me for a while and that I have recommended to many others.


Marce said...

I have great things about the Yellow Birds and Cutting for Stone. Great list indeed.

Nana Fredua-Agyeman said...

Interesting list. My readings were far removed from these ones. Thanks for sharing your favourites.

Jennifer said...

I sadly have to admit that my reading year hasn't been so fruitful. I haven't read any of the books on your list. Although I think at one point in time or another every single one of them has been recommended to me. I think that's a sign that I should get reading. There are so many good books out there begging to be read and I'm falling behind!

Ti said...

I liked Cutting for Stone. Made for a good discussion book but all of my book club, including myself felt that some of the decisions the characters made were not true to their character.

My list posts on New Year's Day but it was hard to come up with books.

Juju at Tales of said...

I love your list.

Booksnyc said...

I loved State of Wonder too - an excellent book. I definitely want to read the Darlings in 2013. Thanks for sharing your picks.

Jenners said...

I'm so glad that Gone Girl turned everyone on to Gillian Flynn. I actually think her first book, Sharp Objects, is her best.

And I want to try Yellow Birds in 2013.

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Gone Girl was also on my favorites list for the year; in fact, I would choose it as number one.

I also enjoyed The Chaperone, but it didn't make my top ten list.

Happy New Year!

Athira said...

Great list! I really liked State of Wonder and Gone Girl as well. I need to check out your other titles.

Meg @ A Bookish Affair said...

The only one of these books that I've read is State of Wonder but many of the others are already on my TBR list!

nomadreader said...

As I loved four of these, clearly I need to read the other three! The Light Between the Oceans particularly calls to me.

Trish said...

I've been meaning to read Cutting for Stone for so long! I even have the discs sitting on my desk next to me right now (coworker loaned) and even recommended the book to my mom and grandma (they both loved). Shame on me... ;)

Glad you really enjoyed The Chaperone. That's one that I'm looking forward to soon.

Michelle (Red Headed Book Child) said...

Those are some stellar picks. I must read a few of those.

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