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My Favorite Books Published in 2012

Updated on October 9, 2013

2012 was an excellent year to be a reader. So many books have been published by authors I love. Here are six of my favorite books that were published in 2012.

Louise Brooks popularized the bob haircut and starred in several silent films in her heyday.
Louise Brooks popularized the bob haircut and starred in several silent films in her heyday.

The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty

This is the second book I have read by Laura Moriarty, the first being The Center of Everything. After reading The Chaperone, I have decided to add Laura Moriarty to my list of favorite contemporary authors. The Chaperone tells the story of silent film star Louise Brooks, before she hit the big time. She is 15 years old and needs a chaperone to escort her to New York City so she can attend a dance academy. Cora is the chaperone and The Chaperone is really her story. She is a bit old fashioned and butts heads with the more modern Louise.

I love books that teach me something. While reading The Chaperone, I learned about the history of the suffrage movement in the United States, orphan trains from New York City to the midwest, and Louise Brooks.

Who will like this book? Fans of historical fiction who like to read about the early 1900's. People who like brainy chick lit. Fans of old Hollywood.

Finnish soldiers waiting for Soviet troops in the winter of 1940.
Finnish soldiers waiting for Soviet troops in the winter of 1940.

Winter of the World by Ken Follett

Winter of the World is the second of a planned trilogy by one of my favorite authors, Ken Follett. The first book in the series, Fall of Giants is about World War I and how it affects several Russian, German, British and American families. In Winter of the World, the action centers mostly on the children of the main characters that were introduced in Fall of Giants. While I enjoyed Fall of Giants, I loved Winter of the World.

There are probably two reasons I enjoyed Winter of the World so much more than Fall of Giants. The first reason is that I, like many other people, know more about World War II than I know about World War I, so I didn't have to stop and do as much background research when an unfamiliar event or person would pop up. The second reason I liked Winter of the World more than Fall of Giants was because I think it was better written. Fall of Giants had many endless battle scenes and those are not my favorite. Follett reduced those kinds of scenes in Winter of the World and stuck more to character development.

So, who will enjoy Winter of the World the most? I think anyone who enjoys historical fiction or family sagas.

Gold by Chris Cleave

Gold is about the lives of three Olympic hopefuls, Jack, Zoe and Kate, all vying for a place at the 2012 London games in track cycling. The book starts out at the Athens Summer Olympics, with Zoe and Jack going for gold while Kate stays at home with baby Sophie. The relationships between the three seems complicated from the start. Zoe flirts with Jack even though he is married to Kate. Zoe and Kate are dedicated friends even though Jack seems to come between them. Through the book Cleave slowly reveals the real story of this group of elite athletes. Gold is an unflinching look at what people have to sometimes give up to achieve goals.

So, who would enjoy this book? Anyone who likes characters studies. Sophie, the young daughter undergoing cancer treatment in the book, steals the story line.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

I first heard of this book on The Today Show with Kathie Lee and Hoda. Since I like mysteries and the book was set in my native Missouri, I was sold on reading it right away.

Gone Girl starts with the disappearance of Amy, Nick's wife. Nick is pretty clueless, so he is not very much help in the investigation into Amy's disappearance. One part of the story is told in the present by Nick. the other part of the book is told by Amy, through diary entries she wrote before her disappearance.

If you haven't already read this book, read it now before anyone spoils it for you.This book is fast paced, shocking and one you will not forget for a long while. My advice is to read this one with a friend, so you can discuss it and believe me, you will want to.

Who will like Gone Girl? People who like mysteries, psychology or real crime shows.


For some reason I couldn't find a picture of a stuffed mouse dressed up like Hamlet, so I had to settle for Sarah Bernhardt instead.
For some reason I couldn't find a picture of a stuffed mouse dressed up like Hamlet, so I had to settle for Sarah Bernhardt instead.

Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson

I cannot remember laughing so hard while reading a book. I basically laughed constantly while reading this book. Heck, I am laughing just recalling this book while I write this review. I looked insane, but it was worth it. The funniest part of the book to me was when Lawson described buying James Garfield, a stuffed trophy pig she now proudly displays in her home.

Though Let's Pretend This Never Happened is really funny, it does have some serious moments. If you have ever suffered from social anxiety, you will relate to Jenny Lawson and this book. I cannot recommend it enough for all of the self identified weird people in the world.

Who will like this book? Lawson has an offbeat sense of humor so maybe check out some of her blogs before committing to this book.Oh, and if you are offended by cussing and/or taxidermy, this book might not be for you.

John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars.
John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

John Green is one of the founders of Nerdfighteria, a land I am a proud citizen of, so The Fault in Our Stars was a must read for me. I have read all of John Green's books and they are all good, of course, but The Fault in Ours Stars is his best.

The story follows Hazel, a girl who had only a short time to live until a medical discovery shrank the tumors in her lungs, giving her a reprieve from certain death. Sounds depressing, right? Well, maybe not. Green does not write this like a Lifetime movie of the week, going for the easy tears. He explores the very real and at times funny side of mortality. The standout character in the book is Gus, a young man Hazel meets when she joins a support group for young people with cancer. I predict The Fault in Our Stars will be a classic.

Who will like this book? This book is a young adult novel but I think people of all ages will enjoy it.

Question of the Hub

Which of the following books is your favorite?

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Your View

What about you? What were some of your favorite books that were published this year? Any disappointments?

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    • ambercita04 profile image

      Amber 4 years ago from Winter Park

      I haven't read any of these but the Gone Girl looked interesting to me. I will probably have to purchase that one. Thanks for the reviews. I was looking for another book to read.

    • BrandyMcNelson profile image
      Author

      Brandy McGhee Nelson 4 years ago from Alaska

      You are welcome ambercita04! Thank you for the comment! Gone Girl is so good, it is one you will not forget. Gillian Flynn has two other books out and I am reading Sharp Objects right now. It is pretty creepy but good. Her book Dark Places was also good, but start with Gone Girl, it is more mainstream and not scary at all.

    • Beata Stasak profile image

      Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia

      Have spent last summer with my son in Finland and we spent a lot of time learning about WW1 and WW2 and their impact on this country, so 'Winter of the World' looks like great book for us to read, thank you:)

    • evgabay profile image

      Elaine 4 years ago from Milwaukee

      Gone Girl is one of those titles that keeps popping up as a possible read. I'm going to have to put it on my to read list!

    • BrandyMcNelson profile image
      Author

      Brandy McGhee Nelson 4 years ago from Alaska

      Beata Stasak, Let me know how you like the 'Winter of the World', I learned so much by reading it. Finland sounds like so much fun! I would love to visit it one day, what would you recommend?

      Evgabay, 'Gone Girl' is so good. I am reading 'Sharp Objects' by the same author right now and it is a page turner too!

    • joaniebaby profile image

      joaniebaby 4 years ago

      Funny, I am just in the middle of reading The Chaperone and I am really enjoying it. My eyesight is not the best and the font used in the book is hard for me to read, but am sure it will not be a problem for many. Gone Girl is another of your books that I have read and enjoyed. Winter of the World is a book that I keep looking at in our library, but still have not checked out. Voted up and interesting.

    • BrandyMcNelson profile image
      Author

      Brandy McGhee Nelson 4 years ago from Alaska

      joaniebaby, Thank you for the nice comment! I always love hearing from fellow readers! Winter of the World is so good, I think it would be an okay book to read on its own without reading the first book in the series. Font size is a problem. I read a Mrs. Pollifax book that was published in the 1980s last year and the font was so small. I feel your pain!

    • Marie Flint profile image

      Marie Flint 4 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida USA

      I chose to read this hub because I'm terribly behind in contemporary literature and have thought about doing some best-seller book reviews for my hubs.

      You sound like you really enjoy reading, and I liked your format for your reviews. Thank you for sharing.

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