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My Top 12 Books for 2012

Updated on October 29, 2014

My Favorite Books from Each Month of 2012

I have loved to read for as long as I can remember. I know when a child and there was work to be done my mother would complain that I always had my nose in a book. For me reading provides relaxation, entertainment and escape from everyday life. AS an adult I often let myself have reading time as a reward for doing certain chores. For instance, I'll clean the house for an hour and then read for an hour. Of course sometimes if the book is especially good those times get a bit uneven.

For the past few years, since my retirement from the corporate world, I have been reading 50-60 books a year. On this page I am featuring the favorite book I read from each month of 2012.

I hope you enjoy hearing about my choices, and perhaps you might want to try one for yourself. If you have a good book to recommend, please leave me a note in the guestbook at the end of the page.

Happy Reading!

photograph by mbgphoto

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My Top Books for 2012 - a list of my favorites

I love to read and since my retirement I try to read at least a book per week. Each month one of the books is one that I read for the book club I belong to, but the others are ones that I choose. Many are the latest books from my favorite authors but others are books that were recommendations from friends. Here are my top picks from each month of 2012.

I will be adding to this list as the year progresses.

  1. January

    Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah

  2. February

    Private #1 Suspect by James Patterson

  3. March

    Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

  4. April

    Calico Joe by John Grisham

  5. May

    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson

  6. June

    Mrs. Kennedy and Me by Clint Hill and Lisa McCubbin

  7. July

    Unbroken by Laurne Hillebrand

  8. August

    How to Eat a Cupcake by Meg Donahue

  9. September

    Firefly Beach by Meira Pentermann

  10. October

    Kite Runner by Khaled Husseini

  11. November

    Blossom Street by Debbie MaComber

  12. December

    East of the Sun by Julia Gregson

Winter Garden - Kristin Hannah

This book was recommended to me by my sister. She gave me her copy but it set on my shelf for several months before I got around to reading it. When I finally started to read it I couldn't put it down. Kristin Hannah really made the characters come to life in this book about a woman and her daughters, an untold secret and a Russian fairy tale. This gripping story alternates between the past and the present and the tells of the relationships within the family.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it.

Winter Garden
Winter Garden

I really enjoyed this book.


James Patterson - Private Series

James Patterson is one of my favorite authors. His books always provide and interesting, though quick read. If I want to escape from reality, James Patterson will take me into his world.

The Private series is a fairly new series by James Patterson. The main character is Jack Morgan, a former Marine, who starts a worldwide investigation firm. I have read three books in this series and each one has been very good. They are quick moving and full of mysteries. I enjoy trying to guess the outcome. Several of the books on this list are due to come out in the next year.

Private:  #1 Suspect
Private: #1 Suspect

This book is full of murder mysteries including one where Jack Morgan himself is a suspect.

Private Berlin
Private Berlin

This books is due out in Jan 2013.


If the police can't help you turn to Private. This investigation firm, run by former CIA agent Jack Morgan, is a global organization with the skills and power to get the answers.

Private London
Private London

This book is due out in December 2012

Private Games
Private Games

I read this book in April and really enjoyed it. It takes place in the near future at the 2012 Olympic games in London. Very interesting!!!


Sarah's Key - Tatiana de Rosnay

I love historical fiction, particularly when they are well researched books. It is a great way to learn history in an entertaining format. This book was our March book club selection and I enjoyed every minute of it. It tells of a young woman journalist in the present day, living in France who discovers a disturbing story in her families history and a 12 year old girl in wartime Paris. The book alternates between occupied France in the 1940's and the present day.

Calico Joe - John Grisham

If you enjoy baseball and enjoy books about relationships, you are sure to love this book. It was a rather short book but totally delightful. A fun read that also has a serious side.

Books by Steig Larsson - Millenium Trilogy

We read the first book in this trilogy The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo for book club. It is not a book I would have normally picked up, but after about the first 50 pages I was hooked. I found myself very caught up with the characters in the book and wanted to read more. I now have the second book on my shelf waiting to read.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium Series)
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium Series)

This is the first book of the trilogy. A very interesting book with some really great characters. I love the character development in this book.


Mrs. Kennedy and Me - Clint Hill

This book is a biography by Clint Hill, the secret service agent for Jacquelyn Kennedy. I takes you from the election in November of 1959 through the year after President Kennedy was shot. It gives you a real inside view of the life of Mrs Kennedy during her White House years. You follow her day to day life, her travels and see the enormous respect that Clint Hill had for the first lady. A very interesting perspective and especially interesting for those of us who lived through those years.

Mrs. Kennedy and Me
Mrs. Kennedy and Me

If you love biographies this book is a must..


Unbroken - Lauren Hillebrand

This moving story follows the life of Louis Zamperini through his boyhood challenges, his days as an Olympic runner and his trials during World War II. It is a unforgettable story of a man who survives despite all odds.

Firefly Beach - Meira Pentermann

I picked this book when it was recommended on the daily Kindle book list I get online. Sometimes these books are really good and I am introduced to new authors I might not have read before. Firefly Beach was one of the best Kindle books that I have read this year.

This is the story about a young woman who goes to a cottage in Maine to escape and ends up on a mission to dig up a long lost secret.

The Kite Runner

This story is about two young boys who grew up in Afganistan and the choices they made and were made for them in life. It shows how these choices effected their relationships. Very interesting book.

Blossom Street - Debbie Macomber

If you want a good light hearted read, just pick up a Debbie Macomber book. She is always good for a feel good type of read and the Blossom Street series is no exception. I enjoyed the books I have read in this series and plan to read more over time.

East of the Sun - Julia Gregson

This book was recommended to me by my friend Anna, who lives in the UK. The author lives in the same area as she does and Anna has read two of her books. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more by Julia Gregson.

East of the Sun is a delightful book in the historical fiction genre. It is about three young woman who travel to India from the UK in the 1920's. The three woman end up taking very different paths in their lives and yet all come together during crucial time. A great book about relationships, friendship, and life in India in the early twentith century.

Do you have a favorite book to recommend? - stop by and leave a note

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    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 

      3 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      It is always hard to resist favorite book lists! Sarah's Key and Unbroken have been on my list for so long. I've read one of the Private books and enjoyed it, along with the Steig Larsen books and Winter garden. I have to get busy to read the rest. Good choices!

    • Monica Ranstrom profile image

      Monica Ranstrom 

      5 years ago

      I saw the movie Sarah's Key; I didn't realize it was a book. Great but sad story. My recommendation for you is Blind Your Ponies by Stanley Gordon West. Story of a basketball team in a very small town in Montana; a story of hope and the courage it takes to keep going through adversity. I'm having a hard time getting anything else done because I just want to read!

    • GypsyOwl2 profile image


      5 years ago

      I do love a great book list, and you have some here I have read, and some I will certainly read! thank you!

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      6 years ago from United States

      Since I have found your book recommendations in the past to be excellent, I will definitely be checking these books out.

    • tfsherman lm profile image

      tfsherman lm 

      6 years ago

      Aren't book groups the greatest? I've been in one for over a ten years and my fellow members are my closest friends. To say nothing of the great books we've read.

    • Melissa Miotke profile image

      Melissa Miotke 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      I loved Winter Garden so I'm going to have to trust that we have similar tastes in reading and give some of these other books a try. Thanks for the recommendations!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I enjoy reading an array of books and you have given me some good ones to follow up with.

    • raelcalu profile image


      6 years ago

      I'm planning to read Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo since I saw the two movie adaptations. I haven't finished reading Notes on a Scandal online. I've recently bought and reading Paulo Coelho's The Witch of Portobello.

      Your list here is interesting. Thanks for the share.

    • cybersleuths profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens, read so many books that I can't give you a favorite.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Raja Gidh is the greatest novel in Urdu fiction. I like it very much because of its real conditions that reveals in the characteristics of characters. Bano Qudsia is regarded as mother of urdu fiction world. Her book is like a flower in the garden. And because of the fragrance of flower whole garden is fragrant.....

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I have not been able to sit down and read in ages. However, I might just have to download one or two of these books to read.

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 

      6 years ago

      Great choices, I need to read 4 of them... LOL but I love to read, the problem is that in this moment I am in a continue time-crises mode...

      Thanks so much!

    • montanatravel52 profile image


      6 years ago

      Thanks for some great ideas, I love to read and find good books! I recently wrote a lens on my top 5 picks of Montana or Western novels that might be of interest to other readers, as well...

    • sharonbellis profile image

      Sharon Bellissimo 

      6 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

      I love to read and always had my nose in a book as a child as well! Lately, I have been reading more non-fiction and I would like to get back into reading fiction again. Thanks for the recommendations.

    • siobhanryan profile image


      6 years ago

      I will have to read Mrs kennedy and Me

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      great list. found some on amazon now for my other half. thanks saved me some time!

    • lesliesinclair profile image


      6 years ago

      Yes, the Butterfly Mosque. True life, written by an American woman.

    • Rosaquid profile image


      6 years ago

      I escape to my bathtub with Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe mysteries when I want a little vacation. Thanks for the recommendations!

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 

      6 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Games of Thrones was my favorite so far this year, but Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is on my Top 10 List as well.

    • Sher Ritchie profile image

      Sher Ritchie 

      6 years ago

      "The Great Gatsby" by Scott Fitzgerald - never mind the movie, this is the real story...

    • futureme lm profile image

      futureme lm 

      6 years ago

      Great lens by the way! Try The Chrysalids in the US it is called Re-Birth. It's a science fiction novel by John Wyndham. He is an incredibly fresh writer and the characters are engrossing. One from my childhood reads.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I have read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and I am going to be reading James Patterson soon.

    • pheonix76 profile image


      6 years ago from WNY

      I enjoy books by Jack Kerouac and Sylvia Plath. Other favorites: Walden, Into the Wild, Running with Scissors, The Book Thief, and The Hunger Games. Great lens, thanks for sharing your favorites! :)

    • steph-naylor profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I do have a book to recommend, but I think you have already read it,

      I was absolutely in love with Tintin series.

      Though a comic but I think you would agree it is more than a book.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      What a great list of books and I admire that you determined to read a book a week and a bit more, a very nice reward of retirement. My Mom is 85 and a voracious reader of books she inherits from my brother, who must be going through at least a book a week since he retired, he usually has 2 or 3 going. Oh, and my Mom reads through her Bible 2 or 3 times a year out loud. Congratulations on front page honors for your personal reading list!

    • Lareene profile image


      6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      I have read so many and have a list of favorites if I said one I would be leaving the others out. I love books, thanks for recommending others to my list.

    • squidoogiftsfor profile image


      6 years ago

      Great book list, thanks for sharing

    • MoniqueDesigns profile image


      6 years ago

      I liked the girl with the dragon tattoo series as well. I'll have to read some of the other ones.

    • HumorousTshirts profile image


      6 years ago from Malaysia

      Agree, the Millennium series (The Girl With Dragon Tattoo, etc) is a good read. Love 'em all :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Love the list of books. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a great series.

    • SheilaMilne profile image


      6 years ago from Kent, UK

      I love your list of books! I know only one, the Stieg Larsson, so I can't wait to add the rest to my To Be Read list. they all appeal to me, especially Sarah's Key.

    • iPSiArt profile image


      6 years ago

      Nice idea for a lens! And thanks for suggestions :)

    • WriterDave profile image


      6 years ago

      Very neat lens, well done!

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 

      6 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      I loved Winter Garden and Sarah's Key. Great books. I recently read Stephen King's 11/22/63 and it was excellent!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I enjoyed reading your article. Nice collection of books. Thanks for sharing.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I enjoyed the Larsson books as well. I spent the whole of two summers ago reading them.

    • MojoCreator LM profile image

      MojoCreator LM 

      6 years ago

      Good suggestions. I'm ready to do some reading

    • MJsConsignments profile image


      6 years ago from Central Ohio, USA

      So many books, so little time! I'll have to check out that James Patterson series. I read all of his stuff a ways back but then I haven't picked up anything of his for a few years.

    • MamaRuth profile image


      6 years ago

      Two of my recent favorites (The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo and Calico Joe) are already on your list! Other books I've read recently that I really liked include Alexander McCall-Smith's "The Saturday Big Tent Wedding" and Laurie R. King's "Pirate King". I also enjoyed Dana Stabenow's "Restless in the Grave". I like many kinds of books, although mysteries are usually my favorite reads.


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