I had to alter the title for this post, because as I was going over the best adult fiction I’ve read in 2012, I realized that some of it wasn’t published this year. I tend to read the current middle grade and youth fiction books, but sometimes adult fiction slips by me. So, here are a couple books from 2012, and one book that was too good not to include. (Again, this list is comprised of my favorites from the year, so I’m sure there are books missing from the list. Feel free to add your choices in the comments).
Best books published in 2012
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Once in a while I read outside my comfort zone. This time it paid off. Gone Girl is one of those books that you literally cannot put down. Gillian Flynn has a knack for combining characters you love to hate with a compulsively page-turning plot. I loved this book so much I read her debut, Sharp Objects, and currently have about 30 pages left in her sophomore novel, Dark Spaces. All of them are must-reads in my book!
The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
2012 was certainly a good year for apocalyptic fiction. As we all mused about the events of 12/21/12, some authors actually plotted out what the end of the world might be like. For me, this wasn’t a perfect book, but it did make me wonder about the apocalypse. Would people turn on each other? How fast would society crumble? Also, KTW’s theory about how the world ends (it simply begins to slow down, which wreaks havoc on the length of our days and the entire ecosystem) seemed very plausible to me. I’m also a big fan of adult literature from a young person’s perspective (Julia, the narrator of this story, is 14 at the time of “the slowing”). We made it through 12/21/12, but the apocalypse and everything associated with it is still an awesome topic for fiction. (I have to include Everything Matters! by Ron Currie Jr. as another fantastic book about the end of the world).
Best books that I read in 2012
Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
This is one of my favorite books of all time. I know I said that quite frequently, but Karen Russell managed to tell this story in a way that made me re-read paragraphs. I would read along and then get stuck on one beautiful line, and think “who writes like that?” Nothing in this book is stale or cliche. Karen Russell creates a world and then invites you along for a ride in the alligator-infested swamps of the Everglades.
What were your favorite books from 2012? Which ones are you looking forward to in 2013?
Happy New Year’s Eve and see you next year!!!