As I’ve documented, I am a list-maker. My daily work obligations are now listed in handy list format — the better for me to complete and cross them off, of course. Being as I’m always on deadline, my lists are crucial to my getting everything done before my coworkers shout at me for holding up the presses. (That’s never happened, but I think it would be sort of cool — in a cinematic way.)
Given my penchant for organization and crossing things off, I’ve compiled a list of my best reads of 2012 — so far. It’s scary to think we’re six months into the year, friends, and I get itchy thinking about the passage of time. But we’re almost exactly halfway through 2012 (or has that already passed? Math is not my BFF), it’s time to reflect on the 33 books I’ve read since January. And choose some of the best — because I play favorites.
write meg!’s Four Favorite Books
of 2012 (so far)
Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones
Okay, so here’s the thing: despite having read and adored this book, I’ve never reviewed Silver Sparrow. And I feel really, really guilty about it — mostly because it is so moving, realistic, unique and heartbreaking that I wish everyone had a copy. On the shortlist for the Indie Lit Awards, I picked it up in March and figured I’d wait to write my review until the awards had been announced (and it won!). Then a month went by . . . then two . . . and now I’m sitting here like a dummy, wondering why I never made the time to post about it.
So here I am, posting. Telling you. Imploring you. If you’re looking for an addictive read about family, change, love and class, Jones offers all that and more in one stunning package. Plus, now it’s out in paperback. So you really don’t have an excuse, do you?
Girl Unmoored by Jennifer Gooch Hummer (my review)
Oh, I loved this book. It earned one of my elusive five-star ratings back in April, one of my best reading months ever (10 books!). Apron is an unforgettable narrator who seems to bump into you at the grocery store, at the library, out at restaurants — everywhere, really, because she’s so funny and sad and awesome that you want to squeeze her . . . and therefore look for Apron everywhere you go.
If this book wasn’t already on your radar, consider this your not-so-gentle nudge. It’s been a while since I read a story so simultaneously heartbreaking and uplifting, and I don’t think you’ll regret a second you spend in Miss Bramhall’s company. Kudos to the lovely Jennifer Gooch Hummer, an author with whom I’d love to sip root beer floats and muse about life. She’s awesome.
History Of A Pleasure Seeker
by Richard Mason (my review)
Ack, this novel. It was sexy. It was unnerving. It was riveting and different and atmospheric, ripe with intrigue and fantastic settings and a charismatic, utterly narcissistic lead who still manages to seem human and endearing when it’s most needed. I sung this one’s praises back in January, and I can still recall certain turns of phrase six months later. That’s the mark of a great read — and a great writer.
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson (my review)
Having spent nearly a month listening to Steve Jobs’ biography on audio, I felt like I got to know the man well through Isaacson’s meticulously researched, thought-provoking account of the trailblazer’s story. I was sad when it ended (and how it ended, of course, but c’est la vie) and felt like I’d been on an odyssey.
When the review was Freshly Pressed by WordPress and featured on its main page, the comments and emails came pouring in — some kind, some not so much. One visitor’s response is probably my favorite personal insult of all time: Her [mine, that is] artistic intelligence is exactly why we need more math and science in schools. (Um, wow.) Some accused me of coming “too late” to the Apple game, being some insipid follower who only “discovered” the brand after iPods began hitting college campuses in the early ’00s.
To which I say: yep. That’s pretty much what happened.
And by the way, that was a book review. Not a character assassination.
That review and its backlash/response taught me quite a few things about blogging and life, but that’s another post. The point is this: if you’re even vaguely interested in the trials, triumphs and joys of Steve Jobs, Isaacson’s biography is a must read. While I got bogged down in the minutiae of Apple’s rise to success, it was Jobs the man who kept me captivated through 20-some discs of his life story.
15 thoughts on “Best reading of 2012 — so far”
I want to read all of those books!!
You have me thisclose to downloading the Steve Jobs book but it’s just such a big commitment! (said she who is listening to 47 hours of the stand). I do really want to read Silver Sparrow, though!
SO glad I found your blog! I’m always looking for new and different book recomendations.
Wow, I can’t believe the comments you got on the steve jobs book! That’s crazy. And I don’t blame you for not posting the review of Silver Sparrow… I find that even if I like a book, the longer I wait to write about it the more difficult it becomes or the less likely I am to actually do it, LOL. I loved that book too, though, as well as Leaving Atlanta by her.
I’m officially bumping Silver Sparrow up my TBR list!
I was wondering whether you would be happy to put up a link in my monthly series called “Books You Love”. The idea is for people to link up posts about a book they loved – it doesn’t have to be one they just posted about. It could be an old fave. I am hoping we will end up with a nice collection of books that can go on our reading lists. Here is the link Books You Loved June Edition
Great that you linked in. Have a super week.
I read History of a Pleasure Seeker and it was definitely an enjoyable read. I’m definitely going to look into the first two because I’ve never come across them before and they look intriguing on their own, even more now that you’ve highlighted them as some of the best!
I’m a list girl too! Your first two books are on my list of books to read this year. I really hope to get to them.
Girl Unmoored is sitting here starring at me …. must read it.
Thanks for the recommendations! I’ll look into getting copies of Silver Sparrow and Girl Unmoored.
I’m currently reading the Steve Jobs biography and I have to say, I’m constantly impressed by that man and by Isaacson’s writing. I think it’s such a great book so far and a must-read for anyone even thinking of starting their own business.
I just recently bought Silver Sparrow because it came out in paperback. I finished a book this afternoon and was going to pick up a fiction book next, and I think that one will be it! Everyone I trust as a reader has loved it.
Silver Sparrow! Silver Sparrow! I never got to review Silver Sparrow because I started working at Workman after I read it, but it was one of my favorite reads of 2011. You also MUST go back and read Tayari’s other books: Leaving Atlanta and The Untelling. I found The Untelling at my library randomly and she’s been one of my favorite authors since. I made the decision not to post on my blog about books we publish, but it’s hard when we publish one of my favorite authors! I can tell YOU that it’s amazing though!
Now, I really must get out and read these other books…
ack! i haven’t read any of these books yet! no worries though, i’m adding them to my wishlist as soon as i’m done commenting here. thanks for the suggestions!
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