My reading each year is an eclectic gambit. Books include a blend of new and classic fiction in multiple genres, as well as tomes on the writing craft and research for my historical novel-in-progress. Of the 20-plus books I read in 2012, a handful stand out as exceptional and unique. I highly recommend the following books. They are great reads and would make great holiday gifts for the readers in your life.
A stunning debut by this Australian novelist. The Light Between Oceans grabbed my attention from the opening pages and held it until the very last. By page 100, it was unputdownable and I finished reading it in a day or two. It's a uniquely crafted story about love and loss, grief and anger, right and wrong -- and about how difficult it can sometimes be in life to draw a clear line between any of them. The book was beautifully written, and the supporting characters were just as compelling and important as the main characters.
This story and its characters lingered in my thoughts for days and weeks after I finished reading it. I loved it. It's sad and sweet and magical and lush. This story pulls at your heart in so many ways. The author does an amazing job of developing the characters so that you get to know each of them, and grow to love them. I didn't want the book to end, to say good-bye. Ivey' description of the 1920s Alaska wilderness is also amazing and the novel is worth the read for that alone.
Captivating! This book was great fun to read. Intriguing and vivid, beautifully told story. Complex and richly layered with many interesting characters, yet an easy read. Pure entertainment.
I had been meaning to read this classic coming-of-age story for years, and I'm so glad I finally did. Completely fell in love with young Francie Nolan and her family, immigrants who strived to make a better life for their children in poverty-stricken Brooklyn in the early 1900s. Heartbreaking and hopeful at the same time, this book had me both smiling and fighting back tears many times. As I reached the final pages, I slowed down my reading, because I just didn't want to say good-bye to the characters.
A thought-provoking read. The general idea is that we all were created and thus we all have creativity within us yearning to be expressed. We are all artistic in our own way, and when we allow ourselves to express that we are happy. If you've ever dreamed of doing something creative (whether it's ballroom dancing, painting your living room, writing a novel, or knitting a sweater), you owe it to yourself to just do it. "Stop telling yourself that creativity is a luxury." Or that it's too late or not practical. Allow yourself to let go and do what you want to do, and learn to ignore the well-meaning (or not so well-meaning) naysayers and devil's advocates. Don't worry about whether your art is any "good." Leave that to whatever higher power in which you believe. The simple act of "doing" will lead to good things.
This was an interesting biography of a man who inspired generations of conservationists. Fabulous research for my historical novel-in-progress about the Dust Bowl.
If you enjoyed this post, please share it.