Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Best Fiction I Read in 2012

Here are the best fiction books I read in 2012. This list does not include any re-reads, only books I read for the first time this year.
1. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova - 3/25/2012 Excellent - Historical Fiction; Historians track down the real Dracula. Wow, this was an interesting read! The story was told from several characters' perspectives. It was one of my first Kindle library loans and I didn't finish it in time, but I borrowed it again. Long book, but really really interesting! 

2 - Henry V (with SmartPass commentary) by William Shakespeare - 7/28/2012 Excellent - Classic, Audiobook; Henry V invades France. I have never read any of Shakespeare's history plays, until now. I didn't expect humor and romance! Loved it! Of course, the fact that Tom Hiddleston is playing Henry in an upcoming PBS presentation doesn't hurt at all. I did watch the Branagh version as well. Oh, and I listened to it on audio with a commentary interspersed throughout which made a huge difference in understanding it. 
3 - The Help by Kathryn Stockett - 9/15/2012Excellent - Fiction;  Skeeter Phelan, recent college graduate and 1961 resident of Jackson, MS, decides to interview colored maids about their experiences working for white families. Our book club selection for September - Even better than the movie. Highly recommended! 
4 - Illusion by Frank Peretti - 9/30/2012 Excellent - Suspense;  After a car wreck tragically claims the life of his wife and magic partner, Mandy, Dane Collins finds himself in a quaint coffee shop transfixed by a magician whose illusions even he, a seasoned professional, cannot explain. Even more mysterious is the performer herself. Nineteen-year-old Mandy has never met him, doesn’t know him, is certainly not in love with him, but is in every respect identical to the young beauty he met and married some forty years earlier. They begin a furtive relationship as mentor and protégée, but as Dane tries to figure out who Mandy really is, and she to understand why she is mysteriously drawn to him, she is being watched by those who not only possess all the answers but who also have the power to decide her fate. (from amazon.com) This story was so complex that I had trouble writing a summary, so 'borrowed' one from amazon. Illusion returns to the skillful storytelling that made Peretti a success. Highly recommended! 

5 - El Dorado by Baroness Orczy - 3/6/2012 Excellent - Classic; The Scarlet Pimpernel rescues the Dauphin from the Temple Prison but is captured. This is the second book that my favorite Scarlet Pimpernel movie is based on. Surprised me how much of the movie is straight from the book. Did you know there are about a dozen Scarlet Pimpernel books?

6 - The Harry Potter series (7 books) by J.K. Rowling - I had never read the Harry Potter series until this summer. James (my twelve-year-old) decided he wanted to read them and so I chose to read them with him. He read them MUCH faster than I did, but I did read all seven of them in the summer. I re-read #1 already and do plan to re-read the entire series. If you never have, I do recommend them!
Some notable books that I re-read in 2012 were: Persuasion (Austen), A Study in Scarlet (Conan Doyle), The Scarlet Pimpernel (Orczy), the Hunger Games trilogy (Collins), Drums of Autumn (Gabaldon), and The Hobbit (Tolkien).

What were the best novels you read in 2012? 
Leave me your recommendations. Check out my post on non-fiction books as well.

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