Liz’s Favorite books of 2012

There were a ton of great books in 2012.  So many, in fact, that Lisa and I had hard time narrowing them down, not to mention the fact we had a good ol’ girlfight over who got which ones! (She’ll share her 2012 faves tomorrow…)

Besides the bestselling authors we already know are wonderful, I also chose three debuts that you may not have heard of.  Because who doesn’t love discovering a fab new author?!

The books listed here are the ones that I couldn’t put down, that I couldn’t wait to get back to, that had characters that I was thinking about(and in some cases dreaming about!) long after I was finished.  These books were my favorite of the year. And girlfrin’, I read a lot!

And hey-we want to hear what books you LOVED in 2012.  Don’t forget to leave a comment and let us know!



1. Ten Girls to Watch by Charity Shumway Not gonna lie–Shumway had me from page one with her fresh and dynamic narrative.  This could have been just another story about a girl trying to make it in the Big Apple, but she made it an engaging page turner about Dawn. When she’s tasked to track down the past winners of Charm Magazine’s Ten Girls To Watch, she ends up discovering a few things about herself through the exceptional women she’s researching. And don’t even get me started on how she got the job in the first place! (her ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend gets her the gig…) Do yourself a favor and pick up this lovely debut!




2.  Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn So, I almost didn’t put this one on the list.  Not because it wasn’t effing fantastic(because it was!), but because it’s already received so much press this year and topped so many “best of” lists.  But, there was just NO WAY I could skip highlighting this haunting tale about two of the most effed up people you will ever meet.  Gone Girl, which is about a woman who goes missing on her five year wedding anniversary, is absolutely brilliant.  I couldn’t get the book out of my head for days after finishing(and even had a few nutty dreams about it…) If you haven’t read it yet, you need to RUN, not walk to your nearest bookstore and pick up a copy. Seriously.




3. I Have Iraq In My Shoe by Gretchen Berg Attention, my fellow SATC fans.  You are going to love the sh*t out of this memoir! When Gretchen, a shoe-loving fashionista gets a job teaching English in Iraq to pay off her mounting credit card debt, she has no idea what she’s in for. Berg had me cheering her on as she navigated a completely new culture that didn’t seem to wear deodorant or appreciate her keen sense of style. SO smartly written and freakin’ hilarious, I promise that you’ll fall in love with Gretchen on page one. Sometimes, memoirs can lose their steam in the middle, but I Have Iraq in My Shoe had me engaged from beginning to end.



4. Point, Click, Love by Molly Shapiro Another fresh debut! I loved the sparkling narrative in this novel about four Midwestern friends who are each trying (and in some cases failing) to navigate the online and social networking world.  Kate’s realizing that online dating might not be all it’s cracked up to be. Anne is stalking her possible sperm donor. (long story!) Maxine obsesses over celebrity gossip to distract her from the cracks in her marriage. And Claudia resents the hell out of how much time her husband spends on Facebook. What makes this book special? The way Shapiro weaves their stories beautifully with her sharp writing.  I couldn’t put it down!



5.  The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner Oh, how I loved this book! When Ruth(who headed to LA six years prior with her sassy grandmother in tow) hits the Hollywood lottery and gets the green light on the show she’s written, she can’t wait to become the next Shonda Grimes.  But when the reality of how things really get done in Tinseltown sets in, she realizes that she may be in over her head. And did I mention she has a huge freakin’ crush on her boss? I loved the insider details Weiner included, having just come off her own Hollywood story. This story leaped off the page and I raced to the end.  For me, this was my favorite of hers since Good in Bed. (Which, for the record is on the short list for my ALL-TIME fave books!)



YA Bonus Pick!

Audrey’s Guide to Witchcraft by Jody Gehrman  I was on a business trip when I opened this book on my iPad.  THREE hours later, I had the run the battery down devouring this charming tale about Audrey, a witch-in-training who has to get it together when her mother goes missing under mysterious circumstances.  Audrey has her own teenage problems to deal with as she attempts to get her powers up to speed before everything is destroyed by someone from her mother’s past.  Fun, light and absolutely addicting, I can’t wait for the next book in this series!




xo, Liz

21 Responses to “Liz’s Favorite books of 2012”

  1. Melissa A

    This is another reason why I should buy “Gone Girl.” :) Everyone has been telling me to read it!

    I loved “Blackberry Winter” by Sarah Jio, “How I Came to Sparkle Again” by Kaya McLaren, “I’ve Got Your Number” by Sophie Kinsella, “The Next Best Thing” by Jennifer Weiner and it’s so hard to choose from the many others I’ve read and couldn’t put down this past year. :)

    Great post!

  2. Jencey Gortney

    I love your list! I am currently reading Ten Girls to Watch and think it will definitely be in my tops for the year.

    My Top five:

    1. Promises to Keep by Jane Green
    2. Ten Girls to Watch by Charity Shumway
    3. Overseas by Beatriz Williams
    4. These Girls by Sarah Pekkanen
    5. Georgia’s Kitchen by Jenny Nelson

    My Bonus YA pick:
    The Hunger Games series

  3. Pauline Wiles

    Thanks for including some debut authors in your list.
    I loved “The Sweetness of Forgetting” by Kristin Harmel. It has a nice blend of romance, history, tears… and cakes ;)

  4. Laura Kay

    I broke down and bought a copy of Gone Girl! I haven’t read it yet, but can’t wait too. My top picks:

    1. Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio
    2. Sea Change by Karen White
    3. Bridge of Scarlet Leaves by Kristina McMorris
    4. The Underside of Joy by Sere Prince Halverson
    5. Where We Belong by Emily Giffin (But I’ll be honest and say my #5 place was hard to pick! I’ve read so many amazing books this year).

  5. Melody

    So many to choose from! Here are some standouts so far. There were many, many others.
    1. Night Road/ Home Front by Kristin Hannah
    2. Can I get an Amen? By Sarah Healy
    3. Groundswell by Katie Lee
    4. Underside of Joy by Sere Prince Halvorsen
    5. Girl Unmoored by Jennifer Gooch (my YA pick)
    Why am I slogging through Gone Girl? Is something wrong with me? I’ve been slogging since August!

  6. Mary Jo Burke

    1. The Round House by Louise Erdrich
    2. One Last Thing Before I Go by Jonathan Tropper
    3. The Fallen Angel by Daniel Silva
    4. The Expats by Chris Pavone
    5. The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman

    The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

  7. Jonita

    Other than the YA book and one other, I’ve read all of these! I’m definitely adding the memoir to my wish list- looks great!!

  8. Meg Munson

    Loving all the great titles people are adding here. Loved “The Sweetness of Forgetting”…great story. I also read “Gone Girl”- crazy story about two crazy people. BUT my favorite book this year was Jane Porter’s “The Good Woman”. Excellent story and I can’t wait to read the next two books in the trilogy:-)

  9. Charlene Ross

    I too loved “Gone Girl” so much. Could not put that book down. And I just finished J.K. Rowling’s “The Casual Vacancy” and I have to say it haunts me. Don’t know if either of these really qualify as chick lit, but I just finished both of them recently and they weigh heavily on my mind.

    Ooh, ooh, and Tina Fey’s “Bossy Pants” – I nearly peed every time I turned the page. That funny lady can write!

  10. christi

    I picked up “I Have Iraq in My Shoe” on a whim; I was once an ELL teacher myself and also loved it! So glad it made the list. “Ten Girls to Watch is on the top of my TBR Pile so now I’m even more excited.

    As for what I’ve read that didn’t make it onto everyone else’s list…LOVED “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” by Jenny Lawson. I was reading it on a plane and couldn’t stop myself from laughing out loud. Also, “Wife 22” by Melanie Gideon was a sweet story. I loved the survey Q & A piece as part of telling the story.

  11. Margaret

    Blackberry Winter all the way! Love all her books!


  12. Kim Hays

    I also LOVED Gone Girl…awesome book! Also at the top of my list is On the Island (which I won a copy from this great website! :)…it was a truly Great book! Thanks for sharing this list!!

  13. Nina

    I loved Point, Click, Love as well! Even better, I won it from you guys. :)

  14. Stephanie S.

    Reading Gone Girl gave me goosebumps (and still does just thinking about it!).

  15. Pascale

    The two of you listed two of my favorite books of this year: The Next Best Thing (Jennifer Weiner is amazing and tops my list of top 2 favorite authors … Jane Green is the other) and Outside the Lines. I loved that book so much that I read her other two: Language of Sisters and Best Kept Secret. so great.
    I am reading Gone Girl right now. Excellent

    The book that topped my favorite was Aftertaste: A Novel in Five Courses by Meredith Mileti . A wonderful book.
    I also loved Another Piece of My Heart by Jane Green.
    One Pink Line by Dina Silver is on the list as well as
    How to Eat a Cupcake.

    Next year I will keep a list so it is more complete. I cannot wait to read through ALL of the comments to see other recommendation, and to be reminded of books I forgot to put on the list!!!!

    The two of you have the best blog ever, and I feel lucky that you share your love of reading so that I have an Amazon “wish list” that is over 500 books long! Thanks so much for sharing!

  16. Pascale

    Oops…. my original comments got lost so I rewrote the comments and forgot my top favorite book (shares a spot with Aftertaste)and it is The Garden of Happy Endings by Barbara O’Neil. Her books are so great. In this one she approaches religion in a most thoughtful way. At first I thought I would not love it as much as I have her others, but it ended up being my favorite of all of her books.

    Man…. I know I will come up with more…..

  17. Bridget O'Neill

    I completely agree with “Gone Girl.” AMAZING book! And anything Jennifer Weiner writes is gold to me. I always buy her books, but this year I was lucky enough to win it from you guys! :) Thanks!!! You are both awesome!

    I love this blog, I keep adding to my to-read pile with books from here, keep them coming!

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