Echoing what Liz said yesterday, there have been so many awesome books this year. In fact, let's have a round of applause for the fabulous novels and memoirs we were so lucky to devour! But because there was such a long list of exciting reads, selecting only a handful of my favorites was so not easy. (It made the past two weeks of dealing with my sick toddler waking up at all hours suddenly seem like a cinch). So here goes...
And hey, we want to hear what books you LOVED in 2012. Don’t forget to leave a comment and let us know!
1. The Song Remains the Same by Allison Winn Scotch I instantly fell in love with Nell, who loses her memory after being one of two survivors of a horrific plane crash. She must then attempt to navigate the stories that her loved ones are telling her about herself and her past--stories that aren't exactly adding up. Nell not only must figure out who she was, but who she is going to be as she moves forward. The Song Remains The Same (coming out in paperback on December 31 with this fabulous new cover) is my fave from Allison thus far, a sparkling page-turner that I was not able to put down.
2. Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio This is not only one of my favorite books of the year, but it's also my favorite Sarah Jio book so far (she's written two others). It's a powerful and emotional story of two women who've never met, but are connected in unimaginable ways. In 1933, single mother Vera Ray loses her son the night of late-season snowstorm in Seattle--a cold-weather phenomenon called Blackberry Winter. Almost eighty years later, Seattle Herald reporter, Claire Aldridge, is assigned to cover a similar snowstorm that hits in May and learns of the unsolved abduction of Vera's son. She vows to find out what happened... Warning: Once you pick it up, will not be able to put this New York Times bestseller down. As you turn the pages, it's one unexpected twist after another right up until the shocking ending. (PS: Jio's upcoming novel, The Last Camellia, is out May 28, 2013. I cannot wait to read it!)
3. Jeneration X by Jen Lancaster This is hands down, Lancaster's funniest memoir yet. Not to mention the most hilarious book I read this year. (And yes, I'm more than a little in love with her sense of humor!) From the full title of her book alone, Jeneration X: One Reluctant Adult's Attempt to Unarrest Her Arrested Development; Or, Why It's Never Too Late for Her Dumb Ass to Learn Why Froot Loops Are Not for Dinner, you know it's going to be a highly-entertaining page-turner. But it's the comedic tales she shares that suck you in for a wild ride as you hungrily devour chapter after chapter of her witty moments. This book appeals to all, but in particular the Gen Xer (ahem, me!), who will laugh and relate as Lancaster explores what it means to finally decide to grow up — sort of. I particularly enjoyed the stories about perimenopause and a home waxing kit. (PS: I've already read Jen's upcoming novel, Here I Go Again, out January 29, 2013, and it's fabulous!)
4. These Girls by Sarah Pekkanen Ah, Sarah Pekkanen. Where do I begin? Her books always top my favorite lists because she is such a brilliant writer. I swear she can give you the full picture of who a character is in just a few words. That's talent! So not surprisingly, what I love most about These Girls are the three main characters, roommates Cate, Renee and Abby. Cate has just been promoted to the editor of a fashion magazine but quickly realizes her new job comes with as many problems as perks. Renee, who is vying for a promotion of her own at the same magazine, turns to a bottle of diet pills after she overhears snide comments about her weight. And Abby is their newest roommate who is tight-lipped about what caused her to flee her nanny job in the suburbs. And as these girls help each other bring their truths to light and overcome their personal battles, I was reminded of the power of female friendships. (PS: I've just finished Sarah's next book, The Best of Us, coming out April 9, 2013, and she nailed it--uh gain.)
5. Outside the Lines by Amy Hatvany This is one of the most moving and thought-provoking books I read this year. Hatvany is a beautiful writer and proves her skill, once again, at tackling tough subjects. In Outside the Lines, Eden searches for her father who left her two decades before, when she was just 10 years old. After a series of failed romances and health scare from her mother, she knows it's time to face the emotions she's had bottled up all this time. Her journey to find her father, who she isn't even sure wants to be found, had me on the edge of my seat as I flipped the pages wondering how the story would end. (PS:My next read will be is Amy's upcoming book, A Heart Like Mine, out on March 19, 2013! The buzz? It's sensational!)
Man Candy bonus pick!
The 500 by Matthew Quirk (Because we read great books by men too!) This book is a complete departure from the novels I usually gravitate toward. In the vein of John Grisham's The Firm, I was gripped from page one and felt more like I was watching an action movie than reading a story (in a good way). Mike Ford lands his dream job at Washington's most powerful consulting firm which turns out to be a world filled with lies, cheating and stealing. While rubbing shoulders with "the 500," the group of elite men and women who really run Washington, Ford is expected to join in on the fun. But even though he comes from a world of con men, he isn't sure he's cut out for the job. Can't wait to find out what's up next for this debut author.