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