Lists, Reviews

Best books of 2012: A top ten list

This week’s top ten list was a tough one (as hosted by The Broke and The Bookish). Last week, I listed my favorite new authors I discovered in 2012. I didn’t want to have two identical lists in a row, so it took some effort to make sure there was little overlap (only Tell the Wolves I’m Home made it on both lists, it’s that good – go read it). I generally try to include books I’ve blogged about, however, as I only started this blog in July, half of 2012 isn’t covered. And it was a good half.

I love lists, but they are incredibly subjective. What one person loves, another may hate. For example, three books I’ve seen floating around on a few lists (Defending Jacob, Sweet Tooth, and NW), I really didn’t care for. I’m curious to see the other lists out there (and hoping I don’t read anything fantastic between now and the end of the year).

So, without further rambling on my part, here are ten of my favorite books (naturally, I also think they’re the best) published in 2012. For once, I’m including a couple of nonfiction as well. For those of you who are not regular readers of the review portion of my blog, I love food and a couple of beautiful cookbooks got thrown in as well…

In no particular order (except the top two are my favorites):

1. A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash

2. The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson

3. Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

4. Almost Never by Daniel Sada

5. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

6. Billy Lynn’s Long Half-Time Walk by Ben Fountain

7. The Truth of All Things by Kieran Shields

8. Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

9. La Tartine Gourmande: Recipes for an Inspired Life by Beatrice Peltre

10. The Sprouted Kitchen: A Tastier Take on Whole Foods by Sara and Hugh Forte

Favorite book of 2012? Please share, I have no desire for my TBR list to ever be manageable.

Images from Goodreads

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  • Lianne @

    Great list! 🙂 How did I forget Deborah Harkness? I read her first book for the first time this year *blushes* It was so hard to narrow it down to just one though, not to mention a bit of overlap with last week’s list, lol

    Here’s my top 10 (actually, 20) books of 2012 xD

    • Rory O’Connor

      I read the first one this year too (in January) and then the second one this summer. I actually preferred Shadow of Night, but felt like I was in the minority based on casual conversations!

  • Alice in Readerland

    Tell the Wolves I’m Home and The Fault in Our Stars are on my TBR list! Here’s my TTT list:

    Alice @ Alice in Readerland

    • Rory O’Connor

      Both are good, both’ll make you cry (if you’re the type). I’m not a crier, but TFiOS was a total sob fest for me.

  • Danica Page @Taking it One Page at a Time

    Ooh great picks. Thanks for sharing.

    Here’s my top 10

    ~Danica Page
    Taking it One Page at a Time

  • booksaremyfavouriteandbest

    Tell the Wolves is in my summer (yes, it’s summer in Australia) reading stack. Had suggested the Wiley cash to book group for summer read, so will also read that. Intrigued by Almost Never – will check it out.

    • Rory O’Connor

      I’m jealous that it’s summer, it’s so cold out right now (20F/-7C and snowing). The Wiley Cash book is good, but dark (not horror dark, just evil dark).

  • marissa

    I still need to get to the Fault in Our Stars I’ve been putting it off but I think it’s time!
    my TTT

  • Tea Time with Marce

    Very subjective indeed but I love them too. The biggest for me was Gone Girl, I just didn’t enjoy and that is on many lists. Fault in Stars is on my list also and i’m not even a YA fan, I think that will past the test of time.

    • Rory O’Connor

      I wasn’t fond of Gone Girl either, the writing is great, it just made me loathe humanity. I don’t read much YA, but TFiOS was excellent, even if it was ridiculously sad.

  • Annabel Smith

    Thank you for giving me another book to add to my translated books challenge for 2013 – Almost Never sounds really interesting. Here’s my list:

    • Rory O’Connor

      It’s good and funny once you get into the rhythm of the story (it’s more of a satire). I’m curious to read it in Spanish to see how it translated, but it’ll be slow going if I ever get to it.

      • Annabel Smith

        You read in Spanish too? That is impressive!

        • Rory O’Connor

          Ha, thanks! It’s made slightly less impressive by the sheer amount of effort it takes on my part.

  • tarynwanderer

    I’m dying to read Tell the Wolves I’m Home! I’ve heard such good things about it! (And the cover is just gorgeous.)

    Feel free to check out my TTT here!

    • Rory O’Connor

      It is really wonderful. I tend to be a book pusher and that is one that I push on people frequently. And I loved the cover, it is a nice change from girl in a pretty dress and other such things. It’s sort of a silly thing to notice, but the book had great character names (Finn, June, Greta, Toby, etc., it distracts me when I feel characters are named poorly).

  • thelibrarianreads

    Tell the Wolves I’m Home: True Story – I missed this book on my library’s trade shelf! Totally went to a woman who simply “liked the cover” *Le Sigh* The fates were against me that day as I’ve been wanting to read it!

    You’ve got so many I’ve wanted to pick up – I love the variety in your list 😉

    • Rory O’Connor

      Thank you, I love eclectic lists (and creating them too). It really is a grat book, I hope you get to read it soon.

  • Sara Allain

    Hurrah for Shadow of Night and The Fault In Our Stars! And I think I’m going to have to read Tell The Wolves I’m Home, if it made it on both your lists…

    • Rory O’Connor

      It is that good. It is sort of an adult TFiOS, it deals when life, death, love, and coming of age (in the 80’s). On a totally different note, I love the ’80’s and got into a small argument with someone today who said NO good music came out of the ’80’s. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

      • Sara Allain

        That is ridiculous. Talking Heads! The height of Bowie’s fame (though one could argue that his artistic zenith was in the 70s)! GRACELAND, THRILLER, AND PUBLIC ENEMY’S IT TAKES A MILLION TO HOLD US BACK.

        I will stop now because I am clearly getting hysterical.

        • Rory O’Connor


  • West Virginia Red (@wvredreads)

    Oh, The Fault in Our Stars was so good, heartrendingly good. And you list is so eclectic. That is one of my goals in the new year.

    • Rory O’Connor

      I knew going into that book it would be so, so sad. But I was still a total mess when I finished it. Eclectic is good, it doesn’t seem to win many blog followers though. I think people like to know what to expect :).

  • caitlore

    I really want to read and cook from “La Tartine Gourmande” I really, really enjoy her blog. Have you ever checked out The Wednesday Chef? She has a wonderful blog as well and came out with a cookbook/memoir this year.

    • Rory O’Connor

      I haven’t, I’ll have to check it out! I love good food blogs.

  • Anya

    Nice list! I keep needing to read A Discovery of Witches… one of these days 😀 Here is my TTT

  • Care

    I’m thinking of suggesting Tell the Wolves I’m Home for book club. I think I have the March pick for 2013 and I don’t think anyone else knows about it (in my club). They are all raving about The Light Between the Oceans (I *think* that is the title!)

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