Tuesday, January 29, 2013

5 stars - 2012

I'm not going to write an end-of-year wrap up for 2012 like I've done the previous two years. Instead, I'm going to write about the books I loved this last year (obviously, I'm a bit behind in publishing this post).
 
I rate the books I read on a 5-point scale, with a 5 being the best. I assign a rating based on my gut feeling immediately after finishing a book. I've been doing this for a while, and generally speaking, when I close the book a number comes into my mind. I rarely give it more thought, preferring instead to trust my instincts to rate each book properly. For the most part, I don't rate non-fiction works, since I read these more for information than to be entertained.
 
In 2012, 9 books out of the 48 I read were rated a 5. Here's a list, in chronological order, along with a few brief thoughts on each:
 
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde - I try to read two classic works each year, and I was very glad this was one of my selections for 2012.
 
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie - I've read this book several times since high school, and I never get tired of it. It's an exceptionally well-done example of a locked-room mystery.
 
Falling Together by Marisa de los Santos - The most recent release by my favorite emerging author. When I mention her name to my girlfriends, they invariably say they've never heard of her, and I always tell them to drop whatever they're reading to read her debut, Love Walked In. I'm not normally a fan of chick-lit, but de los Santos does the genre proud.

The Shining by Stephen King - I tried to read this in 2009, and it creeped me out so much that I couldn't get through it. I managed to finish it in 2012, but it's a very scary, and very good, book. There's a reason King is the master of horror.
 
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn - I've been talking about this book since I read it in June. The reviews have been very mixed, but I loved it. The characters are among the most unlikeable I've ever encountered, yet I had to find out how their story was going to end. With an impressive twist at the end, it's apparent that Gillian Flynn is close to perfecting her craft.
 
Where We Belong by Emily Giffin - I don't remember this book too clearly, but I do know that I liked the ending. It felt like real life, and I like books that are true that way.
 
I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive by Steve Earle - This was a Kindle Daily Deal, and something told me to snag it while it was cheap. After reading it, I would've happily paid full price.
 
Those Across the River by Christopher Buehlman - A friend on the Kindle forum highly recommended this book, and even though it's not my usual genre, something about it intrigued me. I wound up loving the book; it's nice to encounter a good, different story sometimes.
 
Recalculating (short story) by Jennifer Weiner - I haven't read anything else by Jennifer Weiner, but this story seemed to be a departure from her usual genre, and I was curious. I'm glad I picked it up; it's a good story with a cute ending. Definitely worth reading.



2 comments:

RoseAnn said...

I had just come from Goodreads to here and immediately went back to pull up my 2012 list. I only read 17 books in comparison to your 48 and *none* of mine rated 5 stars! I guess that means two things: 1) I need to read more and 2) I need to choose better! LOL

The only book on your 5-star list that I've read is The Shining and that was years ago when I was devouring anything written by King.

Carol said...

LOL, RoseAnn! Maybe my list will give you some ideas of books to read in 2013. :)