Best Books of 2012

January 1st, 2013 by

happy-new-yearHappy New Year!

Last night, I celebrated with a small group of friends and LOTS of food — just the way I like it! I hope you guys also had a fun time ringing in 2013 — perhaps involving one of the following: confetti cannon, sparkly fireworks, dance-off… or maybe just a quiet night snuggled up with a good book (and perhaps hot cocoa or sparkling cider).

Personally, I’m looking forward to another year of great reads — tales so gripping that I miss my subway stop while reading on the train, books that make me cry so hard I can’t see through my tears (in a good way), stories so hilarious that I laugh out loud in public and strangers look at me like I’m a crazy lady…

Now, if you’re looking for your next book, I’ve compiled a handy dandy list of some of the best books of 2012. But you don’t have to take my word for it — these are the books that show up again and again on other people’s best-of lists (like the fancy pants at The New York Times and the big cheeses at Publisher’s Weekly). Check ’em out:

These books were on pretty much every single best-of-2012 list. Every. Single One.

Three-Times-Lucky-Book-ReviewThree Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage
The rest of this list is in alphabetical order, but I just HAD TO put this one first because it’s absolutely positively very extremely really truly and super duper-ly my personal favorite new book of the year. Can you tell I love this book? Let me be clear: I LOVE THIS BOOK. It’s a murder mystery + growing-up story combined into one funny and touching tale told by an awesome-sauce girl narrator named Mo (short for Moses). Read it. READ IT!

liar-and-spyLiar & Spy by Rebecca Stead
Playing spy is one thing, but 7th-grader Georges finds himself acting as a real spy when he moves into a Brooklyn apartment building and meets another kid named Safer. Under Safer’s instructions, Georges finds himself on his first ever mission: tracking the movements of another building resident, Mr. X. — who may or may not be up to no good…

starry-river-of-the-sky-book-reviewStarry River of the Sky by Grace Lin
Rendi, a runaway boy, gets stuck in a teeny village, working alongside the family that owns the local inn. While he plots his departure, he meets some mysterious guests at the inn who tell unusual and ancient stories. Soon Rendi starts to wonder: could these guests and their tales be related to the strange moaning he hears from the sky at night?

wonder-rj-palacio-book-reviewWonder by R.J. Palacio
Auggie has been home schooled all his life because of his deformed face and medical problems. But now he’s going to regular school for the first time, and as you can imagine, life is not easy. There are kids who are mean, kids who seem friendly but maybe aren’t, and kids who seem not friendly but maybe could be… That stuff is hard enough for most kids to figure out, but for Auggie, well, everything is more complicated…

These guys kept popping up on various best-of lists. Like, “Oh, hello. You again?”

So, what about you? What were YOUR favorite books of 2012? Leave a comment to let everyone know, or send in a review for your own absolutely positively very extremely really truly and super duper-ly personal favorite!

— Karen

Most New Year’s Eves, Karen and her friends play board games right up until the countdown. Then it’s a mad scramble to get everyone ready in front of the TV because no one wants to leave their spots in Settlers of Catan and Boggle.

More about Karen »

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