So without further ado, here are my favorite books of 2012.
"The Complete Fairy Tales" by George MacDonald
I actually haven't finished this book yet.
I don't know why I'm dragging my feet, because it is so, so good.
The fairy tales are dark, mysterious, and a few are downright creepy.
It's probably the book I recommended the most this past year.
"The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien
I re-read this book before I saw the movie.
I hadn't read it in over ten years.
I forgot what a fun journey it is.
It really is a perfect children's book - serious enough to feel like an adult book, but brisk and light-hearted enough to keep a kid engaged.
"The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane" by Kate DiCamillo
I read this book to my students.
By the end, I was getting choked up and swept away by the beauty of the tale.
It deals with issues like loneliness and acceptance.
Simple, yet timeless ideas.
"Till We Have Faces" by C.S. Lewis
I re-read this one as part of my book club - The Only Wonderful Books Book Club.
It's one of Lewis' most underrated books.
The last fourth of the book turns the whole story on its head.
You finish, and immediately want to re-read it, because you realize Lewis just changed everything.
It is chock-full of complex, flawed characters - my favorite!
"The Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky
Last year was the first time I met Charlie.
Yet it feels like I've known him for a lot longer.
Charlie is such a special narrator.
He lets you into his world; he truly carries the reader through the story.
I saw the movie, and while it was good, it certainly doesn't hold a candle to the book.
"The Princess" by Gunnar Mattsson
If you can find this book, get it.
I finally located it (on Amazon) last year.
It's an incredible true story of one couple's courtship, marriage and family throughout the wife's battle with cancer.
It's simple and forthright, not cloying at all.
It's truly a story about the power of love.
"Howl's Moving Castle" by Diana Wynne Jones
I was already a huge fan of the movie, but last year I read the book for the first time.
I didn't think I could love Howl's character anymore than I already did.
But gosh darn, he's such a scamp.
I wanted to read more fantasy novels after reading this one, but I didn't get around to that.
"The Enchanted Forest Chronicles" by Patricia C. Wrede
Another series I re-read from my teenage years and another foray into fantasy.
Like the Hobbit, it's a wonderful, safe way for teens to merge into more serious reading.
There's enough danger to feel exciting, but everything is okay in the end.
There are also sassy cats and dragons, so that's great.
"The Looking Glass Wars" by Frank Beddor
I enjoy a good re-telling and Beddor doesn't disappoint.
This book is an action-packed romp through Wonderland, where imagination is king.
And gosh, Hatter Madigan is so cool.
This book would make a killer movie, one I might actually be excited for!
"The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Another book I hadn't read in ten years, and another wonderful re-read.
I get it now.
I think I had to be an adult to truly understand this book.
I get why it's a classic.
I'm looking forward to re-reading it again, maybe in another five or ten years, and seeing if my views have changed.
I have a few books on my short list for 2013:
"March" by Geraldine Brooks (a re-telling of "Little Women" from the perspective of Mr. March.)
"The Gathering Storm" by Winston Churchill (I doubt I'll make it through the whole six-volume set, but I'd like to read the first one at least.)
What are you reading?
What are you looking forward to reading this year?