Tuesday, December 11, 2012

My favourite books of 2012.

I thought I’d kick some life back into my blog by completing an annual ritual that I have sadly shunned for the last two years: naming my favourite books. This was the year that my reading returned to form after a period of slackness, and I think it’s because my kids are old enough that I’m not so exhausted that I just fall on the couch and zone out every night. In 2012 I read, or attempted to read (this was also the year of not finishing books if I didn’t want to) 26 books. Here are the highlights, roughly divided into categories. But first, some random facts: only two of these books are by men; eight are by New Zealanders; six of them are by people I know (one of the hazards of being a writer and a reader in a small country); four of them are published for children and young adults; four of them were not published this year; four of them I haven’t actually finished yet but am confident they deserve their place on here; one of them I listened to as an audio book as I jogged around the streets of my neighbourhood, transporting me away from roadworks and broken footpaths to a New World.

So, here are my picks:   

First books by dear friends (yes I am biased but I stand behind my recommendations. These books are wonderful for wildly different reasons)

The Girl Below, Bianca Zander
Sea Fever, Angela Meyer
Zen Under Fire, Marianne Elliot

Books supposedly for young persons (Writing for children has led me to reading children’s books and it has opened up a huge, sparkling world to me)

When You Reach Me, Rebecca Stead
The Knife of Never Letting Go, Patrick Ness
The Apothecary, Maile Meloy
Fire in the Sea, Myke Bartlett

Books that have generally been raved about (and which I have enjoyed very much)

The Forrests, Emily Perkins
A Visit From the Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan
Kirsten McDougall, The Invisible Rider

Two books by Janet Frame. 

Gorse is not People, Janet Frame
In her Own Words, Janet Frame

A book by a family member that I have yet to start but I hope the author will forgive me and I just know it will be amazing.

Mad on Radium, Rebecca Priestley

Yes I know I have cheated but it's my list and I'll do what I want. So there.