I love to look back at the reading I’ve done and consider the best reading. I’m sharing my fiction picks this week, and I’ll share nonfiction next week.
I keep a log of my reading at my blog and on Goodreads. Last year, I set a personal best (at least since I started keeping track back in 2006) by reading 101 books (that’s according to my log; Goodreads has me down for 95, and I can’t let myself go all OCD and figure out why there’s a discrepancy).
Of that, not nearly enough of it was fiction. Not that I mind reading nonfiction, mind you, but I really, reallllly love a good story.
So here I present to you the top ten novels I read in 2012, in the order I read them last year:
Darkling Fields or Arvon, by James Anderson & Marc Sebanc
This was the second in the Stone Harp series. It was a great read, just like the first one was. I shared my thoughts on both books (the prequel is The Stoneholding) over at Integrated Catholic Life. I really enjoyed it and highly recommend both of them.
Sons of Cain, by Val Bianco
I compared Bianco with a Catholic Tom Clancy (a comparison I’ll admit someone else made first). This book will suit you if you like guy fiction, and probably even if you don’t. It’s fast-paced and clever and more than a little chilling in the reality it presents (or copies from what’s currently happening?).
Angela’s Song, by AnnMarie Creedon
How do you present Theology of the Body in a novel that people will not only like, but want to share and passionately recommend? If that sentence made you want to move on to the next pick, STOP. I’ll admit: this is a book that’s probably more chick lit, but it’s also completely Catholic and completely honest. As my best friend commented when I shared it with her, this book takes an honest look at some of the what ifs Catholic women struggle with and reconciles them with both real life and Catholic teaching. A wonderful and delightful book that I am looking forward to rereading.
These books are middle grade fiction and they are, without a doubt, wonderful. Excellent. Delightful. Laugh-out-loud funny and read-passages-to-anyone-who’s-nearby pithy. The characters are so real you’ll be looking over your shoulder and the storyline is so improbably perfect that…well, see what happens when YOU read it. They have a whole world online, too, with maps and blogs and audio. My eight-year-old will be reading them soon, and I have no doubt she, too, will love them.
Mr. Blue, by Myles Connolly
I first read (and reviewed) this book in 2006, and it was surprising to me just how much I enjoyed it the second time around. I started a fiction book club over the summer and this was our first read. It was both a wonderful and an intimidating place to start.
Falling for Your Madness, by Katharine Grubb
The Shadow of the Bear (A Fairy Tale Retold #1), by Regina Doman
Here’s another reread (originally read and reviewed in 2009) that was just as awesome the second time around. It’s billed YA, I believe, but don’t let that stop you from devouring it like treat it is.
The Secret Cardinal, by Tom Grace
I came across this book courtesy of my book club, and wow! What a read! Fast-paced, and no, I didn’t have the ending figured out. In a way that sometimes only a novel can, it made me consider my Catholic brothers and sisters in China and the persecution they face and even embrace to live their faith. It was also just a good stinkin book. Read it.
Terrapin, by T.M. Doran
I loved T.M. Doran’s last book (reviewed last year), and I loved this one too. It’s a murder mystery and well done, with faith tied in. I’d tell you more, but I hate to give anything away. It gets my highest recommendation and three thumbs up (I borrowed one from one of my kids).
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Copyright 2013, Sarah Reinhard