Monday, December 24, 2012

Favourite Books for 2012

I did read a lot of books this year (and surpassed my 50 Book Challenge - woo), but most of them were pretty trashy, and not that many of them were much good. However, there was the occasional gem, so in no particular order, here are my favourites of the ones I read in 2012 (not necessarily released in 2012).

After The Wreck I Picked Myself Up, Spread My Wings and Flew Away - Joyce Carol Oates
I didn't actually realise that this was a YA novel until after I'd finished it and I was reading reviews (I never read reviews beforehand because there are always idiots out there who give away major spoilers). It's about a girl who wakes up in hospital at the beginning of the story, having been in a car accident that has killed her mother. She has little to no relationship with her father and goes to live with an aunt. It's a beautifully written story about how she deals with her grief, her guilt and her new surroundings. I think I'm going to get Noodles to read this one.

Shit My Dad Says - Justin Halpern
Considering this is based on a Twitter account, it's a surprisingly sweet, funny book of stories about the relationship between the author and his father. I laughed so much reading this, and there were times I found it quite touching.

The Middlesteins - Jami Attenberg
There is a certain genre of books that tend to just be a meandering story of a quirky, dysfunctional family who more often than not are Jewish. Not a lot usually happens in these stories, but I generally love them. This one is no exception. It's about a woman with an eating disorder whose obesity and food-hoarding worries her family, who fear she is heading to an early grave. The other family members all have their own issues going on as well.

Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn
I don't remember how I heard about this - I feel like maybe I just read a blurb about it in a Dymocks catalogue or something. I know that I knew nothing at all about it when I started it, and it's one of those books that definitely benefits from that. The less you know, the better it is. I loved it - it's twisty and turny and keeps you turning the pages to find out what's happening next. At first I didn't like the ending, but when I was explaining it aloud to Noodles I realised it was actually perfect for the story. I don't want to tell you anything more than that. Just read it.

Dark Places - Gillian Flynn
After devouring Gone Girl, I went back and dug up the author's earlier two novels. The first one, Sharp Objects, is a good story, but a little clunky and quite obviously a first novel, but this one is more accomplished. Again, it's best to not know much about it - the basic story is that of a woman whose mother and siblings were murdered by her brother when she was a child.

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