10 Great Books Read in 2012
1) Washington, A Life by Ron Chernow - What do you know about George Washington? Or what do you think you know? This cradle to grave bio makes the Father of our Country come alive. His honor, his passion, his resilience - all are shown in depth and help the reader understand why he was a great president and a great man. I wept during the section that spoke of his death.
2) Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer - This is the story of the 1996 Everest Disaster. It's loaded with emotion and a tremendous story. The author was on the Mountain that day. His memories along with in depth interviews with other survivors are the backdrop for this tragic but compelling story.
3)The Prisoner of Heaven by Carolos Ruiz Zafon - My favorite books is Zafon's Shadow of the Wind. This is the next piece of the puzzle in the Cemetery of Forgotten books.
4) Becoming Odyessa - Epic Adventures on the Appalachian Trail by Jennifer Pharr Davis - I am seriously addicted to Appalachian Trail memoirs. This is one of the best I have read. Jennifer Pharr hikes the trail alone, searching to find herself and her purpose in life. The AT kind of lends itself to this type of journey, and Pharr's walk changes her life in ways she never expects.
5) Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness - Better than Discovery of Witches, Diana (a witch) and her vampire husband, Matthew, go back in time to Elizabethan England to find a missing spell book. This book is thick with history details and full of engaging characters and surprising action. I'm not a huge paranormal fan, but this book is not your typical "Twilight" romance.
6)The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern - A mysterious circus train travels the country mesmerizing crowds with unbelievable acts. What is the inertia that keeps it going? Part historical fiction, part love story, part mystery - this book slowly built its momentum, and kept me wondering the entire journey.
7)The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry - What if you could talk to the ghosts of dead relatives by cooking a recipe written in their own hand? Ginny struggling with the sudden death of her parents tries to quell the chaos by talking to her dead relatives.
8)Juliet by Anne Fortier - Another one of those, part mystery, part romance, part history stories with it's center one of the most famous love stories of all time.
9) Fallout by Ellen Hopkins - This is the third book in the Crank series - dealing with the children of meth addict Kristina. Meth rears its ugly head into the next generation, but in different ways. An emotional book that truly chronicles the Fallout and innocent victims of drug abuse.
10) The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz - This is a hilarious mystery series. The Spellman's are a PI family who can't stop investigating everything - including each other. It is hilarious how each family member tries to leverage "dirt" they get on other family members. Their lives are one big investigation. Mixed in the middle of the antics is a mystery that needs to be solved. Loved the characters in this one, and the truly dysfunctional family dynamic.
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