Best books I read in 2012

Not all stars are burning

Not all stars are burning (Photo credit: loopoboy 2.0)

This is actually a pretty easy post for me to write. I’m on Goodreads, so I just need to go look at the books I read this year and see which ones I rated the best. This year, of the twenty-five books I read (I took a summer break, so my numbers aren’t what I wanted), I gave eight of the five stars. In no particular order, they are:

  • Run, by Ann Patchett – This one was more than a little unusual for me. As a rule, I don’t like literary fiction. I much prefer popular fiction. I had to read this one for a book group at the library, and was surprised to find that I actually enjoyed it quite a lot. Patchett’s story of family, politics, race, and class is simply extraordinary.
  • I’ll Never Be French (No Matter What I Do), by Mark Greenside – I actually just finished this one today. A memoir about an American’s adventures in the northwest of France, I simply couldn’t put it down. It was very refreshing after so many books about Provence and the south of France.
  • The Sword of the Templars, by Paul Christopher – The first book in Christopher’s Templar series, this is high action/adventure with a religious/mythical twist. Clearly, it’s the beginning of a great series. This is also the only series from which I read more than one book this year.
  • You Are Not a Gadget, by Jaron Lanier – One of the few technology related books I read this year. It was worth it, though. A discussion and critique of how decisions made in the beginning of the digital age are shaping our culture now, for better or worse.
  • The Mischief of the Mistletoe, by Lauren Willig – I was walking past a Holiday books display in our library and just happened to see this one. I checked it out and read it in just a couple of days. If you like Regency fiction, clean, with just a bit of comedy, you’ll love this book. I don’t know if the rest of the series is as good, but I’ll be finding out.
  • The Templar Cross, by Paul Christopher – The second in Christopher’s Templar series, and just as good as the first. I know from experience that not all sequels are as good as the original book. That’s not the case here.
  • Austenland, by Shannon Hale – An amusing light romantic comedy about an American girl who goes to England for a vacation at a Jane Austen “theme park.” Not really like Jane Austen at all, but very good if you take it for what it is.
  • The Evolution of Faith: How God is Creating a Better Christianity, by Philip Gulley – One of the best books on Christianity I’ve read in some time. Also, Quaker pastor Philip Gulley is one of my favorite authors. His Harmony series is excellent.

December: The Best Month of the Year

christmas 2007

My favorite month of the year is December. I like colder months more than the hot ones. I say “You can always put more clothes on, but there’s only so much you can take off.” December’s still early in the winter, so it’s not so cold or dark as January seems to be. I’m not yet wishing for spring. I wish I lived in an area that got more snow, though. We get mostly rain and ice in the winter here.

December also has the big holiday season. I enjoy the lights, and even the church services. I don’t like the shopping crowds, so I always try to get my shopping done early. Of course, it usually ends up being late when I finally get it done. The other thing I don’t like is the annual rhetoric about an alleged “war on christmas.” Maybe I’m just too open-minded, but I figure you should just let everyone celebrate their holidays in their own way.

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