(Please keep in mind- when I say a book was excellent, I mean excellent for an adult to read. Some of these selections are just not appropriate for teens or younger folks.)
Who was the best new (to you) author you discovered this year?
Lisa Genova. I read all of her work this year- Still Alice, Left Neglected, and Love Anthony. Genova has a phD in Neuroscience from Harvard, but you wouldn't know it if you just read your stories. They are captivating.
What was your favorite new (to you) series?
The only fiction series I read this year was The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins. It was good (of course), though I admit to being very disappointed by the ending. I do think there are some interesting themes to explore in these books, especially in light of our country's current political climate.
Book that made you cry?
The Dry Grass of August by Anna Jean Mayhew. It was worth the cry, though. Excellent book.
Book that made you laugh out loud?
Black Heels to Tractor Wheels by Ree Drummond. I didn't just laugh out load- I laughed out loud with tears streaming down my face. :)
Book that totally changed your perspective on something?
Scott Kelby's Digital Photography series. I think my brain finally turned on while I was reading these. That whole ISO, shutter speed, aperture triangle was just swimming 'round and 'round in my brain for the longest time. For whatever reason, Kelby's writing did it for me. I get it now.
Best homeschooling book?
The Core by Leigh Bortins. I read it twice this year. First time I didn't like it so much, next time I loved it. Apparently, I can be fickle. ;)
Worst book that you managed to finish?
I never finish lousy books. This year I bailed on Peony in Love by Lisa See. Normally I like her work, but this one was just a bit over the top for my taste.
Book with the best surprise plot twist?
Kate Morton is the master of plot twists, and her newest title, The Secret Keeper, didn't let me down. Fabulous.
Most disappointing Book?
The Night Circus by Erin Mortenson. I just never understood it. It was waaaaaaay out there.
Most over-hyped book of the year?
Oh, probably The Hunger Games. Don't get me wrong, I liked them. It bugs me how we seem to have sensationalized the series when really, they contain some very relevant and interesting themes. I feel like we've cut the underlying ideas short by making the story just another hyped-up commercialized title.
Best cover on a book you read this year?
(I wish I had taken that picture. I mean, don't you?)
Best young person's book of the year?
Olivia and the Little Way by Nancy Belanger. Prim read this as well, and I think it's her all-time favorite book.
Book you’ve been meaning to read for years and finally got to?
The Mysterious Benedict Society, and it was awesome. This is literature for young people of the finest grade. Everything about this book- the characters, the plot, the underlying theme- makes it top notch kid fiction.
Best cookbook/knitting/gardening/or other household how-to?
Managers of their Chores by the Maxwells, which I always recommend with a bit of a caveat, only because I personally cringe at books with over-the-top evangelical tones. But that's just me. The advice in this book is excellent, so if you can skip over the preachy quality, you'll be fine. :)
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (the new version), put out by La Leche League, was a lifeline for me this year. My new copy is already looking rather worn! I love it!
Book you have recommended to the most people this year?
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. I was surprised by how much I loved this book. Read it! You will love Victoria.
Ohhhhh dear, my reading list is notably lacking anything in this category this year. I didn't even re-read Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, which is usually an annual event for me.
My 5 (or so) favorite fiction titles this year:
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
The Dry Grass of August by Anna Jean Mayhew
The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton
and everything by Lisa Genova: Still Alice, Left Neglected, and Love Anthony
My 5 (or so) favorite non-fiction titles this year:
The Core by Leigh Bortins
Style, Sex & Substance by Hallie Lord
The Digital Photography series by Scott Kelby
Black Heels to Tractor Wheels by Ree Drummond
I am fairly certain that my reading time in 2013 is going to be extremely limited, but I have some titles I very much want to get to. This next year is going to be about quality over quantity. For one, I absolutely want to re-read Gone With the Wind (which is the best novel of all time, right?). And I've got a whole stack of how-to-survive-as-a-mother-of-a-large-family non-fiction already lined up on the nightstand. Now, if I could only stay awake past 8 o'clock...
What about you? What's on your reading docket for 2013?