Top Reads of 2012

I’m back after nearly a month on a mini vacation from blogging, and what better way to celebrate than with an end of the year book round up. I’ve read a good number of books in 2012. I finished a little over 30, which is a good number for me since I’ve only read a couple of books last year. Yikes.I’ve heard that one can’t be an author unless one is a reader. Or something along those lines.

With a new reading regime over the year, I decided to read across genres from romance to horror. Well, I only read one horror story. I’m a bit of a coward. But anyway, while there were a few disappointments, the majority of my reading list was a blast. You can view my full collection on Goodreads.

Here’s a full end of the year roundup of my top reads of 2012:

The Machine Stops by E.M. Forster

Genre: Science Fiction

The Machine Stops is a short science fiction story. It describes a world in which almost all humans have lost the ability to live on the surface of the Earth. Each individual lives in isolation in a ‘cell’, with all bodily and spiritual needs met by the omnipotent, global Machine. Most humans welcome this development, as they are skeptical and fearful of first-hand experience. People forget that humans created the Machine, and treat it as a mystical entity whose needs supersede their own. Those who do not accept the deity of the Machine are viewed as ‘unmechanical’ and are threatened with “Homelessness”. Eventually, the Machine apocalyptically collapses, and the civilization of the Machine comes to an end. –Wikipedia

The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells

Genre: Science Fiction

The Invisible Man of the title is ”Griffin”, a scientist who theorizes that if a person’s refractive index is changed to exactly that of air and his body does not absorb or reflect light, then he will not be visible. He successfully carries out this procedure on himself, but begins to become mentally unstable as a result… –ManyBooks.net

Illusion by Frank Peretti

Genre: Christian Fiction

After a car wreck tragically claims the life of his wife and magic partner, Mandy, Dane Collins finds himself in a quaint coffee shop transfixed by a magician whose illusions even he, a seasoned professional, cannot explain. Even more mysterious is the performer herself. Nineteen-year-old Mandy has never met him, doesn’t know him, is certainly not in love with him, but is in every respect identical to the young beauty he met and married some forty years earlier. They begin a furtive relationship as mentor and protégée, but as Dane tries to figure out who Mandy really is, and she to understand why she is mysteriously drawn to him, she is being watched by those who not only possess all the answers but who also have the power to decide her fate. –Amazon

My Temporary Life by Martin Crosbie

Genre: Drama

Heroes are not born. They’re made.

Malcolm Wilson’s strength was forged during harsh childhood days–ugly days when he faced down schoolyard bullies and endured the neglect of a promiscuous mother. It is a strength that he has wielded to defend himself and his friends.

Yet those years and traumas have taken their toll. Somewhere along the way, Malcolm Wilson lost his love of life. That changes the day when beautiful, tempestuous Heather enters his world. He feels the stirrings of something long dormant. And when he learns of Heather’s own abusive childhood–and the daughter that she was forced to leave behind–Malcolm knows one thing:

He must help Heather get her little girl back. –Goodreads

Hide In Plain Sight by Marta Perry

Genre: Religious Suspense/Romance

“Please God, if you’re listening, keep Rachel safe.” She couldn’t turn her back on her family in their time of need. So when her sister was injured, financial expert Andrea Hampton traded the big city for Amish country to help turn her grandmother’s house into an inn. But life with the Plain People took a treacherous turn when a string of accidents and pranks threatened her family. Someone didn’t want the secrets the old house harbored to come to light. Trusting anyone—even the handsome carpenter who seemed so genuine—was a battle for Andrea, but her life depended on her ability to find the truth. –Amazon

Unlocked by Courtney Milan

Genre: Historical Romance

A perpetual wallflower destined for spinsterhood, Lady Elaine Warren is resigned to her position in society. So when Evan Carlton, the powerful, popular Earl of Westfeld, singles her out upon his return to England, she knows what it means. Her former tormenter is up to his old tricks, and she’s his intended victim. This time, though, the earl is going to discover that wallflowers can fight back.

Evan has come to regret his cruel, callow past. At first, he only wants to make up for past wrongs. But when Elaine throws his initial apology in his face, he finds himself wanting more. And this time, what torments him might be love… –Amazon

The Governess Affair by Courtney Milan

Genre: Historical Romance

She will not give up.

Three months ago, governess Serena Barton was let go from her position. Unable to find new work, she’s demanding compensation from the man who got her sacked: a petty, selfish, swinish duke. But it’s not the duke she fears. It’s his merciless man of business–the man known as the Wolf of Clermont. The formidable former pugilist has a black reputation for handling all the duke’s dirty business, and when the duke turns her case over to him, she doesn’t stand a chance. But she can’t stop trying–not with her entire future at stake.

He cannot give in.

Hugo Marshall is a man of ruthless ambition–a characteristic that has served him well, elevating the coal miner’s son to the right hand man of a duke. When his employer orders him to get rid of the pestering governess by fair means or foul, it’s just another day at the office. Unfortunately, fair means don’t work on Serena, and as he comes to know her, he discovers that he can’t bear to use foul ones. But everything he has worked for depends upon seeing her gone. He’ll have to choose between the life that he needs, and the woman he is coming to love… –Amazon

Maid for Love by Marie Force

Genre: Romance

Maddie Chester is determined to leave her hometown of Gansett Island, a place that has brought her only bad memories and ugly rumors. Then she’s knocked off her bike on the way to her housekeeping job at McCarthy’s Resort Hotel by Gansett’s “favorite son,” Mac McCarthy. He’s back in town to help his father with preparations to sell the family resort and has no intention of staying long. When Mac accidentally sends Maddie flying over the handlebars, badly injuring her, he moves in to nurse her back to health and help care for her young son. He soon realizes his plans for a hit-and-run visit to the island are in serious jeopardy, and he just may be “maid” for love. –Amazon

Blind Faith by Evelyn Jules

Genre: Erotica

Faith Lawson is just your average, wholesome librarian with a dirty mind…until a chance encounter with a handsome stranger brings her fantasies to life in a frantic night of passion. But when he walks out her door, he leaves a piece of his past behind that changes everything. –Amazon

Blood Duty by J.R. Tomlin

Genre: Fantasy Romance

Jessup is a scout for the Ilkasar Empire, even though it conquered his own people. His love for Tamra of Wayfare Keep is the one thing connecting him to the Empire he hates. But Tamra’s loyalty is to her sworn oaths as captain of the Keep’s guard and protector of the Empire. Though she loves Jessup, their relationship struggles against history and duty.

On a scouting mission, Jessup discovers the tables are about to be turned on conquering Ilkasar: enemies are using a blood ritual to summon invincible demons, and now they’re at the head of an invading horde heading straight for Tamra’s forces. The two lead an army in a fierce battle against the demons, but their soldiers are slaughtered. In the chaos, Jessup and Tamra lose one another.

Tamra and her remaining forces retreat to the walled city of Madrian where she leads a last stand they cannot win, while Jessup races for magical help. But even if he arrives in time, the Empire’s salvation may lie in a sacrifice that will destroy them both. –Amazon

Absorbed by Penelope Crowe

Genre: Horror

When Violet finds a beautiful but mysterious gift on her front doorstep, her sometimes missing and always abusive boyfriend Mick is not pleased. How will this gift change both of their lives forever? –Amazon

The Flood by Émile Zola

Genre: Drama

The Flood by Emile Zola is a short story about a man’s realization that he is helpless against the forces of nature. The narrator is Louis Roubien, a 70-year-old patriarch of a little empire. Life is going well. He has a beautiful family and owns a prosperous farm near the Garonne River.

See my review.

.32 Caliber by Donald McGibney

Genre: Mystery

The narrator, a lawyer and amateur detective, is pulled into the complicated lives of his best friend, his friend’s wife, and her war-profiteer lover, during their ensuing divorce. –Goodreads

See my review.

The Point of View by Elinor Glyn

Genre: Romance

Stella’s hedged in by her domineering aunt, uncle, their maid, and her soon to be fiance, a priest named the Rev. Eustace Medlicott.

She can’t stand her betrothed and during her stay at the hotel, she’s entranced by Sasha Roumovski, a man unlike anyone she’s ever seen before. Through various meetings with this man, she changes her point of view about life and love.

See my review.

Le Banni (The Outlaws) by Selma Lagerlöf

Genre: Mystery

A peasant had killed a monk and fled to the woods. He became an outlaw, upon whose head a price was set. In the forest he met another fugitive, a young fisherman from one of the outermost islands, who had been accused of the theft of a herring net. The two became companions, cut themselves a home in a cave, laid their nets together, cooked their food, made their arrows, and held watch one for the other. The peasant could never leave the forest. But the fisherman, whose crime was less serious, would now and then take upon his back the game they had killed, and would creep down to the more isolated houses on the outskirts of the village. –Excerpt

See my review.

You Are A Writer (So Start Acting Like One) by Jeff Goins

Genre: Nonfiction

Author Jeff Goins shares his own story of self-doubt and what it took for him to become a professional. He gives you practical tips for freelancing, how to get published in magazines, and what it takes to build a platform that brings the gatekeepers to you.

This journey of becoming a writer begins with a simple but important belief: You are a writer; you just need to write. Readers will learn the importance of passion and discipline and how to show up every day to do the work. –Amazon

The Secret Pillars of Writing by Jeffrey A. Friedberg

Genre: Nonfiction

A crash course in legitimate secrets of writing by a published author with Five-Star acclamations for flair, originality, “roller-coaster” action scenes, and more. –Amazon

This book is pretty darn funny too.

How I Wrote My First Book by Anne K. Edwards and Lida E. Quillen

Genre: Nonfiction

Twenty authors tell amazing stories about the efforts that went into writing their first book. –Amazon

And that about wraps up my best reads of 2012. I hope everyone is still happy to be alive on this great fake “Mayan” apocalypse holiday. Let’s look forward to next year, shall we?

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