Here we are, my year end recap of the books I’ve read this year. You can check out my Google Spreadsheet for the full list of books I’ve managed to read in 2012 (and every year prior).
So, like last year, I’ll list out the top 5 books I read and the top 5 comics I read this year. I’m excluding re-reads in my evaluations. I’m only including books I read for the first time in 2012.
Here we go. In no particular order.
Ready Player One – Ernest Cline – Okay, I’m immediately going to call myself a liar. I said these were in no order, but I’m telling you right now, this was the best book I read in 2012. Hands down. There was a lot of buzz going around about the book and I had several people recommend it to me. Which usually makes me not want to read things. However, my friend Trish over at Love, Laughter and Insanity believed that I would love it so much that she actually traveled to a bookstore in which Ernest Cline was signing, had him sign a copy of the paperback and then mailed it to me. And that’s why she’s awesome. Thanks, Trish. Your hard work paid off and it has been named as my favorite book of the year. Seriously, this book is the truth. Don’t read anything about it or the story. Just experience it. You’re welcome.
Star Wars: Darth Plagueis – Honestly, this was the best book I read for most of 2012. Then, in early July, I read the above book. But even if this isn’t my #1, it’s absolutely in my top 5. This is probably also in the top 5 of Star Wars books of all-time. This book had been planned, started, stopped and delayed several times. Finally, James Luceno grabbed the reins and drove this baby home. It’s a very ambitious novel. Focusing on the behind the scenes machinations of Darth Sidious and his master, Darth Plagueis. It’s fascinating to see the rise of Plagueis, his meeting with Palpatine on Naboo, and their cultivating the plan that will eventually be unleashed in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. This book is so good it makes The Phantom Menace a better movie. Luceno was never one of my favorite Star Wars writers but this book and Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader have changed that. I’m now on the lookout for what Luceno plans to do next.
11/22/63 – Stephen King – I’ve been a fan of King’s work for years. My favorite stuff are his short story collections but I’ve read most of his other seminal novels. Earlier in 2012 I had decided to finally read The Stand. I didn’t just love it. And after 1130+ pages of that, I was reluctant to read another King book that tops 800 pages. But I acquired this hardback in early 2012 at a used library book sale for around a dollar. I’ve always been fascinated with the Kennedy assassination and time travel, so this was a perfect topic for me. And the story delivers. King really outdoes himself with this book. King meanders a bit in the middle, but honestly I didn’t mind because the characters were so engaging. Really, the Kennedy assassination is almost an afterthought. But when it finally comes it’s awesome. This book blew me away. I highly recommend giving it a shot. Especially since the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s death is Nov 22, 2013. But get the eBook version. An 800 page hardback is a little tough to read.