Best in Books 2012
1. Best Book(s) You Read in 2012?
Like Myra, I would break down my list into genres.
Stella, Star of the Sea by Mary-Louise Gay
Rumpelstiltskin’s Daughter by Diane Stanley
How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers
We Are in a Book! by Mo Willems
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
Olivia and the Fairy Princesses by Ian Falconer
BookSpeak! by Laura Purdie Salas
The Spider and the Fly by Mary Howitt/Tony DiTerlizzi
Love & Leftovers by Sarah Tregay
Modoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant that Ever Lived
2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Looking for Alaska by John Green
Okay, people. Before you shoot me, let me just say that I have not finished this book yet. I started reading it late last year. I thought I might give it a go since I would always see it at Barnes & Noble. When I posted about this on my Facebook feed, a bunch of my friends said they liked it. That got me really excited to read the book, even though it’s a YA fiction. I couldn’t connect with the characters and thought that it had a slow progression. It must be me. It must be the cold, blasted weather. I have 2/3 of the book left to read. Maybe my opinion of it would change when I’m halfway through it? Hm?
3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2012?
I would say Modoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant that Ever Lived and Love & Leftovers. Really unexpected but so glad I read them!
4. Book you recommended to people most in 2012?
I didn’t really do a lot of recommendations last year, but there was nothing else that came out from my mouth than the Elephant & Piggie series by Mo Willems. I love them! I even got my boyfriend to like them! So so so adorable.
5. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
Love & Leftovers. OHMYGOD. Haha! YA fiction is not new to me. We just happen to have a love-hate relationship. Anyway, when we were trying to catch up with our reading challenges, I bought this book thinking I would have time to review it. I didn’t have a chance to but I’m glad I read it – devoured even! – from cover to cover.
6. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2012?
I love the art of Oliver Jeffers, so here’s my pick!
7. Most memorable character(s) in 2012?
Sounder from Sounder. Bud from Bud, Not Buddy. Marcie and Linus from Love & Leftovers.
8. Most beautifully written book read in 2012?
Modoc was truly a humbling and heartwarming read. The story itself is so incredible that if I try to read it again this year I still probably wouldn’t believe that it’s a true story. Love & Leftovers, on the other hand, is a gem. Even though it’s YA fiction, I enjoyed reading it because it’s a novel-in-verse. The lyrical storytelling make up for the elements of YA fiction found in the book.
9. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012?
You must be tired of hearing me say this but it has to be Love & Leftovers again, and it’s for the simple fact that it deals with marital separation and long-distance relationship. The book is something close to my heart.
10. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read?
Sounder and Bud, Not Buddy. These books didn’t win the Newbery Medal for nothing. Not in my best list, but really good stories.
11. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2012?
From The Crow-Girl
“You will find two kinds of people in the world. Some say that there are the bad and the good. But it isn’t like that. Since what is good for one may be bad for another. No, that doesn’t work. You have to depend on your intuition.
“There are those who make you feel inside as if you are drinking a good, warm soup – even if you are hungry and the two of you have nothing to eat. In spite of that they nourish you.
“And then there are those who cause you to freeze inside, even if you are sitting before a roaring fire and have eaten your fill. Those you should keep away from. They are not good for you, even though others might say that they are good people…” – Crow-Girl’s grandmother, pp. 8-9
From Bud, Not Buddy
And she’d say every single time, “And do you know what a bud is?”
I always answered, “Yes, Momma,” but it was like she didn’t hear me, she’d tell me anyway.
“A bud is a flower-to-be. A flower-in-waiting. Waiting for just the right warmth and care to open up. It’s a little fist of love waiting to unfold and be seen by the world. And that’s you.” – pp. 41-42
From Love & Leftovers
My Mother Always Told Me
that women could be anything they wanted to be
mayor | governor | senator | president
But I guess it never occurred to her that I’d act like
a player | a frat boy | my father | Bill Clinton
Then again, I don’t think it was part of her plan to be
a thief | a kidnapper | addicted | depressed
She certainly thought I was above depending on boys for
doughnuts | coffee | companionship | acceptance
Instead I had turned to J.D. to make me feel
worthwhile | beautiful | sexy | happy
And hurt someone who loved me because I was
careless | insensitive | mean | self-centered
Now that I am man-free, Mom would probably say
that I have achieved some sort of feminist
Zen | pride | accomplishment | freedom
But no matter how hard I try, I still yearn for
hugs | kisses | smiles | a hand to hold. - pp. 374-375
12. Favorite Book You Read in 2012 From An Author You Read Previously?
How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers, and Olivia and the Fairy Princesses by Ian Falconer.
Book Blogging in 2012
1. Favorite review that you wrote in 2012?
We Are in a Book! by Mo Willems
I simply love, love, love the man. He makes such lovable, adorable, memorable characters. This one has to be my favorite in the Elephant & Piggie series.
2. Best moment of book blogging in 2012?
It was when two wesbites linked back to our Poetry Friday post of Neil Gaiman’s The Day the Saucers Came. All of us here at Gathering Books – Myra, Iphigene, and I – are always humbled and grateful when other sites share our links to their posts. Both are fairly recent pingbacks: one in November, and one in December. Click on the post to view the two pingbacks.
3. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
For this one, I would say my post on Cynthia Rylant’s God Went to Beauty School. Cynthia Rylant was the most searched for subject in our website, and I wished that they shared their thoughts on this beautiful novel-in-verse. If you haven’t read this book, add it to your list this year. It’s charm and wit rolled into one.
4. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
OHMYGODYES! Hahaha. Excited to take on new challenges this year.
1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2012 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2013?
Winter Town by Stephen Emond
Funny because it’s another YA fiction. I bought it last week of December. I’m hoping to finish it before January ends. Perfect for the winter season, too.
2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2013?
Prequel to The Sandman series. Master storyteller Neil Gaiman tells the story of how Morpheus ended up being captured in The Sandman #1: Preludes and Nocturnes. OHMYGOD. As a treat, here is a short interview of Neil Gaiman as he talks about his latest project.
3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2013?
I really want to finish all books in my TBR pile before I fly to South Carolina to be with the boyfriend, but it is next to impossible, especially with this cold, blasted weather (as I love to call it!). This year, I do hope to finish Alice I Have Been as well as all my Sherlock Holmes collections. I also hope to draft and post more reviews than I did last year. Oh dear. We shall see, we shall see. Happy 2013, everyone!!