My favorite books of 2012, and the Cybils shortlists

I waited until today to share my favorite books of 2012, partly because I was reading right up to the wire, and partly so as not to inadvertently give away anything about the Cybils shortlist for mg sff.  Now the shortlists are up!

Here's what we shortlisted (and boy, was it a stuggle to limit it to seven out of the grand total of 151 books nominated!)

Beswitched by Kate Saunders
Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities by Mike Jung
The Cabinet of Earths by Anne Nesbet
The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen
The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann

I have no idea which is going to win, and I don't envy the second round panelists their job!  For the full blurbs of our shortlist, and all the other fine shortlists, head over to the Cybils site!

On to my own favorite books.

For the first time in my life, I tried to keep track of the number of books I read in a whole year, using Goodreads.  I finished at least 312 books (not including picture books or graphic novels), which is about what I expected, given all the other distractions in my life.  In the process of recording, I did, however, surprise myself by realizing for the first time how many books I start but don't finish (I didn't keep exact track, but it was easily 100).   Of all the books I read, only nine were re-reads (thanks to the influx of books to review, and to the Cybils, and to so many recommendations from other bloggers!)  Although it's fun reading new books, this makes me a bit sad, because being a re-reader is part of my self-image.  Rather than consuming books and moving on, like a brush fire, I want to surround myself with books I love, and keep them for future warmth.

So these are my favorites of the books that I read in 2012 that I have kept to read again (not counting the already re-read).  Which is a very personal thing, so this list isn't at all the same as a list of books that I'd argue were the "best," or the books I'd recommend most heartily. 

The Last Dragonslayer, by Jasper Fforde.  Utterly satisfying magical fun.

Tilly's Moonlight Garden, by Julia Green. Best doll house furniture of the decade. Good fox too. Other things as well.

The Raven Boys, by Maggie Stiefvater.   I will want to read this again just before reading the next one!

Summer of the Mariposas, by Guadalupe Garcia McCall.  Sisters!  Plus new to me mythology and and a setting and context that was utterly fascinating.

House of Shadows, by Rachel Neumeier.   I think I will enjoy it even more on re-reading, because of soothingly knowing what's going to happen!

Caterpillar Hall, by Anne Barrett.   A beautiful comfort read that I should have read in my childhood so that I could already have had the pleasure of re-reading it many times.

The False Prince, by Jennifer Nielsen.   I love Sage, and can't wait for the sequel.

The Sherwood Ring, by Elizabeth Marie Pope.   I put this one off for years, because of not really liking the 18th century.  Silly me!

(just for my own record keeping, I reviewed 144ish books, not including picture books or easy graphic novels).


  1. THE SHERWOOD RING! One of my all time favorites.

    I really like the books on your list I read but not quite enough to make them favorites. I loved The False Prince, but the point of view switches toward the end are still a big issue for me.

    I'm looking forward to reading The Last Dragonslayer and The Moonlight Garden.

    Nice work on the Cybils shortlist.

    1. I know--why did I wait so long with S. R.?

      I bet you like both Last Dragonslayer and Moonlight Garden!

  2. I just reread THE RAVEN BOYS - still so good.

    As for the short list, there's two I already own and need to read and several of the others have been on my want list awhile now. (The Peculiar! I wants it!)

    I thought the Cybils would stop upping my reading list after I finished the noms for my category.

    1. no, the list never ends....I hope you like the Peculiar! I thought it was swell, and it almost made my personal best of list.


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