Do you love to scrapbook and stamp? So do I! Watching someone I love open a gift that I have handmade just for them is a natural high.
I call it "Scrappin' Joy" and I am addicted! Join me in the world of paper crafting - we're going to have a great time!
During 2012, I started something
new to me … I began tracking all of my reading on “goodreads.com” and I TRIED
to discipline myself to write a review (or at least jot down a few words) on each
book I read.(Goodreads is basically a
social networking site for Book Nerds like me, with the added benefit of book
reviews, author blogs and reader commentaries thrown into the mix.)Now, let me be really clear … this is all my “guilty
pleasure” reading.You will find no
biographies or social commentaries or business books here.No, these are mainly Young Adult books, most
with a supernatural or “paranormal” element to them.I’ve been onto that reading track for a while
now, and I am still enjoying it.I think
some of the best new fiction work is coming from Young Adult authors.And yes, there is a lot of drivel there, too,
but that is one reason I have enjoyed “Goodreads” so much.It didn’t take long to find other readers
with my same interests, and we compare notes and recommend reads and “don’t-reads”
and it’s nice to have someone to talk to about my latest book obsessions.:-)
So … Goodreads says I read 66 books
in 2012.I think that will go to 67 or
68 by the actual end of the year, as I am off work and we are in the midst of
our second snow-storm this week.(The
weather has put a damper on our plans to visit some folks, but makes for GREAT
reading prospects.)But let’s go with
the 66 for now … that works out to just over one and a quarter books per
week.44 of those were audiobooks, 20
were on my Kindle and 2 were, well, actual ink and paper books.For the most part, I download audiobooks from
“audible.com,” which has an iTunes interface, sync them to my iPod, and listen
to them during my commute to and from work.They make that drive go a whole lot better!
I couldn’t manage a “top 10” this
year … I got it down to “top 15.”It was
also really hard to settle on any sort of order … I tend to be most excited
about whatever I read last, and “best written” often does not equate to “best
loved.”Without further ado, here are my
favorites read in 2012:
Top 5 (with links to either the Goodreads descriptions or my
reviews, if I wrote one):
1)Poison Princess by
Kresley Cole:Well, this one is just a
love affair for me.Maybe a fling, maybe
a long-term romance, only time will tell.It was not, by any stretch, the best written book I read this year.But I loved it most.Tarot cards.Apocalypse.Cajun boy with a rap
sheet and a single-minded obsession with a girl.Jackson wins my “Best Male Lead” award
against some stunning competition.
2)Finnikin of the Rock
by Melina Marchetta:Beautiful story,
beautiful writing.An epic quest about a
boy becoming a man, his relationship with his father, the kingdom they are fighting to restore, and a
girl.:-)(Always, a girl.)
3)City of Lost
Souls by Cassandra Clare:If you
have read any of Clare’s books, then you know why this one is here.She breaks my heart, every single time, and
is one of the best writers publishing in Young Adult fiction today.This is Book 5 of 6 in her "Mortal Instruments" series.I’m not sure I will live through reading #6
when it is released.Book 1 (“City of Bones”)
is scheduled to come out next August as a movie.
4)Daughter of Smoke and
Bone by Laini Taylor:This book got
a lot of press this year for its lyrical writing, and it was
well-deserved.Every word of this book
was lovingly selected, every line crafted for maximum effect.This is a story that engages all of the
senses, and the writing projects every scene in vivid color.A fantastic tale of family, of love in the
midst of war, with beautiful Prague as one of the backdrops.
5)Grave Mercy by R.L.
LaFevers:Two words:Assassin.Nuns.Honestly, best historical
read in years.High action.Lots of poison.:-)WAR!!!A kingdom to save, plots to unravel, people to kill.And Death starring as “Dad.”Loved it!
The Best of the Rest (in no real order):
1)Hallowed by Cynthia
Hand:Love this series.Hand is a college professor, and her writing
is beautiful yet so smart, and the important bits keep sneaking up on me.She has written a fabulous love triangle in
the midst of an amazing story, and I sure can’t choose the winner.“Hallowed” is Book 2 of a trilogy … Book 3
is out in January 2013, and is at the top of my “I want it NOW” list.
Prince by Cassandra Clare: From
Clare’s “The Infernal Devices,” which is the “prequel” series to “The Mortal
Instruments,” which includes all of the “City” books (see the list above.)TID is set in 19th century London,
and Jem and Will are “Best Bromance” winners.Bring tissues for this one.Book
2 of 3.Pretty sure I won’t live through
the angst in Book #3.
4)Third Grave Dead Ahead
and Fourth Grave Beneath
My Feet by Darynda Jones:Ok, I
cheated and snuck two in here, but hey, it’s a series.Read them both.Laugh out loud and don’t mind people looking
at you funny.Laugh right up until you suck
in a breath and realize that the rubber just got introduced to the road.These audiobooks are fabulously narrated.
5)Pure and Deityby Jennifer L. Armentrout:Again with the two, I know.But have you READ Armentrout?She has a couple of very popular series going, and she is
really making a name for herself in the YA genre.I like all of her writing, but the “Covenant”
Series (these are books #2 and #3) has really captivated me.GREAT mythology (gods and demi-gods and
whatnot), beautifully drawn characters, awesome plot tension.I can’t wait to see how this series ends …
two books to go.
6)The Golden Lily by
Richelle Mead:Mead is largely
responsible for my YA reading habit.Read “The
Vampire Academy” series (6 books) and then read the “Bloodlines” series
(of which this is book 2.)And then we’ll
talk.:-) I didn't think she could do a worthy follow-up to the VA series, but she is blowing me away with the "Bloodlines" books. Sydney has earned her spot.
7)Rift by Andrea Cremer:More with the historical setting and the war
and the REALLY EVIL MAN.I was not happy
with the way Cremer’s oh-so-promising “Nightshade” series
ended, but she redeemed herself here.Book one of a series … book two will be out early in 2013.
Lesley Livingston:This book was a
fabulous surprise.Norse mythology.Set in an elite private school in modern-day New York
City.With sword fights.I’m dying to read the next book!
Elizabeth Norris:Also a fabulous
surprise.Did you ever watch the old
television show “Roswell”?Well, this is a cross between that, “X-Files”
and “24.”The author did a great job of
maintaining the narrative tension, and the plot twists in this were awesome.
10)Angel Fire by
L.A. Weatherly:This series hasn’t
gotten nearly enough notice, in my humble opinion.I loved Book #1 (“Angel Burn”) and
Book #2 was an awesome follow-up.Make with
the mayhem!Bring on the (gorgeous,
sweet, devoted) half-angel boy!As with
the first book, this is a wild ride right to the end.I can’t wait to see how Weatherly wraps it
all up in Book #3 (out late in 2013.)
So, if you’ve held on this long,
that’s my list.Have you read any of
these?I would LOVE to talk about
them!:-)And one of my favorite things in the world is
to set up a day of scrapbooking while listening to a great audiobook.That’s my idea of a first-class vacation! I hope your 2013 is truly blessed and filled with all of the things you love most!