Just to clarify, I read these books in 2012, but they were not necessarily published this year. Quotes are from my reviews, which are linked to the titles.
The Last Storyteller by Frank Delaney: “I was engrossed from the very beginning, fighting an internal battle between the desire to savor the beautiful words and the even stronger desire to find out if Ben was ever reunited with his Venetia.”
The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani: “I could smell the air of the Italian Alps, taste the pasta, hear Caruso singing, feel the supple leather of the shoes Ciro made. There was not a single section that dragged, nor a single time I wasn’t eager to pick the book up and dive back in. When I finished the last page, it was with the kind of sadness I only experience when I know I am going to miss the world of a book terribly.”
The House at Tyneford by Natasha Solomons: “This book is just about as close to perfect as you can get – and it is one of the best works of historical fiction I’ve ever read. I know it will turn up on my “best-of” list for the year.”
Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry: “At the end of his life, he looks back over its years, his travels away from and back to the Port William area, and also his personal journey to become the man he should be. It is, to put it as simply as possible, a truly beautiful book.”
Bridege of Scarlet Leaves by Kristina McMorris: “McMorris takes her readers from the internment camps to the bloody island battlefields of the Pacific Theater, and every word was perfectly placed to completely immerse the reader in the experience. This is a beautiful, heartbreaking, and lovely book, and one that reminds me why I love historical fiction so much.”
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein: “Everything you’ve read in the rave reviews of this book? It’s not over-statement or hype. It’s true. As I read, there were times when I actually forgot that this wasn’t a true story. I held my breath, I winced, I smiled, I sighed, I cried. Oh, I cried.”
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys: “Ruta Sepetys uses beautiful language to describe the stark landscapes of Siberia. The writing in this book is simply magnificent, and yet it is a brutal book. There were times when I had to set it aside, simply to take a breath, look around me, and tear myself away from the conditions and treatment suffered by Lina and her family.”
You might also want to check out my favorite crime fiction of 2012, if you missed it.