My Best Books of 2012

One aspect of the end of year wrap-ups I love is reading all the “Best of…” lists. So I reviewed the 75 books I’ve read in the past 12 months to determine my own Best Books of 2012.

In fact, I’ve got two lists: A Top 5 Fiction and a Top 10 Non-fiction.

Let’s start with the novels.

Top 5 Fiction

I was a little disappointed in myself this year that I didn’t read from a more diverse range of novels. So many of my favourite authors released new material that I tended to stick to a lot of tried and true authors, both in the Christian and secular markets.

As I spent a decent part of the year editing Angelguard, I also adhered to one of the common recommendations for budding authors: read in your genre. So lots of supernatural suspense type books made up my reading list.

I want to change that in 2013 by reading more widely. In particular, I’d like to read more of the classics.

So here are the 5, in no particular order:

  • A Thousand Sleepless Nights – Michael King (ala Dellosso)

I’m a big fan of Mike’s work. This was his first foray into “Contemporary” Fiction and did he hit the mark.

I found myself immersed in every scene; cheering at times, others crying out to God to heal the multiple layers of brokenness whether physical, emotional or spiritual. Every scene is short and we move from one character’s viewpoint to another’s seamlessly.

This is a powerful story with a strong message of hope and reconciliation, even through loss and sadness.

  • 7 Hours Collection – 7 authors

This was a fabulous idea. 7 authors. 7 different stories. All linked by a common theme. Death. But what if you were given seven more hours?

Each story was a novella length, 80 to 110 pages long. All rocked along at great pace. We were introduced to 7 new lead characters pitted against the one antagonist, Thomas Constant, who delivered more than just the news their lives were about to end.

I thoroughly enjoyed each story. Life, love, death, evil and time were all magnificently handled by the seven authors.

Read them all.

  • The Still of Night – Kristen Heitzmann

This was a delightful surprise. My first foray into Women’s Fiction and I was captivated. Kristen’s full-bodied characters made this novel a joy to read. Her male lead, Morgan Spencer, was a wonderfully flawed and very real, hero. I can understand why he captivates so many women readers: chivalrous, generous, caring but at the same time ruthless, ambitious, and sometimes lacking tact.

There is also a tremendous example of dependent faith by a gorgeous 14 year old, Kelsey.

I think I’m going to have to read the next instalment in 2013.

  • Illusion – Frank Peretti

It’s been too many years since Frank’s last one and I hope he’s got the bug back and we don’t have to wait so long for the next one.

This is a magnificent love story. I found it difficult to put down because I wanted to know what would happen between the two lovers. A love, seemingly inexplicable and impossible, and at times bordering on inappropriate. But there was a lovely innocence, captured so magnificently in the waltz scene in Chapter 31. I only hope one day I can write that well.

  • The Soul Saver – Dineen Miller

I found this debut novel really hard to put down. It moved along at great pace plus a series of well managed conflicts (yes, there are a few) made me want to get to the next page quickly.

The main storyline is powerful and compelling. And then Dineen overlays a spiritual battle to intensify the drama. It’s this spiritual side that particularly grabbed me. I was fascinated how Dineen seamlessly wove the spiritual in and out of the ‘natural’.

The depiction of evil, both in the form of subtle influence and violent interruption, was very believable. In addition, Dineen demonstrated how easy it is for us to deceive ourselves when we take our eyes of God. This self-deception isn’t necessarily caused by something evil, rather it’s a reflection of the fallen nature of our hearts.

So that’s my Top 5 Fiction.

Top 10 Non-Fiction

I’ll make this one shorter and encourage you to read my review which I’ve linked where possible.

Once again, in no particular order.

My favourite cricket writer’s tribute to one of the greatest cricketer and who I so enjoyed watching. Enough said.

There are many aspects to my introverted personality that I’ve struggled to understand. Susan provided well-researched explanations to many of my quirks. Easy to read with many fascinating testimonials to draw on.

This was one of those books where I sensed the scales fall from my eyes as I read the opening chapters.  This book transformed my heart.

This book is excellent providing a tremendous Biblically based view of the gifts of the Holy Spirit including the power of speaking in tongues.

One of the best bible studies I’ve completed. Who better to study than Jesus Himself.

10 weeks. 5 days. Following Jesus devotional life.

Very powerful.

I love Ann’s heart. She has such a desire for intimacy with Jesus.

The power of being grateful and thanking God all day, everyday for all the things He keeps providing.

This has enhanced my prayer life this past year.

What was most significant for me in reading this book was I now have a full understanding of grace. In “ruling in life”, grace is the enabler. In equipping us to achieve the desires God has planted in our hearts, grace is the answer.

Kendall inspects King David’s life, his decisions, his passion for God and challenges the reader with practical application to recognise the strengths and weaknesses in his walk as a believer.

Perhaps the new “War of Art”.

An adult alphabet book that takes only 3 minutes to read; every brief page full of power and challenge.

I observed Advent for the first time this year. This was one of the sources I used to draw closer to Jesus during those 25 days.

Reflecting on Jesus requires stillness and time. Enuma writes in an unhurried, quiet style that enhances the reading experience.

 

What were you favourite books of 2012?  I’d love you to share them.

Here’s to another great year of reading. I’m hoping to read 100 books in 2013. Wish me luck.

4 replies
    • Ian
      Ian says:

      I am too Sara. And will be reading Breath of Dawn some time. My To Read file is so large. Thanks for the suggestion, feel free to make others.

      Reply

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