I have not been doing regular reviews in quite some time, but I did keep mental track of my favorite books this year. Unless anything exciting comes my way in the next few weeks, here is my list of favorites for 2012. What titles do you already know are going to be on your list?
Grade A Books
Mr Midshipman Hornblower by CS Forester. I can't explain why I didn't read these classic works of naval fiction before. I should have started at least ten years ago. Oh well, now that I know how wonderful they are I can decide how to space them out and order them for my dad and so on. A+
Angelmaker by Nicholas Hardby. Any book that you can reasonably say is about espionage, nuns, the undertaker's union, gangsters, and mechanical bees without covering even all the major topics? Got to be pretty cool. A+
Some Girls, Some Hats, and Hitler by Trudi Kanter. This book was recently re-published. It is the true story of a hatmaker in Vienna resisting the tide of WWII with grace and fortitude. Apparently some people found it frivolous, but to me the author's love of cocktails, flirting, and pretty clothes is what makes this story real. A+
Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. This book is heartbreakingly beautiful and you should not read it if mother-daughter issues and abandonment have been major issues in your life. A
The Iron Wyrm Affair by Lilith Saintcrow. Just when we all thought the steampunk thing was maybe getting a little tired, this book comes along. Truly original, funny, and moving too. A
Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan. Like _Angelmaker_ this book is hard to describe, but it's really a lot of fun. The worldbuilding was perhaps my favorite part - the author describes a fantasy series that sounded so familiar I looked it up on amazon, not realizing it was his own invention. A-
Diana Comet and Other Improbable Tales by Sandra Macdonald. Some of the stories in this collection are mindblowing and some are kind of enh. My favorites were "Diana Comet and the Disappearing Lover" and "Fay and the Goddesses."
Blessings by Anna Quindlen. A gift from my mother, this is a beautiful book that stays with you. Two out of two of the people I lent it to after I finished it cried when they read it.
The Queen's Squadron by RM Meluch. You could see it as queer-oriented Stargate fanfic... but actually it's so much more than that. This one blew my mind.