elora reads :: 2012 edition

Looking back at this year, it's funny to see the list of books I've finished. 2012 was obviously a year of nonfiction for me. I dove heart first into some heavy topics in order to prepare us for the adoption. Some of these books were really, really good. Some of them I didn't finish. Some I couldn't finish save for the tears streaming down my face. It hasn't been until recently, when I took November to write some fiction and realized huh...I kinda forgot what fiction looks like because I'd been reading/writing almost exclusively nonfiction, that I embraced fiction again with open arms. Either way, I figured I'd share with some of my favorite reads from this year.

Nonfiction - 

Attachments :: This book moved me in a profound way. It's amazing to me just how much we take from those first few weeks of our life. Reading this book proved healing in a lot of ways and explains so much - so much - of why I act the way I do and how I relate with others. In fact, after finishing this book I immediately ordered the companion book, God Attachment. I took these books slow - reading them in bits and pieces. I couldn't take much more than a few pages at a time because of the weight of it all. It's so good though. I plan on rereading both.

Circle of Quiet :: So, in the past few years, Madeleine L'Engle has become one of my patron saints. I read this at the beginning of the year, when I struggled with what it meant to truly {abide} in my words and a career and my desire to be a mother....everything just seemed so exhausting and I'd pick up this book and exhale. Reading L'Engle puts spark and heat back in my writing.

Heroes and Monsters :: I've written about this book before here, and Josh even did a guest post for me back in June when I took a break from blogging. Needless to say - if you haven't gotten this book you really, really need to grab it. I have so many quotes underlined on my kindle and I'm waiting to buy the paperback so I can have a physical copy. It's just that good. Josh is a brilliant wordsmith and he tackles some heavy memories in this book.

Fiction - 

The Delirium series :: I am not ashamed of my fan-girl status with YA-literature. Although there are the exceptions where a book just perpetuates the stigma of the young adult label, there are others - Lauren Oliver's Delirium series, for example - that continually blow me away. The premise itself is original :: love is outlawed. I love the twists in this series and everything Oliver tackles. The plot is fast-pased, no one is immune, and her writing is impeccable.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone series :: Again, I've spoken of this series before. Although it's categorized as YA, I don't see it as such. Laini Taylor's writing takes my breath away - it's literally flawless. Her world-building is just...incredible. There were so many moments I would read and just breathe in her ability to throw her characters in all types of situations - awkward, dangerous, heartbreaking, hopeful - and every time I felt the emotions so vividly. I recently heard talks of turning the series into movies and I couldn't be more thrilled. In fact, as I read the first book, I looked at our roommate and said, "they'll make a movie of this and I'll be the first in line."

Revolution :: You know those books that make you fall in love with a period in history? This book made me crave more from the French Revolution. I love, love, LOVED the twin-plot lines going and found myself super-depressed when the book ended. Mostly because Jennifer Donnelly is such an incredible author and she doesn't have many books. Her ability to weave so seamlessly the lives of two characters was incredible. This book was one that made me want to write.

Indie-pub -

So, thanks to a few friends I've picked up a few incredible self-published books this year that blew me away. All of these (except one) have since been picked up by a major publisher, but I wanted to give a shout-out to those who broke free from the traditional mold.

Slammed :: I was so skeptical when I first started reading this book. It was my first taste of self-published fiction and I just didn't know how it would settle in my stomach. Especially when I got to the conflict - a teacher/student relationship. But, Hoover handled the situation with dignity and (to me) held the tension of this reality perfectly. I read it in one sitting. It was that good. As soon as I finished, I went to the kindle store and downloaded the sequel, Point of Retreat and thus began my deep dive into self-published novels.

Easy :: Another read-in-one-sitting. I knew what I was getting into with this one - having been told it was pretty intense. But there's intense that borders on voyeurism and intense that embraces the heartbreaking reality of sexual assault. Tammara Webber definitely possesses the heartbreaking reality. My heart rate escalated many times while reading this and I so appreciated the girl fighting back.

Losing It :: I added this book for so many reasons. First, it's good. Like, entertaining good. Like, giggle in your bedsheets good. But also, I wanted to include it because of the story behind it. It's another self-pub gone crazy but the genre is a new one :: New Adult. I'm not sure where it's headed, but this genre is pretty hot (heh) right now. I appreciated this book because even though the topic was mature, the scenes weren't overly explicit or over-the-top. It was as it should be - awkward. I mean, let's be real. Carmack's book is a fun read and there's one scene in particular where I was stunned by her writing. I mean it. Floored. It's probably not where people assume, though and I can't give it away for fear of spoilers so you'll just have to read it yourself. I suggest it if you aren't prone to blushing during awkward situations. Or snorting. *side eye*

Ten Tiny Breaths :: Just read this last week, y'all. At first, I wasn't sure if I would enjoy it. I mean - there aren't many books out there that tackle PTSD and do it well. About a third of the way through I was hooked and by the ending I found myself taken by the story of complete redemption and restoration. Even better - this is the book that hasn't been picked up by a publisher. Yet. I'm banking on Kathleen sealing a deal with this one.

Okay. Those are my favorite books from 2012. Share with me :: what are some books you LOVED this past year? 

Posted on December 27, 2012 and filed under books.