Top Ten Books I’m Excited to Read in 2012

Every Tuesday, I link it up with The Broke and the Bookish, where book bloggers great and small share their book-themed top ten lists.  This week, it’s the top ten books I’m excited to read in 2012.  Here they are:

Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James: It’s a mystery novel starring everyone’s favorite Austen heroine, Elizabeth Bennet.  Actually, my favorite Austen heroine is Anne Elliot, who I bet would make an amazing detective.  Why doesn’t anybody ever write sequels to Persuasion, for heaven’s sake?  Anyway.  I just started this one and it is pretty silly, but I know that any page now, death will come to Pemberley.

Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale: I was surprised (and a little embarrassed) to enjoy Austenland, and I am excited for this follow up.  It looks like more of a mystery novel, again set in “Austenland”, a sort of Austen-themed resort where guests dress and act as Austen characters.  Apparently I am going in for Austen mysteries this year.

Swamplandia by Karen Russell: My Christmas book from Dad this year.  A strange tale of a family who lives at a rundown Everglades theme park.  Dad usually picks winners, so I’m looking forward to this one.

Lord of Misrule by Jaimy Gordon: This year’s birthday book from Dad and 2010’s National Book Award winner.  A Great American novel about cheap horse racing in the 1970s (Lord of Misrule is the name of a horse, of course).

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie: I am reading my way through all of Dame Agatha’s novels, and this one is coming up in a book or two.  It’s her breakout success, featuring Hercule Poirot and not, thank goodness, his annoying sidekick Arthur Hastings.

The Life of Pi by Yann Martel: My church book club keeps mentioning this one, so maybe this is the year we actually read it!  It was also the Deal of the Day for Kindle last week, so I have an electronic copy ready and waiting.  (Pro Tip: I got a Kindle for Christmas and it is awesome.)

IQ84 by Haruki Murakami : Here is how my library’s catalog describes this one, which tops a lot of Best Lists for 2011: “An ode to George Orwell’s “1984” told in alternating male and female voices relates the stories of Aomame, an assassin for a secret organization who discovers that she has been transported to an alternate reality, and Tengo, a mathematics lecturer and novice writer.”  Yes, please.

In the Bleak Midwinter by Julia Spencer-Fleming: My friend Rochelle, who introduced me to the wonderful mystery novels of Louise Penny, just alerted me to this series about a female Episcopalian priest who solves mysteries in Upstate New York.  In fact, I think at least one other person has mentioned this to me, but not until today did I actually look into the series.  Since I am a pastor who likes mystery novels, this seems like an obvious choice, huh?  (Pro Tip: If you, too, are interested in this series, read about the special offers on the way.)

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg: Aunt Claire and Uncle Doug gave this to Zoe for Christmas (beautifully inscribed, of course).  I think we’ll pull it out for Advent 2012, and maybe give the accompanying CD (read by Liam Neeson) a whirl.

Something by Charles Dickens: I am determined to become a Dickens fan this year.  Please recommend your favorite Dickens, or the one you think is most tempting to a reluctant reader.  (For example, it took Scenes from Clerical Life to bring me into the George Eliot camp.  Go figure.)

Your turn!  What books top your list for 2012?

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23 Comments

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23 responses to “Top Ten Books I’m Excited to Read in 2012

  1. I got The Life of Pi for free from Amazon on my Kindle last week and I’m looking forward to reading it, too! I’ll have to check out some of these other books to as some of them sound really good.

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  2. I’m totally with you on Persuasion. Why no one is as in love with it as I am is beyond my ken! I think it’s her best work ever. Also, I had no idea what IQ84 was about, but after reading your review/summary, I’m totally into it. It’s going on my list, too.

    As far as Charles Dickens is concerned, my favorite was Bleak House, but that one is a bit daunting. A Tale of Two Cities is lengthy, but it has action and a good love story in it as well as a great setting for drama. It’s probably my second favorite. However, I highly suggest you avoid Great Expectations.

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    • Thank you! I think Pride and Prejudice is probably the best, but Persuasion is for sure my favorite. I am eagerly awaiting 1Q84 from the library!

      Yeah, I thought Bleak House would be the one, since I did love the miniseries (BBC? Masterpiece? the Gillian Anderson one), but I think knowing the story so much makes me less eager to read it. I am about eighty pages in and stalling, mostly because there are so many other, shorter books I’m eager to read right now, too. I have such bad memories of A Tale of Two Cities from high school! But still, I’m so much older and wiser, it’s probably worth another go. Thanks, Jamie!

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  3. I picked Midnight in Austenland too, it looks like a good one!

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    • I think it’s the only one on my list that actually comes out in 2012, and I heard about from another Top Ten Tuesday poster a few weeks ago!

      Thanks for stopping!

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  4. I’m looking forward to Midnight in Austenland as well. I read Austenland at the beach, and just loved it.

    Great choices.

    Laura @ The Traveling Owl

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  5. Maggie,
    I think “David Copperfield” is the Dickens book you might start with. It’s long but pretty exciting and full of memorable characters.
    Dad

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  6. Life of Pi is a fantastic book! And 1Q84 looks really good too, although I’ll have to work my way up to that one for next year perhaps. And, yeah . . . Dickens. I have yet to finish one of his books! Maybe 2012 will be the year.

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    • Yes, 2012 is My Year of Dickens. Or, My Year of One Dickens, anyway. I’m glad to hear so many people are Life of Pi fans–I’ll have to get my book club ladies on board.

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  7. Number 1 on my reading list is Pride and Prejudice. Which I can’t believe I haven’t read until now.

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    • Oh my goodness, read it immediately. Seriously, go home and take care of that. I wish I could read it again for the first time. Persuasion is still my favorite Austen, but Pride and Prejudice is probably the best.

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  8. reading rendezvous reviewz

    I sure hope you get to read each book on your Top 10 list. happy reading to you.
    http://sidnereviewz.blogspot.com

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  9. I wonder if the release of Midnight in Austenland is being timed with the release of the movie Austenland starring Keri Russell. I tend to be a little cynical about these things.

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  10. Death Comes to Pemberley is waiting for me on my kindle 🙂

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  11. soniaelena62

    Oh, just thinking about Life of Pi make me want to do a reread!

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  12. Pingback: Death Comes to Pemberley, and It is Pretty Dull | Never Done It That Way Before

  13. nectaryne

    Bleak House is my favorite from Dickens. It features one of the first detectives in English literature – Inspector Bucket! (And yes, I say “Bucket”, not “Boo-KAY.”)

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