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My Favorite Books of 2012

Nothing says New Year’s like a list! Here are my favorite fiction reads from 2012 in alphabetical order. It’s hard enough to pick only ten, much less rank them. Sadly, many lovely novels taunt me from my to-be-read pile.

Be Still My Soul by Joanne Bischof: A moving debut! More than just a love story, Be Still My Soul takes compelling characters on a journey of redemption in the dangerous beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Joanne Bischof’s masterful and compassionate insight into human nature won me over. On the surface, Gideon might be one of the most unlikeable heroes ever, but Joanne made me care about him and want him to find his way. That takes talent, and Joanne has it.

Bridge of Scarlet Leaves by Kristina McMorris: This World War II story takes you from Los Angeles, to the dust of Manzanar, to a B-17 bomber over Hawaii, to a banzai charge in the Aleutians, to a critical moment in the Philippines. The research is impeccable, the characters are realistically drawn and thoroughly relatable, and the story is gripping. [Note for my sensitive readers: language alert 🙂 ]

The Discovery by Dan Walsh: Walsh’s other 2012 release, The Reunion, also deserves a place on my list, but I thought it wasn’t fair to feature two by the same author. In The Discovery, Dan Walsh takes a fascinating sidebar of World War II history and crafts a suspenseful, beautifully written, and deeply satisfying story. This is his best novel yet – and that’s saying a lot!

Love’s Reckoning by Laura Frantz: Grand and epic, Love’s Reckoning swept me away. Frantz’s writing is so gorgeous, the characters so exquisitely drawn, the story so gripping . . . well, you just have to read it!

Stardust by Carla Stewart: An eclectic cast of characters, a setting as rich as any character, the fascinating historical backdrop of the polio epidemics in the early 1950s, and Carla Stewart’s lyrical writing make Stardust a winner of a novel.

Wedded to War by Jocelyn Green: Fascinating, dramatic, and romantic. Wedded to War by Jocelyn Green sheds light on the harrowing world of Civil War nursing through the eyes of a delightful heroine. Detailed research and a powerful message about mercy make this story a keeper.

What were your favorite reads of 2012?

13 Responses to “My Favorite Books of 2012”

  1. Keli Gwyn

    If I were to write a Top 10 list, With Every Letter would be on it. You’re one of my must-read authors, Sarah.

    I’m honored to see my debut novel on your list. =)

  2. Joanne Bischof

    Thanks so much Sarah! So many books on this list that I enjoyed or hope to read. I am reading “With Every Letter” right now. Finally! I’ve been waiting to read this one for so long. I am loving it.

  3. Kiersti

    Thanks for the wonderful list, Sarah–I’m reading Love’s Reckoning right now, but haven’t read many of the others. I want to now, though! 🙂 And I gave my mom With Every Letter for Christmas–I hope to get my hands on it once she’s finished!

  4. Regina Jennings

    Sarah, I’m honored to be included with such wonderful books. Thank you so much! Merry Christmas to you and yours and a Happy New Year.

  5. carla stewart

    Sarah, I am so honored to be on your list!! You have several I haven’t read that look intriguing! Here’s to a great reading year in 2013!’

  6. Dan Walsh

    Happy to be in such good company. Thanks Sarah.

    With Every Letter is definitely on my list. Also Harry Kraus new book, A Heartbeat Away. I enjoyed Gina Holmes new book, Wings of Glass (not sure if it’s out yet).

    I’m sure there are some others (drawing a blank at the moment). Read a lot of non-fiction history stuff for research, but always enjoy that. Hope you have a blessed New Year!

  7. Kim

    All your books are on my 2012 list! You are my favorite author. 🙂 I will try to read the books you’ve named in 2013. I can’t wait, especially your upcoming book!

  8. Charity U

    There are some good books on there! I actually haven’t read any of them, but they’re all on my to-read list. 🙂

  9. Laura Frantz

    Sarah, Was just thinking of you this week and now this. You are a gift to me. I was thinking of my own favorites this year and With Every Letter is at the top. Thanks so much for taking time for my work. You are a treasured friend. So honored to be here with Joanne and others!

  10. Sarah Sundin

    Thanks for dropping in, everyone! I’m smiling at the comments – that’s the thing about other people’s favorite book lists – they remind us of all the fabulous books we’ve MISSED 🙂

  11. Kristina McMorris

    Wow!! Thank you SO much for including my novel on your list, Sarah. I’m thrilled and honored. The compliment about my research alone — coming from YOU — means so much to me. WITH EVERY LETTER is still in my TBR stack! Can’t wait to treat myself with a read as soon as I finish the next darn book (which is decidedly not writing itself, ugh).

    As for some of my own favorites from this year… I’d probably say: Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, The Lost Wife by Alyson Richman, and The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. 🙂