Saturday Review of Books: December 29, 2012

“The things I want to know are in books; my best friend is the man who’ll get me a book I ain’t read.” ~Abraham Lincoln

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Welcome to the Saturday Review of Books at Semicolon. Here’s how it usually works. Find a book review on your blog posted sometime during the previous week. The review doesn’t have to be a formal sort of thing. You can link to your thoughts on a particular book, a few ideas inspired by reading the book, your evaluation, quotations, whatever.

Then on Friday night/Saturday, you post a link here at Semicolon in Mr. Linky to the specific post where you’ve written your book review. Don’t link to your main blog page because this kind of link makes it hard to find the book review, especially when people drop in later after you’ve added new content to your blog. In parentheses after your name, add the title of the book you’re reviewing. This addition will help people to find the reviews they’re most interested in reading.

TODAY, SATURDAY December 29th, is a special edition of the Saturday Review of Books especially for booklists. You can link to a list of your favorite books read in 2012, a list of all the books you read in 2012, a list of the books you plan to read in 2013, or any other end of the year or beginning of the year list of books. Whatever your list, it’s time for book lists. So link to yours, especially if I missed it and it’s not already here.

However, I’ve spent the past couple of weeks gathering up all the lists I could find and linking to them here. Scroll down to see the lists I’ve already linked to along with book advisory suggestions from yours truly. Perhaps you’ll see something in all these lists that will call to you and set your reading agenda for the next week or even year.

If I didn’t get your list linked ahead of time and if you leave your list in the linky below, I’ll try to advise you, too, in a separate post.


1. Amy @ Hope Is the Word (2012 list and top ten)
2. Amy @ Hope Is the Word (2012 read aloud list and top picks)
3. Glynn (Poetry I’m Not Recommending)
4. Glynn (Fiction I’m Not Recommending)
5. Glynn (Non-fiction I’m Not Recommending)
6. Barbara H (Books Read in 2012)
7. Becky @ Operation Actually Read Bible (Top Ten Nonfiction)
8. Becky @ Operation Actually Read Bible (Top Ten Fiction)
9. Barbara H (Top Books of 2012)
10. Shonya@Learning How Much I Don’t Know (Reading List)
11. Janet (Books Read in 2012)
12. Janet (The Discarded Image)
13. Melinda @ Wholesome Womanhood (Books from 2012)
14. SuziQoregon @ Whimpulsive (The Ridge)
15. Mental multivitamin
16. Alice@Supratentorial(2012 Book List)
17. Alice@Supratentorial(2012 Chapter Books)
18. Heather @ Lines from the Page (Books read in 2012)
19. Hope (Reading Year in Review)
20. Carol in Oregon (The 2012 List)
21. Bonnie @ Life With You
22. Seth@Collateral Bloggage (Favorite Science Books)
23. Seth@Collateral Bloggage (Favorite Reads of 2012)
24. Alex in Leeds (Contemporary Fiction)
25. Alex in Leeds (Older/Classic Fiction)
26. Nicola (2012 Books Read List: Total 343!!)
27. Lucybird’s Book Blog (Review of the year overview)
28. Lucybird’s Book Blog (Challenges round-up)
29. Lucybird’s Book Blog (Best fiction)
30. Lucybird’s Book Blog (Best non-fiction)
31. Beckie @ ByTheBook (Favorites from 2012)
32. ShaReKay (2012 Review)
33. Alex in Leeds (Non-Fiction)
34. Lazygal (Best Reads of 2012)
35. Thoughts of Joy (The Time Keeper)
36. utter randomonium (Found)
37. Shonya@Learning How Much I Don’t Know (Top Ten)
38. Annette’s Top Ten of 2012 (fiction & non-fiction)
39. Laura @ Musings (The Hare with Amber Eyes)
40. Laura @ Musings (Lady Rose and Mrs Memmary)
41. Sheila (Top 5 Books Read in 2012)
42. Seth@Collateral Bloggage (Everything I Read in 2012)
43. SmallWorld Reads (2012 in Review)
44. Joseph R. @ Zombie Parents Guide (2012 Review)
45. At A Hen’s Pace (Books Read in 2012, Annotated)
46. Thoughts of Joy (Collateral)
47. Angela (2012 Wrap Up and 2013 Plan)
48. Reading to Know (Favorite Books Read in 2012)
49. Susan @ Reading World (Circles of Time)
50. Susan @ Reading World (Crossing on the Paris)
51. Laurel Snyder (My Best Books of the Year)
52. Beth@Weavings
53. Thoughts of Joy (Best Reads of 2012)
54. Dani (Favorite Reads of 2012)
55. Becky @ Becky’s Book Reviews
56. utter randomonium (Year-end Book Round-up: 2012)
57. Melwyk @ Indextrious Reader
58. Ruth (2012 Book List)
59. dawn (2012 Books Read)
60. Norman’s Best Books of 2012
61. Eve Tushnet (2012 Best-of)
62. Anna @ Diary of an Eccentric (Best of 2012)
63. Seth@Collateral Bloggage (13 for 2013)
64. Equuschick (Best Book of Last Year)
65. Laurie C @ Bay State Reader’s Advisory
66. Sarah@Thoroughly Alive (Books of the Year)

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30 thoughts on “Saturday Review of Books: December 29, 2012

  1. So, maybe I’ll just leave my suggestions here in the comments.

    Amy, I LOVE your top ten list. I’ve read and enjoyed seven of the ten, and I want to read the other three. I think you would like Gary Schmidt’s 2012 book, What Came from the Stars and you might also like Shannon Hale’s Princess Academy or The Goose Girl. I searched your blog and didn’t see her name there.

    Glynn, I won’t recommend anything since you have an aversion to that sort of thing. But if I were going to recommend a couple of books for Glynn, they would be Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns and Back on Murder by J. Mark Bertrand.

  2. Very fun! I linked to my reading list which has 2012 books at the top. I’ll try to get a post up tomorrow with my top 10 for 2012–it’s hard to narrow them down though! :)

  3. For Barbara, I suggest The Little Minister by J.M. Barrie and Walking from East to West by Ravi Zacharias.

    Becky might like The Little Minister, too.

  4. Thanks, Sherry, for hosting this *every* Saturday. I’m eager to hear your recommendation. Last year it was City of Tranquil Light, which I loved: I read it twice and gave away multiple copies.

  5. Melinda at Wholesome Womanhood should definitely read Les Miserables and The Peacemaker by Ken Sande, two books from her TBR challenge list.

    Alice at Supratentorial might enjoy a book I just finished and haven’t had time to review, Gray Matter by David Levy. It’s about a neurosurgeon who is a Christian and how he prays with his patients. Also from her TBR list I would highly recommend that she get around to reading Connie Willis’s books, one of my favorite authors.

  6. For Lazygal I recommend The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell and maybe Cory Doctorow’s latest, Pirate Cinema, although be warned that the language is rough and there is support for stealing and for recreational drug use. Doctorow’s insight into the underworld of hacker culture is still fascinating, even if I don’t agree with all of his hobbyhorse ideas.

    For Alex in Leeds from his Classics Club list I can recommend: anything by Trollope, The Warden is good for a start. And I think he would enjoy ThomasCostain’s histories: The Conquering Family, The Last Plantaganets, The Magnificent Century, The Three Edwards, a fantastic series of four books telling all the history of medieval England from William the Conqueror to Henry V.

  7. Heather at Lines from the Page, you might like Josephine Tey’s other mysteries including Brat Farrar and The Franchise Affair. Neither of those two is an Inspector Grant novel but they are good mysteries. As for classics, looking at your list, how about Anna Karenina? It’s tough with all those Russian names, but rewarding.

    Hope at Worthwhile Books, read Jayber Crow or Hannah Coulter next from your Classics List. I think you would really enjoy Wendell Berry. As for WWII books, Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein was a title that will probably be on my “best of” list for this past year.

  8. Ooopps! Sorry. I was on autopilot and posted my reviews as usual, then read the post. I haven’t made a favorites list. I’m not ready yet for the year to be over! My New Year’s resolution will be to read directions first! Happy New Year!

  9. Thanks for the recommendations Sherry. I’m pretty sure that neurosurgeon book was written by a friend of my sister-in-law (who is also a doctor and a medical missionary). I’ll have to ask her and maybe give it a try. I’m definitely going to read Connie Willis this year.

  10. I have been eyeing River Rising for some time. And I have 2 of Cramer’s novels on the shelf. If you can only read one book from my list, I guess I would suggest Not In The Heart. Unless you have read Walking on Glass, then I would suggest Chasing The Wind.

  11. Thanks, Sherry! I kept waiting for a post and finally realized your suggestions were in the comments. :-) I think I’ve read a Hale book, but it was way back in my pre-blogging days and hence I have no memory of it. Se’s definitely an author I need to revisit. I do intend to read Schmidt’s latest book–he’s good!

    Thanks for the recommendations! I really enjoy them!

  12. Thanks Sherry. My wishlist is a bit ridiculous so that will really help with cutting it down to 12 for the wishlist challenge! You’re the second person who has recommended The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman so maybe I should give that one a go. Old School is on there thanks to Nick Hornby, and he’s yet to fail me so I may well read that one too.

  13. ShaReKay, do read The Princess and the Goblin by George Macdonald for your CHildren’s Literature Challenge. It’s such a good book. I wanted to take a look at your TBR list so that I could make a suggestion from that list and “help you be good.” But I couldn’t find it on GoodReads. So, for when you start reading classics that you don’t own, maybe O’Henry’s short stories or Edgar Allan Poe.

    Small World Reads: I looked at your TBR list, and it’s as long as mine –or longer. And I saw books on your list that I wanted add to mine! ANyway, from your list, I can recommend Secret Keeper by Mitali Perkins, What is the What by Dave Eggers, and Jesus, my Father the CIA and Me by Ian Morgan Cron, in addition to the ones you already have linked to me. You and I are going to be reading one last book on our way through the gates of heaven.

  14. Angela: John Adams by David McCullough is a must-read for your presidential biography project. One of the best fiction books I read this past year was Nanjing Requiem by Ha Jin. It’s about “the rape of Nanjing” when the Japanese took over Nanjing, China during World War II. It’s a wonderful book and I suppose it might fit into your “reading globally” project.

    Thoughts of Joy: maybe, The Expats by Chris Pavone or maybe something old, a Perry Mason mystery by Erle Stanley Gardner or a Nero Wolfe mystery by Rex Stout. The Nero Wolfe novels are some of my favorite mystery books.

  15. Melydia at utter randomonium, I took a look at your book list and at your 5-star reads at GoodReads, and I feel sure you would like Connie Willis’s tow volume time travel novel, Blackout and All Clear. Also, check out The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde.

    Melwyck @The Indextrious Reader: You might like Canada by Richard Ford. I didn’t really care for it, but a lot of other people did. And have you ever read anything by Barbara Pym? Excellent Women is a good place to start.

  16. For Ruth, Wonder by RJ Palacio and Bamboo People by Mitali Perkins. Both books are young adult/middle grade fiction books, and both are wonderful.

    Dawn at ladydusk: Do read more Sayers and Wodehouse. I love both of those authors. And you might try Alexander McCall Smith, Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency or 44 Scotland Street. I think Mr. Smith’s gentle humor is somewhat similar to Wodehouse, although not quite as frenetic.

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