It’s funny how things turn out. Earlier this year, after a career change from journalism/editing to freelance, I came up with a brilliant and original idea. Why not renew the publishing contacts I had while writing book reviews for newspapers and review books as a hobby? As it turns out, the idea was mostly, not at all original – since February I have come across a whole community of book bloggers and readers – but still, it worked and Write Note Reviews is now one of many voices on the Australian book blogging scene.
After 10 months of reading 100+ books and adding dozens of reviews to my site and Goodreads, as well as adding dozens of books to my bookshelves, it’s now time to share my favourites for 2012. In some way, each of these books have connected with me, whether it’s due to their masterful writing, or because the plot resonated strongly with me. I see books like a good wine – what you feel is good is relative to your own taste and frame of reference. We may not see books in the same way, but the way they speak to each of us is what makes them so wonderful.
Here goes, in no particular order (if you want to read my reviews, click on the links – you may need to scroll down a bit):
- Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth (historical fiction/fairytale) – “Bitter Greens is the kind of book you never want to end – I was sad when it was finished and I can’t wait to read it again.”
- Sisters of Mercy by Caroline Overington (crime) – “Engrossing yet discomforting, Sisters of Mercy by Caroline Overington had me hooked from start to finish and offered a truly chilling character that rivals Annie Wilkes in Stephen King’s Misery.”
- Second Chances (contemporary) by Charity Norman – “It’s one of those books you sit down to read and find yourself glued in position for hours at a time, unable to tear yourself away.”
- The Lavender Keeper (contemporary/romance) by Fiona McIntosh – “I picked this book up only to find that it was very hard to put down again, such is the power of the story it contains.”
- The Ruins of Us by Keija Parsinnen – “The Ruins of Us is an utterly compelling read, in part because of the plot, but mainly because it generates mixed emotions in the reader …”
- Shallow Breath (psychological thriller) by Sara Foster – “Shallow Breath is one of those books you want to dive into and not come back out of until it’s finished.”
- The Captive Sun (contemporary) by Irena Karafilly – “The research is impressive, the writing masterful, the plot line intricate and challenging; what Karafilly has delivered is a brilliant character-driven work.”
- Peaches for Monsieur le Cure (contemporary) by Joanne Harris – “Harris’s books make me want to eat good food.”
- The Amber Amulet (novella/young adult) by Craig Silvey – “It made me smile, it made me think, it reminded me why I love reading so much.”
- In Falling Snow (contemporary) by Mary-Rose MacColl – “… a bittersweet, touching novel that ends with an uplifting element of hope.”
It was hard to narrow down my favourites to 10 (it probably would have been easier to come up with a list of books I didn’t like). Here are a few more I would recommend highly:
- Bridie’s Choice (rural/romance) by Karly Lane
- The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton
- In the Company of Strangers by Liz Byrski
- Dinner at Rose’s by Danielle Hawkins
- The Mother’s Group by Fiona Higgins
That’s my list. I’m looking forward to reviewing many more books in 2013 and taking part in two readers’ challenges: The Australian Women Writers Challenge and the Eclectic Reader Challenge 2013. I’m also looking forward to getting to know my fellow book bloggers more, interviewing more authors … while still doing my freelance and part-time work, being a wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend …
Stay tuned for reviews of The Scrivener’s Tale by Fiona McIntosh and The Seamstress by Maria Duenas. Oh, and there’s a giveaway of The Scrivener’s Tale on my Facebook page – click here for details.