Book of the Year: 2012

Here we are again, another year over [and now I have John Lennon in my head, whoops] and another load of books I've read and a to-read pile that is still much higher than it should be. I am glad my to-read pile isn't an actual pile. I think if it was I'd be on the cusp of needing planning permission.

Anyway, here you go, have at it - my top 5 reads of 2012, which if you haven't read then you should. Probably.

1. Crush by Richard Siken. It's actually ridiculous how much I love this book, how many times I read it last year, how I carried a copy in my bag for months because I didn't want to be too far away from it, how it's now on my coffee table and I sometimes just have to open it at random and marvel at how the pretty pretty words still just get me right in the chest. Ridiculous. I did blog about it when I read it earlier in the year [here] so I shall refrain from waxing lyrical now but basically, in a nutshell, best book of 2012. Hands down. And who thought I'd ever say that about a poetry collection, right?

2. Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell because Jen is made of amazing and I love her and I am amazingly proud of her and because Jen aside, it's actually a damn good book and THE SEQUEL IS OUT THIS YEAR AND YOU ALL SHOULD BE AS EXCITED AS I AM [hint: a lot excited.]

3. Swimming Home by Deborah Levy, which I read towards the back end of the year and which I thought was just stunning. The use of language in this book is just incredible, I just, I really really loved it.

4. The Siege by Helen Dunmore which broke my heart and made me cry and filled me with a kind of hope. Set during the siege of Leningrad, in the grip of winter, it's a dark story of survival that got under my skin to the point I felt guilty for having enough to eat but at the same time it's a moving, wonderful love story. It deserves to be read, but you need to know it's going to hurt.

5. What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang. The 2012 Hunger Games for me I think. Could not put it down. Not happy about having to wait for the next in the series. I want more and I want it now. Please.

Special mentions to The Giver and The Borrower and Jen's poetry collection and the Stephanie Plum series [for making me laugh out loud on a train.]