Best Books Giveaway 2012

Cotoneaster In Winter by Petr Kratochvil

Last January, I decided to follow Nina Badzin in a challenge to read 50 books in 2012. Two weeks later, my head hit the ice and bounced back with a serious concussion.

I couldn’t read for months. Big snafu in the 50 book challenge.

Now, there’s a thin line between persistence and being stubborn. Ask my husband. Unwilling to face recovery without a pocketful of books, I subscribed to, closed my eyes, and reveled in the sound of stories.

I met my goal of 50 books. Each one felt like a little victory, a push-back against blurry vision and my fuzzy brain.

My head is mostly back to normal now, just in time for a season of new ice. This year I have Yaktrax. And it’s time to celebrate.

My favorite books in 2012 were the ones that left an imprint on my muddled mind —  a scene, a voice, an image that endures . . . .The magical realism of Mark Helprin’s New York in Winter’s Tale . . . . A nunnery that trains the daughters of Death to be political assassins in Robin LaFever’s Grave Mercy . . . . The broad imagination and miniature fabulations in Steven Millhauser’s The Knife Thrower and Other Stories . . . . Cheryl Strayed’s fierce determination (I recognize the stubborn in other folks as well) in Wild . . . . Lyric grief and breathless hope, along with a most-memorable dog, in Carolyn Parkhurst’s The Dogs of Babel . . . . The living fabric of a drowned community, run parallel to a painter’s quest in Maryanne O’Hara’s Cascade . . . . Whimsy and remorse, filtered through an almost-fairytale in The Unlikey Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce . . . . Writing tips that galvanized and transformed my revisions, in Lisa Cron’s Wired for Story . . . . A half-breed eiree, a dragon’s spine, and a world suffused with magic, dark and light, in Rabia Gale’s Rainbird.

To celebrate the stories that I read — and the fact that I could read them — I’m giving away a $25 Amazon gift card. Enter below with the PunchTab form. Just sign in through email or Facebook and follow the links. Contest ends 1/15/13 at 11 pm.

Here’s to a new year of solid footing — and stories given wings.

P.S. In 2013, I’ll indulge my new love of Goodreads and keep track of all my reading there. Come see!

25 thoughts on “Best Books Giveaway 2012

  1. You and Nina are amazing—50 books?! I read 29 and still wish I could’ve read more, faster. Thanks for this wonderful giveaway. It made me realize how many truly great books I read last year. It was really, really hard to pick a favorite, but I have to go with To Kill a Mockingbird. I’d never read it before last year, and I know it’s one I’ll reread all my life.

    Happy new year!

  2. 50 books???!!!! WOW!! I read 32, way above my usual, and I don’t know how I could read more. I can’t believe this but I’ve read none of your favorites… I need to check them out because I’ve heard good things about them from others, too. As for my favorite(s) of 2012, I’d have to go with two… Night Swim by Jessica Keener (adult) and Drawn by Marie Lamba (YA Paranormal). What a generous giveaway, Lisa!! Happy New Year!! (And so glad you’re almost 100percent back to normal, yay!!)

  3. I read almost 70 books last year and I really loved The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Teen cancer patients fall in love. It’s gripping, the characters are great, and they deal with their situations with complete honesty, anger, and humor. It was wonderful.

    I challenged myself to read 100 books this year!

  4. I finally got around to reading the Dogs of Babel . . . such richness of characters, the ways of life, the crazy places grief takes you too and I just wanted to reach into the book and love that dog.

  5. Lisa – congrats on accomplishing your goal, through fuzzy brain and all. I have added many of your recommendations to my library list – I so appreciate learning about a good book. I’ve never kept track of the number of books that I read each year but the librarians know me by name.

  6. Inheritance by Christopher Paolini (although I just finished it in the first days of 2013!)

  7. Given my profession, it’s embarrassing how little I read for pleasure for myself. I do read with my kids, so I’ll add Jewel Parker Rhodes’ The Ninth Ward, Burnett’s The Secret Garden, Lowry’s The Giver and The Hunger Games trilogy.

  8. I’m going to go with The Snow Child, too. It was so gorgeous and beautifully sad. I love that. I am currently digging The Wild Trees by Richard Preston- he is so good at making non-fiction compelling.

  9. It’s awesome that you made it to 50 books! Thanks for including Rainbird in your list. I’m honored.

    I don’t have a clear winner for best book of 2012, so I’ll throw out just one of the books I really enjoyed: GIRL IN THE ARENA by Lise Haines. This was such a different book than I was expecting–more about family relationships and commentary on the callousness of society. It had its flaws, but it was a deeply moving book.

  10. Last year was a bit lacking in “great” reads…. But Looking back; “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed, “Driving Mr Yogi” by. Harvey Araton was a fun read for a life long Yankee fan, Yogi can make me laugh and cry , “The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Jamie Ford “The Wettest County in the World, Matt Bondurant, was total immersion because it took place geographically and at the time that my Mother was growing up. And a classics re-read of “Light in August” Difficult to chose one!

  11. My favorite book or, should I say book series, for 2012 was and still is the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris. I just love anything written about vampires and mystical creatures. I like to be taken away from reality when I read.

  12. Congrats on the 50 books–amazing! I’ve never kept count, but I read about two a month. A couple of your favorites are on my fave list, but lots of new ones to check out, too. I’m reading a big, fat epic historical fantasy series right now: Robin Hobb’s Farseer Trilogy. I’m fighting a lingering cold, and it’s just what the doctor ordered. Thanks for sharing, Lisa! (Cool contest, too!)

  13. Amazing woman, you. I can’t remember how many books I read last year, and I have no idea what most of them were, and I didn’t even crack my head, but I’ll vote for Cheryl Strayed’s _Wild_. It made me want to go out and hike a mountain, and that is saying something!

  14. First of all, I am relieved to hear that you are on the mend. Brain injuries are very serious and, as you well know, can radically affect many parts of one’s daily life.

    I read 64 titles in 2012. Some of the standouts were The Magic Room, The Dovekeepers, Wild, and The Breadwinner.

    I’m off to a great start this year as well. My life is enriched by the people I “meet” and the places I “go” in books.

  15. Thank you for all the book recommendations and contest entries. I’ll announce the winner this Saturday, January 19th!

    • Thank you. My goal is no concussion! And I still think of scenes and characters in Cascade. It’s a book that has stuck with me. Loved it.

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