Monday, July 2, 2012

Six months of reading

Now that we're halfway through 2012, I thought I'd list my top five reads of the year so far.  I feel like I've been reading a lot that, were I to grade them, would get B's--good, enjoyable books, or I wouldn't be finishing them but not memorable "wow" reads.  These five, however, are solid A's.  I'll have to see how many make my top ten at the end of the year.

In the order I read them...

1. Catching Jordan, by Miranda Kenneally. YA romance, about a girl who happens to be the best high school quarterback in Tennessee (her football pedigree reads like a fictionalized version of the Manning family) and dreams of landing a college scholarship--only to have her plans for her senior year put in jeopardy when one of the best h.s. quarterbacks in Texas moves to her town. As a tomboy (albeit a klutzy, non-athletic one) who grew up in SEC country, I'm the target audience for this one, but I'd recommend it for anyone, teen or adult, who enjoys YA romance.

2. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins. Post-apocalyptic YA. I'm late to the party on this one, so I'll just say this was a case where I thought a wildly hyped book fully deserved its popularity.

3. Moscow 1812, by Adam Zamoyski. Nonfiction (history). Dense with human detail and never dry, this is what historical nonfiction should be, IMO.

4. The Scottish Prisoner, by Diana Gabaldon. Historical fiction with a touch of mystery. I blogged about this one just the other week, so all I'll say here is that Jamie Fraser and Lord John Grey are something I rarely encounter in fiction--officers and combat veterans who actually remind me of the Army men in my family and those I've read about in my military history research--and that I love the way they work together with grudging respect despite all the tensions and fault lines in their relationship.

5. Captain Vorpatril's Alliance, by Lois McMaster Bujold. Science fiction with a touch of crime caper and more than a touch of romance. This book doesn't officially release until November, but as soon as I heard Baen had the eARC up for purchase, I bought it. While it didn't topple Memory or A Civil Campaign from my all-time-favorite Vorkosigan books pedestal, it's a lovely, fun story and a worthy entry in one of the best series that's out there.


  1. Great list! I've heard good things about all five, but I've only read (and I also enjoyed) "The Hunger Games". I got "Captain Vorpatril's Alliance" as soon as Baen Books released the eARC, but I'm saving it to read on vacation. I like a little YA in my reading list, and the premise of "Catching Jordan" sounds different from others I've read.

    I've been really interested in the Lord John series since I first learned of them a few years ago - more interested than I have been in finishing the Outlander series, actually - but I haven't wanted to start on the Lord John books until I read the 3rd Outlander book, "Voyager". I grew a little tired of Jaime and Claire after "Dragonfly in Amber", but it's been long enough now that I think I'll read "Voyager" soon so that I can get started on the Lord John series.

    I'm not in a nonfiction reading phase right now, but I'll add "Moscow 1812" to my Goodreads list for when next I'm in the mood for historical nonfiction.

  2. Lord John really is a lovely character. Another thing I appreciate about Gabaldon is how, in a series with a Scottish hero who participates in the '45 Rising AND the American Revolution, the redcoat officer is one of the most appealing and sympathetic characters in the series.