Best Books of 2012

One of the things I’m grateful for this year is the fact that I managed to get the time to read. A lot. I started off trying to record the books that I’ve been reading, but I quickly lost track.

I found new book series. Discovered some great nonfiction reads. And, I finally finished books that have been on my “To Read” list for some time.

A few days ago, I decided to ask friends and contacts online the question:: “What’s the best fiction and/or nonfiction book you read this year?”

And, I got a few interesting book recommendations that are now going on my new “To Read” list. So, I thought I’d share those responses as a way for me to refer to in the future, as well as to give you all some ideas too, just in case you’re looking for books to read.

If you ask me the same question, my favourite books this year are:

Fiction: A Song of Fire & Ice Series by George RR Martin (Book 1: Game of Thrones + Book 2: A Clash of Kings)

Nonfiction: Career Compass by Grove Consultants – Although this is more of a workbook than a complete nonfiction read.

Here are others’ recommendations…

Best Books of 2012

On 19th December 2012, I posted the question on Twitter, Facebook, Google + and LinkedIn: "What’s the best fiction and/or nonfiction book you read this year?"This is a collation of recommended books by friends and contacts from across my social networks.

Storified by Shai Coggins · Wed, Dec 19 2012 04:31:16

Professional Development books arrived at work today. Tnx for recommendation, @kanter .Shai Coggins

YA Literature Recommendations

@shaicoggins huge teen fiction reader here. I really enjoyed the pretties and uglies series by Scott westerfeld this year!Celeste
@shaicoggins I also thought the series "I am number four" were really captivating and would do wonders for a child’s imagination,Celeste
Dara Villanueva Siazon Hi Shai! Merry xmas;) i’m reading obsidian now of lux series. Just finished mortal and infernal devices. I like teen reads coz I’m still a child inside sometimes, hahaha! Any recs for me?
Marianne Lekcharoen This may sound so juvenile, but I was addicted to the Hunger Games. :)

Fiction Recommendations

@shaicoggins that’s a tough call! I’ve read a few good ones. Finally got around to reading Tim Winton’s Cloudstreet #booksJulie Gibbons
@shaicoggins & Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife – both fabulousJulie Gibbons
Tiffany Downing Definitely the Game of Throne Series. I don’t tend to read non-fiction – get enough of that at work!! I also love Tony Park’s books. He tends to write fiction stories based in Africa. I’m currently reading African Sky but also enjoyed Zambezi and Far Horizon.
Adam Gieniusz GoT is an interesting reading – I’ve just started book 3 of the series. Plus I have the second book of the “Fall of the giants series” – “Winter of the World” by Ken Follet awaiting to be read.
Tammy Powley The Help
Adam Gieniusz Oh yes! The “Name of the Wind” and “Wise Man’s Fear” by Rothfuss! So looking forward to the 3rd part! (Shai – this is an addendum to my recommendation – better than GoT!)
Book delivery! Haven’t had them in a while, as I have started to limit buying physical books. Waiting for a couple more to arrive, though.Shai Coggins

Non-Fiction Recommendations

Adam Gieniusz Non fiction: The Power of Habit – absolutely fabulous reading about why we do what we do. I delivered two presentations based on the book.
Pen Reyes Tolkien’s biography is my recent read: not much “wow” but some “oh really?”
Rachel Cotterill Nonfiction: The Mango Orchard by Robin Bayley. Fiction… too many to count! But I do agree with Don about Under Heaven.
Getting my doodling & colouring on! <3Shai Coggins

Mixed and Miscellaneous Recommendations

Just because I don’t know the genres of some of these books and/or I know one, but not sure of the other.
Anna-Marie Chainus The Hunger Games and Before I Fall
Kristene Hekmi Gone Girl.
Kari BoBerry Nothing totally wowed me this year, but I really liked Home Front by Kristin Hannah and for my odd sense of humor Jeneration X by Jen Lancaster (memoir).
Jean Angus The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
CJ Sansom’s Shardlake series and Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series – these have been around for a while but I’ve only just discovered them.
Don Villaver “Under Heaven” by Guy Gavriel Kay. I loved all the books written by Guy Gavriel Kay & Neil Gaiman, actually.
Rachel Cotterill Another series you might like is the Olivia Lawson techno shaman novels. My review of the first one is at – but they’re all excellent in an escapist adventure sort of way. Quick reading and just really fun.
Paul Dalby Zoo Time
Zumbo’s book: a nice surprise Thank You present from my in-laws.Shai Coggins
Note: Around 90% of responses came from Facebook. Just a few came from Twitter. One came from LinkedIn. No responses (so far) from G+.

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    • says

      That’s great, Kari! I love discovering new books. I hope you also find some you enjoy from this list. I can’t wait to check out some of the recommendations for my 2013 reading list. :)

  1. says

    I really enjoyed the Hunger Games trilogy, even though it is considered ‘young adult’ literature. I also read the first three Game of Thrones books this year too, although I ran out of steam at the end and just got Chris to summarise the following two books for me. :) And at the beginning of the year I finally got around to reading Stieg Larson’s trilogy (seeing a theme here?) and was thoroughly disappointed in the third book. In 2013 I intend to stick to the ‘three books a month’ plan I had this year (for the National Year of Reading) and have been filling up my ‘to be read’ book list on Goodreads.
    Mel W recently posted..Poppy turns 3.My Profile

    • says

      I love your “three books a month” theme, Mel! I’m too chicken to get rid of my one book a month target. But, maybe I should. :) Looking forward to learning more about your 2013 reading discoveries. Looks like we share some similar interests in reading, so we can even share notes. 😉

  2. says

    I didn’t participate, because I was too busy at the time you posted the question, but had wanted to. I have been loving reading the Kerry Greenwood Phryne Fisher Murder Mystery series. Good fun to read, set in the 1920s Melbourne, Australia. Also read a couple of Matthew Reilly’s books. Always good value. And discovered a new author at the end of last year, CJ Sansom, who writes the Matthew Shardlake series of historical thrillers. Only read two, have been waiting on the others through the library. Also received a kindle for Mother’s Day and have been reading several ebooks, but nothing to rave about yet. 😉
    Heather Goldsmith recently posted..The Food Journal StoryMy Profile

    • says

      I appreciate your belated contributions, Heather! You’re the second person who mentioned CJ Sansom, so it looks like I’d have too check the books out. And lucky for you for getting a Kindle. I’ve become converted to reading ebooks, due to ease of purchase and storage. So, hopefully, you’ll get to love your Kindle more! :)

  3. Nicola says

    Awesome, got a few new additions to my Goodreads list! I’m especially looking forward to trying a Tony Park book, I really like Wilbur Smith’s Africa books, so I’m hoping the Tony Park collection will be just as good. They seem less historical, so will be interesting to read from the perspective of a different era. I also read, and largely enjoyed, the hunger games trilogy, and started the Song of Ice and Fire series. The third book, A Storm of Swords, was by far the best. The fourth was, unfortunately, a let down. I’m now taking a break, but will pick up series again after a few different books. Currently reading the latest Bryce Courtenay. It’s early days, but it’s shaping up pretty well so far.

  4. says

    Since I’ve been insanely busy with work and travels, I haven’t found the time to read as much as I want to. Though I bought a lot of books this year, started reading a few of them but only finished even fewer (one is even a re-read!), they’re all sadly gathering dust in my bookshelf back home. The new books that I did get to read aren’t favourites, the re-read was (Persuasion, Jane Austen)! Currently reading Sputnik Sweetheart, a Haruki Murakami book but I reckon I’ll finish that one next year, haha.

    So. No book of the year for me, unfortunately. But lots of candidates had I gotten around reading them. Hoping for more reading time in 2013!
    Sasha recently posted..5 and 30 YearsMy Profile

    • says

      You’re definitely a girl after my own heart, Celeste! I <3 Harry Potter too. I haven’t done a re-read lately, but one day… :) I look forward to hearing what you think of GoT! So, when shall we start our Book Club meetings? 😉


  1. […] When I asked my friends and contacts on social media last year about the best books that they’ve read for the year, I didn’t quite expect to get so many amazing recommendations. That’s why I ended up with my blog post, Best Books of 2012. […]