Last Call for 2012

The Bewitched Viking - a photograph of a guy with a smirk crooking his finger at the reader. I call him the Pull My Finger Viking.

The Pull My Finger Viking says, “C'mere 2012, I got one more thing to tell you.”

Heh. I will never lose my love for that cover. 

So it's the end of 2012! Before we start celebrating the new year, and trying to remember to write “2013” on our checks (except for everyone who works in publishing, who are probably thinking “2014? Or is it 2015?” when they grab their checkbooks), I have two last things! 

One: Thank you! Thank you for another fun year of romance and silliness. I love talking with you all every day, and hearing from you in the comments, via email, on Twitter and on Facebook and wherever else about what you're reading, what you're looking for, and how much you love romance. Thank you for being here, and being part of the community 

In your honor, I'm making a donation to First Book, a charity devoted to inspiring literacy in children. (They're four-star rated on Charity Navigator, yay!) First Book distributes books and educational materials to children in the US and Canada, and focuses on encouraging and increasing childhood literacy. And since we all, I think, remember our first romance, I like to think that many of those children remember the first book they read or received as their own. 

Two: One last question! What's one book you read this year that you would recommend someone read first next year? What one book this year stuck with you, was the most memorable – even for all the crazysauce reasons? Share share!

I hope your new year, whenever you celebrate (like Australia, where I think they celebrated last week or something and it's already 2016 there), is joyful and warm and filled with all the people and words you love. Happy New Year! Cheers! 


General Bitching...

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Mikaela Lind says:

    Wine of Violence by Priscilla Royal. It isn’t the best book I read this year, but I recommend it anyway. It is a solid historical mystery set in a medieval monastery.  It gives a fascinating, and touching, glimpse into the life of a medieval monastery.

  2. 2
    Noelinya says:

    My favorite this year was The witness by Nora Roberts

  3. 3
    ThingsAlySays says:

    I read so many books this year… and I don’t remember 99% of them. But I know there was a ton of crazysauce to go around!

    The only book that really stood out for me this year was, surprisingly, a non-fiction one. “Quiet – The Power of Introverts in a world that can’t stop talking” by Susan Cain. A really really great insightful read.

  4. 4
    CharlotteV says:

    Over Christmas I read Patrick Rothfuss’ Kingkiller Chronicles and was blown away. A fantasy that wasn’t bogged down in long descriptions and infodumps, yet had a great worldbuilding and sense of place? So good. Also, there is some romance and great characters. Just perfect. Highly recommend this fantasy.

    Otherwise, I’ve managed to read Lothaire three times in 2012. And reread Cordelia’s Honor twice. If you haven’t read Cordelia’s Honor, hop to it. Cordelia is one of my all time favourite heroines – mature, compassionate yet flawed.

  5. 5
    Liz H. says:

    Double Blind by Heidi Cullinan is the first that comes to mind. I loved it so much that I immediately read it again, which I’ve never done before. It also set me off on a m/m kick for almost two months and I discovered several great new-to-me authors such as K.A. Mitchell and the Cut and Run series by Abigail Roux.

  6. 6
    Lizzie R says:

    It wasn’t so much a book as a series of books.  This year I discovered Nalini Singh and her psy-changeling series (I know, it’s like I was living in a cave or something) and have surrendered to the awesomeness.

    Happy New Year!!!!

  7. 7
    Bucsie says:

    The endearment by Lavyrle Spencer

  8. 8
    Cyranetta says:

    Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance by Lois McMaster Bujold—whether you’re already a fan or a newbie—just great fun.

    Death of a Schoolgirl by Joanna Campbell Slan—mystery based on Jane Eyre and amazing for how well it captures the characters and voice of the original.

  9. 9
    Lostshadows says:

    The Stepsister Scheme by Jim Hines. Fun fairytale inspired work with kickass heroines. (Plus an author willing to pose in weird positions for charity.)

  10. 10
    sabbyATL says:

    The Silver Linings Playbook, which was sweet and funny as hell and not your typical romance. 

  11. 11
    Jenny Dolton says:

    Most memorable? 50 Shades. Not because it was a good book, but because of all the CRAZY that surrounded it. I don’t think I’ve ever been so compelled (and irritated) to defend a mediocre (at best) book against hypocricy before…

  12. 12
    Carrie Gwaltney says:

    His Very Own Girl by Carrie Lofty was a wonderful surprise and highly recommended.

    In audio I was enraptured with Vikto Slezak’s narration of Envy by Sandra Brown. Perhaps the best combination of story and reader since the late Anna Fields narrated SEP’s Chicago Stars series.

  13. 13
    Carrie Gwaltney says:

    Noelinya- The Witness was a great book, and on audio the narrator (Julia Whelon) makes it even better. Her voice for Abigail was fantastic.

  14. 14
    Cate Hulk says:

    Yay! This was the year I discovered SBTB, and consequently discovered Courtney Milan as well. I would recommend reading the Governess Affair by her, as it was a very lovely novelette. I kept imagining Martin Freeman as the hero…for some reason it just worked. For crazy sauce memorable I am gonna say The Use by D.L. Carter. It was actually a pretty well written and creative story, but kinda wacked out in some places, like where he “raped her skin” with magic. But it might be a very enjoyable book for those who like fantasy romance. Anyhoo…happy new year!

  15. 15
    MissB2U says:

    “Libromancer” by Jim C. Hines is a must read.  Great book.  “Cold Days”  by Jim Butcher because I love Harry Dresden.  “Ashes of Honor” and “Discount Armageddon” by Seanan McGuire.  “The Governess Affair” by Courtney Milan.  Pretty much anything by Courtney Milan and/or Tessa Dare actually.  (I haven’t been reading much because I got the ENTIRE 7 SEASONS of “The West Wing” on DVD for Xmas and I’ve been glued to that for days now…) Happy New Year to all!

  16. 16
    MissB2U says:

    …and can we NEVER retire the Pull My Finger Viking???

  17. 17
    Karen H near Tampa says:

    Like Lizzie R, I discovered Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series this year (from an anthology I got for another author’s story) and read and enjoyed all of them.  I’m going to start her other books soon.  The book that immediately sprang to mind, however, is “The Courtesan’s Guide to Getting Your Man” by Celeste Bradley (a favored author of mine) and Susan Donovan.  I liked it so much I kept it even though there’s no good looking guy on the cover!

    Also, I really like the picture of Frank Sepe on “The Bewitched Viking.”  He’s beckoning the viewer!  So I’m totally okay with everybody making fun of it as long as the picture accompanies the words.

  18. 18
    Tamara Hogan says:

    Gotta agree with ThingsAlySays. No question, for me it’s Susan Cain’s ““Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.” This is the rare book that really could change your life. 

    Get a taste of Cain in less than twenty minutes via her March 2012 TED Talk:….   

  19. 19
    Vicki says:

    I’d like to say that First Book is excellent. I worked for a bit in a clinic in Calexico that participated. For many kids, it really was their first book. I also would look at the books, which were in both English and Spanish, as a way to improve my Spanish vocabulary.

    I’ve read a lot of books this year. I loved Angelfall by Susan Ee, Memory of Morning by Susan Sizemore, Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale. I enjoyed the first six books of the Virgin River series, Mercedes Lackey’s 500 kingdoms – the first five books, so far, Hunger Games, City of Bones, Chasing Fires, many more.

    However, book that I would recommend for the New Year’s first read was Veronika Decides to Die by Coelho because it made me realize that we need to look at our choices and the way we make them.

  20. 20
    Robyn Bachar says:

    The Siren by Tiffany Reisz was so much awesome. In fact it was so awesome, I bought the T-shirt. (No, really.) It’s technically not romance, but it made my inner English major want to write a term paper on it, which is the highest praise my inner English major can give. ;-)

  21. 21
    Azteclady1 says:

    New book in 2012? Nora Roberts’ The Witness. And always, LaVyrle Spencer’s Morning Glory, all of Lord Peter Wimsey’s novels and Good Omens.

  22. 22
    Mirandaflynn says:

    After the Golden Age by Carrie Vaughn. The family dynamics of a pair of superheroes and their non-powered daughter. It sounds cheesy, but it was awesome.


  23. 23
    Amy Raby (Alpha Lyra) says:

    I’m now completely obsessed with Ruth Downie’s historical mystery series set in the Roman Empire, beginning with “Medicus.” LOVE the protagonist, a bitter, divorced Roman army doctor who rescues a barbarian slave woman and doesn’t really know what to do with her.

    But since this is a romance blog, best romance I read this year was Ruthie Knox’s “Ride With Me.”

  24. 24
    claritygolden says:

    I read a lot of books this year, but I have a handful that stick out in my mind. Animal Attraction by Jill Shalvis (haven’t gotten to read the newest one yet but I LOVED this one), Ride with Me by Ruthie Knox (Mmmm….), Never Seduce a Scot by Maya Banks (I don’t usually like scottish romances but this rocked), and Lady by Midnight by Tessa Dare (again, not big on historicals but this one hit all the right notes). Probably my absolute favorite though was Riveted by Meljean Brook. Holy cow was that book awesome. I’ve hesitated on reading the rest of the series because I loved Riveted so much I don’t see how they can live up!

    And thanks to you for SBTB! It’s my favorite feed in Google Reader, and it always brightens my day when I see there’s a new post. Happy New Year! :)

  25. 25
    Melissandre says:

    “The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern is a fabulous read.  It’s not a “romance” book, but it is full of doomed love and magic and circus awesomeness.

    And, like CharlotteV, I totally dug “Lothaire.”  Everyone who just found the Psy-Changeling series would, I’m sure, also love Kresley Cole’s Immortal’s After Dark, of which “Lothaire” is a part.

  26. 26
    StarOpal says:

    I had three books knock me over this year (though none of them are from 2012): The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King, The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King and Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. They gripped me more than any other books I read this year and I had a hard time putting them down, would totally recommend them to anyone.

    For crazysauce, but good, I read Hook and Jill by Andrea Jones. It’s a take on Peter Pan where Wendy starts to grow up while still in Neverland. Wendy ends up being attracted to both Peter and Captain Hook. It comes pretty close to overstepping the overly metaphorical line a couple times, but just as it’s about to go over it pulls itself back together, kinda interesting.

    I found my romance picks a little ho-hum this year, but I have a lot of promising prospects on the TBR shelves, so high hopes for 2013!

  27. 27
    PamG says:

    Ooooooh—Are you me by any chance?  I bought my first car in 18+ yrs.—actually the first car I have ever chosen myself—and named her Cordelia.

  28. 28
    PamG says:

    Love Downie’s mystery series also, and I think it’s completely appropriate for a romance blog.  One of the things I love about SBTB is the way it’s opened my eyes to books across many genres.

  29. 29
    PamG says:

    I’d say my top book to recommend as we go into the new year is The Rook by Daniel O’Malley.  It’s not necessarily my favorite read of 2012, but I gave it to my youngest daughter for Christmas, ordered her fiance to read it as well,  recommended it more than once to my most brilliant, well-read, multi-facetted friend, and that’s just in the past week.  The Rook is absolutely not a romance, but a weird mash-up of Bondian spy novel, urban fantasy, chick lit, and Ghostbuster/Garbage Pail Kids gross-out potential.  It has no secret babies, but it does have amnesia of a sort and a strange permutation of twins.  Also pink slime mold.  (So that’s what awesomesauce looks like!)  Savor, laugh, & enjoy!  Happy 2013 to all!

  30. 30
    velocireader says:

    Urban fantasy: The Iron Druid series by Kevin Hearne. Smartly written, full of great mythological references, and then there is Oberon, the hilarious dog…

    I also second the books by Jim C Hines. His “Princess” series is fabulous. Libriomancer, though not as tightly written, is an amazing idea on the magic of books and the hero is a LIBRARIAN.

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