Welcome to YAWYRYE also known as You Are What You Read Year End. And as such, we will be looking back and telling you, our loyal YAWYR fans what really stood out for us this year. What makes this list different from any other list? We made it. So it rocks.
This year we had a roadside attraction, an obsession, a love story, an opportunity for conversation, a three way tie, a ditto, witches, end of days and an amazing love story.
Miss Kiera says that “this year I've had so many favorites and certainly too many picture books to count. But one work of children's fiction that sticks out in my memory and has really stayed with me is The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. It's the fictionalized version of a true story. Ivan was a gorilla kept as a neglected roadside attraction for years until finally being brought to a sanctuary. In Applegate's story we learn about Ivan and his fellow animal captives through a first-Gorilla perspective. It's the kind of book that you cannot read in public. It's a four-tissue minimum.”
Erin has all year long spoken quite openly of her obsession with Cheryl Strayed. She went to another library to hear her speak, she not only read Wild in print but she then drove the back roads of Fairfield County listening to it on her CD player. She is an evangelist for her writing. So what she has to say is really no surprise at all. “My favorite book this year which will be a surprise to absolutely no one was Cheryl Strayed’s Wild.” Yes, if I were Ms. Strayed I would be on the lookout for a certain tall blonde.
Ann says that her favorite read is The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Phi Sendker. She says that it was very hard to choose. This sweet love story set in Burma is the one that won the heart of our Sweet Ann so you are sure to know it is as wonderful as she is.
Pat. T’s choice is very telling about Pat T. And without saying a word! “My best book of 2012 is Quiet by Susan Cain because it is informative and the book provides the reader with the opportunity to engage in conversation about the subject of introvert and extrovert personalities.”
Barbara M. cannot pick just one and yet again, week three, you will notice no France and no Nazis. Discuss amongst yourselves. “My best book of the year is often the one I am reading now and Far from the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity would certainly qualify but I would also have to add Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel and In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner.”
Stephanie says ditto to Barbara about Far from the Tree.
Miss Elisabeth is in a tussle. With herself. “I’m really struggling with my favorite book of 2012, but I think I'd have to say Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness. The sequel to her bestselling A Discovery of Witches, this book was not quite perfect, but I was so excited to delve into history with these characters that it's hard for me to think about the book with anything other than glowing praise. I can't wait for the final book in the trilogy!”
John does love his end of days fiction! “My favorite book of the year would have to be The Dog Stars. So good.”
This year I loved The End of Your Life Book Club, Will Schwalbe’s amazing love letter to not only books but the remarkable woman who was his mother. She not only raised a lovely family but also worked tirelessly for the International Rescue Committee in dangerous situations. In what has to be one of my favorite literary thoughts of the year Will’s mother explains to him that she has no time for silly in her reading. She narrows this down by saying, “I’m talking about those novels where the characters aren’t really interesting and you don’t care about them or anything they care about. It’s those I won’t read anymore. There’s too much else to read-books about people and things that matter, books about life and death.” I hope that this year we brought to you options that saved you from this fate and we wish for you many great reads in 2013.