Wednesday, December 12, 2012

2012 Friend's Favorites

There are so many books, so many TV shows and so many movies out there it's hard to spend time on anything you don't love. I think that the best way to find a new treasure is to get a recommendation from a friend, so I've asked some of my friends to tell us about their favorites of 2012. Here is our list:

Pat's Favorites

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo
The author spent three years with the residents of a slum near Mumbai’s International Airport.  She has written an amazing book about the daily lives of these people who struggle to survive. It is so interesting to read about these lives on the edge, their hopes and dreams and present ugly reality.  The writing is engrossing – I had to keep reminding myself this was not a novel.

The Dog Stars by Peter Heller
A postapocalyptic novel set in a United States depopulated by disease. The main character is Hig, pilot of a Cessna who is in daily survival mode with his dog and a gun-toting neighbor.  Living with overwhelming loss and the memory of his wife, he risks everything to find love and an emotional connection with life. It has laughter, sorrow, and beauty all knotted together. 

Nancy's favorites
Favorite book/author (new one too)  Jo Nesbo and his Harry Hole series.  Great writing, great characters and a story line that grabs you on page one.

Robert Crais -- Taken.  Read in two days,and also liked John Lescroart's The Hunter vs. The Hunted.  (And learned a lot on some recent history...) Well researched.

TV shows
Revenge - Feels like Dallas for the new millenium, but with better acting and location...(even if it is shot in LA...)
Elementary - quirky, but interesting and Jonny Lee Miller is great.

Downton Abbey - (really, need I say more?) 

Karen's favorites

My favorite book of 2012 was Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.  It is the best, most twisted revenge story ever, such nasty people with nastier impulses, the mind boggles just thinking what else might be curled in Gillian Flynn's head.

Cindy's favorites
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, by Jamie Ford - great story, and great detail on the history in Seattle.

TV shows
Once Upon a Time - backstory on all the childhood fairy tails and a great bit of magic.
Grimm - see above and I like cop shows.

Loren's Favorites:
Angelmaker and Gone Away World by Nick Harkaway - Here's what I love most about Nick Harkaway: when he writes a novel (this year's Angelmaker or his first novel, The Gone Away World) he's not afraid to go big. Save the world big. Epic love story, adventure of a lifetime big. This novel has: a doomsday clock, a gangster's son with the keys to the London underground, a retired secret service agent with a blind pug in her purse, and (the true key to my heart) bees. 

Angelmaker is a big-hearted novel full of original writing, genre-bending plotting and phenomenal characters who make the whole thing work. Read it. And then go read The Gone Away World and try to decide which one is better.

My favorites:
My favorite book of the year was Winter Palace by Eva Stachniak. It's about two young women -- a maid and a princess who will become Catherine the Great -- and how their lives intertwine. It has politics, sex, murder and intrigue. 

It's hard for me to pick a favorite TV show this year. I love Once Upon a Time and Homeland, I don't think there could be two more vastly different shows on the air. I also love Castle, Downton Abbey and Game of Thrones. I'm still bemoaning the loss of The Closer, but I'm learning to love Major Crimes

Now it's time for you to share. What's your favorite from 2012?

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