I think it says something about my reading habits that out of the 100-plus books I've read this year (excluding individual shorts and a manuscript I beta-read), only three of them were published in my lifetime—and those three were all nonfiction! Another interesting fact about my top ten is that, like last year, several of them (five, to be exact) were found for free or nearly-free on Kindle. On the other hand, four of the remaining five are out of print and I had to endure a long interlibrary-loan wait or resort to buying an antique copy to read them.
So here they are—not in the order of favorites, but just in the order I read them:
Hay-Wire by B.M. Bower
A good, unique Western concerning a troubled family, a ranch in debt and a hint of murder mystery. Read my review here.
Five Furies of Leaning Ladder by B.M. BowerA particularly lively and action-filled Bower Western with an intricate plot, this one involving horse-thieving and five wild young sisters who may or may not be mixed up in it. Read my review here.
Calling Dr. Kildare by Max BrandA bit different from my usual reading fare, this novel of a young doctor working in 1930s New York City stood out because of its powerful, evocative writing. Read my review here.
Old Rose and Silver by Myrtle ReedA beautifully-written Edwardian-era romance, about a woman whose hopes of finding love later in life are imperilled by a rival in her younger cousin. Read my review here.
A Confederate Girl's Diary by Sarah Morgan DawsonFascinating, entertaining, heartbreaking—a look at the Civil War through the diary of a Southern girl who lived through it and saw it firsthand. (I discovered after reading the free Kindle version that it was not, in fact, Sarah Morgan's complete Civil War diaries, and I want to read the full version someday!)
Rose O' the River by Kate Douglas WigginA charming novella set in a Maine village, about a country girl whose dreams of city glamor affect the course of her romance with her true love. Read my review here.
Elsie: Adventures of an Arizona Schoolteacher 1913-1916 by Barbara Anne WaiteAn engrossing, inspiring adventure in history drawn from the diaries and letters of the author's grandmother, chronicling her years teaching school in rural Arizona in the early 20th century. Read my review here.
The Street of Seven Stars by Mary Roberts Rinehart
A Rinehart non-mystery, this beautiful novel about American students living in Vienna just before the Great War kept me up till midnight finishing it. One of these days I'm going to re-read it slowly and try to write a good review. Maybe during the holidays would be a good time, since it has some winter and Christmas scenes!
Clearing Weather by Cornelia MeigsA fine historical adventure novel about a young shipbuilder who undertakes a risky venture to keep his family's and his town's fortunes alive in the early days of the young and struggling American republic.
Poor, Dear Margaret Kirby and Other Stories by Kathleen NorrisA wonderful short story collection from the early 1900s that explores various family relationships—romantic, touching and humorous. Read my review here.
Have you read any of these books? What were your favorite reads of 2012?