Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Favorite Books of 2012 Published before 2012

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This week’s Broke and the Bookish prompt for Top Ten Tuesday dovetails nicely with my plan to put up a series of top ten lists covering what I’ve read, listened to and watched in 2012. This week I’m listing ten books I read for the first time this year. Most of these authors I discovered in 2012, and I’m glad I did because they’ve moved very high on the constantly growing list of authors I actively look out for when seeking out new material to read. Here’s the list, without further adieu.

10. John Dies at the End, David Wong.
I normally expect this kind of fun from cult movies, not from books. That JDATE is filled with tension and interesting ideas along with the completely insane scenarios Wong constructs made this ridiculously entertaining.

9. The Rest is Noise, Alex Ross.
Alex Ross discusses music from a variety of fascinating angles. I had read some of his articles in the past, but reading his essays gathered together revealed an overarching, consistent perspective that encouraged me to revisit some of my own preconceptions about music.

8. Hater, David Moody.
This book had one of the best twists I came across all year. It’s the first of a trilogy, the next two will certainly be on my to read lost for next year.

7. Horns, Joe Hill.
I’m very familiar with Joe Hill’s writing, but somehow hadn’t gotten around to Horns until this year. I’m very glad I finally made the time to read it.

6. Old Man’s War, John Scalzi.
John Scalzi got a lot of attention for Redshirts this year, which I have sitting on my iPad and will certainly make time for in 2013, considering how much I enjoyed this classic of his.

5. New Yorker Stories, Ann Beattie.
This collection is filled with some of the most skillful, artful short fiction you’ll find. She’s really a master and this collection is loaded with proof of that.

4. Ready Player One, Ernest Cline.
Cline pretty much remixes every cultural touchstone of my childhood here, and I’ve been pushing this into the hands of nearly everyone I know since reading this earlier this year. I can’t wait to see what he does next.

3. Blindsight, Peter Watts.
Another mind bending piece of Sci-Fi. I just finished this recently, and will write something longer about this soon, but I highly recommend you not wait until then, and pick it up now (free on his website here).

2. Rust, Royden Lepp.
I picked up Lepp’s graphic novel after reading Joe Cornish was planning an adaptation. The sepia-toned artwork here is filled with energy and motion, and I’m looking forward to future installments.

1. The Lifecycle of Software Objects, Ted Chiang.
Chiang is my favorite discovery of the year, a mind-expanding writer willing to raise compelling questions through rich world building and empathetic characters. If you pick up any new writer from this list, Ted Chiang should be your first choice.

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