I'm unable to select the ten best or even the twenty best books read this year partly because my reading is so eclectic, so I'm just going to point out some of the best.
One of my favorite authors is Linda Gillard and I read two of her books this year, Emotional Geology and House of Silence, both of which were among my most enjoyable reads. I also loved reading books by Dorte Jakobsen this year.
I loved the characters and the plot of The Reservoir by John Milliken Thompson. Couldn't decide exactly how the victim died, but had a lovely time trying.
The Homecoming of Samuel Lake by Jenny Wingfield drew me in and I still remember vividly the characters, particularly Swan Lake, the best child character in years.
Settings drew me in in such books as Tom MacDonald's The Charlestown Connection (Boston), J. Sydney Jones' The Silence (Vienna 1900), and The Sleepwalkers by Paul Grossman (Berlin during Nazi takeover).
As I look at my list, I realize I didn't write down some of the books so maybe I got closer to 100 than I thought. My list says I read 71 and I'll have 72 finished by tomorrow night for sure. However, I don't see The Help, a great book.
That reminds me that I discovered many authors new to me this year. I read a mystery by Perri O'Shaughnessy which makes me very glad that a friend gave me several of their books. I also discovered C. J. Box (Cold Wind), Reginald Hill (wonderful The Woodcutter), Kathleen O'Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear (Bone Walker), Jacqueline Winspear, Shamini Flint, Dennis Lehane, George Pelecanos, and B. Kent Anderson (Cold Glory). I'll be following these authors in 2012.
Finally, I reread Jane Eyre with a new appreciation thanks to my more, er, mature mind. I have plans to read many more classics in the future. Perhaps Wuthering Heights next.
I may not have read as many books as others but I definitely enjoyed my reading more this year, and I think I have blogging to thank for that. I'm looking forward to my reading and blogging in 2012.