Favorite Reads from 2012

In follow-up to the post I wrote yesterday, I wanted to note some of the titles and authors I enjoyed reading in 2012. Thanks to a blog network plentiful with self-published authors, ownership of a Kindle Fire and Goodreads.com I have truly broadened my literary world.

Two books I wanted to list, first, are from two fellow bloggers, Kate Policani and Maria Tatham. I believe reading these two authors finally gave me the nudge I needed to explore a more varied library of works.

The Lustre – Kate Policani

Queen and the Handyman – Maria Tatham

Of course, I do have my favorite authors. One is William Kent Krueger. His series featuring Cork O’Connor never disappoints. I read Vermillion Drift (#10) and Northwest Angle (#11), which means I have just two more in the series to catch up.

Two trilogies I could not break away from — even to sleep — were Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins) and Fifty Shades (E.L. James).

A surprising impulse read that went more quickly than expected was The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. The story synopsis intrigued me. So, I figured, why not?

The Hangman’s Daughter by Oliver Potzsch’s is the first in a series of four novels set in Germany, 1660. This first story is what the synopsis promises: a fast-paced, historical thriller. I look forward to reading more thrillers involving the hangman and his family.

On a dreary weekend back in late September/early October, I took a break from socializing with friends and read The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh and Mr. Darcy Goes Overboard: A Tale of Pride and Prejudice by Belinda Roberts. It was a well-spent social respite.

Then, there is the series I cannot give a decisive opinion on, yet. I read A Game of Thrones: A Song of Fire and Ice (Book One) by George RR Martin Thanksgiving week. While I liked the story, the level of detail used made the pace feel sluggish. Another observation was the bleak and icy cold of the wall mirrored what I saw looking out my own window during the time I was reading.

Finally, four additional 2012 favorites include…

The Book of Blood and Shadow – Robin Wasserman

The Flight of Gemma Hardy: A Novel – Margot Livesey

The House of Tyneford – Natasha Solomons

Mariana – Susanna Kearsley

Book It Party Room: Kate Policani’s The Lustre

I am pleased to applaud and cheer loudly for the release of The Lustre, from blogger friend and author, Kate Policani. A short fiction piece that mixes it up with elements from Christian, Science Fiction, and Fantasy genres, introduces the Akataromai, an entrancing race of beings hidden within human society. Originating on Earth, they conceal themselves among the human population. They look just like us. But, mature Akataromai can live for centuries and feed upon negative Human emotions.

Policani tells the story of Angelina Quorra, an Akataromai, who is unique among her people. Like all Akataromai, Angelina is a human-looking girl who absorbs emotional pain. She might never die. However, she has a unique talent, called The Lustre, which enables her to also absorb physical pain. Anyone who feeds her achieves overwhelming pleasure. Angelina’s talent brings her great fame and great trouble. Her story is told by the men who adore her.

Review Notes:

The Lustre was a quick, thought-provoking read. I appreciated Policani’s concise, captivating story-telling. Further the characters are well-developed. I kept drooling over Luciano and enjoyed stepping into Angelina’s world for a spell. Also, the opportunity to view the story from multiple viewpoints reminded me of my all-time, favorite authors, Mary Higgins Clark. This writing style enables me to establish a deeper connection with the characters and the conflicts that play out. While not in agreement with his choices, I felt I was inside Jaques Trace’s rage and despair as he ascended to tragic levels of greed and envy. Lessons woven within Policani’s fantastical tale are real, timely, catalysts for reflection and discussion. The Lustre reminded me of how easy it is to covet others’ blessings, to succumb to greed, and to allow envy to cloud judgement. All of these human follies distract us from living, destroy even the strongest of relationships and break many hearts.

Author Bio:

Kate Policani is a homemaker and compulsive writer from Seattle. She has a wild imagination and an addiction to reading and writing. Her hobby is exploring and analyzing all kinds of stories. She uses them like a literary chemistry set to examine a variety ideas and concepts and to fuel her own writing. The Science Fiction and Fantasy genres are her favorites because the exciting flights of fancy make a thrilling plot. Every day is filled with the stories of those around us, especially in this information age. It is her passion to find what stories inspire her and others, and why they inspire. There are more than 80 stories waiting on her hard drive, incubating and developing for future reading! What will she come up with next?

Buy your copy of The Lustre at Barnes & Noble or on Kindle or Smashwords. Also, available on CreatespaceRed coverSlate coverBlack and Cream cover.