Helena's Top 10 Reads of 2012 (in no particular order)

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Available Dark by Elizabeth Hand

1. Available Dark by Elizabeth Hand

Because Cass Neary's return is every bit as triumphant, and gloriously bleak, as I hoped it would be.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

2. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Who needs rollercoasters when you have Gillian Flynn? With Gone Girl, Flynn, already aflame with talent (exhibit A and B: her former novels Sharp Objects and Dark Places), emerges as one of the - if not THE -  most radiant literary thriller stars of today. I nearly fell out of my armchair twice while reading it.

Dare Me by Megan Abbott

3. Dare Me by Megan Abbott

Any book that makes me refer to My So-Called Life, Tom Perrotta, and Heathers in a review is bound to end up on a top 10 list somewhere. Add cheerleaders, along with pitch black wit and skin-on-bones taut prose, and we're talking top 3.

Field of Darkness and The Crazy School by Cornelia Read

4. Field of Darkness and The Crazy School by Cornelia Read

If you have yet to acquaint yourself with the fierce, smart-mouthed, caffeine-fuelled ex-débutante one woman show that is Cornelia Read's protagonist Madeline Dare - honey, you've been missing out! I'm only just getting started myself, and am very much looking forward to reading the next two instalments (and praying for a fifth book during 2013).

Broken Harbour by Tana French

5. Broken Harbour by Tana French

Not only by far French's finest effort to date (which speaks volumes in itself), but one of the darkest and most poignant takes on the economic crisis I've come across so far.

Weirdo by Cathi Unsworth

6. Weirdo by Cathi Unsworth

Because it reads as a UK Goth version of Gillian Flynn's Dark Places. Loved every page.

The Daylight Gate by Jeanette Winterson

7. The Daylight Gate by Jeanette Winterson

As deeply unpleasant as it is beautifully written, Winterson's first true dip into the world of horror is one of the books I'll remember best from 2012.

Radiant Days by Elizabeth Hand

8. Radiant Days by Elizabeth Hand

Because, really, no decent top 10 list is complete with just one Elizabeth Hand book on it. This ageless urban fantasy on art, loss, and relationships transcending time is another perfect example of why Hand is one of the best writers out there today - in any genre. Go, Rimbaud, and go, Liz!

A Room Full Of Bones by Elly Griffiths

9. A Room Full Of Bones by Elly Griffiths

I am utterly addicted to Griffiths novels featuring forensic archeologist Ruth Galloway, and this year's effort just may be the best one yet. Too bad I've already read next year's (which, incidentally, was every bit as good)...

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

10. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Dreamy, atmospheric, and gorgeously written, this is almost too good to be a debut novel. Can't wait to read more!


Also highly recommended:

 

Would probably end up on the top 10 if I had, you know, read it:
Live By Night by Dennis Lehane (see you in 2013!)

Biggest mystery of 2012 (nope, not a crime novel):
How all those copies of the Fifty Shades books got sold. For an erotic novel, it is shockingly lacking in sex appeal (not to mention minor things such as literary qualities). My inner goddess just threw up in her mouth. Oh my.

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Multimediaambassaden, Mats Rytther