Strictly fiction. My top 5. In no particular order.
Disclaimer – these didn’t necessarily have to be published in 2012, rather just my five favorites that I happened to read.
Ready Player One – Ernest Cline
Man, this one was fun. Geeky as all get out, but fun. Nearly the entire novel takes place inside a video game, but it’s not hokey or ridiculous, it’s actually a somewhat believable version of what the future might hold. Everyone on the planet spends the majority of their time plugged in to this pseudo-reality world (kind of The Sims mixed with Facebook and a little bit of World of Warcraft – if I’m understanding correctly what World of Warcraft is). When the designer of the program dies, he leaves behind a treasure hunt of sorts, filled with 1980s trivia, the decade in which he grew up. It’s an easy read and is entertaining throughout.
House of Leaves – Mark Z. Danielewski
In contrast, this novel is the opposite of an easy read. It may give you a headache, but the payoff is well worth it. It’s almost pointless in trying to explain, but just know that you’ve likely never read anything like it. The kicker is, underneath all of the theatrics of the book’s layout and style is a truly disturbing horror story about a house with some . . . uh . . . interesting dimensions.
11/22/63 – Stephen King
Of course. This man can do no wrong to me. I know I’ve already talked about this book in a previous post.But it definitely made the list this year. Stephen King could publish a picture book of overweight men in bathtubs and it’d be one of my favorites.
The Resort – Bentley Little
If Stephen King is the Big Mac and fries of the literary world, Bentley Little is the rock candy. He’s all story, and although his over-the-top detail can become a little tiresome, he does have a knack for bizarre imagery and fun horror plots. This one is about a family that goes on vacation to an evil resort. Simple. You can tear through it in about a day, if you’ve nothing else to do. One of his better stories.
The Girl, The Gold Watch, and Everything – John D. MacDonald
I’m still only about a third of the way through the Travis McGee series, and decided to go with some of MacDonald’s non-series work. I wasn’t disappointed. This guy is both incredible with words and comes up with great plots. He’s the total package. I’m so glad there are tons of his books I haven’t read yet. He’s smart, poignant, and has keen insights into human nature that he presents in unique ways. This one is about a man whose rich uncle dies and leaves him nothing but a pocketwatch. That sucks for him at first, until he understands what it can do.