Friday, December 21, 2012

My Top Ten Best Books of 2012

Putting these lists together is one of my favorite of favorite posts of the entire year. I love looking back on great 2012 fiction offerings and sharing with YOU what I thought was the best.

And of course in turn, seeing what made it on your list. It's a great post to write and a fun theme to visit on blogs across the internet. Share your links in the comments if you've already posted!

Here is my Top Ten list numbered from 10-1 and oh-so-hard to choose between!

Of the 142 books I read this year, 16 got 5 stars. 


The power of each word builds a story complex in emotion and plot is carefully built until at the end of the story I was disappointed to leave these characters behind.


This novel came out of nowhere and completely enthralled me. 


Well over 2500 pages have been consumed through my eager fingers over the years and this family has truly become my own.


I loved the plot, the characters, the writing, the setting. In short…oh yeah, I already said that, but I’ll say it again. I loved this book.


I read the story slowly, not because it didn’t thoroughly capture my attention, but only because it didn’t feel right to blaze through for the sake of simply reading. 


There is a rhythm, a cadence to their story, the words sweeping me into eighteenth century America. 


“You Don’t Know Me” is a gripping marvel of strong storytelling and solid characters that beg to have their story told in the way that has put Warren on the Christian fiction map.


The plot is unique and just wait until you read the scene where the brothers “draw straws”. You might want to swoon. I wanted to…


Katie Ganshert may be a debut author, but this novel does not read like a debut. Surely she has been holding out on us and there is a published backlist.


Fitting into this novel was like stepping into a Cinderella fairy tale…and the glass slipper didn’t pinch a bit.

WOW, what a great bunch of fiction! Honorary mentions that didn't make my list, but I still loved were: 

The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck; 
A Love Surrendered by Julie Lessman; 
Gone to Ground by Brandilyn Collins

What made your list?? 


  1. Great list! I've read all but a couple and completely agree! :)

    1. I'm still waiting to yours Anne!! There was so much 2012 fiction I'm STILL waiting on my shelf to read. I'll let you know when I do. ;-)

  2. ooo, I will have to read some those. I have to go put some of those on my list.

    1. Oh read them all!! LOL, but of course you don't have to love them all even though I think you should. ;)

  3. A great list, Casey. And some of those books I still need to read and we're moving into 2013!!!

    1. I'm the same way!! BTW, your book is headed for my hands as SOON as I write THE END. It'll be my reward. :)

  4. I'm behind. I've yet to read a single one of these. Three are first-time authors right? Awesome!

    1. Yes, 3 were debut. Debut fiction tends to be some of my favorite. I gravitate towards it. Love it.

  5. CASE!!! First of all, THANK YOU soooo very much for including ALITW in your top ten list -- I am BEYOND blessed to see that because I was wondering if you would like it.

    Secondly, goodness -- we are SO very close in our taste because you have SOOO many of the same books I would have had on my list. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE LOVE'S RECKONING and VEIL OF PEARLS -- two of my very top faves. Actually was privileged to endorse Wildflowers From Winter and was stunned that it was a debut book by Katie because it's simply wonderful!! Short-Straw Bride was an absolute delight and although I haven't read Tamera's yet, it's in my TBR list and I know it will be great. Looks like I have to read the rest of these wonderful novels since one of my favorite reviewers tagged them as her top ten!!

    Thanks again for the inclusion of ALITW, my friend, and I wish you and yours a MOST BLESSED CHRISTMAS!!


    1. Of COURSE, I've loved all your books, some are just more favorite than others...which I know you'll understand. ;-) Tamera's was great, really loved that one. Thick, but she makes every word someone else I know. ;-)

  6. Ooh, ooh, those are all so good, Casey. Here are the ones I'd add:

    Wish You Were Here by Beth Vogt
    Unending Devotion by Jody Hedlund
    Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden
    The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck
    At Every Turn by Anne Mateer

    And oh so many more I could name. It was a goood year for fiction. :)

    1. I need to read At Every Turn!! I bought it at ACFW and have yet to read it. Like so many other titles...sigh. It was an EXCELLENT year for fiction. And 2013 is looking just as promising. :)

  7. I haven't read any, but am familiar with eight of them, I think. Almost all on my to-read list! Love some of those authors so much. I should really do this...but I don't know how to narrow it down. I read SO many great books this year!

    1. It's HARD, isn't it? I could have easily included The Wedding Dress, but another nudged it out by *thiiiiis* much. I actually surprised myself in rating less books 5***** this year, but I still loved so many!

  8. SO very honored to make your top ten list, Casey!! What an encouraging discovery to find in my Tweetdeck today!! Thank you, friend, for lifting my spirits. I'm so very glad you enjoyed Bethany's story and hope you enjoy Robin's in 2013!

    One of my absolute FAVES this year is your number one - My Stubborn Heart! But you already knew that, since we had fun raving together at ACFW. :) I recently finished Beth Vogt's newest - Catch a Falling Star, and absolutely LOVED it. Although that's not coming out until 2013, so I probably can't count it amongst my favorite for 2012. :)

    Merry Christmas, friend! You bless me more than you could know!

    1. It made me near giddy (yes, I loved MSH that much) when you said you loved Becky's book too. And what FUN to stand there together and rave about it. :D Your tweet about Beth's book made me so very eager and I ordered it from Netgalley. Watching for yours now!!

  9. Thank you, Casey! !!Wow!! You've made my day. Congratulations to all the authors of the exquisite books you've named.

    It's lovely and humbling and wonderful to see My Stubborn Heart on your list. God has truly encouraged me in my writing this year *through* you. Whenever I hear from you it's like God's urging me on, saying, "Keep it up! Don't grow weary! You're on the right track!" I really appreciate that because, of course, we writers spend most of our writing time alone, hunched over our computers, clunking away at the keys, quite uncertain whether we're writing something readers will love or loathe.

    I'm inspired by your ministry and the way that you generously support Christian fiction and Christian authors. Can't wait to see one of YOUR books in print! :))

    Thank you sincerely! Merry Christmas to you and yours. -Becky

    1. Oh my goodness, Becky, but a sweet, sweet thing for you to say. When one loves a book even half as much as I loved yours, you just can't help shouting that news from the rooftops...and all the blog posts and readers who will listen long enough. ;-) I do know this: I'm going to love your next book. I just know I will...because your voice and ability for story is just that good.

  10. Hey Case :)
    Great list!! I regretfully must admit I haven't read any of them :( It sure is hard for me to get Christian Fiction books up here, not sure why lol but it sure is. I think partly because I just about refuse to even step foot into BAM (Books a Million) and I've basically bought out our one used bookstore of all of their ChristFic lol :P Aaaaaaaaaanyway, I looked into these books more and they all sound great! No wonder you chose them :) I have to say, I've hardly read a *bad* ChristFic book, usually they seem to be too preachy for my taste if I dislike them.

    I actually read your post this morning, but am just commenting now. You actually influenced me greatly today. One of the blogs I follow posted about the reading challenges they signed up for in the new year. I decided to sign up for a Debut Authors Reading Challenge based on your praises of these wonderful new authors novels :) So thank you! I mentioned you in my post lol just thought I'd mention it to you!
    Anyway, sorry for the long rambling post! Great list,

    1. Oh neat! I LOVE Debut's the bread and butter of my reading for every year. You'll have FUN with that challenge, Hannah!! Thanks for the shout out...and visit today! :D

  11. I LOVED My Stubborn Heart and have recommended it to every one of my friends. I also love Tamera Alexander. I need to read the others. Thank you so much for sharing!

    1. Another lover of MSH! I'm re-reading it again too. ;-) Yes, the others are great books to find and share and love, hope you find some more keepers Arahbella!

  12. Nice list Casey! Read 4 out of 10 :-)
    My list would include:

    A Love Surrendered
    My Stubborn Heart
    Wish You Were Here
    Short-Straw Bride
    Unending Devotion
    Against the Tide
    Lethal Legacy
    Still by Lauren F. Winner (non-fiction)

    and a couple of others, I think...

    I soo want to read No Safe Harbor and To Whisper Her Name.
    And Tyndall, Frantz and Ganshert's latest are REALLY piquing my curiosity.

    Congratulations, authors!
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!


  13. Great list, Casey! Of course I totally agree with Julie's books! And I loved "Short Straw Bride". Just started "To Whisper Her Name" and I can tell I already LOVE it! Like you, I'm trying to read slowly to savour the writing.

    In my TBR pile, I have "Love's Reckoning" (love Laura's books), "You Don't Know Me" (love Susie's books), and "The Wedding Dress" (never read this author yet). Have to put some of your other choices on my Christmas List.

    It sure was a great year!

    Have a wonderful Christmas, Casey! Wishing every good thing for you in 2013!


  14. GREAT list, Casey! Six of the books on your list are in my TBR pile, and two of them I've read -- Love's Reckoning and A Light in the Window. :D

    Oh, I also have The Wedding Dress on my Kindle. Just picked it up the other day when it was on sale. I'm really looking forward to it!

    Sweet Blessings to you in the New Year!


  15. I've read 3 books from your list here and really enjoyed them, Veil of Pearls, Love's Reckoning and Short-straw Bride. Adding some of these others to my TBR pile...which is growing at an alarming rate. :)

    Look forward to reading more of your great reviews in 2013.

    Happy New Year Casey!

  16. Casey,
    I'm late to the party and just popped in as I was missing you - didn't even know you'd made a list! But WOW - here it is and I'm so thankful to be among friends. The fact you take time for my work means more than I can ever say. Love you to death and am so thrilled at the way the Lord is working through you and your writing and your HUGE heart for Him.

    Wonderful to begin another year with you:)


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