Discovering Hidden Gems: The Best Books of 2012 That Deserve More Attention
In a world where media moguls dictate which books become popular and which become obscure, it’s easy to gravitate toward the most publicized titles. While the New York Times Best-Seller list and Oprah’s Book Club are popular resources for readers, their recommendations tend to be based on how many people have read a book rather than the quality of its story. As an avid reader, you may want to seek out books that haven’t received as much media attention but are just as worthy of your time. Here are some of the best books of 2012 that deserve more attention.
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: A Novel by Rachel Joyce
Harold Fry is an anti-hero who is so endearingly awkward that readers will want to invite him over for tea after reading the book. His impromptu journey across England takes him on a life-changing journey through the labyrinths of his heart. The story is surreal yet genuine, making it a must-read for anyone who wants to explore the human condition with a relatable protagonist.
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
If you or someone you know is an introvert, this book is a great resource. Introverts often shy away from the spotlight and prefer solitude to hyper-socializing, which is synonymous with modern societal expectations. Quiet is a fascinating study about the power and potential of introverts versus extroverts, which are celebrated by American culture. It provides tips on how to negotiate introvert-extrovert relationships and inspiration through success stories of famous introverts who have changed the world.
The Pattern Scars by Caitlin Sweet
The Pattern Scars follows the story of Nola, a young woman born into abject poverty who was able to escape with the help of those who recognized her gift of prophecy. This book isn’t a typical “unicorns and pixie dust” sort of fantasy. Instead, it draws the reader into seedy interactions with brothel workers, psychopaths, murderers, and blood magic. The novel is dark and luminous in turns and keeps readers on edge with the unpredictable plot.
Freakangels Box Set by Warren Ellis
Freakangels is a web comic by the ever-brilliant (and oft-terrifying) Warren Ellis. The story revolves around twelve Londoners with startling psychic abilities who accidentally flooded the world a few years ago when they used their powers in unison. Now, they are struggling to survive in the ruins of Whitechapel as something ominous creeps ever-closer. This is a must-read for fans of Ellis’s works.
Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round by Marisa McLellan
The self-sufficiency revolution is gaining speed around the world, and people are re-acquainting themselves with knowledge and abilities that haven’t been cool since their great-grandparents’ time. Interest in homesteading is at an all-time high, and one of the most popular practices these days is canning one’s own food. Food in Jars guides you through small-batch canning throughout the year for maximum production with minimum stress.
The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver
The Spindlers follows the story of a young girl who discovers a Spindler has stolen her little brother’s soul for the Queen of the underworld. She embarks on a journey to retrieve it, despite knowing that her brother is not always easy to deal with. This book is great for younger people with high reading abilities and those who have a younger sibling can relate to the need to protect them.
These books are some of the hidden gems of 2012 that deserve more attention. While the media moguls may dictate which books become popular, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t seek out great reads that haven’t received as much attention. From fiction to children’s literature, these novels offer something for everyone. By exploring books outside of the best-seller lists, you may discover some extraordinary reads that you would’ve otherwise missed. Take a chance on a book you’ve never heard of before; you never know when you might find your new favorite read.