Ten Best Books of 2012

The 127 books I read in 2012 may be the most I've read in one year--ever (I will be posting the complete list in the next day or two; I know you can't wait). Plus, 2012 was one of the best in terms of the number of really excellent books I read, which makes this end-of-the-year top-ten list harder than ever to compose. Some absolutely wonderful books are left off the list below, just because it's a top ten list and not a top fifteen or twenty list.

Also, just a word of explanation: the SOLE qualification for making this "ten best" list is the enjoyment I derived from reading. That's it. It's my list, not an application for The New York Times Book Review.

If you would like to know more about why a particular book is on the list, those marked with a † have been reviewed on this blog. Simply search for the title, or go to the category sidebar and click on "Book of the Week" to display all the book reviews and just scroll down until you find the one you're looking for. Also, each book's title is linked to the Amazon listing for that title, so you can learn more, read reviews, or purchase the book online.

1. Destiny of the Republic (Millard)*

2. Reason for Being: A Meditation on Ecclesiastes (Ellul) †

3. Viral (Sweet) †

4. A Year of Biblical Womanhood (Evans) †

5. Jesus, A Theography (Sweet and Viola)

6. 1929 (Larsson) †

7. The Hobbit (Tolkein)

8. The Call of the Wild (London)*

9. An Altar in the World (Taylor) †

10. The Machine (Posnanski)

Two novels, eight nonfiction. Two history (or three, if you count The Machine, which is about the Cincinnati Reds' 1975 season). One poetry collection. Two classics. Three audiobooks (marked with an asterisk). One ebook (The Machine). And two I had read before in the past (The Hobbit, The Call of the Wild), but which I just couldn't keep off this list.