In 2012, I read approximately 116 books. I say 'approximately' because I didn't join Goodreads and start keeping a really good tally until February.
Here I have listed the best book from each month.
JANUARY--Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand--The shocking story of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner turned war bomber, whose plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean during WWII. He spent nearly 2 months in a life raft before being captured by the Japanese and surviving unspeakable horrors.
FEBRUARY--The Lost Dogs by Jim Gorant--The story of the Michael Vick dogs. Another story filled with horrors, but also with a happy ending. Most of the dogs rescued from Vick's property were placed in forever homes, several going on to become therapy dogs.
MARCH--Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland--This story is about fictional painting supposedly done by Vermeer. Rather than being about the subject of the painting, it follows the painting itself, backwards from modern day to when it was painted.
APRIL--Voyage of the Turtle by Carl Safina--The story of leatherback sea turtles. It's hard to imagine a turtle the size of a bathtub. Once hatched and returned to the sea, males never set foot on land again. Females only come ashore to lay eggs every few years. At serious risk from pollution, fishing and hunting, many sea turtles are facing extinction.
MAY--Good Germs, Bad Germs: Health and Survival In A Bacterial World by Jessica Snyder Sachs--Not all germs make us sick. Many play a role in keeping us healthy, keeping the bad germs in check. A fascinating look at the microbial world we rarely think about.
JUNE--Outside The Lines by Amy Hatvany--When Eden West's mentally ill father vanishes from her life when she is young, it changes her forever. As an adult, she decides to find him and try to heal. Her journey takes her places she never expected. I really liked Hatvany's depiction of mental illness from the viewpoint of the one who is sick and not just those have to live with him.
Unsaid by Neil Abramson--I had to choose two books for this month because they were both so good. This one is about a veterinarian who has died, but is afraid to pass to the next world because she is afraid to face the many animals she has euthanized over her career. As she lingers, she watches her friends and husband and animals cope with life without her.
JULY--The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey--Set in Alaska in the 1920's, this book is a twist on a Russian fairytale. The depiction of the starkness and well as the beauty of such a remote place really struck me.
AUGUST--Last To Die by Tess Gerritsen--The latest in the Rizzoli and Isles series. Fast paced and fun to read with a lot of twists.
SEPTEMBER--The Merlot Murders by Ellen Crosby--The first in the Wine Country mystery series. Fun mysteries that also have a lot of information about making wine.
OCTOBER--J Edgar Hoover: The Man and The Secrets by Curt Gentry--This book is over 700 pages, heavily footnoted and incredibly detailed. It took me forever to get through it, and it makes me appreciate the freedoms we often take for granted.
NOVEMBER--The Mermaid Collector by Ericka Marks--Another story with a woman shaped by the mental illness of a parent. There is an old mystery interspersed with the story.
DECEMBER--The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot--The story of the birth of the world's first immortal line of cells used in molecular biology, and the life of the woman whose cancer provided them. A thought provoking work on medical ethics.