books,  Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour,  reading

Best Books of 2012

For those of you who celebrate Christmas – Merry Christmas!  Today I’m at my brother’s likely enjoying some delicious food and good company. Luckily I had the sense to schedule this post ahead of time so I didn’t miss this month’s Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour topic!

So the title of this post is a bit misleading, but only because my reading list is so huge. Right now I have about 50 books in the wings, and I tend not to be one of those readers who is up on new releases. They usually get added to my list as time goes on.

Instead – this post should be titled The Best Books I’ve Read in 2012 (or finished reading).

By far one of the best books I’ve been reading through the last few years has been The Greenhouse Gardener’s Companion by Shane Smith. I can’t recommend this book enough. I started it in 2010 and it actually took me until 2012 to finish reading it cover to cover. The reason for this being I went back and re-read certain sections. Generally one doesn’t read reference books cover to cover, but as someone who aspires to be a proficient greenhouse gardener, that book was definitely worth it. If you are interested in greenhouse gardening get a copy.

My two “surprise” reads of the year included The Book of Azazel and The Book of Abrasax, both put out by Nephilim Press. By surprise I mean these weren’t books that were on my list of books to read. Nope, these were books I picked up on a whim when they came out. In occult publishing, based on the sheer volume of standard, same-old, same-old crap being churned out, these are two of the better books this year had to offer. I’d also like to share that  earlier this year I found myself enjoying Teitan Press’s steady stream of Hockley titles. From the Clavis Arcana Magica (which was actually a 2012 title) to The Book of the Offices of Spirits, and Invocating by Magic Crystals and Mirrors.  For those who don’t know, Hockley was an occultist and Freemason in the 1800’s whose interests included scrying, ritual magic, alchemy and spiritualism. This gives you an  idea of the historical context in which to place these particular works.  Wieser Antiquarian carries them. They are a bit pricey, but worth it for serious occult scholars and collectors. Anymore anything worth reading in the occult field (if you’re not a beginner) carries a hefty price tag, I’ve noticed.

But some of you aren’t here for that. Nope — you’re here to hear what I enjoyed in fiction. Sadly I think I only ended up reading about 10 novels this year. And that includes re-reading Sherlock Holmes, Practical Magic, and Little Women. But what was the best?

Most of what I read was, meh, okay. Nothing that really stood out among my usual Victoria Laurie, Juliet Blackwell, or Madelyn Alt.  I also tried some Dan Brown and E. L. James but neither caught my fancy.

I guess my favorite reads of the year were non-fiction.   In 2013 I promise to read more fiction than non-fiction and see what I come up with. What happened this year is I read about  14 NF titles and 10 novels. Yes, that’s only 24 books, but that’s two books a month + I put out 6 books (4NF and 2 fiction) and a few short stories this year, too.   Not bad, IMHO, for a busy writer with a part-time day job, a temple to run, and an active social life.

  About The FM Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour

Today’s post was inspired by the topic Best Books of 2012.  This month’s topic in the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour, an ongoing tour where you, the reader, travel around the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. We have all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

If you want to get to know nearly twenty other writers and read their thoughts on the best books of 2012, check out the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour.  I blog with this tour the 25th of every month.  Up next on the tour: Becky Pratt!

Steph is an award winning and bestselling author of thrilling steamy and paranormal romances, dark urban fantasy, occult horror-thrillers, cozy mysteries, contemporary romance, sword and sorcery fantasy, and books about the esoteric and Daemonolatry. A Daemonolatress and forever a resident of Smelt Isle, she is happily married and cat-mom to three pampered house cats. Her muse is a demanding sadistic Dom who often keeps her up into the wee hours of the morning. You can contact her at

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