My favorite indie reads of 2012

I read a lot of indie books this year. Like, A TON. Definitely more than last year.

I also made a pretty concerted effort to keep tabs on what I was reading, and when I actually finished my books, with the help of GoodReads.

So when I decided to do a “Year in Review” concerning my reading habits, at first I was worried that I’d read way more terrible books than good ones. I can be a bit of a pessimist (or realist, as you prefer), and bad books do tend to stick out much more in a reader’s mind. Particularly when they employ some, um, “creative” spelling.

Happily, I discovered that once I went through the books I read over the year, categorizing them as “loved” or “hated,” I did have a lot more in my “loved” pile. Hooray!

Some stats

books I read in 2012

Out of a total of 97 books read:

  • 58 of them received positive ratings
  • 23 received negative ratings, and
  • 16 inspired feelings of violent “meh!”

Interestingly, I also noticed that many of the books I liked the least were books I was assigned to review. Therefore, I believe I will be taking an indefinite holiday from professional book reviewing, in order to maintain my own reading list—and my personal enjoyment of books.

So tell us what you liked already!

Though I do have plenty of zingers about the books I hated, I’m pretty sure my Facebook followers have already heard them all. So in an effort to remain positive, I’d like to share my list of some of the best books published this year. Books that you’ve probably never even heard of! So, to make a long intro short (too late!), here’s my list of The Best Indie Books I Read in 2012 (listed alphabetically by author):

  1. Fifty Shades of Alice in Wonderland by Melinda DuChamp (erotica)
  2. The Pleasure Dial by Jeremy Edwards (erotica)
  3. My Two Wives and Three Husbands by S. Stanley Gordon (memoir)
  4. The Girls’ Guide to Dating Zombies by Lynn Messina (women’s fiction)
  5. Zan (which was actually titled Poke when I read it) by Dalya Moon (YA)
  6. Inbox Full of Crazy by Chris-Rachael Oseland (memoir)
  7. The Leap by Blaine Readler (sci-fi)
  8. Rum Socialism by Kris Romaniuk (memoir)
  9. Maynard Soloman and the Bull$hit Cancer Awareness Campaign by Benjamin Sobieck (short fiction/humor)
  10. Memories of a Mombasa Gigolo by Krishna Washburn (erotica)

In the interest of full disclosure…

Yes, I totally linked those books using my Amazon affiliate profile. Yes, some of these books are written by friends of mine. Yes, I did get some of these books as free review copies. And yes, I did actually read AND enjoy all of these books, and posted this without any prompting from any of these authors. (You’re welcome; payment in the form of alcohol is always appreciated.)

What say you?

Have you read any of my picks, and if so, what did you think? What are your favorite books of 2012?


  • Blaine C. Readler


    I was poking around the web* when I stumbled upon your Best Indie Books of 2012. I wanted to thank you for your previous kind review and for including me in this august selection. I wanted to, but then I realized that this seems . . . maybe unseemly. You can thank someone for passing the salt, or paying the rent, but how can I thank you for liking something, just because I created it? But more importantly (for me), thanking you implies that you extended me a favor, which essentially nulls the compliment. Damn. Perhaps instead I should simply say, “Bravo! Well executed, noble writer/editor/publisher.”

    In any case, the fact remains that nascent writers live and breathe for favorable words — hell, for someone to just read their stories. You lifted my spirits (twice) and sent me back to the keyboard (not the typewriter, alas), and for that, at least, I can thank you.

    Hail Laura Roberts! In fact, hail all of Montreal!
    -Blaine C. Readler

    *okay, I was Googling myself; so, sue me.

  • Laura Roberts

    Hi Blaine! Thanks for your comment, and thank YOU for writing such a fun book. I passed it along to my parents when they were in town for the holidays, as my dad is an engineer and I thought he might appreciate the scientific aspects of rocketships and such. Will there be more adventures in the parallel universe to come?

  • Blaine C. Readler

    I think that I’ve left a door ajar at the end of every book I’ve written in order to accommodate a sequel. Now all I need is for one to become popular enough to warrant a second pass. Once I’m done editing, producing and releasing a novel (months), my head has moved on to other places. I guess the day I write a sequel marks true success as a writer.

    Please tell your dad to remember that “fiction” is an integral part of the genre. I always try my best to be accurate where possible, but it’s been centuries since one person can claim expertise in all fields of science.

    Thanks again,
    -Blaine C. Readler