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As per my usual holiday party conversation, I found myself asking people what they had read this year and avoiding awkward small talk by sifting through bookshelves. Much to my delight, people had all sorts of great recommendations, but unfortunately my alcohol-soaked brain always woke up the next morning with a blank slate where the title and author should have been.

Well, the easy solution would be to drink less at parties. Ha. Right.  So… instead I asked friends to send me their top 3 reads of 2012 so I could actually have a list to look back on and remember.

You gave me old stuff and new stuff. You gave heavy classics and modern fluff. I asked for fiction, which is mostly what I got. Gillian Flynn took top honors with us, but we liked a few others as well:

C from DC: I tend to like alternative realities or magical realism and prefer things that take place in the future or past rather than present.
1. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
2. The Night Circus by Emily Morgenstern
3. The Passage by Justin Cronin

Erin KLG: I prefer literary fiction with strong characters. I also really enjoy multiple narratives, biting humor, and magical realism. Here are my favorites reads, either read for the first time or re-read in 2012.
1. The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman
2. Homestead by Rosina Lippi
3. How I Became a Famous Novelist by Steve Hely

Katie in Boston: I mostly read lit fiction but will go with anything that keeps me interested after the first couple of pages.
1. Number 9 Dream by David Mitchell
2. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
3. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

Shannon: I like a little bit of everything.
1. The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
2. Game of Thrones series (A Song of Ice and Fire) by George R. R. Martin
3. Expecting Adam by Martha Beck
4. Sacre Bleu by Christopher Moore

Dan: I like downers with lots of tragedy and scandal.
1. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
2. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
3. Room by Emma Donoghue

Kim: I like Spanish literature and crazy food writing.
1. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
2. The Tunnel (El Túnel) by Ernesto Sábato
3. The Best of Food Writing 2011 by Holly Hughes

Amanda: I like books that I feel like I cannot put down.
1. Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy by E. L. James
2. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
3. Room by Emma Donoghue

Adam: A touch of the surreal seems a semi-consistent theme for me.
1. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
2. Jinx by Brian Michael Bendis
3. Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby

Jeff: Books about the dynamics of relationships in a family.
1. Room by Emma Donoghue
2. The Inverted Forest by John Dalton
3. We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

Abbie: I have diverse taste: dystopian future novels, grown-up mysteries, and good writing are things that I look for.
1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
2. Divergent & Insurgent by Veronica Roth
3. Tana French’s 4 novels, particularly Faithful Place and Broken Harbor
4. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Trey: While I grew up on a steady diet of sci-fi with a healthy side of fantasy, I am a relatively equal opportunity bibliophile now.
1. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
2. Look Homeward Angel by Thomas Wolfe
3. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
4. The Log from the Sea of Cortez by John Steinbeck

1. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
2. The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
3. Swamplandia! by Karen Russell

1. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
2. Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan

1.The Passage by Justin Cronin
2. Gillian Flynn (author – all)
3. State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
4. Doomsday Book, Passage by Connie Willis