etsy friday finds 03.01.13

Welcome to the latest Etsy Friday Finds, showcasing my latest Etsy Treasury full of 16 great handmade or vintage items. To see all the Friday Finds posts, click here and scroll to the bottom.

I’d like to start this post out by wishing my Dad a Happy Birthday. He turns…old today (haha love you Daddy).

I don’t know about your Dad, but mine is extremely difficult to shop for, on any holiday. Birthdays, Christmas, Father’s Day—I always draw a blank. He likes golf, his vintage camera collection, his iPad he won for free from some work contest and didn’t even know the value of or how to use it until my sister and I informed him that it was just a silly gadget and we’d love to take it off his hands for him if he didn’t want it, golf, bacon, his dog and…bacon. And golf again. There’s only so many golf gift certificates and accessories you can gift before you start feeling wholly unoriginal. This served as the inspiration for today’s Etsy Treasury list.

Despite what some people think, Etsy is not just for women. There are plenty of unique items out there for Dads and men of all ages. To prove this, I’ve listed 16 items here that I know my Dad would love, including a 6 month bacon club MEMBERSHIP where you are shipped bacon for 6 STRAIGHT MONTHS because HELLO it’s bacon and who doesn’t love bacon?

#1 – leather and wool retro iPad case from etsy shop OSTFØLD
#2 – retro industrial desk lamp/pendant light from etsy shop Ironclad Industrial
#3 – Vintage Black & White Film Camera Wood art from etsy shop Kristen Archer

This camera wood art is from my sister’s shop and features photographs of my dad’s actual vintage camera collection.

01-etsy-treasury-friday-finds-gifts-for-dad-leather-and-wool-retro-iPad-case-from-etsy-shop-OSTFOLD02-etsy-treasury-friday-finds-gifts-for-dad-retro-industrial-desk-lamppendant-light-from-etsy-shop-Ironclad-Industrial03-etsy-treasury-friday-finds-gifts-for-dad-Vintage-Black-&-White-Film-Camera-Wood-art-from-etsy-shop-Kristen-Archer

#4 – Hammers & Screwdriver Fine art print from etsy shop Jorey Hurley
#5 – Kiss My Putt personalized golf ball marker from etsy shop Stampressions
#6 – Vintage wood golf club bottle opener from etsy shop Perfect Patina

04-etsy-treasury-friday-finds-gifts-for-dad-Hammers-&-Screwdriver-Fine-art-print-from-etsy-shop-Jorey-Hurley05-etsy-treasury-friday-finds-gifts-for-dad-Kiss-My-Putt-personalized-golf-ball-marker-from-etsy-shop-Stampressions06-etsy-treasury-friday-finds-gifts-for-dad-Vintage-wood-golf-club-bottle-opener-from-etsy-shop-Perfect-Patina

#7 – Thank you Dad for being You Art Print from etsy shop Tina Blue Shoes
#8 – Gearhart Golf Links Golf Course Photography print from etsy shop Shawn St. Peter
#9 – Personalized embroidered golf towel from etsy shop Shop Memento

07-etsy-treasury-friday-finds-gifts-for-dad-Thank-you-Dad-for-being-You-Art-Print-from-etsy-shop-Tina-Blue-Shoes08-etsy-treasury-friday-finds-gifts-for-dad-Gearhart-Golf-Links-Golf-Course-Photography-print-from-etsy-shop-Shawn-St.-Peter09-etsy-treasury-friday-finds-gifts-for-dad-Personalized-embroidered-golf-towel-from-etsy-shop-Shop-Memento

#10 – Dad, you old man funny birthday card from etsy shop Finch and Hare
#11 – Handcrafted vintage brown leather briefcase from etsy shop Mooshi Leather Design
#12 – Daddy vintage look personalized t shirt from etsy shop Sweet Bohemian Life

10-etsy-treasury-friday-finds-gifts-for-dad-Dad,-you-old-man-funny-birthday-card-from-etsy-shop-Finch-and-Hare11-etsy-treasury-friday-finds-gifts-for-dad-Handcrafted-vintage-brown-leather-briefcase-from-etsy-shop-Mooshi-Leather-Design12-etsy-treasury-friday-finds-gifts-for-dad-Daddy-vintage-look-personalized-t-shirt-from-etsy-shop-Sweet-Bohemian-Life

#13 – Remember to feed the dog typography letterpress from etsy shop Raw art letterpress
#14 – 6 month High on the Hog bacon of the month membership from etsy shop Affine Foods

I want to buy this bacon club membership for myself. Right now. Bacon. Yum.

13-etsy-treasury-friday-finds-gifts-for-dad-Remember-to-feed-the-dog-typography-letterpress-from-etsy-shop-Raw-art-letterpress14-etsy-treasury-friday-finds-gifts-for-dad-6-month-High-on-the-Hog-bacon-of-the-month-membership-from-etsy-shop-Affine-Foods

#15 – Wooden Click pen from etsy shop The Pen Place
#16 – Dark brown leather slim wallet from etsy shop Just Wanderlust Shop

15-etsy-treasury-friday-finds-gifts-for-dad-Wooden-Click-pen-from-etsy-shop-The-Pen-Place16-etsy-treasury-friday-finds-gifts-for-dad-Dark-brown-leather-slim-wallet-from-etsy-shop-Just-Wanderlust-Shop

CLICK HERE or on the screenshot below to go directly to the full Treasury List.

etsy-shop-friday-finds-treasury-gifts-for-men-and-dads

That’s it for today. Have or know of a great Etsy Shop? Tell me in the comments and I’ll take a look at it for my next Etsy Treasury.

Oh, and again, Happy Birthday, Daddy. Let’s go play some golf.

– lindsey archer

Advertisements

tuesday transfers 02.19.13

Technically this is posting on Friday night. Let’s ignore this small technicality and pretend it is actually Tuesday and I posted this Tuesday Transfers blog on time because I’m awesome like that and in no way a horrible procrastinator. My bad.

I’d also like to pre-apologize for any typos this post may contain, as I’m in the middle of a heated battle between Leonardo, a pizza wielding Michelangelo, some TMNT villain with a purple cape, a cardboard box and a five-year-old.

With this new round of art photos, I decided to try something a little different than the plain backdrops I’ve been using up until now. How? By adding props.

First up is my go-to writing quote by Ernest Hemingway:

Write drunk; edit sober.

My sister and I have a vintage Underwood typewriter from the early 1900s that belonged to our great-grandfather, which served as a great background for this art piece. I’m on a coral/orange kick lately, so this block features orange paint with black transferred graphics. It’s available in my Etsy Shop here.

write-drunk-edit-sober-ernest-hemingway-quote-wood-image-transfer-art

Keeping with the orange theme, I’ve tried out a new quote:

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.

I created a vintage inspired orange background using a combination of handwriting and map brushes in Photoshop. I paired this wood piece with one of my globe bookends my sister gave me for a birthday present. That’s also my sister’s passport, because I’ve never left the country therefore I don’t own one. So, yes, this quote is not exactly indicative of my life.

UPDATE: this orange travel quote block is available in my Etsy Shop here.

orange-the-world-is-a-book-and-those-who-do-not-travel-read-only-one-page-quote-wood-image-transfer-art

orange-the-world-is-a-book-and-those-who-do-not-travel-read-only-one-page-quote-wood-image-transfer-art-2

Here is a larger version of the same quote and background, minus the orange. This close-up offers up a better view of the vintage map background. As of this moment, these pieces aren’t available in my Etsy Shop, but I’ll be sure to update the post once I have them up in the shop.

UPDATE: this ivory travel quote block is available in my Etsy Shop here.

the-world-is-a-book-and-those-who-do-not-travel-read-only-one-page-quote-wood-image-transfer-art-1

the-world-is-a-book-and-those-who-do-not-travel-read-only-one-page-quote-wood-image-transfer-art-2

Last one up today is back to the orange theme with a chevron pattern, featuring the Frank Zappa quote:

So many books, so little time.

I’ve already established I own a lot of books, so I had plenty to choose from to form a stack of books with covers in shades of only yellow or orange. I recommend all of them.

UPDATE: this orange chevron quote block is available in my Etsy Shop here.

orange-chevron-pattern-so-many-books-so-little-time-frank-zappa-quote-wood-image-transfer-art

That’s all the wood art transfers I have for tonight. As I mentioned, I’ll be sure to update this post with the Etsy listings as soon as I get them all uploaded. Happy National Margarita Day. Now please excuse me. Michelangelo needs my assistance.

– lindsey archer

tuesday transfers 02.05.13

I’m sorry this didn’t post yesterday. I got caught up with some things. Better late than never, right? I’ll be more prompt next week.

Welcome to the second installment in my new blog series, Tuesday Transfers.  If you missed the inaugural post, you can catch up here.

While this week does still feature image transfers, it’s the first time I’ve experimented on a surface other than wood. A few months back, my sister and I saw this idea and simultaneously turned to each other with a look that read, “We could totally do this.” It’s become a habit with us lately. We’ll be in a shop, see a shabby chic home décor piece and instantly shoot the other that look—we could totally do this. Why haven’t we done this, yet? We are totally doing this TOMORROW.

Anything you can do WE can do better.

I’m kidding. We really aren’t that full of ourselves. Similar to many creatives, we just like pulling inspiration from other works of art. I do it all the time. I’ll be browsing my Instagram feed, see an inspirational quote about dreams posted by a friend, scroll down to a random picture of clouds and BOOM. Idea. Typography piece with that dream quote, interspersed with graphics of clouds. Then, since I don’t ever write things down, I’ve forgotten the idea five seconds later because I’m too busy commenting on my friend’s adorable Lo-Fi picture of her cat.

You win some, you lose some.

Anyways, moving on. After browsing Etsy, Kristen and I realized a bunch of other people came up with this idea before we did. Regardless, we persevered. End result? Coasters.

lindsey-e-archer-ampersand-and-&-vintage-writing-marble-coaster-set-photo-transfer-art-01

This first set features Ampersands on top of vintage handwriting. Similar to my other art pieces, I created these designs using a combination of Illustrator and Photoshop. Only, instead of wood, I then transferred them to tiles of tumbled marble. After sealing them with a protective coating of polyurethane to help protect against condensation, I added felt tips to the underside’s four corners and voilà! Marble coasters.

lindsey-e-archer-ampersand-and-&-vintage-writing-marble-coaster-set-photo-transfer-art-03

This ampersand coaster set of three is available in my Etsy Shop here.

lindsey-e-archer-ampersand-and-&-vintage-writing-marble-coaster-set-photo-transfer-art-02

Next up we have my recent obsession with birds on a wire. Is it weird that while I can’t stand to be close to a real live bird, I love drawing silhouettes of them? It’s a mixture of their crazy annoying squawking and the fear of getting pooped on that leads to my aversion of them. In pictures, they are silent and poop-less, therefore instantly more likable. If you like birds, this coaster set is available in my Etsy Shop here.

lindsey-e-archer-birds-on-a-wire-marble-coaster-set-photo-transfer-art

Because I live in Memphis and the King of Rock-n-Roll is everywhere, I couldn’t not create a set featuring a bust of Elvis Presley.

lindsey-e-archer-elvis-presley-marble-coaster-set-photo-transfer-art-01

I also made a set featuring black guitar headstocks, but I can’t seem to find the images of them anywhere. I’ve already sold both the guitar and Elvis coaster sets, but I’m sure I’ll be making more sometime soon.

lindsey-e-archer-elvis-presley-marble-coaster-set-photo-transfer-art-02

This next set didn’t turn out quite as I imagined. It includes a damask pattern in three different hues. Though with the distressed, vintage look, the pattern sort of blends together into a solid color.

lindsey-e-archer-damask-colorful-pattern-photo-transfer-art-01

Next go-around, I think I’ll add in more contrast to the design to see if that helps. This damask trio is available in my Etsy Shop here.

lindsey-e-archer-damask-colorful-pattern-photo-transfer-art-02

Last up today is my favorite, go-to quote.

So many books, so little time. -Frank Zappa

In honor of steadily approaching D-Day Valentine’s Day, I did these quote coasters in three shades of red.

lindsey-e-archer-so-many-books-so-little-time-frank-zappa-quote-marble-coaster-set-photo-transfer-art-01

They’re available in my Etsy Shop here. Great Valentine’s gift for avid readers and book lovers.

lindsey-e-archer-so-many-books-so-little-time-frank-zappa-quote-marble-coaster-set-photo-transfer-art-02

That’s it for today. Check back Friday for my second Etsy Friday Finds. One hint: mint green.

– lindsey archer

etsy friday finds 02.01.13

As I mentioned on Tuesday, I’m in the process of establishing a routine rhythm for my blogging schedule. To help me do this, I’m introducing two new blog series, the first of which premiered earlier this week—Tuesday Transfers.

The second blog series premieres today—Etsy Friday Finds.

While I may be a new seller on Etsy, I’ve been browsing the e-commerce website for years. It still amazes me when I meet people who have never heard of the site. I say etsy, they say bless you and hand me a tissue.

So, for those who just grabbed me a box of kleenex, Etsy is a website that allows individuals to sell vintage or handmade items (art, photography, clothing, jewelry, etc.) thru their own personal shops.

Etsy features different items on its homepage thru Treasury Lists, ever-changing, member-curated shopping galleries comprised of lists of items. Members can create a themed collection or feature their favorite items (up to 16) from all over the site.

To show my support of Etsy and all the wonderful creative people who run the individual shops, I’ve decided to create my own treasury lists and feature them here on the blog every Friday. This first week doesn’t exactly have a specific theme, there’s just a lot of stuff I love. FYI, clicking on either the descriptions or the images will take you directly to the item’s listing on Etsy.

#1 – Hello I Love You Photography Print from Shop WCK Photography.
#2 – Book Shop in Venice iPhone 4 case from Shop Happee Monkee
#3 – Custom Love You More Owl Pillow from Shop Vintage Affair Studio

01-etsy-treasury-friday-finds-hello-i-love-you-photography-typography-print-WCK-photography02-etsy-treasury-friday-finds-book-shop-in-venice-iPhone-case-happee-monkee03-etsy-treasury-friday-finds-love-you-more-owl-pillow-vintage-affair-studio

#4 – Red Leather Clutch Bag from Shop Emili Studio
#5 – Arrested Development Valentine’s Day Card from Shop Main Street Chalk
#6 – Write Drunk Edit Sober Writers Mug from Shop Lenny Mud

04-etsy-treasury-friday-finds-red-leather-clutch-bag-emili-studio05-etsy-treasury-friday-finds-main-street-chalk-arrested-development-valentines-day-card06-etsy-treasury-friday-finds-write-drunk-edit-sober-typewriter-writers-mug-lenny-mud

#7 – MEMPHIS Photography Coaster Set from my sister’s Shop Kristen Archer
#8 – Vintage Book Collection from Shop The Vintage Cup
#9 – Creative & Art Typography Letterpress Postcard from Shop Brett Adam Wilson

07-etsy-treasury-friday-finds-kristen-archer-memphis-coasters08-etsy-treasury-friday-finds-vintage-book-set-wedding-prop-vintage-cup09-etsy-treasury-friday-finds-creativity-and-art-typography-letterpress-print-brett-adam-wilson

#10 – Alphabet Wallet Clutch from Shop The Pokey Rose
#11 – Graphic Designer LOGOS Journal from Shop 618 Love
#12 – Maya Angelou Quote Calligraphy Journal from Shop Sparrow Nest Script

10-etsy-treasury-friday-finds-ABC-wallet-clutch-the-pokey-rose11-etsy-treasury-friday-finds-logo-graphic-designer-journal-618-love12-etsy-treasury-friday-finds-maya-angelou-calligraphy-journal-sparrow-nest-script

#13 – Taupe Swarovski Crystal Necklace from Shop Glitz Glitter
#14 – Why do we fall Batman Typography Print from Shop Smile Baby Studio
#15 – Thin Sterling Silver Stackable Rings from Shop Lyndy Harris

13-etsy-treasury-friday-finds-taupe-swarovski-crystal-necklace-glitz-glitter14-etsy-treasury-friday-finds-why-do-we-fall-batman-quote-typography-print-smile-baby-studio15-etsy-treasury-friday-finds-thin-sterling-silver-stackable-rings-lyndy-harris

#16 – Read & Write Pair of fabric Bookends from Shop Joshua by Oak
CLICK HERE to go straight to the full Treasury List

16-etsy-treasury-friday-finds-read-write-fabric-bookends-joshua-by-oak01-etsy-treasury-friday-finds-lindsey-e-archer

That’s all I have for my first Treasury list. Hope you enjoyed the items. If you have your own favorite Etsy Shop or listing, leave a note in the comments and I’ll check it out.

I’m currently working on a few Project 365 posts, which will hopefully be up by Monday, depending on the outcome of the Super Bowl. If your team loses this Sunday, I’m sorry. Unless your team is the 49ers. Then I’m totally not sorry. Have a great Super Bowl weekend. Go Ravens!

– lindsey archer

PS – Be sure to check back Tuesday for the 2nd installment in the Tuesday Transfers Blog Series.

tuesday transfers 01.29.13

I’m in the process of establishing a routine rhythm for my blogging schedule. Others refer to it as consistency. I know. Crazy concept, right?

To launch this newfound consistency, I’ve decided to introduce two new blog series that will hopefully help me keep to some sort of regular writing schedule. The first of which premieres today—as you may have noted by today’s blog title—called Tuesday Transfers.

I really wanted to post these on Mondays so I could call them Monday Morning Wood because apparently I have the mental maturity of a 13-year-old boy and that title makes me giggle. Every time. Then I decided it would probably be best for everyone if I went with something a little less prepubescent boy and a little more grown-up adult woman.

So, Tuesday Transfers it is.

This new blog series is going to be all about my art pieces. Due to the fact I physically transfer images to wood and other surfaces to produce these art pieces, the title fits.

My sister and I are hoping to participate in more than just the Cooper Young Art Festival this year. For this, we’re going to need a substantial inventory to keep up with what we hope will be an increase in sales. By posting finished products weekly here on my blog, I’m hoping it will keep me from my usual artistic process of wait until the last minute. That’s the goal, at least.

If you want to learn more about my actual process of transferring images to wood, you can view my blog post about it here.

First up today, we have two pieces featuring one of my favorite—as well as most popular—quotes:

So many books, so little time.  – Frank Zappa

Unfortunately, this red piece has already sold.

lindsey-e-archer-red-so-many-books-so-little-time-frank-zappa-quote-wood-transfer-art-01

lindsey-e-archer-red-so-many-books-so-little-time-frank-zappa-quote-wood-transfer-art-02

lindsey-e-archer-red-so-many-books-so-little-time-frank-zappa-quote-wood-transfer-art-03

This version with black graphics against a yellow painted background is available in my Etsy Shop here.

lindsey-e-archer-yellow-so-many-books-so-little-time-frank-zappa-quote-wood-transfer-art-01

lindsey-e-archer-yellow-so-many-books-so-little-time-frank-zappa-quote-wood-transfer-art-02

lindsey-e-archer-yellow-so-many-books-so-little-time-frank-zappa-quote-wood-transfer-art-03

Next up are two of my Memphis Typography pieces, the first of which is comprised of 31 words/phrases that encompass the attractions and hot spots of my lovely hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. With blue and black ink on a painted white background, this block features the following phrases:

Levitt Shell, Memphis, Beale Street, Tigers, Grizzlies, Autozone Park, FedEx Forum, National Civil Rights Museum, Elvis Presley, Graceland, B. B. King’s, Rock-n-Roll Blues, Memphis Cotton Exchange, Arcade Restaurant, Redbirds, The Zoo, Lorraine Motel, Stax Museum, Sun Studio, Orpheum Theatre, BBQ Fest, Poplar Ave., Memphis in May, Pink Palace, Botanic Gardens, Huey’s Restaurant, downtown, midtown, The Pyramid, Mud Island & the Peabody.

As these usually don’t last very long in my Etsy Shop, this one sold last week.

lindsey-e-archer-blue-memphis-city-places-typography-wood-transfer-art-01

lindsey-e-archer-blue-memphis-city-places-typography-wood-transfer-art-02

This next version features only black graphics on a teal painted background. Slightly larger in size, this block is more for hanging on the wall, as opposed to resting on a mantle or bookshelf like the white/black/blue piece. To fit the different size and shape, I switched around the typography and added in a few places, resulting in 33 total Memphis places:

Levitt Shell, Memphis, Beale Street, Tigers, Grizzlies, National Civil Rights Museum, FedEx Forum, Autozone Park, Elvis Presley, Graceland, B.B. King’s, Rock-n-roll Blues, Memphis Cotton Exchange, Arcade Restaurant, Redbirds, The Zoo, Lorraine Motel, Stax Museum, Orpheum Theatre, BBQ Fest, Poplar Ave, Memphis in May, Pink Palace, Botanic Gardens, Huey’s Restaurant, Downtown, Midtown, Mud Island, the Peabody, The Pyramid, Sun Studios, Cooper Young, & Mississippi River.

This Memphis wood block is available in my Etsy Shop here.

lindsey-e-archer-teal-memphis-city-places-typography-wood-transfer-art-01

lindsey-e-archer-teal-memphis-city-places-typography-wood-transfer-art-02

lindsey-e-archer-teal-memphis-city-places-typography-wood-transfer-art-03

I don’t know why I’ve recently become obsessed with the birds on a wire theme, but I absolutely love it. Which makes no sense considering I hate real, live birds almost as much as I hate wiener dogs (a lot). Both are yappy and annoying.

This block features black graphics transferred to a painted blend of gray, yellow and white. It actually matches my recently updated bathroom perfectly, where it is currently hanging until it sells in my Etsy Shop here.

lindsey-e-archer-yellow-gray-birds-on-a-wire-wood-transfer-art-01

lindsey-e-archer-yellow-gray-birds-on-a-wire-wood-transfer-art-02

That’s all the wood pieces I have for today. To view my full Etsy Shop, you can click here.

Check back this Friday for the premiere of my next blog series—Etsy Friday Finds.

– lindsey archer

top 10 reads of 2012

Last January, I challenged myself—via Goodreads—to read 52 books during the upcoming calendar year. I ended four books shy of my goal, reading a total of 48 books in 2012. I’ll take it.

At an average of 349 pages per book, I read a total of 16,775 pages in 365 days. Need a further breakdown? I read an average of 47 pages per day.

When I mentioned I read a lot, I wasn’t exaggerating. Nor did I embellish my inclination to re-read my books. Of the 48 books I read last year, 12 of them were not my first go-around. Similar to how others re-watch their favorite movies—or engage in movie marathons to catch up on first installments before their sequels premiere in theatres (Harry Potter, Twilight, etc.)—I do the same with books. Insurgent is about to be published? Time to re-read Divergent. A new addition to my favorite-of-all-time-Dean-Koontz Odd Thomas series? Time to re-read the first four Odd books.

And so on and so forth.

Due to the speed with which I fly thru books, I often have friends come to me with questions of what book they should read next. Which brings me to one 0f my favorite posts I wrote last year: 2011 in books.

I’m doing it again this year. Looking for some new books to read? Need a few recommendations? Here is my Top Ten List of my favorite books I read in 2012. Just keep in mind the following books are merely ones I read in 2012, not necessarily published in 2012. There were a lot of great books last year, which makes it hard to narrow it down to ten. So, I’m beginning my list with two honorable mentions.

HM #2 – I’d Know You Anywhere, by Laura Lippman
This book reminded me too much of my #9 read this year to be able to include it in my top ten. Though, I did really enjoy this book and it made me want to look up Lippman’s other novels.

HM #3 – Robopocalypse, by Daniel H. Wilson
I picked up this book when I heard Steven Spielberg had optioned it for the big screen. I’m an avid supporter of read the book before the movie. Based on the synopsis and cover, I thought I’d be reading a variation of Terminator or I, Robot. I was pleasantly surprised when this wasn’t the case.

#10 Book of 2012 – The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
I know I’m late to the bandwagon on this book, as it seems everyone and their mother has already read it. It’s your classic coming-of-age story, which many compare to The Catcher in the Rye. I also picked this one up due to it’s movie counterpart recently being released. While the main character, Charlie, experiences all the familiar high school rituals, Chbosky keeps the narrative from turning into a cliche. Thoughtful, though sometimes dark, Chbosky has written a character with whom it’s easy to find common ground. Quick, easy read.

HM-2-I'd-Know-You-Anywhere-Laura-Lippman HM-1-Robopocalypse-Daniel-H-Wilson 10-The-Perks-of-Being-a-Wallflower-Stephen-Chbosky

#9 Book of 2012 – Dark Places, by Gillian Flynn
I remember seeing this book cover a few years ago, when it was first published. It drew me to the shelf and I’ve wanted to read it ever since. Flynn had me hooked from the first page.

I have a meanness in me, real as an organ. Slit me at my belly and it might slide out, meaty and dark, drop on the floor so you could stomp on it. It’s the Day blood.

Flynn’s beautiful writing paints a picture on every page, switching between chilling flashbacks and present day narratives to weave the mystery of Libby Day, a sole survivor of a family massacre perpetrated by her brother, Ben. While Libby’s story is disturbing and at times painful to read, you find yourself eager to turn the page. It stays with you even after you close the book and has turned me into an official Gillian Flynn fangirl.

#8 Book of 2012 – Machine Man, by Max Barry
The first book I ever read by Max Barry was Jennifer Government, solely because the cover design reminded me of an old television show I used to watch, called Dark Angel. I’ve been hooked on Max Barry ever since. Barry began Machine Man as an online serial, posting one page a day. Though Machine Man skews slightly darker than Barry’s usual corporate satire (Jennifer Government, Syrup, The Company), it’s equally as funny and eccentric. I’ve never closed one of Barry’s novels without laughing.

#7 Book of 2012 – The Leftovers, by Tom Perrotta
This was another book I picked up solely based on the cover design (see a pattern?). The Leftovers picks up three years after a Rapture-like event. Instead of focusing on the possible reasons behind such a widespread disappearance, the story deals more with how people cope in the aftermath of such an unexpected tragedy as it follows the reactions of the Garvey family—Kevin, Laurie, Tom and Jill. Without getting preachy, Perrotta has a drafted a great character driven narrative that feels real and truthful, leaving it up to the reader to make their own mind up about the origin of the rapture-like disappearance.

09-Dark-Places-Gillian-Flynn 08-Machine-Man-Max-Barry 07-The-Leftovers-Tom-Perrotta

#6 Book of 2012 – The Age of Miracles, by Karen Thompson Walker
I bought this book from a Barnes & Noble e-mail, for their Discover Great New Writers recommendation series. Walker’s debut novel received a lot of buzz prior to its publication, in addition to its movie rights being optioned early on by River Road Entertainment. Though some refer to it as a general coming-of-age story, its premise is rather unique. 11-year-old Julia and her family wake to breaking news on the television—the Earth’s rotation has suddenly begun to slow, causing the days and nights to grow longer, affecting gravity, which leads to other environmental concerns. Similar to Perrotta’s The Leftovers, Walker focuses on Julia’s story rather than delving into the physics of this sudden catastrophe, beautifully capturing what it feels like to be a teenager. First loves, friendship struggles, the uncertainty of growing up, this novel covers it all. Worth all the buzz? I’m going to say yes.

#5 Book of 2012 – Lucy, by Laurence Gonzales
Home to another high-concept premise, I’ve had this book on the to-read shelf since hearing about it from LaineyGossip in the summer of 2010. As Lainey says, Lucy is:

addictive, uncomfortable, heartbreaking, even if it’s not entirely plausible, there’s a message here that feels too true.

Couldn’t say it better myself, so I won’t.

#4 Book of 2012 – Room, by Emma Donoghue
Room is another recommendation from LaineyGossip. It’s told from the limited point of view of 5-year-old Jack, who’s spent his entire life in—you guessed it—a room. Having been held captive there with his mother by the man who kidnapped her seven years ago, Room is Jack’s world. It’s all he’s ever known. While the story itself is disturbing and often uncomfortable, it unfolds slowly until you’re left with the most brilliantly written child narrator I’ve ever read. This book haunts you, lingering long after you’ve read it. It’s imaginative, painful. And yet, lovely.

06-The-Age-of-Miracles-Karen-Thompson-Walker 05-Lucy-Laurence-Gonzales room-by-emma-donoghue

#3 Book of 2012 – The Fault in Our Stars, John Green
Let’s not sugarcoat it. This book will make you cry. The narrator is 16-year-old Hazel with stage IV thyroid cancer who begins attending a support group for teens with cancer at the unwelcome encouragement of her mother. It’s witty and clever and I highly recommend reading it in the privacy of your own home, unless you don’t mind sobbing in public. But, seriously, John Green really is brilliant.

#2 Book of 2012 – Where Things Come Back, by John Corey Whaley
An award-winning debut for John Corey Whaley, I happened upon this novel after seeing someone tweet about it. Hands down, best Twitter recommendation ever. Another character driven story, I fell in love with 17-year-old narrator, Cullen Witter and his fictional small town of Lily, Arkansas. The dialogue is so natural and real, you almost forget you’re reading fiction. Plus, Whaley ties all the loose ends together for one of the best endings I’ve read in a while. It’s a magnificent debut and I can’t wait to read what Whaley writes next.

#1 Book of 2012 – Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn
I’ve heard so many people recommend this book. I’ve recommended this book more times than I can count. I’ve seen Gone Girl listed on nearly every Top Ten list this year. I loved it so much I searched out Gillian Flynn’s previous two books just to get more of her brilliant storytelling (see #9). It really is that good. Flynn is a MASTER of suspense in this tale of a marriage gone terribly awry. She weaves expertly back and forth from present day to flashbacks, keeping you guessing until the end. One revelation literally had my mouth hanging open. To keep from spoiling anything, all I’m going to say is, read this book.

03-The-Fault-in-Our-Stars-John-Green 02-Where-Things-Come-Back-John-Corey-Whaley 01-Gone-Girl-Gillian-Flynn

I’ve set a new goal for 2013 to read another 52 books, so wish me luck I can at least pass the 48-mark this year. I’ve just joined my friend’s book club, which takes care of 12 books. I need 40 more. Have a favorite book of your own from last year that’s not on this list? I’m always looking for recommendations, so please share.

Regardless, I’ll be back here next January with another Top 10 list. Until then, happy reading.

– lindsey archer

  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • recent tweets

  • recent blogs

  • admin

  • Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: