The Staff’s Favorite Reads of 2012

heart-bookHi everyone!  I thought that since you all have heard so much about my own personal goals and favorite reads of 2012, it was about time that you heard from the rest of the staff.  I’ve asked them to send me their top reads of 2012, and I’ve posted them below.  I think it’s interesting to see what different readers choose as their favorites, and it’s always a great springboard for opening a discussion too!  So, without further adieu, here’s the Reflections of a Book Addict staff favorites of 2012!


  1. Timeline by Michael Crichton
  2. Born to Run by Christopher McDougall
  3. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
  4. A Million Suns (Across the Universe #2) by Beth Revis
  5. H10N1 by M.R. Cornelius
  6. Flesh and Fire (Vineart War #1) by Laura Anne Gilman
  7. The Sounding by Carrie Salo


  1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  2. Embroideries by Marjane Satrapi
  3. Pantheons by E.J. Dabel
  4. Albino by E.J. Dabel
  5. Deal With the Devil by J. Gunnar Grey


  1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  2. Issues 1-6 of Mind MGMT by Matt Kindt
  3. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  4. The Across the Universe series by Beth Revis
  5. A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
  6. Essex County by Jeff Lemire


  1. The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg
  2. The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
  3. Paris: A Love Story by Kati Marton

What do you think?  Leave us a comment below!

The Inspiration Behind The Sounding, With Author Carrie Salo

Hello readers! Please give a warm welcome to today’s guest post by Carrie Salo, author of The Sounding.  She’s written a fabulous post about her inspiration behind her debut novel. 

Carrie thank you so much for being with us today!!
Hello my fellow Book Addicts!   I hope each of you received a nice stack of all new books over the holidays to feed your addiction.  I am pretty excited by my own pile, including: The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe, and Brain Rush by Richard Bard.  Perhaps my new novel The Sounding even made it into a few of your handsIf not, that’s what Amazon and Kindle gift cards are for!  😉

As a new author, one of the most surprising things I have discovered is how curious many people are about the idea behind a book – even a fiction book.  “Where did you come up with that?”  “What made you want to learn about that?”   “What inspired you to envision it this way?”  There seems to be a great fascination as to how a fiction writer’s imagination works – and often the assumption that it must be a remarkably orderly thing in order to organize itself into a novel.  I am always a bit hesitant to admit that my inspiration is an odd love story between meticulous research and editing – and fanciful disarray.

Though I write supernatural fiction, research is still a huge part of how I get my story.  I want to know about relevant real places, real time periods…I like to dig for plot elements large and small.  I found the idea for The Sounding while taking a religious studies class at college.  We were reading the Bible as if it were a piece of literature.  We took it apart theme by theme, just as you would in any English class.  And two themes kept coming up for me again and again, because they simply don’t go together: prophecy and free will.  Many things that happen in the Bible are prophetic – they are fated.  And yet, the Bible gives each of us the free will to make our own choices, sometimes, even at the expense of prophecy.  Eve in the Garden of Eden, of course, is an obvious example, but there are many others.  So, when we came to the final prophecy (which leads up to Armageddon) and began discussing it, I couldn’t help but ask: what if we could change it or make it happen early with our own choices?  And that’s what The Sounding is all about.

The SoundingGrounded in real history and real prophecy, The Sounding takes everyday events in today’s world and manipulates them to bring on the circumstances of the last prophecy in the book of Revelation.  Besides taking a Biblical studies class, I read dozens of books on Catholicism, Judaism and Israeli History.  The Sounding, I feel, is truly a book about both good and evil.  So, my research had to include both sides.  I read the Bible and its counter – The Apocrypha (those books that were once a part of the Bible but were eventually banned/discounted).  I read through books that catalogued the angels, as well as demons.  I discovered spells reportedly spoken by Moses.  I read of demons that would supposedly appear if I so much as whispered their name (I did not…).  I even traveled to the Vatican where I gained access to the underground catacombs that the Church is built right on top of.  I tried to immerse myself in as much history as I could in order to bring it to life in my pages.

But once the research is done, I like to leave formal structure behind.  The actual writing itself is highly unorderly, and sometimes almost random.  I do not sit with large outlines, character sketches, or even detailed notes about what I want a scene to be like.  If I planned out the whole book before I wrote it, I am afraid it would trap me to follow only those initial thoughts.  Instead, I like to keep the plot and even the characters loose and fluid.  As the story evolves, everything else should be evolving too.  The most natural way to do that (at least for me) is not to plan it – let it happen.  That’s not to say that the manuscript is not carefully edited (for me – writing and editing are two totally separate processes).  When the storytelling ends and I put on my editor’s hat, my classic Ivy League university education takes over and I eventually bring order to the dark creativity. When I write a novel, I want everything – the plot, the characters, the settings, the writing and the research – to work together seamlessly.  I never want the reader to see what’s going on “behind the curtain.”  For me, it’s all about taking you away for some deep thrills, and that means getting past any glitches produced by an unorthodox writing style.  The Sounding went through seven drafts before hitting the shelves. I expect my next novel to do the same.  But I also expect it to go through that free-flowing, just follow-the-story imagining that inspired me to make writing my life’s work in the first place.

So, if you are ever curious about where I came up with anything in particular, feel free to ask, but expect a winding answer.  I am a pretty frequent Facebook poster, and I would love to hear from you as you read on a scene-specific or character-specific question.  Seriously – ask away!  Just be prepared for something that goes, “first I heard about this, and then I read more about this, and then there was this, and then there was this other thing… and then I traveled there…and then…”

Todd’s Review of The Sounding by Carrie Salo

The SoundingHave you ever read the Book of Revelation in the Bible?  Not for the faint of heart, this book contains numerous prophecies, including what will happen to the earth at the End of Days, also known as the apocalypse.  Having only a general idea of what is actually foretold and never having read it myself, when we received the offer to review The Sounding by Carrie Salo I was intrigued and a bit intimidated.  I was going to have a lot of learning to do about not only the Book of Revelations, but the history of Catholicism as well.  And so I dove in head first, excited to see what Salo had in store for me!

The Sounding begins with a murder.  On a small college campus in the Appalachian hills, a student named Clyde Parker is found with a fatal wound to his face so severe that the medical examiner estimates that it would have taken something moving at 200 miles per hour to cause it.  The catch is that the wound is in the shape of a human hand.  Meanwhile, Father Chris Mognahan, a priest of a small parish in upstate New York becomes connected to this brutal case through his involvement in the Hetairia Melchizedek, a secret society within the Catholic Church that is charged with investigating and protecting humanity against the seven seals and seven angels of the apocalypse what will usher in the end of human life on our planet.  Chris, along with other members of the order, are working against a more dire threat than the Church has ever faced before, as they fear that the prophecy outlined in Revelations will be unleashed millennia before it is supposed to occur.  Their only hope lies in Remiel, the seventh angel in the prophecy that holds the key to saving humanity from prematurely ending in disaster.  Fortunately, Chris and his colleagues think they have miraculously found her, but she is facing an imminent threat from a demonic creature referred to as the Other.  Will Chris and the order be able to save Remiel and help her to prevent the early coming of the apocalypse, or will the Other prove to be more than they can handle?

This book was quite an undertaking.  Part fiction, part history lesson, and part Bible analysis, Salo writes a detailed and complex story that drew me in from the beginning.  Having never really known anything about the Book of Revelations, I thought the passages that Salo analyzes and uses as her backdrop for this novel were a great choice.  Nothing is more dramatic than the prophecy about the End of Days, and just the actual passages alone are enough to make anyone’s pulse quicken.  Add to this the element of a modern-day murder mystery, as well as the mystique of an ancient Catholic Church sect, and you have the makings of a great novel.  And this was definitely a great novel.  It’s definitely apparent that Salo did a large amount of research for this novel, as the amount of history and detail which she includes is unparalleled.  When I learned that she actually even traveled to Italy to research and got to visit the catacombs, I wasn’t surprised.  I always appreciate it when an author puts this much time and dedication into a work.  I feel that one great novel by an author is far superior to 10 mediocre ones in the same time frame.  That being said, Salo’s research definitely helped with character development and plot enrichment.  Little details, such as describing hotel furniture as over-polished (I never thought of this until now!) and the little eccentricities of human emotion and self-doubt, are interwoven expertly into the novel, making it a rich read that was full of surprises.  If you’re in the mood for a thrilling suspense story that is an intellectual adventure as well, definitely give this a try.  You won’t be disappointed!

5 out of 5 stars

The Sounding by Carrie Salo
23 House Publishing (2011)
Paperback 478 pages
ISBN: 9780982477762

Special thanks to Eric over at Planned Television Arts for sending us a review copy!