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Fifty Shades of Grey

Suzanne Collins took the top three spots for most-read books of the year with her Hunger Games trilogy, but the steamiest book of 2012 would have to be No. 4 — E.L. James's erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey. Women young and old (and even some men) were enraptured, or at least curious, about the sexy love story of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele, and the series was responsible for entering "BDSM" into our everyday topic of conversation. With a movie in the works, the phenomenon is only going to grow in 2013!

Other top books included:

  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling, No. 5
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett, No. 6
  • Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, No. 7
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, No. 8
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, No. 9
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2012 Election

The most popular event in the US was the US presidential election, which pitted incumbent Barack Obama against his Republican rival Mitt Romney. It was a victory for Obama, who was reelected for another four years in office. The election took the top spot from Super Bowl XLVI.

Other top events included:

  • Death of Whitney Houston, No. 3
  • Superstorm Sandy, No. 4
  • London 2012 Olympics, No. 5
  • Aurora Shootings, No. 8
  • Obama's Endorsement of Gay Marriage, No. 10
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Carly Rae Jepsen

The third-most-listened-to song of the year was Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe." If you had this catchy pop song stuck in your head all year long, this will come as no surprise. The Canadian singer inspired numerous parodies, memes, and lip-synced versions of the upbeat tune.

More top songs included:

  • "We Are Young" (feat. Janelle Monáe) by Fun, No. 1
  • "Somebody That I Used to Know" by Gotye, No. 2
  • "What Makes You Beautiful" by One Direction, No. 4
  • "Home" by Phillip Phillips, No. 8
  • "Boyfriend" by Justin Bieber, No. 9
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The Hunger Games

The hottest movie of the year was The Hunger Games, an adaption of Suzanne Collins's young-adult trilogy of the same name (No. 2 was the superhero flick The Avengers). The dystopian film stars Jennifer Lawrence as the bow-and-arrow-wielding Katniss, who must survive a battle to the death against other children and teens. With more movies in the series in the works, this franchise is sure to be popular for years to come.

Other top movies included:

  • Magic Mike, No. 3
  • The Vow, No. 4
  • Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, No. 5
  • Dr. Seuss' The Lorax, No. 8
  • Skyfall, No. 9
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Honey Boo Boo

While President Barack Obama took the No. 1 spot for most popular public figure, we found it more interesting that the pint-size "booty" queen Honey Boo Boo made it into the top 10 as No. 7. From breakout star of Toddlers and Tiaras to reality TV royalty on her own show, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, we knew she had become a big deal when her ratings were higher than those for the Republican National Convention. You better redneckognize!

Other top public figures included:

  • Barack Obama, No. 1
  • Mitt Romney, No. 2
  • One Direction, No. 3
  • Madonna, No. 6
  • Paul Ryan, No. 9
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Barack Obama

Just like in the election, Barack Obama beat Mitt Romney out for most popular political topic, but Mitt did take second place. We were happy to see "voted" take the No. 3 spot, and other hot-button issues like gay marriage and Obamacare in the top 10.

More top political topics included:

  • Four More Years, No. 4
  • Paul Ryan, No. 5
  • Rick Santorum, No. 6
  • Gay Marriage, No. 7
  • Obamacare, No. 8
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Downton Abbey

We found it a little odd that Duck Dynasty topped the most popular TV show list, but we were happy to see one of our favorite shows — the British import Downton Abbey — come in at No. 5. The third season airs in the US in January, and we can't wait to see the drama that will unfold both upstairs and downstairs. Free Bates!

Other top TV shows included:

  • Honey Boo, No. 2
  • Game of Thrones, No. 4
  • Breaking Amish, No. 6
  • Wife Swap, No. 9
  • Two Broke Girls, No. 10
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Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2

We know that the final Twilight film, Breaking Dawn Part 2, was hot in the States, but we thought it was interesting to see it as the second-most-talked-about topic in France (after the country's president, François Hollande). French Facebook users must be just as big Twi-hards as Americans!

Other French favorites included:

  • François Hollande, No. 1
  • The Voice, No. 4
  • Titanic 3D, No. 5
  • Project X, No. 7
  • The Death of Whitney Houston, No. 8
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2012 London Olympics

No surprise here — the 2012 London Olympic Games was the most-talked-about topic in the UK, followed by the saucy Fifty Shades of Grey series (penned by British author E.L. James) at No. 2. The Olympic Village was also the 10th-most-checked-in location. Lucky Brits!

More talked-about UK trends included:

  • Death of Whitney Houston, No. 4
  • The Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, No. 5
  • One Direction, No. 6
  • YOLO (You Only Live Once), No. 9
  • Usain Bolt, No. 10
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Next Slideshow Barack and Michelle's Sweetest PDA Moments of 2012 BY Laura Marie Meyers