31 December 2012
That's how many pages I read this year. Not all at once, between two covers. That would be a crazy big book. Who has that much to say about one subject? No, this was divided up among 68 different books.
Some of these were Book Club picks that I probably wouldn't have read on my own. Some of them were free e-books which were an excellent study in "you get what you pay for." Some I've recommended to others before I read them myself, then had to apologize later as they didn't end up being quite as the jacket promised.
And of course, there is no accounting for taste. For the same reason we have a variety of flavors of ice cream we have a variety of books to choose from. You may hate what I like and love what I don't.
So, you wanna know what I read? I thought so.
Here it is, in very particular order, my 2012 reading list.
1. Watership Down by Richard Adams
2. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? By Mindy Kaling
3. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
4. Practical Jean by Trevor Cole
5. My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland
6. The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer
7. Heads You Lose by Lisa Lutz & David Hayward
8. Divergent by Veronica Roth
9. Stupid and Contagious by Caprice Crane
10. Seeing Me Naked by Liza Palmer
11. 11/22/63 by Stephen King
12. The Town That Forgot How to Breathe by Kenneth J. Harvey
13. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
14. 150 Pounds by Kate Rockland
15. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
16. The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
17. Back When We Were Grownups by Anne Tyler
18. Apologize, Apologize! by Elizabeth Kelly
19. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
20. In The Woods by Tana French
21. All We Know of Heaven by Rémy Rougeau
22. Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakthrough by Ruth Pennebaker
23. For Women Only by Shaunti Feldham
24. The Wary Widow by Jerrica Knight-Catania
25. Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreider
26. Bubba and the Dead Woman by C.L. Bevill
27. A Child al Confino by Eric Lamet
28. Small Island by Andrea Levy
29. Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani
30. The Corrections by Jonathon Franzen
31. Death by Chick Lit by Lynn Harris
32. The Informationist by Taylor Stevens
33. The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall
34. I Owe Russia $1200 by Bob Hope
35. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
36. The Tall Stranger by Louis L'amour
37. Marvel, 1602 by Neil Gaiman
38. The Fat Years by Chan Koonchung
39. What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
40. The Solace of Leaving Early by Haven Kimmel
41. The Apothecary's Daughter by Julie Klassen
42. You Better Not Cry by Augusten Burroughs
43. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
44. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
45. The Hitman's Guide to House Keeping by Hallgrimur Helgason
46. The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
47. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
48. Damsel In Distress by P.D. Wodehouse
49. Sellevision by Agusten Burroughs
50. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
51. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
52. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
53. Defending Jacob by William Landay
54. A Grown Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson
55. Excellent Women by Barbara Pym
56. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain
57. Year Zero by Rob Reid
58. Before and After You Fall In Love by Victoria Brown and Allan Chochinou
59. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
60. You Don't Sweat Much for a Fat Girl by Celia Rivenbark
61. Don't Ever Get Old by Daniel Friedman
62. The Little Book of Talent by Daniel Coyle
63. The Hunger Pains by Harvard Lampoon
64. The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr
65. The Big Question by Chuck Barris
66. Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
67. Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin
68. Inside of a Dog by Alexandra Horowitz
So, according to Sir, unless I give some sort of review, this is just a bragging list. I'll start with the books I really enjoyed.
Watership Down: If you have no reference for this book but the title, you might think it's about a sea battle But it isn't. It's about rabbits fleeing destruction and a warring rabbit tribe. It's a classic and very well written.
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie: The first in the Flavia de Luce mystery series. Flavia is the precocious child scientist/investigator. Set in Post WWII England this is a delightful cozy mystery.
11/22/63: Different from Stephen King in that it isn't Horror and while I generally don't care for time travel story lines (because I just can't suspend belief for time travel) I really enjoyed this book. This was an engaging and well written, if very, very, long story.
The Elegance of the Hedgehog: There was a lot of run up to this book before it became engaging, in part because it is told in dueling narrations, but it ended up being one of my favorites. The writing is spectacular.
In The Woods: Classic Detective Procedural novel but very well written. I liked this book so much I foisted it onto my little brother. I never heard back if he liked it.
All We Know of Heaven: This book was written by a monk. It's the story of a man's religious and personal relationship with God as he studies, takes his vows, and lives the life of a Cistercian monk. It's a beautiful story that I told my mom she should read and I would send her the book. But I can't quite part with it yet.
The Lonely Polygamist: This book was funny and sad and irreverent and was just fun to read. Told from the POV of the husband, his three wives, and one of his children. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll be eternally grateful you don't have any sister wives.
Defending Jacob: Criminal Justice Who Done It with an ending that you don't see it coming until it's upon you. And even in the end, you're left with questions.
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking: My favorite book this year by far. A must read for anyone who is an introvert or who knows and loves an introvert. I liked the first half of the book more than the second. I plan on buying my own copy when it comes out in paperback.
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter: This is a tragic story of injustice in the south but not the kind you expect to read. Written between present day and memories of growing up in 1980's Mississippi it's a mystery both old and new. This one made me cry.
Of course, if there are favorites, there are also duds. Some more obvious than others. These are the books I was least impressed with and wouldn't recommend
150 Pounds: Too stereotypical and predictable. Poor Writing
A Child al Confino: I feel bad not liking this as it's written by a holocaust survivor, but it just did not elicit empathy from me. Maybe I am cold hearted?
Death by Chick Lit: A literal title if ever there was one.
You Better Not Cry: I keep forgetting I should not read his autobiographic stuff, and I keep doing it, and I keep not liking it.
The Hitman's Guide to Housekeeping: This was a vulgar mob story that had no real closure.
The Big Question: Way too many characters to keep track of and they all had extensive back stories. Extremely crass, everyone dies horrible, violent deaths in the end.
So tell me, what did you read this year?