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2012: the year in books

The basics: I read 175 books (last year was 150) which equaled 59,467 pages (42,243 last year). 27 of those were ebooks (mostly early in the year, as once the novelty wore off I rather lost interest in ereaders except as traveling companions), 13 were audiobooks, and only 23 were from that stack of several hundred owned-but-unread books that I was absolutely positively going to make a dent in. *cough*

44% were nonfiction, 33% were young adult or juvenile (but I don't count picture books at all), and 6.8% were rereads. 4% were about architecture!

This was the Year of Hale: Shannon Hale! I discovered her young adult fiction this year and promptly read everything I could find by her - six books total.

I liked most of what I read: I gave 7 books five stars, 81 four stars, only one book 1 star.

The Longest Book Award goes, quite unsurprisingly, to Gotham: a history of New York City to 1898 by Edwin G. Burrows. It clocked in at 1,424 pages and it was totally worth the time I spent reading it.

The I Didn't Expect To Like This! Award goes to Maeve Binchy. I had long judged her books by their covers and to my surprise, found out that they are not only not boring ... they're actually rather wonderful. I'm looking forward to reading more.

Two Books I Didn't Expect to Like and Did:
A Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin (every decent good dies and everyone else is a horrible person! But I can't wait to get to the next book.)
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (and sequels), Stieg Larsson. (tons of unneeded detail, plodding prose, and lengthy exposition! Why can't I put you down?)

Best Non-fiction: Quiet: the power of introverts in a world that won't stop talking, Susan Cain.

Flight of Gemma Hardy, Margot Linesey

Book That Finally Got Me To Remember The Date of Kennedy's Death: 11/22/63, Stephen King. Also, it's pretty much amazing.

Best Narrator: Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, Alan Bradley. Flavia de Luce: you either love her or you don't.

Best Foodie Book: An Economist Gets Lunch, Tyler Cowen.

Books I read Only Because I like the blogs/tweets of the authors:
Redshirts, John Scalzi and The Name of the Star, Maureen Johnson (Redshirts was good but not really my type, The Name of the Star was wonderful ... and if you're not following Maureen Johnson on twitter, what are you waiting for?!)

Best Portrayal of Father/Daughters Relationship: Entwined, Heather Dixon.

Most Disappointing: The Long Earth, Terry Pratchett. Because HELLO, he's Terry Pratchett, he's supposed to be amazing. And this just ... wasn't. (He redeemed himself with Dodger, which was, if not a return to the highest points of Discworld, was at least solidly good.)

Best Travel book: The Good Girl's Guide to Getting Lost, Rachel Friedman.

And finally, the Book that Wins 2012: Code Name Verity, Elizabeth Wein. No surprises here! But no other title even came close, because nothing else impacted me the way this book did. (And I can't let this go without a mention of the two other Wein books I read this year: Sunbird and Coalition of Lions. I highly recommend them.)


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 4th, 2013 01:52 pm (UTC)
I. Am. So. Impressed. Every year I resolve to read more, and last year I did, but still didn't come close to this! You're an inspiration :D.
Jan. 4th, 2013 03:48 pm (UTC)
Have you read anything else by Scalzi? I really enjoyed his Old Man's War series, though it was far from perfect.
Jan. 5th, 2013 06:17 pm (UTC)
Nope, this was my first. I like the way he writes (as I figured I would, since I was already a fan of his blog), I'm just not as into the straight-up scifi. Or something. I'm not opposed to giving him another try - Fuzzy Nation sounds interesting.
Jan. 4th, 2013 05:09 pm (UTC)
Congratulations on making it to 175! I know you worked hard to accomplish this!

Yay, Flavia de Luce! Woooo!

Now I've heard sufficiently enough about Code Name Verity from enough people that I positively must get my hands on it and read it.

Also, I want to thank you for all of the wonderful reading recommendations that you give me, both inadvertently and um.... vertently. I appreciate having you as a reading companion!
Jan. 5th, 2013 06:19 pm (UTC)
I eagerly await your reading of Code Name Verity. I think you should live-tweet your experience. :D

Thank YOU! I know I can always trust your recommendations and I have been introduced to so many wonderful authors through you.
Jan. 4th, 2013 06:21 pm (UTC)
So glad you liked Maeve Binchy!

Totally agree with you on Stieg Larsson. I oughtn't like his books, but I totally can't put them down! The last one is my favourite.
Jan. 7th, 2013 06:14 pm (UTC)
I love your creative categories!
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )