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2012 in Reading

Posted by gck Wednesday, December 26, 2012

I’ve been a pretty lame blogger for the second half of this year. I meant to do Holidailies this month to catch up on the backlog of posts I’ve been meaning to make, but some yucky home water leak issues have eaten into my work and personal time, and then all the holiday stuff had to be done… now I’m relaxing in Indiana for a few more days before heading back real life, and hopefully I’ll get some stuff queued up while I have the time.

One of the things that I’ve done so far in Indiana is read my 40th book of 2012, meeting my GoodReads goal for the year. I posted about this on Facebook, and one of my friends asked me what my favorite book of 2012 was. I gave a short answer (relative to what was in my head), but it gave me the idea for this blog post.

Some statistics (because I love numbers)

  • Number of books read in 2012: 40. Number of books read in 2011: 35.
  • 3 of these books were read as audiobooks.
  • 22 (approximately) were read on my Kindle and 25 read as physical books. Physical books still win. Let’s see if this holds true next year.
  • Total number of pages: 12191, down from 13877 in 2011. Interesting – even though I am reading more books, I am doing less reading.
  • 3 of the books were published before 2000. Most of the books read were published in 2010 or later.

Sources (with overlap)

Arbitrary genre breakdown (with overlap)

  • Historical Fiction: 11
  • Young Adult: 10
  • Contemporary Fiction: 6
  • Chick Lit: 6
  • Fantasy: 4
  • Literary Fiction: 3
  • Memoir: 3
  • Thriller: 1
  • Non Fiction: 1

Highlights and Lowlights

  • Favorite book of 2012: Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick. Interestingly enough, the only non-fiction book in my list. I have a hard time finishing non-fiction, but if one can hold my attention for that long, it’s usually really good.
  • Favorite fiction book of 2012: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. I wasn’t alone in this opinion; the book won the Orange Prize for Fiction this year.
  • Most disappointing book of 2012: Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed. Note that this wasn’t the worst book. Just the one that least met my expectations. I thought I’d really enjoy it, with the hiking and soul-searching themes. But it really was not what I wanted it to be.
  • Honorable mentions: The Ruins of Us by Keija Parssinen – This story about an expat in Saudi Arabia who learns that her husband has taken a second wife after years of marriage had characters that felt genuine to me, and the descriptions of the country were beautiful. The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker – Lovely literary fiction about a girl who learns about life, love, and loss as the earth’s rotation slows. Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple – Wickedly witty chick lit that has particular appeal to me because it focuses on its setting, Seattle. Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter – The stories of flawed characters in vivid places swept me away into their worlds. Watership Down by Richard Adams – Bunnies!! Reading this “favorite book” of several friends of mine has motivated me to read more of people’s favorites in January.

Hoping 2013 is another great reading year!


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