Tuesday, January 01, 2013

2012: The Year In Books

As is traditional, a look back at my reading for 2012.

I'm not going to say how many books I acquired in 2012. I did a quick calculation, and the number I got was shocking even to me. Suffice it to say that I fell off the wagon, big-time, thanks to a shopping spree at Powell's, several library sales (including the deadly "bag of books for five bucks" one), and the should-have-been-predictable fact that deciding I'd wait until the new year to reinstate the book-buying quota resulted in out-of-control book-addict me desperately trying to acquire as many books as possible before the end of the year. Oy.

But never mind that. Let's talk about books read. I finished 145 of them this year, including a couple of re-reads. You can see the list here, with the re-reads, a couple of Harry Potter books, at the top. That's fewer than in the last couple of years, and a surprisingly large number of them, at least towards the beginning of the year, were compilations of bite-sized knowledge read in small chunks while I was sitting in quarantine with the kitten.

Here's the traditional list of Best Books I Read This Year, based on the ratings I gave them when I finished them:


Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson
My Antonia by Willa Cather
Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow
This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
Matched by Allie Condie
Man in the Woods by Scott Spencer
Doc by Mary Doria Russell
The Middleman: The Doomsday Armageddon Apocalypse by Javier Grillo-Marxuach
Planetary Vol. 4: Spacetime Archaeology by Warren Ellis
Five Children and It by E. Nesbit
Locke & Key Volume 5: Clockworks by Joe Hill
The Miniature Wife and Other Stories by Manuel Gonzales


Carrying the Fire by Michael Collins
The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power, and the Future of the World by Michelle Goldberg
Uncompromised: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of an Arab American Patriot in the CIA by Nada Prouty
Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster by Svetlana Alexievich
Lethal Warriors: When the New Band of Brothers Came Home by David Phillipps

There's probably some interesting pattern there, but I don't think I'm going to try to analyze it.


  1. Happy New Year!
    Glad to see there's some Warren Ellis in there. Loved Planetary...

    1. I do like Warren Ellis, and should really read more of his stuff. Planetary itself too a little while to hook me, but when it did, it hooked me good, so I was really glad I stayed with it.

      Happy New Year!

  2. Planetary's definitely one of my favorite Ellis works, and one I keep thinking I should revisit, now that I can theoretically get it all at once, not in the oft-delayed monthly version. I didn't love his first novel, Crooked Little Vein, but the trailer for Gun Machine looks very interesting.

    1. Crooked Little Vein has been sitting on my wishlist for ages, so I'm sorry to hear you didn't love it. I hadn't really heard anything about Gun Machine, but that trailer certainly is intriguing.