According to Goodreads, I have completed 33 books in 2012. While that is not a great number, I’m pleased that I was able to make the time in this extremely hectic year to sit and enjoy a good book, even if for just a few pages at a time. I read some great books, and some not-so-great ones, and ones (well, one in particular) that left a bad taste in my mouth. However, it’s been a good reading year overall, and I will use this opportunity to summarize nearly 12,000 pages into a few words.
1) “Picking five favorite books is like picking the five body parts you’d most like not to lose.” – Neil Gaiman
It’s always difficult to pick a favourite, whether it’s a book, a movie or a song. I read several good books this year, and it was difficult to decide which I loved the most. Ultimately I decided on The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. This book was beautiful and mesmerizing, and I fell in love with it. I really can’t recommend it enough.
2) “It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.” – Tom Robbins
Although I can no longer be considered a child, I still like to relive my childhood through books. I read two children novels this year – Midnight for Charlie Bone and The Mysterious Benedict Society. I loved their simplicity and innocence and enjoyed them a lot more than many other “adult” books I read this year. I also finally found the first book I read as a kid! Fun times.
3) “The best things in life are silly.” – Scott Adams (Dilbert)
Occasionally I like to take a break from serious books and indulge in a light read. Sophie Kinsella and Terry Pratchett usually do the trick. In 2012, I read I’ve Got Your Number and I Shall Wear Midnight and loved them both. I don’t often laugh when it comes to reading, but those two books did manage to earn a few chuckles out of me. Chasing the Moon by A. Lee Martinez, while not as great as the aforementioned books, was also quite amusing. I also read Sunshine Hunter by fellow blogger, Maddie Cochere, which was quite a fun read. =D
4) “Look. I have a strategy. Why expect anything? If you don’t expect anything, you don’t get disappointed.” – Patricia McCormick
I need to drill the above quote into my mind and save myself some misery. I always build expectations based upon other people’s reviews and take the plunge. I was disappointed by several books this year. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell didn’t quite live up to the hype, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs and The Floating Islands by Rachel Neumeier started out great but gradually dwindled in quality and storytelling, Showtime by indie author Chloe Kayne looked promising, but I didn’t like it. Three favourite authors of mine (Joy Fielding, Alan Bradley and Jostein Gaarder) disappointed with their respective books, Now You See Her, A Red Herring Without Mustard and The Ringmaster’s Daughter. I had a fair share of disappointments this year. =[
5) “Even in the familiar there can be surprise and wonder.” – Tierney Gearon
I stepped into new territory this year – science fiction – based upon a recommendation by my fiance. I admit I wasn’t expecting much from it, but I dove in and never regretted it once. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card was incredible. It had me hooked from start to finish and I carried it with me everywhere. I was really surprised by how much I came to like it. I was also pleasantly surprised by The Well and the Mine by Gin Phillips, a book I picked up on a whim but ended up really liking.
6) “No, I am not bitter, I am not hateful, and I am not unforgiving. I just don’t like you.” – C. JoyBell C.
I almost made it out of this year without a single 1-star book, but I had to award it to American Gods by Neil Gaiman. This was the biggest of disappointments. In fact, I was so disappointed I actually hated it, but I already ranted about it so I’ll spare you this time.
7) “Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts.” – Charles Dickens
Readers of this blog probably know by now that I’m a sap. I cry quite easily when I come across touching scenes or whatnot. Usually it’s more difficult for books to make me cry, but this year I read two tearjerkers – Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Green and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. Both extremely touching tales.
8) “If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” – Haruki Murakami
There were some titles that have somehow escaped me, titles that were apparently read by everyone. I finally got around to reading The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman, The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, Looking for Alaska by John Green and The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri. I liked them all, but some definitely more than others. 🙂
I’m planning to read even more books in 2013. I have a large number of new books on my shelves and an even larger number of eBooks on my tablet, so I have enough to occupy me!
Have you read any of the books I mentioned? What were your best and worst reads of 2012? =D