14 January 2013

2012: A Year In Books

Because I'm a tiny bit OCD about books, I like using Goodreads to keep track of what I read. (I know. Shut up. It isn't like anyone's expecting me to hand in my book log or anything.)

In 2011, I read 60 books; in 2012, only 58. But! I read fewer books aloud to the girl in 2012 - a consequence of her getting older, and more inclined to read herself to bed - which means that I read more books on my own account. I also read more ebooks, a sign of the times that I'm not sure I love. For lots of reasons, I prefer paper.

2011 2012
Total Books Read 60 58
Fiction 27 34
Non-Fiction 33 24
Read Aloud to the Child 15 6
Total Grown-Up Books 45 52
ebooks 4 7
library books 5 5
unfinished 1 2

I love looking over the list, and making little connections. Two books were about unrelated Pettigrews: Major Pettigrew's Last Stand and Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. Two were memoirs by bloggers: Emily Rosenbaum and Jenny Lawson. Three were by Suzanne Collins (yes, I devoured the Hunger Games trilogy while out sick last spring), two were by Roald Dahl (since we love reading aloud his darkly comic tales) and two were by Curtis Sittenfeld (because I scored hardcovers of Prep and American Wife at the book swap at the farmer's market - though not on the same day).

I added three terrific cookbooks to the kitchen library - Tamar Adler's An Everlasting Meal, Deb Perelman's Smitten Kitchen, and Diana Henry's Salt Sugar Smoke - what, you don't read cookbooks from cover to cover, under the covers? A few older books were transfixing: Edna Ferber's So Big (which I read because of a book club at the library), Mary Dutton's Thorpe (a book I found on a blog post a long time ago), and Wilkie Collins' No Name (a big complicated Victorian thriller/novel which you can get as a free ebook). And the one hair-raising book I might want to read all over again is Gone Girl -just because it's so richly packed with tiny important details. I'm also anxiously awaiting volume three of Hilary Mantel's Henry VIII tales, after reading Bring Up The Bodies this year, and Wolf Hall in 2011.

What did you read in 2012? What are you looking forward to? And what's on your nightstand right now?


readersguide said...

Woah! Those are some detailed stats!

Heide Estes said...

Goodreads thinks I didn't read anything last year, because I never update. I wish I were OCD enough to record what I read. I know I read, and loved, It's All about the Bike (Rob Penn); I know I never finished Shop Class as Soulcraft (and I finally figured out what was bugging me about it); I'm still halfway through Statistics for Dummies and I started but never really got going on both River of Smoke (Ghosh) and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Klay (Chabon) and I re-read at least one novel by Dorothy Sayers.

Bibliomama said...

OCD sisters! I'm still working on my book posts. I so agree about Gone Girl.

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

You're so funny.

'm reading the Temeraire series (His Majesty's Dragon: it's the Napoleonic wars, but with dragons: alternative history) - I found them two weeks ago and have been reading one after the other after the other, obsessed. I have just one book left to read, and I want to draw it out, you know? but I fear my house will fall in on itself from neglect if I don't finish the series already and move on with my life!

Jennifer Denise Ouellette said...

The Hunger Games trilogy in one weekend and loved Gone, Girl. Just finished the new Barbara Kingsolver and started the fourth (or fifth, maybe) of the Outlander series.

Need to make more time to really read this year.

Jocelyn said...

I'm too like you to lend any diversity to this conversation. Wait: I don't have the little bit of OCD thing going. I do use Goodreads, and I do rememeber every few weeks to update the books I've finished, but I don't count things up at the end of the year or take stock at all. Wish I did, in fact. But that would take effort, and where you put energy into tracking books, I put energy into playing SongPop on Facebook. It's all priorities, really.

I do agree that GONE GIRL was a satisfying read (not a great book, but a good book) simply because of the tension and fun plotting. It was very WAR OF THE ROSES, eh?

As well, I am nuts for the Hilary Mantel trilogy and found BRING UP THE BODIES to be a highlight read of the year.

I will urge, strongly, that you read Caitlin Moran's HOW TO BE A WOMAN, if you have not. That one was probably my very favorite read of the year.

Freshhell said...

My personal list wasn't jiving with Goodreads and now, because I'm also OCD, I'm correcting my error. I read 54 books last year (I no longer keep track of books read to kids). Of those, 23 are audiobooks. There were a few I didn't finish but they aren't included here. I read/listened to every single Augusten Burroughs book I could find (mostly the library) because I will fixate on one writer and read everything. Same with Hakan Nesser - currently reading all his stuff. And I reread all the Tana French books so that I was all caught up for her new one last year.

Mayberry said...

I think I would get hungry if I read cookbooks in bed! Right now I have an older Barbara Kingsolver waiting for me - the one that's kind of about Frida Kahlo.

Something wacky and kind of great I read this year: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion. It's the story of a zombie who falls in love with a not-zombie.

MDTaz said...

Best read of the year, by far: Edmund deWaal, The Hare with Amber Eyes. Cheryl Strayed's Wild was also great. For non-fiction I read Mark Kurlansky's 1968 and reread his Basque History of the World -- both great. Also Susan Cain's Quiet was an important personal and professional read of the year.

On the pile next to my bed: Jennifer Egan, A Visit from the Goon Squad and Goodbye for Now by Laurie Frankel and The Possibilities of Sainthood by Donna Freitus. Well and 17 other books that I'll get to, someday.

But if you haven't read The Hare with the Amber Eyes, oh, I think you'd love it.

City Twins Chicago said...

I just So Big due to your recommendation. Loved it. Thank you! Last year I picked up some great finds at the local used book store, including A Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L'Engle (the first of 4 journals/memoirs) and From Paris to the Moon by New Yorker writer Adam Gopnik (a collection of essays from his 5-year stint in Paris)