Thursday, January 3, 2013

2012 Reading Recap

So I have two traditions on this blog: a New Year's resolution to actually write it regularly for a whole year, and writing a post around New Year's itself about the best books I read in the past year (and kind of summing up the year at the same time). As you can probably tell by the time stamp on my previous post, I … kind of didn't manage that first resolution last year. At all. And since I've utterly lost the blogging spirit, I'm not even going to try to start the blog up again.* But I still want to do the These Books Are Awesome post so here goes.

Last year I read 55 books for the first time, and did two re-reads, for a total of 57 books. This year, I read 63 books for the first time, and reread 6, since I'm counting The Lord Of The Rings as three books. That gives me a total of 69 books, my personal best since I started tracking my reads in high school. I hope to do even better in 2013.

What do you mean, normal people don't make lists of books they've read? I reject your reality and substitute my own.

2012 is the Year of Britain. Not only did I go there (see previous posts), but I ended up reading a tonne of fiction set in England, much of it steampunk. Seventeen books, to be exact, including four that I read basically back to back over the two months that included my England trip. I had to consciously choose non-British books for a while after that.

I both did and didn't do better with my reading habits in 2012. I keep promising myself I'll read more literary and/or non-genre adult fiction and once again I ended up reading a grand total to two adult books that weren't science fiction, fantasy, or mystery. I did, however, read more young adult, graphic novels, and non-fiction than the past couple years, so there's that, at least.

Best Science Fiction: Blackout and All Clear, by Connie Willis
Best Urban Fantasy: Sixty-One Nails, by Mike Shevdon
Best Non-Urban Fantasy: The Alphabet of Thorn, by Patricia Mckillip
Best Superhero: Alias, vol. 1, by Brian Michael Bendis
Best Steampunk: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, by Alan Moore
Best Horror: The Twelve, by Justin Cronin
Best Graphic Novel: The Unwritten, vol. 1, by Mike Carey
Best Young Adult: The Hunger Games, by Susanne Collins
Best Middle Grade: The Peculiar, by Stefan Bachmann
Best Mystery: Cross Bones, by Kathy Reichs
Best Non-Genre Adult Fiction: The Iliad, by Homer
Best Anthology: Shine, by Jetse de Vries
Best Non-Fiction: The Elegant Universe, by Brian Greene

A fair number of the books above were tough decisions. I also enjoyed and highly recommend Ashes of Honor by Seanan Mcguire; Here, There Be Dragons by James A. Owen; The Fault in Our Stars by John Green; Passage by Connie Willis; Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That? by Jesse Bering; Whispers Underground by Ben Aaronovitch; and Vicious Circle by Mike Carey. (Note that I've thrown Good Omens, American Gods, The Hobbit, and LOTR out of the running on account of they'd probably win everything if I didn't.)

In 2012 non-book news, I visited England for a week, as previously mentioned; I changed jobs and moved house, though I'm in the same city; and I finally got the first part of my novel "finished", for a given definition of the word. It's complete enough I feel I can move on, anyway. For those of you tracking my progress on this novel, the first part is what was once the whole book and now I have to write new stuff. Yeah. The less said, the better. I'm starting to despair this will ever be finished. Also that I've lost my writing mojo. Hopefully this is an end-of-the-year, start-of-the-year worry and things'll get better with time.**

What's new with you? Got any book recommendations for me? Not that I need any more…

* The periodic sciency post notwithstanding
** And please, please let voicing my worries not blacklist me with agents, editors, and publishing houses.

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