Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What I Read: 2012

I have stacks like this throughout the house. -- Photo by adamr

At the beginning of 2012, I challenged myself to track all the books I read throughout the year. Mostly it was out of curiosity -- just how many books do I read in a year, anyway? I also thought it might make a cool blog post: What I read, how I felt about each one, and the impact the books had on my life.

There's some really good stuff on here, along with some puerile crap that I can't believe I managed to force into my eyeballs. I also noted which books were read in book club. Some of these were rereads, and I've noted these as well. I'd love it if you noted your own stand-out books of the year in the comments!

The List:

1.       We the Living – Ayn Rand (book club)

This was a pretty heavy choice to start the year. I had never read an Ayn Rand book before, but I know people who both love her and hate her, so I was definitely intrigued. Can't say I agree with her viewpoints, but it was an interesting book.

2.       Full-Filled – Renee Stephens
Just what the world needs... another diet book, right? This one was pretty good, actually. I lost some weight with it. I think it's a good program. I also really like the podcast series that accompanies it. Ultimately, I wasn't able to stick with it, though.
3.       Queen Bee Moms & Kingpin Dads – Rosaline Wiseman (book club)
The concept here was interesting, but ultimately felt really stereotyped. I also felt it didn't apply to anyone whose child isn't "typical."
4.       1984 – George Orwell (book club)
Boy, were we on a roll, huh? (Don't worry, we worked out way out of it later.) This was my selection. I had never read it before and apparently needed an excuse. It made me think a lot about the fact that most news is now printed online, where history can be changed with a click.

5.   Organized Simplicity – Tsh Oxenfried
Loved this one! I need to reread it. She really lit a fire under my butt. I've since subscribed to her blog, and I look forward to her updates.

6.    The Gunslinger – Stephen King
These were rereads.  

7.   Drawing of the Three – Stephen King
8.   The Wastelands – Stephen King
9.   Wizard and Glass – Stephen King
10.   Wolves of the Calla – Stephen King
11.   Don Juan in Hankey, PA – Gail Martin (book club)
This was a fun farce set in a opera house. Light reading and pretty funny. Also, it was edited by a good friend of mine and member of the book club.

12.   S.T.A.R.S. – Susan M. Heighway & Susan Kidd Webster
This was sent to me by the editor of Autism Aspergers Digest. She thought I might find it helpful for an article I was working on. She was right.

13.   Is Everyone Getting Together Without Me? – Mindy Kaling (book club)
Another light and silly read from the star of "The Mindy Project" (among other things).
14.  The Life of Pi – Yann Martel (book club)
This one inspired what I'm quite sure is the best book club discussion we have ever had. Over piles of excellent Indian food, we discussed our own personal spiritual beliefs and learned a great deal about each other.
15.   The Digital Writer’s Guide to Highly Effective Work Habits – Sean M. Platt
Good advice in here. I've put a lot of it to use.
16.   The Digital Writer’s Guide to Twitter – Sean M. Platt
More good advice, but I'm a major Twitter slacker.
17.   Song of Susannah – Stephen King
Finally got back to Roland and the gang.
18.   The Dark Tower – Stephen King
19.   Catching Fire – Suzanne Collins
I read Hunger Games last year with the book club. Finally thought it was about time I finished the series!

20.  Mockingjay – Suzanne Collins

21.   The Lucky One – Nicholas Sparks (book club)
Not something I would pick on my own, that's for sure.
22.   Neverwhere – Neil Gaiman
I started this last year and the book went missing at some point. Finally found it and was able to finish it! Loved it!
23.   Big Trouble – Dave Barry
A reread. I just needed something light and hilarious, and this fit the bill perfectly.
24.   Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – JK Rowling
Of course, this was a reread. I reread these at least once a year.
25.   Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – JK Rowling
26.   Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – JK Rowling
27.   The Primal Blueprint – Mark Sisson
My sister went primal and convinced me to do so for quite some time. I lost a bunch of weight, but then I fell off the bandwagon.
28.   50 Shades of Grey – E.L. James
Read it to see what the fuss was about. Still can't believe I made it through this mess. Ugh.

29.   The Wind Through the Keyhole – Stephen King
When I reread The Dark Tower earlier this year, I had no idea this one was coming out. Great timing! It was nice to get back to these guys.
30.   The Well-Fed Writer – Peter Bowerman
Sooooo glad I read this one! It made a MAJOR change in the way I do business, and things have really taken off! (One of the reasons that blog posts have been... sparse... later in the year.)
31.   American Gods – Neil Gaiman (book club)
I put this on the book club list after reading Neverwhere. Another one I've been meaning to read for ages. I loved this book. So much. So so much.
32.   Game of Thrones – George R.R. Martin
Wanted to see what the fuss was about. This one was definitely worth my while!
33.   A Hunger Like No Other – Kresley Cole (book club)
The beginning of my book club's "porn phase." I gotta admit -- it was pretty good!
34.   Practical Paleo – Diane SanFilippo
I tried to get back into primal/paleo eating. Good information and a healthy way to live, but ultimately, not for me.
35.   A Clash of Kings – George R.R. Martin
Toward the end of this book, it pretty much went sailing through the air. I was pretty sure I wouldn't be continuing the series. Luckily, a friend convinced me to persevere. So glad I did!
36.   Sex and Death in the American Novel – Sarah Martinez (book club)
The continuation of the porn phase -- and written by a friend and former book club member!
37.   Tides of War – Christie Golden
Mists of Pandaria was coming out! I had to know what was going on behind the scenes, right?
38.   Eat Like a Dinosaur – Stacy Toth and Matthew McCarry
Trying to make a family transition to paleo, hoping that going gluten-free would be beneficial for Elias.
39.   A Storm of Swords – George R.R. Martin

40.   A Feast for Crows – George R. R. Martin

41.   The Casual Vacancy – J.K. Rowling (book club)
This is technically a book club selection, but I read it months in advance because I adore Ms. Rowling (she's kind of my hero). This book was excellent, but I felt like it had "I am not a children's book!!!" scrawled across each page in Sharpie pen.
42.   A Dance With Dragons – George R.R. Martin
 This should really have an asterisk behind it since I just started it in December. Have you seen the size of this thing?? I'm taking a vacation this weekend, so hopefully I'll finish it then. I guess it will technically be the first book on my list in 2013, too.

So there you have it. I read 42 books in 2012. There were more that I started and didn't finish for one reason or another, but I didn't count those. I was actually expecting it to be more, but I did get really busy toward the end of the year.