Tuesday, January 01, 2013

My Year in Lists: 2012 Reading

A few years ago I resolved to read 52 books in a year (a rate of one book per week), and I did not succeed.  Quickly frankly, the experience lead me to believe that it was a goal that I wouldn't be able to achieve until I retire.

Initially this year I made it my goal to read 30 books, and I used Goodreads to help me track my goal.  At one point, I noticed that I was way ahead of the pace of reading 30 books.  I was going through some stressful stuff, and I found the only way to get out of my head was to read, hence I was reading A LOT more than I usually did.  I realized that I was on pace for a book-a-week, so I changed my 2012 reading goal.

And I made it!  Even though my stress disappeared, I made it a priority to keep going with this goal.  I even surpassed it.  I read 54 books this year.  Yay me!  That was 18,073 pages in case anyone is wondering.

I mainly read contemporary books.  A lot of the books I read in 2012 were indeed published in 2012.  Some of the best included Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson, Wild by Cheryl Strayed, The Chaperone by Laura Moriarity,  Gold by Chris Cleave, The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman, and Y by Marjorie Celona. 

For 2013, I'll aim to read 30 books.  I don't think I'll ever be able to equal the book-a-week pace again (until retirement) and I might branch into some more "difficult" reads.  I have some longer books and some classics kicking around that I might tackle now that I'm into a new year.

For posterity, here's the list of books from my incredible year of reading.

  • 54) Y - Marjorie Celona (excellent)
  • 53) A Week in Winter - Maeve Binchy (sweet and charming)
  • 52) The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky (warm & heartfelt)
  • 51) The Age of Miracles - Karen Thompson Walker (good)
  • 50) On the Island - Tracey Garvis-Graves (entertaining)
  • 49) The Fault in Our Stars - John Green (excellent)
  • 48) The Light Between Oceans - M.L. Stedman (amazing)
  • 47) Moranthology - Caitlin Moran (OK)
  • 46) Love Anthony - Lisa Genova (pretty good)
  • 45) Sharp Objects - Gillian Flynn (super dark but OK)
  • 44) The Casual Vacancy - J.K. Rowling (okay)
  • 43) Dark Places - Gillian Flynn (okay)
  • 42) The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald (what can I say? It's a classic.)
  • 41) What Teachers Make - Taylor Mali (inspirational... a must read for all educators)
  • 40) Gold - Chris Cleave (amazing)
  • 39) Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn (fun, dark thriller)
  • 38) How To Be A Woman - Caitlin Moran (funny and thought-provoking)
  • 37) The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry - Rachel Joyce (very sweet)
  • 36) Behind the Beautiful Forevers - Katherine Boo (amazing)
  • 35) Memoir of An Addicted Brain - Marc Lewis (okay)
  • 34) I Don't Care About Your Band - Julie Klausner (fluffy yet funny)
  • 33) The Rules of Civility - Amor Towles (excellent!)
  • 32) State of Wonder - Ann Patchett (good)
  • 31) All That is Bitter and Sweet - Ashley Judd (inspiring)
  • 30) The Next Best Thing - Jennifer Weiner (meh)
  • 29) The Chaperone - Laura Moriarity (amazing)
  • 28) The Accident - Linwood Barclay (meh)
  • 27) Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother - Amy Chua (excellent!)
  • 26) Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey From Homeless to Harvard - Liz Murray (inspiring)
  • 25) Canada - Richard Ford (quite good)
  • 24) Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution - Michelle Moran (excellent!)
  • 23) Up the Down Staircase - Bel Kaufman (excellent!)
  • 22) The Weight of Water - Anita Shreve (quite good)
  • 21) That's How I Roll - Andrew Vachss (meh)
  • 20) Left Neglected - Lisa Genova (good)
  • 19) The Beginner's Goodbye - Anne Tyler (Tyler's writing is always lovely)
  • 18) Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir - Jenny Lawson (hilarious and fun!)
  • 17) The Dovekeepers - Alice Hoffman (excellent)
  • 16) Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail - Cheryl Strayed (excellent!)
  • 15) Winter's Bone - Daniel Woodrell (good)
  • 14) Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins (awesome sequel)
  • 13) The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins (believe the hype!)
  • 12) The Land of Decoration - Grace McCleen (okay)
  • 11) The Winter Palace - Eva Stachniak (quite good)
  • 10) The Corrections - Jonathan Franzen (a bit depressing, but I liked the ending)
  • 9) The Virgin Cure - Ami McKay (good)
  • 8) Fall to Pieces: A Memoir of Drugs, Rock 'n' Roll, and Mental Illness - Mary Forsberg Weiland (meh)
  • 7) Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (okay)
  • 6) Heft - Liz Moore (excellent)
  • 5) Stories I Only Tell My Friends - Rob Lowe (okay)
  • 4) Alone in the Classroom - Elizabeth Hay (beautifully written but slow)
  • 3) A Visit From the Goon Squad - Jennifer Egan (different but I enjoyed it)
  • 2) The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern (magical)
  • 1) Then Came You - Jennifer Weiner (quite good)


Miss Ash said...

That's quite the accomplishment, good for you! I bought the Jenny Lawson book but have yet to start it!

Kevin said...

I am impressed with your reading. May I recommend something for your 2013 list? The Art of Racing in the Rain. :-)

Claire said...

Awesome stuff, Miss Christy! You are my reading (and running) idol!

Siobhan said...

I am super impressed with your reading and hope to emulate your success!