2012 Reading List

Number of books read in 2012: 180. (Definitely highest ever.)

New reads: 174

Number of books read in 2011: 158
Number of books read in 2010: 150
Number of books read in 2009: 103
Number of books read in 2008: 99
Number of books read in 2007: 85
Number of books read in 2006: 64
Number of books read in 2005: 56

Average read per month: 15
Average read per week: 3.46

Number read in worst month: February (10)
Number read in best month: December (22)

Female authors: 41
Male authors: 23

Non-fiction: 16 (marked *; 2011: 6; 2010: 12; 2009: 16; 2008: 12; 2007: 10; 2006: 4; 2005: 2)

Scifi/fantasy: 17
Mystery/crime: 106
Literature/fiction: 24
Graphic novels: 2
Horror: 0
YA: 14
Romance: 1
Poetry: 0 (As in 2010 and 2011, few individual poems read but no complete collections/works. I did make a note of the few poems I read – perhaps a separate post?)

January (17)
Three Day Town by Margaret Maron
My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin
Listening to Country by Ros Moriarty*
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
V is for Vengeance by Sue Grafton
The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King
A Monstrous Regiment of Women by Laurie R. King
A Letter of Mary by Laurie R. King
The Moor by Laurie R. King
O Jerusalem by Laurie R. King
Past the Shallows by Favel Parrett
Justice Hall by Laurie R. King
The Game by Laurie R. King
Locked Rooms by Laurie R. King
The Language of Bees by Laurie R. King
The God of the Hive by Laurie R. King
Sex and Skateboards by Ashley Bartlett

February (10)
Pirate King by Laurie R. King
The Old School by P.M. Newton
The Children by Charlotte Wood
Animal People by Charlotte Wood
Fire and Ice by Dana Stabenow
So Sure of Death by Dana Stabenow
Nothing Gold Can Stay by Dana Stabenow
Better to Rest by Dana Stabenow
Restless in the Grave by Dana Stabenow
The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings

March (21)
The Book of Emmett by Deborah Forster
Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood
Flying Too High by Kerry Greenwood
Murder on the Ballarat Train by Kerry Greenwood
Death at the Victoria Dock by Kerry Greenwood
The Green Mile Murder by Kerry Greenwood
Blood and Circuses by Kerry Greenwood
Ruddy Gore by Kerry Greenwood
Urn Burial by Kerry Greenwood
Raisins and Almonds by Kerry Greenwood
Death Before Wicket by Kerry Greenwood
Away with the Fairies by Kerry Greenwood
Murder in Montparnasse by Kerry Greenwood
The Castlemaine Murders by Kerry Greenwood
Queen of the Flowers by Kerry Greenwood
Death by Water by Kerry Greenwood
Murder in the Dark by Kerry Greenwood
Murder on a Midsummer Night by Kerry Greenwood
Dead Man’s Chest by Kerry Greenwood
The Ice Princess by Camilla Läckberg; translated by Steven T. Murray
Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George

April (13)
The Preacher by Camilla Läckberg; translated by Steven T. Murray
The Stonecutter by Camilla Läckberg; translated by Steven T. Murray
The Gallows Bird by Camilla Läckberg; translated by Steven T. Murray
The Hidden Child by Camilla Läckberg; translated by Tiina Nunnally
The Drowning by Camilla Läckberg; translated by Tiina Nunnally
The Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century by Ian Mortimer*
The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold
Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold
The Hallowed Hunt by Lois McMaster Bujold
Beguilement by Lois McMaster Bujold
Legacy by Lois McMaster Bujold
Passage by Lois McMaster Bujold
Horizon by Lois McMaster Bujold

May (11)
Mallory’s Oracle by Carol O’Connell
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
Asterix the Legionary by Réne Goscinny
The Games by Ted Kostmatka
Honest Doubt by Amanda Cross
The Edge of Doom by Amanda Cross
Netherwood by Jane Sanderson
The Family Trade by Charles Stross
The Hidden Family by Charles Stross
The Clan Corporate by Charles Stross
The Merchants’ War by Charles Stross

June (14)
The Revolution Business by Charles Stross
The Trade of Queens by Charles Stross
The Poisoned Bride and Other Stories by Robert van Gulik
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Outrage by Arnaldur Indriðason
The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall
The Penderwicks on Gardam Street by Jeanne Birdsall
The Penderwicks at Point Mouette by Jeanne Birdsall
Life as We Know It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
The Chinese Maze Murders by Robert van Gulik
The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer
The Chinese Bell Murders by Robert van Gulik
The Chinese Gold Murders by Robert van Gulik
The Chinese Lake Murders by Robert van Gulik

July (21)
The Lacquer Screen by Robert van Gulik
The Haunted Monastery by Robert van Gulik
The Monkey and the Tiger by Robert van Gulik
The Red Pavilion by Robert van Gulik
The Emperor’s Pearl by Robert van Gulik
Poets and Murder by Robert van Gulik
Black Skies by Arnaldur Indriðason
Necklace and Calabash by Robert van Gulik
The Phantom of the Temple by Robert van Gulik
The Chinese Nail Murders by Robert van Gulik
The Willow Pattern by Robert van Gulik
Murder in Canton by Robert van Gulik
A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter
The Silver Pigs by Lindsey Davis
Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien
Shadows in Bronze by Lindsey Davis
Venus in Copper by Lindsey Davis
The Iron Hand of Mars by Lindsey Davis
Last Act in Palmyra by Lindsey Davis
Time to Depart by Lindsey Davis

August (12)
A Dying Light in Corduba by Lindsey Davis
Three Hands in the Fountain by Lindsey Davis
Two for the Lions by Lindsey Davis
One Virgin Too Many by Lindsey Davis
Ode to the Banker by Lindsey Davis
A Body in the Bathhouse by Lindsey Davis
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
The Jupiter Myth by Lindsey Davis
The Accusers by Lindsey Davis
Scandal Takes a Holiday by Lindsey Davis
See Delphi and Die by Lindsey Davis
Saturnalia by Lindsey Davis

September (13)
Below Stairs by Margaret Powell*
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
Alexandria by Lindsey Davis
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Nemesis by Lindsey Davis
Mind’s Eye by Håkan Nesser
The Scapegoat by Daphne du Maurier
Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson*
Shakespeare: The World As Stage by Bill Bryson*
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier
Among Others by Jo Walton

October (11)
A Speedy Death by Gladys Mitchell
The Young Atheist’s Handbook: Lessons for Living a Good Life Without God by Alom Shaha*
The Center of Everything by Laura Moriarty
The Hydrogen Sonata by Iain M. Banks
The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe*
Steal Like an Artist: Ten Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon*
I, Emma Freke by Elizabeth Atkinson
A Golden Age by Tahmima Anam
The Good Muslim by Tahmima Anam
The Widower’s Tale by Julia Glass
Stranger to History: A Son’s Journey Through Islamic Lands by Aatish Taseer*

November (15)
Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild
Life Below Stairs by Alison Maloney*
A Foreign Country by Charles Cumming
Indelible Ink by Fiona McGregor
Saplings by Noel Streatfeild
Romulus, My Father by Raimond Gaita*
What It Is by Lynda Barry*
Gallows View by Peter Robinson
A Dedicated Man by Peter Robinson
A Necessary End by Peter Robinson
Past Reason Hated by Peter Robinson
The Hanging Valley by Peter Robinson
Peanuts: Happiness is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown by Charles Schulz
Wednesday’s Child by Peter Robinson
Dry Bones That Dream by Peter Robinson

December (22)
Innocent Graves by Peter Robinson
Blood at the Root by Peter Robinson
In a Dry Season by Peter Robinson
Aftermath by Peter Robinson
Cold is the Grave by Peter Robinson
Close to Home by Peter Robinson
Playing With Fire by Peter Robinson
Strange Affair by Peter Robinson
Piece of My Heart by Peter Robinson
Friend of the Devil by Peter Robinson
All the Colours of Darkness by Peter Robinson
Bad Boy by Peter Robinson
Watching the Dark by Peter Robinson
Mortality by Christopher Hitchens*
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo*
In the Land of Invisible Women: A Female Doctor’s Journey in the Saudi Kingdom by Qanta Ahmed*
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg*
How to Talk to a Widower by Jonathan Tropper
The Book of Joe by Jonathan Tropper
Everything Changes by Jonathan Tropper
This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

2012 was really the year of the series. I read ten series throughout the course of the year:

    Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell series
    Dana Stabenow’s Liam Campbell series
    Kerry Greenwood’s Phryne Fisher series
    Camilla Läckberg’s Patrick Hedström series
    Lois McMaster Bujold’s Chalion series
    Lois McMaster Bujold’s Sharing Knife series
    Charles Stross’s Merchant Princes series
    Robert van Gulik’s Judge Dee series
    Lindsey Davis’s Marcus Didius Falco series
    Peter Robinson’s Detective Chief Inspector Banks series

Apart from the Lois McMaster Bujold and Charles Stross series they were all crime series, set in varied locations and all enjoyable in their own way.

Some highlights of 2012:
The Marcus Didius Falco series by Lindsey Davis, because it was set in ancient Rome.
Peter Robinson’s DCI Banks series, because of the Inspector’s fondness for all types of music. Also, its Yorkshire setting.
Jeanette Winterson’s Why Be Happy when You Could Be Normal? Read this if you haven’t already!
Iain M. Banks’s The Hydrogen Sonata – hooray for the Culture!
Tahmima Anam’s A Golden Age, beautifully written story of a family making their way in East Pakistan at the time of the Bangladesh war of independence.
Christopher Hitchens’s Mortality. Amazing writing.
Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers for its depiction of the lives of Mumbai slum dwellers, and the corrupt system in which they have to try to make their way.

Reread Dodie Smith’s I Capture the Castle, which I first read and enjoyed as a teenager and still enjoyed, now I’m middle-aged. Ditto, The Hobbit.

My favourite book of 2012 would have to be What It Is by Lynda Barry. The book defies classification (I decided to call it “non-fiction”) and is a mixture of autobiography and musings about the creative process, all told in hand-lettered text with bright illustrations in a unique style. I’m still thinking about it, and the book has started me thinking about my own writing and creativity.

Some pages from the book:


Yes, I enjoyed many good books in 2012.

I’m looking forward to another year of good books! I debated with myself whether or not to set up a reading challenge on Goodreads for this year, and ended up setting a target of 180 books. (2012’s target was 160.)

I’m not sure whether having a goal of XXX books read is necessarily a good thing for me, given that I’m a fast reader and it becomes all too easy for me to slip into a goal-driven frame of mind where I push myself to read the next book, then the next, and the next, and so on… Reading gives me so much pleasure, though, and given that this is a challenge I generally find easy and enjoyable to do, it felt a bit like I was cutting off my nose to spite my face if I didn’t do it. I’m planning to do a few things to improve my reflections on my reading, though. More on this as the year progresses.

What a long post. If you’ve read this far, thank you! – and how was your year in reading?

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3 Responses to 2012 Reading List

  1. Vassiliki says:

    What a great list! And I love how you focus completely on a series/body of authors’ work. I am thinking of how to count my reading for 2013. I’ve given myself a target of 1 book and to walk 5 kms for every book I do finish. I found that I exceeded my enjoyment level by setting to high a target for 2012. I also need to find a way to list favourite blog posts too as I’m finding that I look forward to new posts from certain bloggers with the same anticipation as a new book.

  2. Penny says:

    So impressed!
    I have appreciated your recommendations on Goodreads this year.

  3. Pingback: 2012 Poetry Reading List » Ruminations

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