Here are some random thoughts on my 2012 reading.
It felt like life took up more time than usual this year, so I was pleasantly surprised when my books-read total turned out to be a respectable 92. Getting off to such a big start in January helped a lot. See below for a graphical representation of my reading totals by month.
Last year, there were several books that I really liked and made a big impression on me. This year, there aren't as many books that stand out. I'm not sure why this is, but let's attribute it to me instead of to the books. One book that I do remember liking, even though I read it almost a year ago, is HOW TO SAY GOODBYE IN ROBOT by Natalie Standiford, about two creative teenagers and a radio show. I was also happy with Kristin Cashore's most recent Graceling book, BITTERBLUE. I read THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO for the first time and enjoyed it a lot more than I expected to. I bet the BBC could make a fantastic mini-series from it.
I read four non-fiction books this year, all for Book Club Bronte, none of which I would have picked up on my own, but each of which I enjoyed/appreciated. There are four girls and three boys in Book Club Bronte, and we take turns selecting the book for the month. Each of the first three books listed here was selected by one of the boys. Only the last was chosen by a girl. Before we had boys in Book Club Bronte, we didn't read much non-fiction. Our selections are quite varied now, as you can see from this non-fiction sample:
THE 7: SEVEN WONDERS THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE by Glenn Beck and Keith Ablow
THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS by Rebecca Skloot
NOMAD by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
MAPHEAD by Ken Jennings
Several of the books I read this year had pictures. Always a plus. Two, THE APOTHECARY and BITTERBLUE, were illustrated beautifully by Ian Schoenherr. WINTER TOWN's pictures, by the author, Stephen Emond, give it the feel of the graphic novel the main character is drawing with his friend.
I self-identify as a reader of YA, so I'm always surprised to see what percentage of my reading was actually adult (see second graph, a pie chart because I like pie). Because adult books are often longer than YA ones, I wonder how much the percentage would change if I calculated number of pages instead of number of books. Hmmm. Maybe next year. I also wasn't sure how to classify some of the books (to be expected, but that is a topic for another post). For example, Ursula K. LeGuin's A WIZARD OF EARTHSEA can often be found in the YA section of the bookstore or library, but does that mean that the later books in the series, like TALES FROM EARTHSEA, should also be counted as YA? That's what I did, because I read the whole series this year. But if I were to read just TALES FROM EARTHSEA next year, I might count it as adult.
And in the third graph are the totals by genre. Each book was counted in only one genre. To clarify some of my distinctions, Dystopia/Future includes THE HUNGER GAMES. Heyer refers to any historical fiction/romance novel after the style of Georgette Heyer, not that anyone can match Heyer, as she was brilliant and hilarious. Most of the books counted in that category are actually Heyer's. Classic refers to books written a long time ago, 'long time' as determined by me. It would appear that the only mysteries I like are those that are set in the past, hence the category Mystery-Historical Fiction. I read most of Lauren Willig's THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE PINK CARNATION series and have just started Jacqueline Winspear's MAISIE DOBBS books. And in another example of apparent self-deception, it seems that I don't read nearly as much Fantasy as would be expected from someone who answers the question "What do you like to read?" with "Fantasy."
I'm reading fewer real books now that I have an ereader. Sometimes it makes me sad that I can't buy real books anymore (ha ha), but it was a necessary move, as you can see from this:
Happy reading in 2013!