2012 reading in review

Twenty Twelve was the year of READALONGS!  and Tweet-alongs. And Stephen King. What a wonderful fun year of blogging about books with other online book bloggers. Even the bloggers who don’t refer to themselves as book bloggers.

I read 65 books (66 if I get The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson done before midnight but it not lookin’ good for that, truthfully.) My goal was 55 so I beat that – sure, I admit the goal was purposely not a stretch so probably shouldn’t be celebrated too much. I have yet to set a goal for 2013.


I only had 6 books I gave the coveted FIVE SLICEs of PIE rating; 2 of them were by King! Never would have predicted that. I had 30 four slice ratings, 23 three slice ratings and 6 two slicers. I didn’t give any the dreaded one slice.

I really am not able to endorse many of these as super dooper awesome; maybe I am being a harsher critic? But here goes; the top SIX:

Fire Season by Philip Connors – Nonfiction/memoir
11/22/63 by Stephen King – TIME TRAVEL!!
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green – heartfelt and Green-full.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – deliciously wild ride; such fun.
IT by Stephen King – King is a master. Thoroughly enjoyable. This was an audio and the narrator was superb.
The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes – I love these introspective thoughtful books by old men. Don’t know why.

Odd list, don’t you think? I do. I probably could rank the many 4 slicers and come up with a few more that were memorable and worthy of more endorsements…  Let me go look.

Lottery by Patricia Wood – so good! A book I was able to share with a bunch of friends and we all agreed.
Emotional Geology by Linda Gillard – evocative & powerful, harsh but beautiful setting, love story and self-discovery.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – an impressive and magically delightful debut.
Bleak House by Charles Dickens – I am three hours into the BBC Mini-series!  It’s great.

My gender ratio was very balanced:  34 female authors to 31 male. I only read 17 nonfiction titles this year. (oh! I just looked and I only read 11 last year so this was BETTER, 26%. Most of ALL fiction reads were set in the US or the UK. I didn’t get out into the world very much but I did read more fantasy, I think. I read only 3 books from translation:  Anna Karenina (Russian), 1Q84 (Japanese) and French Leave (French). I got to Africa in two books:  Barundi in Strength in What Remains and Senegal in Redemption in Indigo. One political book, one zombie book, one poetry book and lots of ‘scary’ books! I read FIVE books that involved TIME TRAVEL!  Yay me – and I have a list of more so this trend may continue.

I participated in Dueling Monsters, The King Challenge – success!, the Cloud Atlas Readalong, the Summer in the City and the City Readalong, #Diversiverse, #Standalong & #ITalong, and Bleak House for Nov/Dec (#Bleakalong). The Shirley Jackson Book Menage was fascinating. I successfully completed the What’s in a Name 5 Challenge and failed miserably at my personal challenge to read all the books others have loaned to me. In fact, I’ve managed to increase the quantity of books and only read two. I didn’t read ANY books for my own John Cusack Reading Challenge – although I did start the eBook Tropic of Cancer on my iPad. I didn’t get far.

I had two other personal challenges and did pretty good with reading new-to-me authors and authors I have been meaning to get to:  China Mieville, Jon Krakauer, PG Wodehouse and Arthur Conan Doyle. I did OK with getting more read by favorite authors: Tracy Kidder, AS Byatt and Ian McEwan. As for my third personal challenge, I stalled after the 4th book of Harry Potter because I refuse to buy book #5 and just haven’t thought about getting it from the library (doh!) – I’ve done well with BookMooch.com and borrowing from friends. I’m enjoying them and was most surprised to have to read Rowling’s latest and first adult book The Casual Vacancy and enjoyed it more than I expected.

I guess 2013 will see me reading Mary Roach, Tom Perotta, Susan Jane Gilman and Diana Wynn Jones. AND the remainder of the HP series.

New to me authors:  46. Repeat authors: 19.

I have discovered a passion for audiobooks thanks to my iPhone (thanks to me washing my old clunky cell and getting the iPhone) and Audible.com. Thank you Steven Weber and Simon Vance. Thank you!

I met one new blogger-bud:  Laurie from Bay State Reader’s Advisory! We had a lovely meet up at the Boston Book Festival. She has been a super resource and audiobook friend. Best to you in the new job and I hope we cross paths again soon. (Holly and I are talking about finding your library sometime this winter…)

The big amazing development about 2012 I never expected, besides King, was the CHUNKSTER component of my reading. I do enjoy the project of listening to the big classics while reading an accompanying text.  The Stand, It, Anna Karenina, Bleak House!  YAY ME!

What other stats am I forgetting? Themes? Time travel. Sex, too – I read Fifty Shades (only the first one), Sugar in my Bowl (recommended!) and American Psycho?! Hmmmm.  Well and the start of Tropic of Cancer. I read two books with CLOUD in the title.

Books to movie?  Yes, except for the fact that I have mostly failed to see any of the movies.

Most surprising in a good way book? Beauty Queens by Libba Bray – hilarious.

Most depraved book?  American Psycho by Bret what’shisname.

Wierdest book? Tie between Cloud Atlas and The City and the City?

Most disappointing book? Wild or The Human Bobby or Outlander.

Books on the 1001 Books to Read Before I Die: 5? (I need to double check this…)

Bleak House (1853) was the oldest book; I read 9 books published in 2012.

I’ll be posting next on just stats, no words, maybe even a pie chart!

Happy End of Year Book Stats Sharing!


Copyright © 2007-2012. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

45 thoughts on “2012 reading in review

  1. A great recap of 2012! I have to figure out how all of you keep such good reading statistics. I looked at my LibraryThing and was just about even on male and female authors there, but I think that includes my TBR as well as books that I’ve read. And thank you for mentioning me in your recap! I would love it if you and Holly visit me at my new library. It’s a cozy little one, and I’ve heard there are good lunch places in town!

    1. Laurie, of course, I like to keep my stats in goodreads.com up to date but I also have a simple google-doc spreadsheet that I track pages and year pub’d and a few other things. It certainly helps for this time of year and doesn’t take much time to update when I let it lapse.

  2. Alex in Leeds

    Yay for comparing stats! I’m impressed with how many new-to-you authors you read this year. Here’s to plenty of good books in 2013. 🙂

    1. Thank Alex, let’s be friends in goodreads? I haven’t been one of those readers who follows certain authors so it is easy to read many new-to-me. It’s only since blogging (which admittedly is almost 7 years now?!) that I have attempted to read more books by a loved author. Too many books…

      1. Alex in Leeds

        Sure, I’m going to be spending some time tomorrow tinkering about on GoodReads and LibraryThing finding my way about etc so I’ll be sure to add you. 🙂

  3. I guess I had better get around to reading Gone Girl and The Fault in Our Stars. They seem to be making just about everyone’s best of lists this year!

    Like you, my iPhone is in part what’s gotten me to listen to audio books of late and I’ve enjoyed the experience.

    Mary Roach is delightful! I hope you enjoy her when you do read her.

    Have a Happy New Year!

  4. I’m right there with you when it comes to “introspective thoughtful books by old men”! The Sense of an Ending was one of my favorites last year – have been meaning to reread it from the moment I finished! And I really need to read 11/22/63.

    Happy 2013!

  5. Okay, that was just a post of pure awesome! Your reading year seems to have been quite rewarding and rich. Wish I could say the same for mine…I definitely read some books I loved, but I don’t know, the overall vibe for me just isn’t coming off as particularly spectacular…does that make sense?

    1. Yea, I think I reward books that I end up working for. Does that make sense? Plus I’m now watching the BBC mini and it is fun to know what’s going on – when I didn’t the first half of the book.
      As for MR, I know! I have started two of her books and somehow got distracted by new and shiny. Thankfully I now own Packing for Mars so hopefully SOON.

  6. I am in love with my King-along crowd–I had so much fun with you gals this past year and look forward to more in 2013. And glad that 11/22/63 made 5 slices as it’ll be my next read/listen once I finish with Bleak House. 200 pages to go…

    Happy New Year dear Care. xoxo

  7. The read-alongs were so much fun. I seriously cannot wait for the next one.

    You and I read the same amount of books (65). I also had a 66th but I chalked it up as a “did not finish” and just tossed it across the room. It was Buddha in the Attic. I hated it!

  8. You, of all people, need to have some pie charts!!! Love your list … lots of the same books are my favorites too. And I love that you fell for Stephen King!! YAY!

  9. Yay for more Diana Wynne Jones!

    Somehow, and I do not mean this offensively, that list did seem surprising to me. Just a lot of books I hadn’t expected to see mentioned by you. Perhaps that’s also because I haven’t read any of them and most of them are by authors that I don’t think I’m quite ready for yet (or perhaps that’s just King?)

    I hope you have a wonderful 2013!

    1. Oh Iris! I don’t think I could ever take anything you say offensive – say it! And I, too, was surprised by my reading this year. It was an odd mix of stuff. And what I liked and didn’t like surprised me.
      King is really a very good story teller. But don’t worry, I won’t say you “HAVE TO/SHOULD”. You’ll probably be more likely to just try him someday and then maybe be pleasantly surprised with how talented he is. 🙂
      You have a wonderful year, too!

  10. It looks like you had a great year, Care!! I hope 2013 is wonderful for you. 🙂 I still have lobster postcards to send and all our other fun stuff! It is been great getting to know you better and look forward to more in the future!

  11. Wow! You did do a lot of read-a-longs. I am not great at them, even though I have good intentions and want to participate. For example, I am still only in like Chapter 19 of Bleak House on audio book… but I am trucking along slowly.

    Susan Jane Gilman is fun! Which book are you reading?

    1. I have been wanting to read SJG for years – I could likely blame you! I don’t have any of her books so who knows which one I will eventually read.

      Twitter enhances the readalongs considerably. Gotta have the hashtag. 😛

      1. The two of SJG books that I’ve read are “Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress” and “Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven.” I loved both of them, but they’re quite different. I tried her first essay collection, “Kiss My Tiara” but didn’t get into it.

  12. Fire Season and Lottery are both terrific reads. I suck at read-alongs. Maybe when I give up reading ARCs (which will probably never happen) I’ll improve, but I’m addicted. *reaches for ARC, sniffs it, eyes roll back in head*

    Look at all those decades! I never think to separate books by decade.

    My goal for 2013 is 150 at Goodreads. I’m thinking I shouldn’t have set the bar so high, so I won’t feel awful if I want to slow down and read some chunksters.

    Great year, lady!

    1. I have two hours to go. I was really crying when mother reveals herself to daughter. *sniff* Guppy sure played a bigger role in the move then he did in my head while reading. but whatever. ANd boy howdy did they do awesome with making Tulkinghorn a badass.

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