Friday Wrap-Up: End of the Year Stats and Reading Thoughts

I found this great list from Perpetual Page Turner that should help me keep my thoughts kind of cohesive as I wrap up my reading for the year. It will be quite long I’m afraid, just so you know that going into this. Oh and I’ll update this list with any more books I read in the last two weeks of the year.

Total books read: 70 (dang, a bit short of my goal of 75)

1. Best books you read in 2012 (not counting re-reads)?

There were so many great books this year, but I tried to keep myself to only the books that I talked incessantly about to everybody I knew. If you were one of those people I apologize. But I kept it to five on this list, woohoo!

2. Books you were excited about and thought you were going to love more but didn’t?

What a sad question, but of course I already have a few answers: Misfit by Adam Braver, The King Must Die by Mary Renault, and The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) books of 2012?

I was incredibly surprised by The Iliad by Homer. It was my first time reading it and I loved it! I also loved the two dramas I did for a quickie pairing: The Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller and A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry.

4. Books you recommended to people most in 2012? 

This was actually a big year for business, non-fiction type books that I recommended to everybody that needed them. Since we’ve already covered the other books I recommended in the best of list, the best businessy books were:

5. Best series you discovered in 2012?

I don’t do series after the still healing burn of WOT.

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2012? 

I really loved the two authors of short story collections I found, Megan Bergman’s Birds of A Lesser Paradise and Claire Vaye Watkins’ Battleborn

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

I normally don’t read YA (or cancer) books, but all of the love for John Green’s outstanding novel, The Fault in Our Stars.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable books in 2012?

See question #1. As for most unputdownable besides those, A.J. Jacobs’ Drop Dead Healthy and Glen Duncan’s Talulla Rising.

9. Book you read in 2012 that you are most likely to re-read next year?

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell, right now if I could.

10. Favorite covers of books you read in 2012?

Beowulf, Seamus Heaney’s translation (swoon), Arcadia by Lauren Groff, and Breasts by Florence Williams.

11. Most memorable characters you read in 2012?

Well, I did read the Gatsby, so obviously Gatsby himself, and, don’t take me for a crazy Tea Party person or whatever people like to assume a book means about a person these days, but I love love Dagny Taggart in Atlas Shrugged (a re-read). Erm. Yeah. (I honestly don’t care if you’re Tea Party or love Atlas Shrugged or whatever, just don’t be crazy, haha).

12. Most beautifully written books read in 2012?

Oh man this question is one of my favorites. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, and The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne Valente.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012?

The Stand by Stephen KingThe Dog Stars by Peter Heller, and Fearless Girls, Wise Women, and Beloved Sisters by Kathleen Ragan all had a large impact on my personal writing. I also think I learned and figured out a lot of things for myself while reading and then watching the movie Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited until 2012 to finally read?

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. I loved it, but I also think I got to it maybe 10 years too late.

15. Favorite passage/quote from a book you read in 2012?

I still probably think of this passage from The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Cat Valente about every other day.

16. Shortest and longest book you read in 2012?

Shortest is probably Seth Godin’s Tribes at 147 pages (not counting dramas or comics). Since I only have Internet to rely on, longest would go to Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand or the uncut version of The Stand by Stephen King at ~1,100 pages each.

17. Favorite relationship from books that you read in 2012 (be it romantic, friendship, etc)?

The whole rag-tag bunch of dwarfs in The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien or the imagined relationships that drove Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter.

18. Best books you read that you read based solely on a recommendation from somebody else?

They were both slightly different from what I normally read, but I absolutely loved The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman for all the rich imagery of that book, and The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson for showing the manic roots of art and beauty. Both astounding.

19. Biggest new book blogging thing you did this year?

Erm, this blog! Mixing food and wine and books with other books has been just absolutely amazing. I was also very excited and privileged to be a part of Ignite Phoenix this year.

20. Best bookish thing you did or event you attended?

I especially loved Jess Walter’s wonderful talk for Beautiful Ruins. Another highlight was the hilarious talk Sherman Alexie gave in Mesa recently for Blasphemy. Overall, I just talked to more people about reading this year, was able to read many inspiring works by bloggers all over, and always had a stack of books nearby. It turned out for a great year.

21. And a final stat for the funzies… 70 books read, consisting of:

  • 44 works of fiction
  • 19 works of nonfiction
  • 3 plays
  • 2 comics
  • 2 epic poems

Phew, you made it this far. How was your 2012 reading? Favorite books? Least favorites? 

About nikki_steele

Freelance writer and editor. Creator of BookPairing blog.
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  • Melissa

    Yay for Fault in Our Stars, The Stand, The Sparrow and Perks! You read some really incredible books this year!

    • Nikki Steele

      It definitely was a great year for reading!

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  • Joanna Hennon

    Sounds like you had a fabulous reading year – and blogging year too, I love your pairings! Several of the books you mention are on my list for next year, including The Girl who Circumnavigated and The NIght Circus. I added most of the others to my wishlst. :-)

    • Nikki Steele

      The best blogging year! It has been so inspiring, also, just to see what everybody else is doing out there with their blogs as there are so many talented writers talking about books.
      Hope you love The Girl Who Circumnavigated (btw, if you write a review, get used to the fact that you’ll hate how long that title is, hahah) and The Night Circus!

  • Emma Blass

    Best series I’ve discovered: Peter and the Starcatchers. I don’t care if it’s from disney or for children, they’re fun books.

    • Nikki Steele

      I’d never even heard of them, but the premise sounds really intriguing! I’m sure you’re aware too that they already have a musical version, right?

  • Jen

    So glad you loved The Fault in Our Stars! That one seems to have a lot of crossover appeal.

    • Nikki Steele

      I love how much recognition that one is getting in all literary categories, YA or not. It’s certainly deserved–Green took such an “erm” subject and made it into something funny and beautiful.

  • Jessica @ Quirky Bookworm

    Yay TFiOS! And yay The Sparrow! The Sparrow is the only book I’ve literally stayed up all night for. It was about 9 years ago, and I meant to read for 30 min before bed… and finished the book 7 hours later, and dragged my dreary self to work. But it was totally worth it. :)

    • Nikki Steele

      Hahaha — I read that car at red lights it was so good. I’m trying to make myself hold onto to do a re-read in a few months, but it’s sitting on my best-of shelf looking at me every day to read it.

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