Each year, I look forward to recapping the books that I've read and recommending a few of my favorites. While I'm no longer blogging regularly and my readership has dwindled accordingly, I still wanted to write this post for myself, as a look back at my year in reading. If anyone finds a new book that interests them because of it, even better!
I wasn't sure how much time I'd be able to devote to reading this year, as the beginning of 2012 found me back at work full time with a baby at home to care for in my non-working hours. Happily, I found a decent amount of time for reading and enjoyed a few great books this year. (A small thanks goes to television programming. With limited exceptions, you suck and left me with better things to do with my time.)
These are the books I read in 2012:
As you can see, it was pretty light reading. Much of what I read was entertaining but forgettable (see James Patterson) but there were a few highs and lows.
Let's start with the lows. Yes, I read the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy. And yes, I thought it was garbage. But I finished it, so I suppose the story was interesting enough once you wade through the poor writing and implausible storyline and realize you're absorbed in some fairly entertaining smut. I was excited to read Insurgent, the follow up to Divergent, but thought it was pretty disappointing. The Marriage Plot and The Age of Miracles were both well reviewed but missed the mark for me. The Marriage Plot was particularly disappointing because I loved Middlesex. In all honesty, I didn't even finish Bel Canto. Not because it was particularly horrible but because it was so boring that I put it down for a while and couldn't bring myself to pick it up again.
Now for the highs. Gone Girl was, in my opinion, deserving of every glowing review it received. It was dark, twisty, and so much fun. I heard plenty of criticism about the ending but for me it was perfect and true to the characters. I also loved, loved, loved The Fault in Our Stars. Beautifully written, rich characters who jumped right off the page. (Thank you, Melissa, for convincing me to finally pick this one up!) The 500 was a fun read, reminiscent of a John Grisham novel but with politics rather than law at the center of the drama.
After neglecting it for five years on my beside table, I finally started reading Team of Rivals in December. (Buying the e-version for my iPad was what finally did it for me - I couldn't imagine lugging the 900+ page tome along on my holiday travels.) I'm now kicking myself for waiting so long. Doris Kearns Goodwin has a gift for bringing history to life and I'm loving every page of this book.