2012: the year in review(s)

2012: The year itself is nothing to memorialize. It was bloody awful. But – there were some darn good books in there…

I just looked at the 2011 post, and I said much the same thing. Oh dear. Well. 2013 will be better.

This time last year I had just gotten my Kindle, and was happily loading it up with (mostly) free books. A year and a Goodreads challenge later, I’m amazed that my reading has shifted so thoroughly, Being slightly obsessive, I made a spreadsheet to figure out what exactly I did read.

My goal for the year was 160 books, and a few days ago I was four behind. That annoyed me, so I fled from the dog (she clings like a limpet, which can be endearing, and can be … aggravating – and once I’m in my room, leaving her with Mom, I kind of have to stay put, because any reappearance will just start her (the dog, not Mom) whining and trying to get upstairs again. She is most emphatically NOT housebroken (again, the dog, not Mom) (any suggestions will be gratefully accepted), so upstairs is off limits to her. Um. I was in the middle of a sentence? Right. Fled) and got lost in finishing a couple of books in progress. Saturday I was still two behind, so I picked up a couple of smallish-looking/quick-looking reads from the stacks, and finished the second one with about twelve hours to spare in the challenge period.

There were a few novellas included in my list – included partly because they were Netgalley review books; the shortest comes up at 65 pages and probably shouldn’t have been counted, but a) the novellas were balanced by The Count of Monte Cristo, at 1462 pages, and b) I did a bit of other reading that didn’t get posted to the Goodreads challenge, so it all works out. The average book length was 300 pages. Thanks, Count! Total pages read (best I can figure): 48,052. (I should try to top 50K this year. Heh.)

Out of the 160, I was kind of shocked to tally up a total of forty “dead tree books”, sixteen audio books, one read online and one read through Adobe Digital Editions – leaving 102 on my Kindle. I knew I had done a lot of reading that way – I had no real idea it was so much the majority.

I reread only eighteen books in 2012. That’s kind of surprising too, considering how much I usually reread. (One of the books I reread was one I read for the first time earlier in the year – the second “read” was actually the audio version. I don’t think I’ve ever read the same book twice in a year – but this was the audio for Moon over Soho, and it needed listening to immediately.) Weirdly, four of the rereads were books read for Netgalley. Altogether I read 73 books for Netgalley, and fifteen for LibraryThing Early Reviewers or Member Giveaways. (Again, none for Goodreads giveaways; I’ve pretty much stopped entering. There’s no point.) I read four because they were written by a Goodreads friend or because I was asked to do so.

I think I was kind of generous with ratings this past year. My average is 4 stars, so – yeah, I think I must have been; when I was putting my list together I was surprised at some of the books I gave three and four stars to, which in my memory were two or three… but whatever I said immediately after reading goes. I only gave three books a single star – one a hideous young adult thing that desecrated Shakespeare, one a truly awful mystery, and one which I discovered had been largely plagiarized from several websites. (That’s a post I still should post one day.) There were eight books that received two stars; thirty-five got three; 74 got four; forty (!) got five. Wow. Yeah, I’ve been generous. Or just managed to pick some amazing books. Well. to partially excuse my generosity, almost all of the rereading I did was of five-star books, so there you go. But I love that fifteen of the five-star books were Netgalley or LT reads; two of those were books I knew (which was why I picked them), but the rest are brand new to me – and that would be why I keep doing Netgalley.

There were some interesting mini-patterns in what I read in 2012. There were two Netgalley books which featured interracial couples and Pearl Harbor. There were two books – one from a LibraryThing Member Giveaway and the other a Netgalley – which used the same image on the cover (just reversed). The not-exactly-common name Yseut showed up twice, within a month or two I believe.

So. That’s 2012 done. Thank God. I’m thinking of targeting 150 for 2013, and trying – as I believe I said last year – to read “better” books, including a bit more non-fiction. And I’d also like to rein in the Netgalley duties a little and whittle down my to-be-read mountain a bit – the actual mountain of actual books, not so much the virtual mountain of Kindle books. (I also need to stop downloading free and cheap Kindle books. I really do.) Otherwise, I’ll echo again my 2011 post: resolutions have I none, though wishes have I many.

And to all a good night. ‘Bye, 2012 – you won’t be missed.

Because they’re worth mentioning, the five star reads for 2012 were:

Beauty in the Beast – Christine Danse (Netgalley)
Bone Crossed – Patricia Briggs
Brat Farrar – Josephine Tey
Bride of the Rat God – Barbara Hambly (reread via Netgalley)
Catching Fire – Suzanne Collins
The Daughter of Time – Josephine Tey (reread)
Devil’s Bargain – Rachel Caine
Dracula – Bram Stoker via Craftlit
Dust and Shadow – Lyndsay Faye, Simon Vance
Fool Moon – Jim Butcher, James Marsters (reread of book, first time for audio)
A Fountain Filled With Blood – Julia Spencer-Fleming
The Franchise Affair – Josephine Tey (reread)
Garment of Shadows – Laurie R. King (Netgalley, but usually a five-star writer for me anyway)
A Gentleman of Fortune – Anna Dean
Golden Feathers Falling – Marcin Wrona (LTMG)
Heidi – Johanna Spyri
Her Majesty’s Will – David Blixt (Netgalley)
The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
In the Bleak Midwinter – Julia Spencer-Fleming
Iron Kissed – Patricia Briggs
Let the Dragon Wake – Sylvia Volk (LTMG)
The Man in the Queue – Josephine Tey
The Master of Verona – David Blixt (Netgalley)
Miss Pym Disposes – Josephine Tey
Mockingjay – Suzanne Collins
Moon Called – Patricia Briggs
Moon Over Soho – Ben Aaronovitch
Moon Over Soho (audio) – Ben Aaronovitch, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
My Loving Vigil Keeping – Carla Kelly (Netgalley)
River Marked – Patricia Briggs
Royal Street – Suzanne Johnson (Netgalley)
The Sandcastle Girls: A Novel – Chris Bohjalian (Netgalley)
Silver Borne – Patricia Briggs
The Singing Sands – Josephine Tey
Something Red – Douglas Nicholas (Netgalley)
Sophie and the Rising Sun – Augusta Trobaugh (Netgalley)
Sorcery & Cecelia – Patricia C. Wrede & Caroline Stevermer (reread via Netgalley)
A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens (Librivox thru Craftlit)
Unspoken – Sarah Rees Brennan (Netgalley)
The Violinist’s Thumb – Sam Kean (Netgalley)

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One Response to 2012: the year in review(s)

  1. I find that my JRT is devoted to me. She likes Matt and will gladly go and sit with him, but I think it’s mostly to piss off the Pug. :-)

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