I like having an end of the year post that summarizes my reading for the year. Jamie, at The Perpetual Page-Turner, posted this great survey that really helps highlight some of the good ones, and bad ones, of the year.
1. Best Book You Read In 2012?
This feels a little like cheating, but I have to say the best book I read in 2012 was Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare. It was romantic and funny.
2. Most Disappointing Book/Book You Wish You Loved More Than You Did?
The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny. I wanted to love it and it was good but the last bit made me angry at Penny. I’ll have to wait anxiously for the next one to see how things resolve.
3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2012?
Whiplash River by Lou Berney. I had never heard of the author and just loved the eccentric characters, the hijinks. I haven’t read many comedy crime novels I wnjoyed this much.
4. Book you recommended to people most in 2012?
Louise Penny’s Inspector Armand Gamache series. Even though I wasn’t entirely thrilled with the most recent, it’s still my favorite current mystery series and it’s deeper, more philosophical maybe, than a lot of the who-dunnits out there. And the characters are fabulous.
5. Best series you discovered in 2012?
Ruth Rendell’s Chief Inspector Wexford series. I’ve only listened to two, but I can see why she has been called the reigning queen of crime fiction and one of the all-time greatest British mystery writers.
6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2012?
Alex Grecian, among others I listed here.
7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
I didn’t read much outside of my comfort zone this year, to be honest, but I guess Heist Society by Ally Carter would be one. It’s a cute book, just fun, but I don’t usually read YA.
8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012?
The Finder by Colin Harrison. I didn’t love it, but it kept me listening.
9. Book That You Read In 2012 That Would Be Most Likely To Reread In 2013?
I don’t usually reread, especially with that little time before readings.
10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2012?
11. Most memorable character in 2012?
Inspector Salvo Montalbano from Andrea Camilleri’s series. He’s an arresting character, a noncomformist who nevertheless solves the case, without seeming really to have much drive to do so. He’s sees the humor in life and although he is rather cynical, at heart he’s a compassionate man. And I have to love a man who loves good food.
12. Most beautifully written book read in 2012?
Ah, Shakespeare’s The Tempest, even if it’s a play.
13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012?
It was a reread for me, but I’d have to say The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett, simply because it reminds me of the glory of books, the joy of reading, how much it can impact our lives.
14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read?
The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett.
15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2012?
I need to do better at keeping track of quotes I love. This one is from Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. It manages to be funny and romantic at the same time.
Beatrice: Will you go hear this news, signior?
Benedick: I will live in thy heart, die in thy lap, and be buried in thy eyes—and, moreover, I will go with thee to thy uncle’s.
16. Shortest and Longest Book You Read in 2012
I have no idea. I didn’t read any true chunksters this year and I did read several novellas, but I didn’t keep a page count. Something to remember for next year.
17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!
Once again, the ending of The Beautiful Mystery. I did not like it and am waiting for my mom to get around to reading it so I can complain to her about it.
18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2012 (be it romantic, friendship, etc)
Inspector Alleyn and Agatha Troy from Ngaio Marsh’s series. They met in Artists in Crime, which I read this year. They are a perfect match and I enjoyed seeing the budding romance that I knew would eventually lead to marriage.
19. Favorite Book You Read in 2012 From An Author You Read Previously
India Black and the Rajah’s Ruby by Carol K. Carr is actually a novella, but I’ve read the two previous in the series and enjoyed this peek into India’s past.
20. Best Book You Read That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:
Another thing to make note of next year. I know someone recommended I read Dorothy L. Sayers, but I can’t remember who.
1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2012 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2013?
The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne – yes it’s because of the movie.
2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2013?
How the Light Gets In, Louise Penny’s #9
3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2013?
Actually, I hope to read a few more classics this year and some fantasies. I hope to get back to writing some flash fiction pieces, too.
And Some Stats from 2012
I read a total of 113 books and had two that I did not finish. Here’s how they broke down.
I used mostly the same genres as last year. It’s tough to know how to categorize some though. I knew I had a mystery-heavy year, but I’m surprised they were over half of what I read, especially when at least one of the classics was a mystery too.
What was your favorite read in 2012? Anything you’re particularly looking forward to in 2013?