Tuesday, January 8, 2013

2012: A Year in Books

So one of the reasons I feel the need to be more Vital! and Useful! this year is because I spent most of 2012 on my butt, reading.

In my defence: I do happen to think that reading is what I was put on earth to do; much like Annie Dillard's principal of hallowing creation by marveling at everything--from microorganisms to cherry blossoms--I notice what writers make. As a writer-in-training, I'm filled with admiration for the people who can write books, even books that aren't to my taste, or books that I actively dislike. This writing business is harder than I thought it would be. It's also much deeper magic than I thought it would be; two years in to a daily writing practice, it's become part of the natural (dorky) rhythm of being me.

The books on this year's list don't include books I used in my own research, nor the page proofs I read for friends whose names will be on my list next year, nor the books that I just couldn't finish. Lots of YA this year, as I research what other writers are doing in the genre; my usual weird blend of crime fiction, poetry, British diversions, sci-fi, alternate history, aspirational textbooks (hello, "Front Yard Gardens") (honestly, I am such a nutter), and urban fantasy. I've put my faves in bold.

Most of these I've listed on goodreads, but my favorite virtual bookshelf is LibraryThing--because I ADORE the "tags" feature. (I'm LBV123 on LibraryThing, if you're interested):

1.    Nightwoods: A Novel--Charles Frazier
2.    Daughter of Smoke and Bone--Laini Taylor
3.    Uglies--Scott Westerfeld
4.    Pretties--Scott Westerfeld
5.    On the Spartacus Road: A Spectacular Journey Through Ancient Italy—Peter Stothard
6.    A Matter of Life and Death or Something--Ben Stephenson
7.    Behemoth: Illustrated by Keith Thompson--Scott Westerfeld
8.    Myths of Origin: Four Short Novels--Catherynne M. Valente
9.    Throne Of The Crescent Moon--Saladin Ahmed
10. Clockwork Phoenix: Tales of Beauty and Strangeness--Mike Allen
11. The Folded World--Catherynne M. Valente
12. Front Yard Gardens: Growing More Than Grass--Liz Primeau
13. The Cat’s Table--Michael Ondaatje
14. The Magician King: A Novel--Lev Grossman
15. Restless--William Boyd
16. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir)--Jenny Lawson
17. One Million Tiny Plays About Britain--Craig Taylor
18. Specials--Scott Westerfeld
19. Queen Lucia--E. F. Benson
20. King Of The Badgers--Philip Hensher
21. A Book of Secrets: Illegitimate Daughters,  Absent Fathers--Michael Holroyd
22. A Dance to the Music of Time: First Movement--Anthony Powell
23. The Song Of Achilles--Madeline Miller
24. The Cove: A Novel--Ron Rash
25. Graceling--Kristin Cashore
26. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk--Ben Fountain
27. Brazzaville Beach--William Boyd
28. Cosmic--Frank Cottrell Boyce
29. The Nearest Exit--Olen Steinhauer
30. An American Spy--Olen Steinhauer
31. The Tourist--Olen Steinhauer
32. Waiting For Sunrise--William Boyd
33. Edge of Dark Water--Joe R. Lansdale
34. The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year--Sue Townsend
35. This Dark Endeavour: The Apprenticeship Of Victor Frankenstein--Kenneth Oppel
36. Glamour in Glass--Mary Robinette Kowal
37. Antigonick--Anne Carson
38. Broken Harbour--Tana French
39. The Sugar Frosted Nutsack--Mark Leyner
40. Monoceros--Suzette Mayr
41. Jamrach’s Menagerie--Carol Birch
42. Istanbul Passage--Joseph Kanon
43. The Stranger’s Child--Alan Hollinghurst
44. Swimming Home--Deborah Levy
45. The Coldest War--Ian Tregillis
46. Team Human--Justine Larbalestier
47. Divergent--Veronica Roth
48. The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry--Jon Ronson
49. Witches on the Road Tonight--Sheri Holman
50. Where’d You Go, Bernadette: A Novel-- Maria Semple
51. Shine Shine Shine--Lydia Netzer
52. Tell the Wolves I’m Home--Carol Rifka Brunt
53. Heart-shaped Bruise--Tanya Byrne
54. Some Kind of Fairy Tale--Graham Joyce
55. The Age of Miracles--Karen Thompson Walker
56. Tigers in Red Weather--Liza Klaussmann
57. Little Face--Sophie Hannah
58. A Lonely Death: An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery--Charles Todd
59. Insurgent--Veronica Roth
60. Divergent--Veronica Roth
61. Embassytown--China Mieville
62. Fragile Things--Neil Gaiman
63. Railsea--China Mieville
64. Incarceron--Catherine Fisher
65. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen--Paul Torday
66. Alif the Unseen--G. Willow Wilson
67. Glittering Images: A Journey Through Art from Egypt to Star Wars--Camille Paglia
68. The Roundabout Man--Clare Morrall
69. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry--Rachel Joyce
70. The Raven Boys--Maggie Stiefvater
71. The Scorpio Races--Maggie Stiefvater
72.The Last Policeman--Ben Winters
73. Life As We Knew It--Susan Beth Pfeffer
74. Iran Awakening: From Prison to Peace—Shirin Ebadi
75. The Perks of Being a Wallflower—Stephen Chbosky
76. Crocodile on the Sandbank—Elizabeth Peters
77. Blackwood—Gwenda Bond
78. Days of Blood and Starlight—Laini Taylor
79. Ender’s Game—Orson Scott Card
80. Silently and Very Fast—Catherynne M. Valente
81. The Pledge—Kimberly Derting
82. Reamde—Neal Stephenson
83. Shadow and Bone--Leigh Bardugo

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