Monday, December 31, 2012

Best Reads of 2012

Happy New Year's Eve, fellow readers!  I hope you all have super exciting plans for this non-holiday - I shall be going to a movie, dinner, and bowling?!  Such happenings.  I probably shall not be reading much today, but I shall be talking about books.  The best books... that I read in 2012.

Sometimes I feel like my book reviews are super-negative honest (but not always in the nicest way) and people must wonder why I read when I clearly hate it so much, but then I was going back through the blog and my Goodreads account to review what I read this year and I got super-excited about so many titles!  So excited that I couldn't contain myself to two top five lists (one for print and one for audio) so I ended up with a top eight list for print books, even while counting the various books of a series as one entity.  Oh well.  So, in case you can't tell how much I love reading (what with the blog and all) and in no particular order, I give you my best books and audiobooks of 2012!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Partial History of Lost Causes ~ Jennifer duBois

I hope everybody had a very Merry Christmas!  I had a great day - gifts and breakfast with my nephew in the morning (he made out like a bandit - "I didn't know I was this good" was his response to all the gifts under the tree!), and sushi, board games, and relaxation in the afternoon with my husband.  And after weeks of build-up, it's all over.  Sigh.  Oh well, back to life as usual...or something like it, since I don't have classes for another month!  Well, blogging as usual at least, as I attempt to squeeze in all of this year's remaining reviews in less than a week.

Despite my lofty fall reading goals, I only managed to read one full-length piece of writing in print all season.  I won Jennifer duBois's newly-published debut novel from Zeteticat at Bookish Habits back in September, so when I had some free time thanks to Hurricane Sandy (really, no thanks to her), I decided to pick it up.  I thought I'd like it...  I wanted to like it...  But it took me a month to get through, only partially due to graduate school, and in the end it just didn't do it for me.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

My Fall TBR List...After the Fact

So back in September I made a Top Ten Tuesday list of my reading plans for fall and since tomorrow's the first day of winter, I thought it would be amusing to go back and see how I did.  Because I did not do well.  And this is why I try to keep reading firmly in the "fun" category of my life, because I am terrible at committing to reading more than one book at a time.

1) Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson: Just stick to the title people.
2) My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: This is ongoing.  I read maybe two stories from it, but that's fine.  It's an anthology.  That's how they go.
3) The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien: Vomit.  But at least I read listened to it and can check it off of my Classics Challenge list!
4) The Lord of The Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien: After the atrocity that was The Hobbit, I did somehow make it through The Fellowship of the Ring (review to come? [probably not]).  And then I subscribed to Audible, which put a stop to all that ridiculousness.
5) The Children of Henry VIII by Alison Weir: Didn't even pick it up.
6) Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre by H.P. Lovecraft: Read a couple stories for Halloween, which is exactly what I intended.
7) A Walk for Sunshine by Jeff Alt: Keep walking, people.  Nothing to see here.
8) The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Steve Chbosky: I saw the movie!  That's good enough, right?!

So out of a list of eight novels and two story anthologies, I read... two books and a handful of short stories... about 25% of my goal!  Oops!  I guess that committing myself to this many books that I only had in print with almost no time to read anything that wasn't in audiobook form was not the best of ideas.  Oh well!  Onwards, I say, and I'll read them in the end.

How did your fall reading plans go?

Monday, December 17, 2012

In the Woods ~ Tana French

So remember how after I read Gone Girl, I was all, normally I don't read mystery thrillers because I'm a book snob but this one was purported to be so good that I condescended to make an exception?  Okay, not really, but yeah, usually I stay away from such fare.  Well, I've broken my own rule again, and again due to my fellow bloggers knocking me on the head and saying read this and I'm just glad that I've gotten better at listening.  Because In the Woods was definitely worth straying out of my comfort zone for the second time of late.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: New-to-Me Authors

Welcome to my first Top Ten Tuesday since September!  This week's topic, provided by the ladies at The Broke and the Bookish, is Favorite New-to-Me Authors I read in 2012.  I'm excited about this topic because I read several new authors this year and it's high time I rambled on about them!  Because, you know, I never do that in my posts or anything.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Beautiful Ruins ~ Jess Walter

Jess Walter's latest novel, Beautiful Ruins, is a novel that makes you stop and take notice.  It's one of the many novels I've read lately that I've been meaning to read for a while and only managed to thanks to my new subscription to Audible.  I can't believe that I waited this long.  And it was so good that I wished I'd read it in print form, except the narration by Edoardo Ballerini is so good that I can't imagine not having experienced it.  I guess I'll just need to buy a copy of the book too.  It's really that good.  I fully expect it to be winning some prizes.  Some more prizes, that is.  Audible has already named it the best audiobook of the year!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Elegance of the Hedgehog ~ Muriel Barbery

The Elegance of the Hedgehog is one of those books I've been meaning to read for a while but never quite made it to the top of my to-read list...until Audible and Audible's awesome (and frequent) sales.  I actually originally wanted to read it in French, but I think that by now my French has deteriorated to the point that that would have just been an exercise in google translator, if my French was ever good enough to begin with (I never quite grasped the passé simple).  It turns out that listening to the audiobook wasn't the best of ideas either, for reasons that I'll get into later.