Saturday, January 5, 2013

Books! I read a bunch!

Let’s talk about books for a moment. Because unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, we all know that I spent a considerable time reading last year.

I finished 47 books in 2012. Going in the year, my goal was to finish 40 books by the time the clock struck midnight on Dec. 31. I’d say I accomplished that goal. The 47 books is the most books I’ve read in a year since I started keeping track of what I read in 2006. The previous high was 45 in 2006 and 2008. And the 47 books I read this year? They weren’t exactly short. On my way to finishing them, I read 16,190 pages. That’s an average of 344 pages per book. For comparison’s sake, I read 36 books and 13,202 pages in 2011. Nice little increase. Oh, the average time it took me to finish a book? Just shy of 8 days.

Other numbers that jump out:

The shortest book I read was Lauren Oliver’s Hana at 64 pages. The longest was Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese, which checked in at 667. There were a couple of authors that made my list multiple times, including Cecily von Ziegesar (2), Lauren Oliver (3), E.L. James (3), Sara Shepard (3), Veronica Roth (2), Sylvia Day (2), Lauren Kate (3) and Ally Condie (2).

So if I look at my list, there are a few things that jump out at me. Young adult and series.

I may be in my 30s, but I’m not ashamed to admit that I read a lot of young adult lit in 2012. Most of it from the dystopia genre. And I liked it. A lot. Going along with that, I read quite a few series this year. Unfortunately, most of them are series that aren’t complete. So now I’m stuck waiting for the next installment to come out sometime in 2013. I have a feeling there may be some repeats in 2013 as I re-familiarize myself of what’s going on in a series before cracking open the newest book.
Highlights from the year?

The Divergent/Insurgent series by Veronica Roth was so good. One of those books that it was hard to put down and I almost like it better than The Hunger Games. I also really liked The Selection by Kiera Cass, kind of slow in the beginning, but I see potential so I’m anxious to see what the next books in the series brings. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green…OMG, can you say tear jerker? So good.

In non-young adult books, yes. I read the Fifty Shades trilogy. Yes. It was good. But the writing was awful. If you want the same type of book, try out Sylvia Day’s Bared to You series. Much better writing. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn was a really good book with a somewhat unexpected ending and Wild by Cheryl Strayed was an interesting read.

There weren’t any books that I flat out hated this year, but two that I probably wouldn’t recommend are Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer and Two Kisses for Maddy by Matthew Logelin. Really didn’t like them and at times I found myself wishing I had that ability to just put a book down and quit.

Anyway. Here’s the list. If you want any more details, you might be able to find them in my archive. Just click on the “books” tag. I’m toying with doing a bit more in-depth reviews of each book I read in 2013, but we’ll see. 

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Ruthless by Sara Shepard
Another Hill to Climb by Bo Ryan with Rick Reilly
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
Gossip Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar
50/50 by Dean Karnazes
Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
You Know You Love Me by Cecily von Ziegesar
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
In a Single Bound: Losing My Leg, Finding Myself and Training for Life by Sarah Reinerstsen
In the Water They Can’t See You Cry by Amanda Beard
Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James
Fifty Shades Freed by E.L. James
The Paris Wife by Paula Mclain
Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Hana by Lauren Oliver
Pretty Little Secrets by Sara Shepard
When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Bared to You by Sylvia Day
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
Stunning by Sara Shepard
Fallen by Lauren Kate
Torment by Lauren Kate
Reflected in You by Sylvia Day
Passion by Lauren Kate
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Love and Loss by Matthew Logelin
Gone Girl by Gillin Flynn
Matched Ally Condie
Crossed by Ally Condie
The Selection by Kiera Cass
A Life Without Limits: A World Champion’s Journey by Chrissie Wellington
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
The Timekeeper by Mitch Albom

Goals for 2013? I think  I'll up my game and try for 45 books in the year. And of course I'll keep with my goal of reading one "classic" per year. I don't think I'll be waiting until late November to do that though. In fact, I think I already have a title picked out. 

So what'd you all read in 2012? And what are you planning to tackle in 2013?

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