Friday, January 04, 2013

Reading Roundup: 2012

(previous years: 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007)

I read 97 books last year. I didn't think the total would be that many since my reading has slowed a lot during the last six months, but I read a lot at the beginning when I was reading Whitney finalists.

80 of the books I read were fiction and only 17 were nonfiction. That's a much smaller ratio than I have had in the past. It's partly due to all the Whitney finalists and also due to the fact that this year I have favored easier, fluffier books. I've still read some good ones, but I've been on a light reading kick for a while and nonfiction doesn't always fit into that very well. Only 27 of the books I read were by men and 70 were by women; that ratio has also been changing year by year. I think in this case the books by women category was weighted so heavily because I've read fewer nonfiction books (I tend to read more fiction by women and nonfiction by men), the Whitney categories I read tend to be dominated by women (romance,mystery, youth fiction), and because I like to read contemporary and historical fiction more than speculative fiction.

In no particular order, here are some of this year's favorites:

Fiction
Borrowed Light by Carla Kelly
Just My Type by Melanie Jacobson
With a Name Like Love by Tess Hilmo
Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin
The Good Father by Noah Hawley
The Submission by Amy Waldman
The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Nonfiction
The Magic Room by Jeffrey Zaslow
Memoir of  Debulked Woman by Susan Gubar
Charles and Emma by Deborah Heiligman
The Journal of Best Practices by David Finch
Signs of Life by Natalie Taylor

I only watched 22 movies this year; that's my lowest total yet. Interestingly, I watched a lot more movies in the theater than I have in other years. I don't have as many opportunities to watch them at night as I have in the past, but I have a lot more free weekends so I've been splurging on movies. This year's highlights:

The Tree of Life
The Ides of March
The Help
The Dark Knight Rises
Lincoln
Les Miserables

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