So I got caught up in New Year's yesterday, and didn't get this post done as I'd planned. I was also busy reading my final book for 2012, Think of a Number by John Verdon.
Think of Number - John Verdon- A good mystery, the puzzle was great. The characters were interesting and well-defined. The only problem was the writing, which improved as the book went on. I liked the main character, Dave Gurney, but thought some of his psychological awareness at first was slightly manipulated. By the end of the book this was worked out and I ended up really enjoying this first mystery. His wife Madeleine was fascinating and very well-drawn. Dave is a retired detective, a cerebral intelligent detective whose greatest strengths are his logic and ability to put facts together quickly. It was fun watching him guess how the letters were done. I guessed the reveal before it happened, though this only added to the enjoyment (it was only a little before it was revealed, though I had my suspicions for a while). I will be seeking out the second one, after April 1 when the Double Dog Dare is over.
2012 in Review
So I ended up reading 71 books in total. Not a great year, though given my personal life last year, I am satisfied to get that many read. I had set the goal of 100 books to be read, which now looks like a perpetual goal, one I want to achieve every year. Last year was closest, at 97 books read.
Science Fiction: 9
Male 31 *
Looking at those numbers, I can see I continue my trend of reading 3:1 mysteries to anything else, which is why my goal is to read 50 mysteries a year. Science fiction took a lovely jump thanks to Carl's wonderful Sci-Fi experience, which I am joining again this year. Horror dropped as well, as most of the sf I read was dystopian fiction which satisfied my craving for end of the world disaster novels (mirroring my psychological state last year). I am still interested in dystopian fiction very much, I enjoyed all the books I read in this genre so much.
I am sad that classics dropped even lower. I only finished one of the three I started - North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. I am reading Les Miserables slowly, and have started Moby Dick as well. So one of my goals will be to increase my classics this year.
I read slightly more female than male writers. *Per Wahloo and Maj Sjowall counted for one each, as a husband and wife writing team.
For fun I have broken this down for the first time into authors nationalities, where in the world was I reading this past year?
Normally I have books from France, South Africa, and more from Iceland and Sweden on my list. For simplicity's sake I took all the Great Britain Isles together, but on the whole it would be slightly more in favour of England to Scotland. Again, Sweden got two votes, for Per Wahloo and Maj Sjowall. I need to radically increase my books read from other countries! And my own nation.
So overall, I didn't read as widely as I wanted to, nor in as much as I aimed for. I failed at almost every challenge I joined, though that hasn't stopped me from enlisting in a few already this year! Most of all, I enjoyed so many of the books I read this year. It was very difficult to get my books of the year in order, but finally, here they are, my
Books of the Year - 2012 -
Dark Matter - Michelle Paver
A Room Full of Bones - Elly Griffiths
Among Others - Jo Walton
Moving Mars - Greg Bear
White Pine - Mary Oliver
Seraphina - Rachel Hartmann
Sovereign - C.J Sansom
Bury Your Dead - Louise Penny
The Black House - Peter May
Roseanna - Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo
Life As We Knew It - Susan Beth Pfeiffer
Divergent - Veronica Roth
Honourable mentions to: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson, Lucifer's Hammer - Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
Reviews will follow of the four I didn't manage to review, which I certainly want to. They were each marvelous reads, thrilling, and I could have sworn I did review two of them.......
Happy New Year, Gentle Readers. I hope many pleasurable hours of reading are ahead of you, and many delightful new books to discover, for 2013.