Sunday, 30 December 2012

2012 in Books
What I've Been Reading This Year

Seeing as I'm less than halfway through my current read, I doubt I'll have it finished by the end of the year (less than 2 days to go folks). So I might as well take the opportunity to share with you the books I've read this year and some brief thoughts on them.

1 'Moab is my Washpot' by Stephen Fry

I really enjoyed this memoir of Stephen Fry's earlier days. He's brutally frank about his experiences at school and the emergence of his sexuality. I came away feeling like I knew him more intimately than I should have done.

2 'A Game of Thrones' by George RR Martin

3 'A Clash of Kings' by George RR Martin

The first two books in the 'A Song of Ice and Fire' series are a brilliant introduction to an intriguing fantasy world. 

4 'The Magic Cottage' by James Herbert

A really eery horror novel about a couple who move into their idyllic country cottage and find out that not everything is as it seems.

5 'Delores Claiborne' by Stephen King

Another masterpiece by the King of Horror. This novel is written as a monologue, a statement made to the police. I really enjoyed its experimental pace and found it difficult to put down.

6 'Wild Mind' by Natalie Goldberg

This book about writing was a bit of a let down. I love Natalie Goldberg's 'Writing Down the Bones' but just didn't get as much out of this one.

7 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies' by Jane Austen and Seth   Grahame-Smith

Amazing! A must-read for anybody with a quirky sense of humour who like both zombie literature and the classics.

8 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' by Stieg Larsson

9 'The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest' by Stieg Larsson

10 'The Girl who Played with Fire' by Stieg Larsson

Why I waited so long to read this trilogy, I don't know. It gripped me from beginning to end and I absolutely adore Lisbeth. Flawed heroes are a big favourite of mine.

11 'Trainspotting' by Irvine Welsh

Once I got used to the fact that this novel is written in dialect, I sank into it. It's a bit of a mind-bending read that takes you on a real roller-coaster ride. And it's much better than the film!

12 'Fifty Dead Men Walking' by Martin McGartand

This isn't the kind of book I'd usually pick up but my girlfriend recommended it and I agreed to give it a go. I learnt a lot about a subject that I didn't really know much about and it was kind of cool to step out of my reading comfort zone.

13 'Frankenstein' by Mary Shelley

A brilliant, brilliant book. One of my favourites this year.

14 '11.22.69' by Stephen King

Another one of my favourite books of the year. This was a fascinating and gripping read. A brilliant take on the time-travel genre that has a lot to say about life, love and the dangers of changing the past.

15 'The Hunger Games' by Suzanne Collins

16 'Catching Fire' by Suzanne Collins

17 'Mocking Jay' by Suzanne Collins

I stormed through this trilogy about teenagers battling to the death. It was surprisingly compelling considering the target age group is teenagers. And as embarrassing as it sounds, it even brought a little tear to my eyes at times. 

18'Battle Royale' by Koushun Takami

I decided to read this novel after hearing that it shared some features with Suzanne Collins' novels. I thought there were some cool ideas in there as well as some extremely gruesome scenes but all in all I was a little disappointed. I found it dragged a little and I struggled to keep up a reading momentum. This might have been due to the translation though, who knows.

19 'Over Sea, Under Stone' by Susan Cooper

20 'The Dark is Rising' by Susan Cooper

21 'Greenwitch' by Susan Cooper

The first three books in 'The Dark is Rising Sequence. I read them back to back and was pretty into them despite the fact that they were written before I was even born. However, I can't seem to bring myself to read the fourth novel. Maybe I burned myself out on them. I'm hoping I'll get round to reading book four and five next year.

22 'A Survival Guide for Life' by Bear Grylls

This is a really neat book that my girlfriend bought me during one of my hospital stays. It's not what you'd expect. It's not about surviving extreme conditions. It's about making the most of your life, about becoming the best person you can be. It's full of these great little pep talks and each chapter is no more than 2 pages, so you don't feel overwhelmed by it all. It was a great read and I found it really helpful. It's one I'll no doubt return to again and again.

23 'Zombies at Tiffany's' by Sam Stone 

An awesome novella that combines zombies and steampunk and turns Capote's 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' on its head. 

24 'Silent Sand' by Sam Stone 

The fifth novel in one of my favourite series. I certainly wasn't disappointed with this one. It lived up to the expectations of its predecessors. 

25 'The Wind Through the Keyhole' by Stephen King

A great addition to the Dark Tower Series. A story within a story within a story that sucks you in and takes over completely. I couldn't put it down. 

26 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' by Stephen Chbosky

My new favourite book. This novel broke my heart. I recommend everyone to go out and read it right away. 

27 'The Bone Collector' by Jeffrey Deaver

A rare dip into the crime genre for me. And one that I seriously enjoyed. Much more complex than the film version and extremely gory. 

28 'High Voltage Tattoo' by Kat Von D 

I loved this glimpse into the world of tattoist Kat Von D. Although it did make me want to rush out and get a whole load of tattoos. 

So that's my reading list for the year. It's not as extensive as I'd hoped it would be but considering all I've been through this year, it's not all that bad. I'm going to set myself the goal of reading 40 books in 2013. We'll see what happens... 

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