A year of books: 2012

I’m including here a list of all the books I’ve read in 2012, as well as some commentary my year in reading. I always enjoy when people post these sorts of lists online and actually rather enjoy doing so myself.

I’ve been doing this for a few years now: 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 and 2007.

If you’ve posted such a list online somewhere, please post a link in the comments. I’d love to see it!

The list of books I’m posting below includes all the books I started and finished in 2012, with the exception of books that I’m currently reading. As it happens this past year I only abandoned one or two books so I haven’t bothered recording them. I’ve been recording every book I’ve read since 1983 in a little booklet and have been mostly transcribing those lists on my other (mostly lapsed) blog I’ve been occasionally transcribing the list on a year by year basis. I’ve stalled a bit the last couple of years, and I keep saying I’ll resume but haven’t yet.

Trends in my reading this year?

  • My book reading time has decreased a quite a bit again this year for a number of reasons, from 70ish two years ago to 60ish last year to 50ish. First of all, I haven’t read as many really good page-turner novels as in past years, so this slowed me down as I tend to get bogged down when I’m not really gripped. As well, the iPad and iPhone are reading time-sinks. In a sense, I’m not reading less, just reading more that’s online. That’s neither good nor bad, automatically, it just is. I do see a tendency in myself to just mindlessly surf and graze and look for the next twitter endorphin hit on my iDevices when I could be focused on something more useful or engaging.
  • And a way I’ve counteracted that mindless surfing trend this year is to start reading ebooks on my iPhone during my rather long comute to and from work every day. Seven books in 2012 and I imagine a bunch more in 2013. Discovering the joy of my particular ebook reading niche is the highlight f the year for me. All the other books on my list are good old fashioned print books.
  • My genre tastes continue the shift I’ve noted these last couple of years. I find I’m reading more mystery and crime fiction as the years go by and this year is no exception. As you might be able to tell from the list below, I tend towards the hardboiled & noir.
  • My science fiction reading this year has decreased again. It’s not that I love SFFH any less, but somehow in 2012 I didn’t seem to get charged by many SF books. I’m going to have to be a lot more intentional about the sf books I chose to read this year, maybe being a little less experimental in a way and following my favourite authors and genres a bit more closely. I think I’m still suffering a bit of SF burnout after judging the Sunburst Award a few years ago.
  • And the graphic novel love continues apace, if a little less than last year. Comics were my first reading love and I’m always happy to read a great one. Fiction, non-fiction, science, superheroes, all across the spectrum of graphicy goodness. And it helped prop up the numbers in a slowish reading year, in particular a couple in the last two days of the year.
  • I’ve continued updating my reading on Good Reads, which has been very fun this year. If you’re on the service yourself, add me as a friend.

Reading resolutions?

  • Like last year, be more intentional about my leisure iConnected time, wasting and wandering less and spending more time engaged with useful and enjoyable texts, be they e- or p-, book or ebook. This is especially something I want to maintain for my commuting time.
  • More novels, more science fiction, and I’d still like to get back to more short story collections for my commute. I also want to get back to reading more of the annual science writing collections.
  • I’ve committed to the Goodreads Reading Challenge for the year, trying to get back to the 60 book level. Join me!
  • It was a slow reviewing year as well, so I’m going to try and get closer to one review per month — which means reading one science/tech/cyberculture book per month. I’ve got two reviews pending: The Best Science Writing Online 2012 and Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb, both of which are excellent so the reviews should flow nicely. The books I’m reading in preparation for reviewing are Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto: A Collection of Essays from the Bleeding Edge of Publishing which I’m 60% through and Marie Curie and Her Daughters: The Private Lives of Science’s First Family which I’ve just started.

So, here goes.

  1. The Quants: How a New Breed of Math Whizzes Conquered Wall Street and Nearly Destroyed It by Scott Patterson
  2. Our Game by John LeCarre
  3. Resistance by Carla Jablonski, Leland Purvis, Hilary Sycamore
  4. Defiance by Carla Jablonski, Leland Purvis
  5. End of Days by Max Turner
  6. WWW: Watch by Robert J. Sawyer
  7. Tumor by Joshua Hale Fialkov, Noel Tuazon
  8. Endgame: Bobby Fischer’s Remarkable Rise and Fall – from America’s Brightest Prodigy to the Edge of Madness by Frank Brady
  9. At the Mountains of Madness: A Graphic Novel by I.N.J. Culbard, H.P. Lovecraft
  10. Choke Hold by Christa Faust
  11. Almuric by Robert E. Howard
  12. The Annotated Northwest Passage by Scott Chantler
  13. Marketing for Scientists: How to Shine in Tough Times by Marc J. Kuchner (review)
  14. The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
  15. The Moon Moth by Jack Vance, Humayoun Ibrahim
  16. Gotham Central Book Two: Jokers and Madmen by Ed Brubaker, Greg Rucka, Michael Lark
  17. Gotham Central Book Three: On the Freak Beat by Greg Rucka, Ed Brubaker, Michael Lark
  18. School Days by Robert B. Parker
  19. Friends with Boys by Faith Eric Hicks
  20. Welcome to the Real World by Angela Melick
  21. Nine Algorithms That Changed the Future: The Ingenious Ideas That Drive Today’s Computers by John MacCormick (review)
  22. The Walking Dead, Vol. 16: A Larger World by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard
  23. Cooler Smarter: Practical Steps for Low-Carbon Living by The Union of Concerned Scientists (review)
  24. Shadows Bend: A Novel of the Fantastic and Unspeakable by David Barbour, Richard Raleigh
  25. Shoot the Piano Player by David Goodis
  26. Cold Service by Robert B. Parker
  27. How to Cook Like a Man: A Memoir of Cookbook Obsession by Daniel Duane
  28. Monte Casino by Sven Hassel
  29. Assassin’s Code by Jonathan Maberry
  30. White Line Fever: The Autobiography by Lemmy Kilmister, Janiss Garza
  31. For the Win by Cory Doctorow
  32. The Greatest Game: The Montreal Canadiens, the Red Army, and the Night That Saved Hockey by Todd Denault
  33. My Mother’s Lover by David Dobbs
  34. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 Volume 1: Freefall by Joss Whedon, Andrew Chambliss, Sierra Hahn and Scott Allie
  35. Angel & Faith, Vol. 1: Live Through Thisby Christos Gage, Scott Allie and Rebekah Isaacs
  36. Ignorance: How it drives science by Stuart Firestein (review)
  37. Wolverine: Lifeblood by Matthew Hughes
  38. The Gift of Ford by Ivor Tossell
  39. Finding Karla: How I Tracked Down an Elusive Serial Child Killer and Discovered a Mother of Three by Paula Todd
  40. Betterness: Economics for Humans by Umair Haque
  41. Rebooting the Academy by Tim McCormick, Jeffrey Young
  42. Deep Water: As Polar Ice Melts, Scientists Debate How High Our Oceans Will Rise by Daniel Grossman (review)
  43. A Critic at Large in the Multiverse by Norman Spinrad
  44. Open Access by Peter Suber (review)
  45. Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey
  46. Dirty Sweet: A Mystery by John McFetridge
  47. A Dry Spell by Susie Moloney
  48. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 Volume 2: On Your Own by Andrew Chambliss, Scott Allie, Sierra Hahn and Georges Jeanty
  49. Angel & Faith Volume 2: Daddy Issues by Christos Gage, Sierra Hahn, Scott Allie and Rebekah Isaacs
  50. The Best Science Writing Online 2012 edited by Bora Zivkovic, Jennifer Ouellette
  51. The Second World War by Antony Beevor
  52. The Walking Dead, Vol. 17: Something to Fear by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard
  53. Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm

Notable Fiction

  1. Choke Hold by Christa Faust
  2. Gotham Central, Book 2: Jokers and Madmen by Ed Brubaker, Greg Rucka, Michael Lark and Gotham Central, Book 3: On the Freak Beatby Greg Rucka, Ed Brubaker, Michael Lark
  3. The Walking Dead Volume 17 TP: Something to Fear by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard
  4. Sandman Slimby Richard Kadrey
  5. Cold Service by Robert B. Parker
  6. Assassin’s Code: A Joe Ledger Novel by Jonathan Maberry

Notable Non-Fiction

  1. The Greatest Game: The Montreal Canadiens, the Red Army, and the Night That Saved Hockey by Todd Denault
  2. My Mother’s Lover by David Dobbs
  3. A Critic at Large in the Multiverse by Norman Spinrad
  4. The Second World War by Antony Beevor
  5. Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm
  6. Endgame: Bobby Fischer’s Remarkable Rise and Fall – from America’s Brightest Prodigy to the Edge of Madness by Frank Brady

I hope this list provides a little inspiration to all my readers to compile their own reading list for the year. I’ve seen a few already around the web and have really enjoyed them. I look forward to seeing a bunch more —- feel free to drop a link in the comments.

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