31 December 2012

2012 Books

I read 27 books this year. Eleven fiction. Sixteen non-fiction. Fourteen audio-books (More than half. Wow.)

My top 10% are:
  • Truman by David McCollough
  • Bringing Up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman
  • Jefferson's Sons by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
1. Elantris by Brandon Sanderson - I really liked most of this book, but the ending wrapped up too quickly. I liked the writing, so I'll probably read more of his stuff.

2. The Children by David Halberstam* - The Civil Rights movement is just amazing. I am so impressed with the people who made it happen.

3. Brain Rules: 12 Rules for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home and School by John Medina* - Lots of interesting points. Definitely a lot of things to consider, but nothing particularly life-changing.

4. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - Read it again in preparation for the film. Didn't love it as much this time. But I still liked it.

5. Matched by Alli Condie - Good, not great. Will very likely read the sequels, though. I would love to have a dystopian novel without a love triangle, although I think in this case the love triangle serves a valuable purpose in that the premise of the book is essentially based on choosing your lifelong companion. Still, I'm kind of tired of love triangles. Can we not engage young women in other plot devices?

I was busy reading but not finishing Truman this month. I was also busy sleeping through my first trimester so reading was not top of my agenda.

6. Crossroads by Leon Jaworski - Really cool stories from a guy who has done a lot of good in his life. A little preachy, though.

7. The Stowaway by Karent Hesse - A fun read, especially the parts about New Zealand.

8. The Social Animal by David Brooks* - Ugh. I really wanted to like this, but it just didn't do it for me. Too bad.

9. Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting by Pamela Druckerman* - Could not stop talking about it. Must implement so many of these methods.

10. 365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life by John Kralick* - Nice sentiments but rather tiresome.

11. Bossypants by Tina Fey* - Pretty darn hilarious. I like Tina Fey. (Cannot recommend this book to everyone. In fact, cannot recommend to most people I know.) 

12. Truman by David McCullough - It is no wonder this book won the Pulitzer. It is an excellent read. I started it in 2009 and then picked it up in earnest earlier this year. 

13. Okay For Now by Gary D. Schmidt* - Very enjoyable. It made me want to read Wednesday Wars again. 

14. Crossed by Ally Condie* - A couple of people had told me they liked this one even less than Matched, so I went in with fairly low expectations. They were exceeded. I actually quite liked it and want to know how this story ends.

15. Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace With Marriage by Elizabeth Gilbert* -  I downloaded this on audio really not knowing what to expect. Then I realized it was the same lady who wrote Eat, Pray, Love, and I was very skeptical, but I actually really liked it. I didn't agree with her on all things, but it was incredibly well-written and all-around good.

16. What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty - I loved this book. I couldn't put it down, and as soon as I finished it I kind of wanted to read it again.

17. Jefferson's Sons by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley - I really loved this historical fiction, and it made me want to pick up a non-fiction book about Sally Hemmings and the children she had with Thomas Jefferson.

18. The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914 by David McCullough* - Really interesting. Ultimately glad I went with the abridged audio read by Edward Hermann rather than the 35-hour-long one read by some other less awesome reader.

19. The Girl Who Was on Fire: Your Favorite Authors on Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games Trilogy ed. by Leah Wilson - I liked this book. There were definitely some essays I preferred over others.

20. Blink by Malcolm Gladwell* - Very interesting. I might have talked Eric's ear off about the taste-testing portion.

21. The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko* - Rich people live below their means. That's pretty much all there is to it. This book was interesting but could have been about half as long. I did love this quote, though, "It is easier to purchase products that denote superiority than to be actually superior in economic achievement."

22. Ghost Soldiers by Hampton Sides - In January 1945 some elite U.S. Army troops went behind enemy lines in the Philippines to rescue a few hundred men from a Japanese POW camp. This book tells about the men in the camp, from their lost battle in Bataan, to the horrifying Bataan Death March, to their years in the POW camp. In alternating chapters it tells about the men who rescued them. It is both gruesome and engaging.

23. The Angry Hills by Leon Uris - I liked but didn't love this book. It is a an easy read, and I breezed through it quickly, but the end had me rolling my eyes a little bit. I think that is to be expected with a spy-thriller, which I think this was. Sort of.

24. Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe* -  Worthwhile for its historical significance, but definitely a morality tale. Sometimes that got a little old.

25. SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes And Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner* - This was fun and interesting. It kind of makes me wish I had taken a behavioral economics course.

I was busy reading/listening to three very long books this month.

26. Joseph Anton by Salman Rushdie* - Ugh. Hated this one so much. And it was 27 hours long. A very painful 27 hours. 

27. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens - Really enjoyed this one. Dickens has amusing characters, which usually makes up for the excessive wordiness of his prose.

*I listened to an audio-book. 


Janssen said...

I need to read Bringing Up Bebe again.

trishtator said...

If I like Tina Fey, should I read that book? PS do you watch 30 Rock?

trishtator said...

And, I'd really like to read the French baby book. After traveling outside the UStates, I wonder how the Europeans do it.