I finished a weeny 22 books and maybe two dozen short works. (I always mean to keep better track of my short stories and I never do. Maybe I’ll set up a Google doc or some such to track them in 2012. Who knows…)
I made a concerted effort to read more female authors in 2011. To that end, 10 of the 22 books were by female authors, which is a much higher percentage than many years in the past. I really can’t say it was a pleasant experience. I found that I forced myself to read some books that I didn’t enjoy for the sake of keeping to a list. Should every book be enjoyable? No, but don’t think reading should be arduous either. An annoyed reader/writer doesn’t enjoy the experience of reading and doesn’t learn much about writing.
Did I learn something about female authors? I’m not sure. I still need to give it some thought. I did read more urban fantasy and became familiar with some of its tropes.
Least Favorite Book: That I finished? Joe Hill’s Horns. It was just a mess of a book. That I didn’t finish? Farthing by Jo Walton. Apparently, I should avoid Jo/es.
Favorite Book: Emma Bull’s War for the Oaks with Sleight of Hand by Peter S. Beagle a close second with its perfect ghost story. I need to read more Bull, I suspect.
My plan for 2012 is to avoid set reading lists. You would have thought I had learned my lesson after trying to read nothing but non-Arthur-Conan-Doyle Sherlock Holmes fiction for three months in 2010. On the other hand, I really want to clear this list and OWN a few reading challenges in 2012. Considering my challenges, this is my TBR list in no particular order.
Heidegger’s Glasses by Thaisa Frank
Black Light by Patrick Melton, et. al.
Decent by Jeff Long
To Reign in Hell by Steven Burst
Moby Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea… by Donovan Hohn
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby
In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson
Clever Tricks to Stave Off Death by David Malki
A Place of Execution by Val McDermid
Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist
A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
I See by My Outfit by Peter S. Beagle
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Chocolate & Vicodin: My Quest for Relief from the Headache that Wouldn’t Go Away by Jennette Fulda
Heaven (The Afterlife Series, Book I) by Mur Lafferty
52 short stories, maybe including:
People of the Book, edited by Rachael Swirsky & Sean Wallace
The Barnum Museum by Steven Millhauser
52 poems, maybe including:
Illuminations by Arthur Rimbaud
Minorities by T. E. Lawrence
A duck book.
A Western, probably Elmore Leonard.
The Flight of the Eisenstein by James Swallow
God Emperor of Dune by Frank Herbert
Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Brooks
So, that’s 24-27 books plus some poems and short stories. Doable, right? Right.