02 January 2013

Another year of Reading

Last year I did a bit of an annotated summing up of my reading year. Here is 2012's list. As I read more books than I did 2011, I have limited my notes to only the most best-est books that I loved. How did your reading year go? Favourites? Any overlap with my list? I'd love to read your comments; or find me on GoodReads and we can compare books there!

1. The Finkler Question - Howard Jacobson
2. How it All Began - Penelope Lively
3. A Visit from the Goon Squad* - Jennifer Egan
An impressive book. Eminently readable and literary. Each chapter was from a different character's perspective and a different point of view (first person, third person etc.) as well as a different time frame, but it held together and worked well. The story was centred on Bennie Salazar, a music exec and his assistant Sasha.
4. Before I go to Sleep* - S. J. Watson
Totally gripping! "Each night when Christine Lucas goes to sleep her mind erases the day." Who can she trust when she wakes up to a "stranger" every morning. Un-put-down-able. Wolfed it down in a couple of days. Quite thriller-ish, not my usual genre, but really enjoyed it. Well written too.
5.The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim - Jonathon Coe
6. Look at me - Jennifer Egan
7. Just Kids* - Patti Smith
Non Fiction. A memoir about her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe and how they both "made it" in NY. Fascinating and very moving.
8. The Ballroom: The Melbourne Punk and Post-punk Scene - a tell-all memoir - Dolores San Miguel
Non Fiction. Read this in a day. A trip down memory lane. Lots of gigs and people I know, but learnt a lot more from this book, from someone right in the thick of it.
9. Various Pets Alive and Dead - Marina Lewycka
10. The Beginner's Goodbye - Anne Tyler
11. Reading in Bed - Sue Gee
12. Thin Air - Sue Gee
13. The End of the Affair - Graham Greene
14. The Irresistible Inheritance if Wilberforce - Paul Torday
15. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life* - Anne Lamott
A thought provoking book. Part nuts and bolts of writing; part, how to live your life. Caused me a little existential angst. Probably not the best book to read on hols, but I thought it was brilliant.
16. Skios - Michael Frayan
17. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen - Paul Torday
18. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry* - Rachael Joyce
Really loved this book. It said so much about relationships, between Harold and his wife, and Harold and his friend, who is ill and who Harold starts walking toward, from southern England to Scotland. Despite time passing some people have a big impact on our lives, even if we don't keep in touch.
19. The Mysteries of Glass - Sue Gee
20. Sold - Brendan Gullifer
21. Notes from an Exhibition - Patrick Gale
22. The Whole Day Through - Patrick Gale
23. The Getting of Wisdom - Henry Handel Richardson
24. The Voice is All: The Lonely Victory of Jack Kerouac - Joyce Johnson
Non Fiction.
25. A Perfectly Good Man*- Patrick Gale
A happy return to fiction. Loved this book even more than "Notes". Very moving in parts and very satisfying!
26. Fishing for Tigers - Emily Maguire
27. Mr Phillips - John Lanchester
28. This is Life* - Dan Rhodes
Really enjoyed this story of art student Aurelie Renard. Set in Paris. A fun, page turner. Great characters.
29. The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds - Alexander McCall Smith
30. Silent House - Orhan Pamuk
31. Consequences - Penelope Lively
32. Alys, Always* - Harriet Lane
Utterly un-put-down-able. Loved this "All About Eve" type story. Frances ingratiates herself into the Kyte family, a literary family. She's a lowly sub editor who rises in the ranks due to a chance encounter with Alys. First person present tense narration - very immediate.
33. The Body (novella) - Stephen King


  1. I did not read anywhere near what I would have liked...one part not enough time, one part lazy! One of my resolutions is to remedy that!

    I think the only book I've actually read on the list is The Body...and that was at least fifteen years ago!!

    1. A good resolution Melanie!

      I have had years where I've read much less - only 7 books in 2005 (I've been keeping track since 1992).