Archive for December, 2011

December 31st, 2011

» 24 Books: December & 2011

December wasn’t a great reading month for me — I’m partway through a couple things, and keep getting side-tracked or having to return them to the library. But I am really happy with how much I read in 2011! I did a ridiculous amount in the beginning of the year, but I’m pretty thrilled that up until December and holiday craziness I kept a fairly steady pace. Duplicating it in 2012 seems a little too ambitious, but I think 36 sounds like an appropriate goal.

The only thing I finished this month was The Sisters Brothers, by Patrick deWitt, read by John Pruden. I had mixed feelings about this one — I kept getting hooked and then not wanting to listen any more. The book is set in the American west during the gold rush; its narrator is one of the Sisters brothers, a pair of infamous killers. I liked the setting, and the relationship between the brothers, and I really liked deWitt’s use of the first person. I’m a little picky about first-person narration, but thought it was exactly appropriate here. I struggled with hating the other brother (he is a nasty drunk) — but what really bothered me was the narrator’s poor, luckless horse. It all fit with the story, and the writing was good, so I really can’t fault deWitt. Let’s just say it’s been my year for accidentally picking books with agonizingly long, gruesome passages, particularly pertaining to animals. I did really love the last part of the book; the characters do something strange and wonderful. I think I’m going to try to carry that into my 2012 reading: more magical realism, less animal suffering.

In fact — I just looked back, and apparently my sorta guideline for 2011 was to read more Literature. I’d actually completely forgotten about that, and it obviously got thrown a bit by the wayside. Goals for 2012: read a summary of every book before I crack it open, and read more books that keep me up all night needing to know what happens next. Any suggestions?

2011 Book Count: 42
January: 6
February: 2
March: 7
April: 3
May: 3
June: 3
July: 4
August: 3
September: 4
October: 3
November: 3
December: 1

The complete 2011 list:

  • City of Bones, by Cassandra Clare
  • Deliver Us from Evie, by M. E. Kerr
  • Boneshaker, by Cherie Priest
  • Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins
  • Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins
  • Specimen Days, by Michael Cunningham, read by Alan Cumming
  • I Capture the Castle, by Dodie Smith
  • Savage Love, by Dan Savage (online archives 1999-2011)
  • How I Live Now, by Meg Rosoff, read by Kim Mai Guest
  • The Big U, by Neal Stephenson
  • The Wise Man’s Fear, by Patrick Rothfuss
  • Redwall, by Brian Jacques, read by Ron Keith
  • The Fifth Elephant, by Terry Pratchett
  • The Stranger, by Albert Camus, translated by Matthew Ward, read by Jonathan Davis
  • The Beach, by Alex Garland
  • The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde
  • The Book of Lost Things, by John Connolly, read by Steven Crossley
  • Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, by Patrick Süskind
  • The Magicians, by Lev Grossman
  • The Witch in the Wood (or The Queen of Air and Darkness), by T. H. White, read by Neville Jason
  • Dead Reckoning, by Charlaine Harris
  • Nemesis, by Philip Roth, read by Dennis Boutsikaris
  • Sirens of Titan, by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon
  • Goodbye, Columbus: and Five Short Stories, by Philip Roth
  • The Finkler Question, by Howard Jacobson, narrated by Steven Crossley
  • The Ill-Made Knight, by T. H. White, read by Neville Jason
  • The Candle in the Wind, by T. H. White, read by Neville Jason
  • The Book of Merlyn, by T. H. White, read by Neville Jason
  • The Savage Girl, by Alex Shakar
  • A Cupboard Full of Coats, by Yvvette Edwards
  • Love Me, by Garrison Keillor
  • B is for Beer, by Tom Robbins
  • The Magician King, by Lev Grossman
  • The Griff, by Christopher Moore & Ian Corson
  • IinterWorld, by Neil Gaiman & Michael Reaves
  • Snowdrops, by Andrew Miller
  • Jamrach’s Menagerie, by Carol Birch
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson, read by Simon Vance
  • On Canaan’s Side, by Sebastian Barry, read by Wanda McCaddon
  • How Good Riders Get Good, by Denny Emmerson
  • The Sisters Brothers, by Patrick deWitt, read by John Pruden