January 6, 2013

Year-End Reading Roundup

According to my not very accurate record-keeping I read about 55 books this year.  That doesn't count picture books (except one I particularly enjoyed) and I read hundreds of those.  Looking at the list as a whole is strange.  Very eclectic and not musch of a theme other than I obviously have a 9-year-old and I obviously joined the Sword & Laser book club.  The funny thing about joining S&L is that I got into it for the science fiction but I enjoyed some of the fantasy much more than I expected.  My other book club was an influence and I would have never picked up one of my favorite reads this year, The Rising Tide, of not for them.

So here's the whole list.

The Burglar in the Rye - Block; The Lost City of Z - Grann; An Abundance of Katherines - Green; Winterdance - Paulsen; Robot Dreams - Varon; The Hobbit - Tolkien; The Gollywhopper Games - Feldman; Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same - Lin; Brain Cuttings - Zimmer; Just Kids - Smith; Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America - Barry; The Familiars - Epstein; Secrets at Sea - Peck; The Windup Girl - Bacigilupi; The Wide-Awake Princess - Baker; Secrets of the Crown - Epstein; The Council of Mirrors - Buckley; Peter & the Starcatchers - Barry; Darth Paper Stikes Back - Angleberger; The Witchy Worries [of someone or other] - Hayter; The Secret Science Alliance - Davis; the entire Gregor the Overlander series - Collins; The Limit - Landon; Crunch - Connor; The Ruins of Gorlan - Flanagan; Tigana - Kay; Leviathan Wakes - Corey; Redshirts - Scalzi; Sirens of Titan - Vonnegut; Superman/Batman comics - Morrison; Hero -Lupica; The Grimm Legacy - Shulman; Moonshot - Floca; Assassin's Apprentice - Hobbs; City of Thieves - Benioff; Circle of Heros - Epstein; Cloud Atlas - Mitchell; Welcome to the Monkey House - Vonnegut; The Dirty Streets of Heaven - Williams; Ready Player One - Cline; Leaving Microsoft to Save the World - Wood; Childhood's End - Clarke; More Baths, Less Talking - Hornby; both of the Zita the Spacegirl comics - Hatke; Caliban's War - Corey; The Sisters Brothers - DeWitt; The Genius Files: Mission [something or other] - Gutman; One for the Books - Queenan; The Color of Magic - Pratchett; Guards! Guards! - Pratchett; Old Man's War - Scalzi; Native Guard - Trethewey; Becoming Naomi Leon - Ryan; The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking - Burkeman; Tarzan of the Apes - Burroughs

There were more kids books, especially read-alouds with my daughter, but I can't remember everything.  I think my favorites were:

Rising Tide
The Familiars (series, just great fun to read aloud)
The Council of Mirrors (great series ender)
the entire Gregor the Overlander series (which I thought was better than her Hunger Games series)
The Sirens of Titan
Assassin's Apprentice
Cloud Atlas (which I really didn't think I would like so much)
Ready Player One
The Sisters Brothers
both Pratchett books (now I have to read all forty-some of them!)
and, of course, Old Man's War

I don't make reading goals for myself (other than the TBR Double Dare).  I don't care about the number of books read or anything.  I do plan on reading more of the books I own and less buying of books this year and I've already bought some of the next books in some of the series books listed above.  My only weakness is the Kindle Daily Deal.  Whenever they have something good, it's hard to resist at such a low price.  But I guess I'm trying for a year-long TBR double dare.  Other than that my only goal with reading is the same one I'm always recommending to my students: make sure it's something interesting that you enjoy, then you can't go wrong!

What were some of your favorite books this past year?  Any surprises?