Robin Camille Davis
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Books I read in 2012

December 30, 2012
Tags: books

I read 24 books this year, slightly more than 2011 (18) and 2010 (21) but not as many as 2009 (59, in my last full year of Brown's English program). Here they are below, listed in the order I read them. The six titles with asterisks next to them are ones I read in ebook form, and the bold titles are ones I highly recommend.

  • The Hunger Games* (Suzanna Collins)
  • Swamplandia! (Karen Russel)
  • American Psycho (Bret Easton Ellis)
  • Catching Fire* (Suzanne Collins)
  • Mockingjay* (Suzanne Collins)
  • Mobile First (Luke Wroblewski)
  • A Visit from the Goon Squad (Jennifer Egan)
  • The Sisters Brothers (Patrick DeWitt)
  • Over To You (Roald Dahl)
  • Jerusalem: Chronicle of the Holy City (Guy Delisle)
  • City of Glass (Paul Auster)
  • Ghosts (Paul Auster)
  • The Locked Room (Paul Auster)
  • I Was Told There'd Be Cake (Sloane Crosley)
  • A Wrinkle in Time (Madeleine L'Engle; a reread)
  • NW* (Zadie Smith)
  • Half Empty (David Rakoff)
  • The Casual Vacancy* (J.K. Rowling)
  • Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore (Robin Sloan)
  • The Virgin Suicides (Jeffrey Eugenides)
  • Are You My Mother? (Alison Bechdel)
  • Pastoralia (George Saunders)
  • The Name of the Rose* (Umberto Eco)
  • The Uncensored Picture of Dorian Gray (Oscar Wilde; ed. Nicholas Frankel)

There were some high-profile books that disappointed me (NW, Casual Vacancy, and Mr. Penumbra), and there were some pleasant surprises (absolutely loved The Sisters Brothers, a sort of literary western). By chance, I read The Name of the Rose right before The Uncensored Picture of Dorian Gray, which turned out to be a great choice — the first touches on the history of heretical texts, and the second effectively was one in 1890 England. It was also good to revisit A Wrinkle in Time — I adored L'Engle as an adolescent, but I'd forgotten how totally weird and great that book is.

Best book I read this year? Hands down it was Pastoralia, by George Saunders. The collection of short stories was published back in 2001, but I had never actually read Saunders before and picked up this book from the John Jay Library at random. Some of the best things I've read have been serendipitous finds in the stacks.

I keep track of my reads on Daytum and have been trying to use Goodreads more often. And yes, I'm still stalled in Infinite Jest.