Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Book swapping
Photo credit: nSeika
Last year, a Slate writer decided to read a book a day. Not exactly, but with audiobooks and graphic novels, it averaged out.

I started keeping a list of the books I read each year a few years ago. I could probably try the book a day challenge, but it would mean giving up podcasts for audiobooks and I'm already two years behind on my husband's podcast, so that's not really an option. Also, he selected books based on length and that's not really how I like to do it. 

Remember those reading olympics-type challenges in school? My brother and I tore through a bunch of children's books just to rack up the numbers in the first few days and then gave up. 

I guess I'm not that cut out for the numbers game. Last year I managed a little over a book a week, and this year I seem to be well on my way to topping last year's total, possibly thanks to reading through some lengthly illnesses, including the long bout of vertigo.

Anyway, here are my favorites from last year's reading. (They weren't necessarily published last year. Stephen King did something similar in Entertainment Weekly with the TV shows he watched last year, so I'm in god company.)

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society The author died before this was published, which upsets me to no end because that means she won't be writing any more.

I Think I Love You by Allison Pearson It's about teenaged girls with crushes on David Cassidy. And then they grow up.

A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan There's a section in PowerPoint which should be annoying and pretentious, but it's clever and inspired instead.

I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella I still want to smack her Shopaholic character, but all her other books are so good that it makes me mad.

Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson Finally, a book that allows us all to say, "At least neither of my parents ever used a dead squirrel as a puppet."

Redshirts by John Scalzi The characters on a poorly written TV show start to notice.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs So wildly inventive that I can't even be jealous that I didn't write it. Even though I sort of am.

The Hunger Games trilogy I devoured these and then took to Facebook asking for someone to lend me their tween daughter so I could discuss the books with someone. 

The Sookie Stackhouse books I started on these books last year and I'm almost done with the series. Really entertaining.

I've read a few books this year that I've loved as well, but I'll hold off rather than bombard you with an even longer list. What books do you love so much that you tell everyone about? I'm always on the lookout for more reading material, so share your suggestions in the comments.


  1. VIsit from the Goon Squad is one of my favorites. None of it should work -- but does.

  2. My 10-y/o son has already been using your reading strategy: he reads short 'graphic novels' and puts them on his Yearly Reading List. He has something like 50 books, and they total about 10,000 words. Sigh.

    I've got to read the Sookie books - the wife loves them (I just watch True Blood). Of course, I haven't read Hunger Games, either.

    Anyway... read "Ender's Game" before the movie comes out this fall. If you like long-winded philosophical preachiness, then read all the sequels but get them from the library because the interwebs thinks that the author is a complete close-minded jerk (and they are kinda right), so not giving him a sales bump is preferable.

    Read the Game of Thrones books (technically "A Song of Ice and Fire"). The show is good, but the books are better. It's not an easy read, though - millions of tertiary characters who are all important for a moment or two.

    Patrick Rothfuss' trilogy is good (well, only the first two are out so far). There is one section in the second book that makes most people scream and gnash their teeth (not in a good way) - you'll know it when you see it. Or read the book reviews.

  3. Bookses, is that what Gollum reads?

    I loved Allison Pearson's first book; thank you for the reminder to read the second. I also liked Guernsey and Goon Squad. Have you read Hilary Mantel's Cromwell books--Wolf Hall and Bringing up the Bodies--I think she's a genius.


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