Friday, January 04, 2013

My Reading List: 2012 Edition

Ah, 2012, what a most crazy year it was.  My reading list was subject to the almighty 2012 Manifesto (see the tab above, or click here) and the rules established therein.  Overall, it was a (surprising) success.  Roughly 150 books were on the list as of December 31, 2011.  By the end of 2012, I had the list down to 79 books.  Not too shabby.  Additionally, a goal was to utilize the library more and to decrease book spending, and the fact that I spent less than $10* last year on books is astounding.

My actual books read hit 67 for 2012, a 43% increase from the previous year.  Page numbers were almost identical, with only a 4% increase for this year, although to be fair, my audio book consumption was more for 2012, too.

As always, the monster spreadsheet is available here for your perusal if you're so inclined.  I still very much enjoy the statistical analysis of my books, and I'm ever disappointed with the failures of the system.  Still, I press on.  Enjoy.


     Oldest book: The Children of Odin, by Padraic Colum, 1920
     Audio books: 10
     E-books: 15
     Library books: 20
     Books actually published in 2012: 6
     Books forsaken: 2 (The Brothers Karamazov & The Complete Works of H.P. Lovecraft)
     Books from publishers, et. al received: 11
     Books from publishers, et. al reviewed: 8
     Most popular author: Brian Michael Bendis
     Most popular publisher: Marvel Comics
     Busiest reading month: January
     Total Page Numbers: 16172
     Average Book Score: 3.45
     Weighted Average Book Score: 3.44
     Female/Male Ratio: 2/33

Much of the early part of the year was spent reading through a giant stack of Daredevil comics that my buddy Adam let me borrow.  Truly, it was the entire run of Volume 2, which took over 120 issues to complete.  This was an excellent series to read and it showed me how wonderful Brian Michael Bendis is when he's behind a pen.  Another point of interest is how close the average book score is to the weighted average, meaning that my (somewhat arbitrary) enjoyment was correlated with page count.  And most staggering of all is the embarrassingly low F/M ratio.  I really want this number to go up, but sadly my genres of choice are mostly dominated by male authors.  Regardless, there are plenty of female authors on my radar (and my TBR), and I hope to get to some in 2013.

The sub-genre breakdown is much the same as previous years.  Not much need for explanation here but to note the sub-genres that are missing from previous years.  (It's also interesting to me to see how my mind seems to jump to classifying a genre and sub-genre, and I wonder if when I look at this list again if my opinions will change.)


This year had three standout fiction books that really were wonderful stories, one non-fiction work, and a run of comics.  All of these earned 5 stars on my GoodReads scale.  (Reviews are linked.)

     The Lies of Locke Lamora, by Scott Lynch
     Stardust, by Neil Gaiman
     The Reapers Are the Angels, by Alden Bell
     The Hole in Our Gospel, by Richard Stearns
     Daredevil Volume 2: Assorted TPBs (from Volume 4 through Volume 13), by Bendis

To pick a favorite from this list would be based on mood and whim.  Lies was twisted and insanely fun.  Stardust brought a smile to my lips and I read is basically twice.  Reapers blew me away and took a piece of my heart with it, giving me one of the best protagonists I've read in ages.  Hole was matter-of-fact with the current situation in the world, of how many people die annually of stupid stuff, of how many children suffer needlessly, and this book helped shape me.  And Daredevil, as I've already mentioned, was a fun (and merciless) set of comics, especially BMB's section.

Other Things of Note

Since my new commute is longer I've been listening to a lot of audio books.  I expect my numbers for next year to be even higher in this category, assuming my cd player keeps up.  I'm really enjoying The Wheel of Time in this manner, whereas when I tried to read the physical books I enjoyed it as much as I enjoy looking at a dirty bowl.  I may try Jim Butcher's Dresden Files this way, too.

A tragedy that my new house is in a new county with an impoverished library.  How I miss my old one.

The 2012 manifesto was a fun thing to try.  I like looking at that tab and seeing all the crossed off books.  While I'm thankful to have done it (and stuck with it!), I'm glad to have more freedom now if I so desire.

*See the actual manifesto for a more thorough explanation


Bryce L. said...

Great year's review...I may have to steal the graphs. I love these posts.

Anonymous said...

looks like it was a great reading year.

I am really attracted to that list of books with marks through most of them. I am going to have to do that. Congrats on your success with the manifesto! and I'm appreciating the reminder that I really do want to read The Lies of Locke Lamora.

I wish you the best in this next year of reading and audiobooks.


David Wagner said...

Love it when you crunch the numbers on the year's books. Interesting, as always.


logankstewart said...

@Bryce: Thank you. Graphs are always nice...

@L: Indeed, a great reading year. I, too, am quite attracted to the list with the stricken text. Oh, and heed the voice urging you to read Locke Lamora. I'm hoping to start the sequel soon.

@Dave: Thanks, friend. I enjoy it, too.

Carl V. said...

Always love seeing Gaiman on people's favorites list. We are going to do a group read of Stardust in the Spring so I hope you chip in on the conversation when the time comes.

Sorry about the library. I love having a good library system and would hate to relocate somewhere that didn't have a good one.

logankstewart said...

I'll try to tag in with some of the Stardust group read. That was such a wonderful book.

As for our current library... It's a sad thing, really. My other library card does not expire until August, so I've made the out-of-the-way trip to the other county library a time or two since moving. Hopefully improvements come, but I'm not holding my breath.