2012 The Year In Reading

Finally, here’s the post I have been trying to write for a week. I have been stymied by poor wi-fi on vacation, a baby with a cold, and returning to work. But here, on the 6th day of 2013, is my 2012 reading wrap-up.

Happy New Year, EDIWTB readers! I hope you all have a great year in 2013. I had a very eventful 2012, with a new baby and a new job. I expect that 2013 will be less momentous!

2011 was a strong year for me in terms of reading, at 54 books. My goal for 2012 was to repeat that number. I didn’t make it, thanks to a crazy schedule this fall. But I did manage to get 47 books in. So my goal for 2013 is to make it to 50, somewhere in between the two. I know it will be challenging, but with audiobooks and a slightly longer commute, maybe I can make it.

[I know there are a lot of book bloggers out there reading this and saying, “50 books? Seriously?” My hat is off to all of you – I don’t know how you do it.]

Here are my standout reads from 2012:

Best debut novel goes to author Nichole Bernier’s The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D.

Most addictive read goes to Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl.

Last year, I collected the Depressing Themes of 2011, and it was quite a list. Here are the depressing subjects covered by the books I read in 2012: kids disappearing, Alzheimer’s, abusive marriages, agoraphobia, depression itself, dead babies, death of a sister, alleged molestation, car accidents, divorce, the Khmer Rouge and Cambodian genocide, the entire plot of A Good American, kids doing drugs, miscarriages, 9/11, the slowdown of the rotation of the earth, the entire plot of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, impending death, dementia, kidnapping and imprisonment, orphans, the financial crisis and facial disfigurement.ย  Again, I say it: sheesh.

The breakdown:

  • 42 fiction, 5 non-fiction
  • 10 repeat authors during 2012: Laura Lippman, Jennifer Haigh, Jeffrey Eugenides, Jonathan Tropper, Joshua Henkin, Christina Baker Kline, Stewart O’Nan, Deborah Kopaken Kogan, Meg Mitchell Moore, and Laura Moriarty.
  • 14 audiobooks
  • 12 male authors, 34 female authors

I think the book that disappointed me most was The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake. It just wasn’t for me. I was also not a big fan of The Divorce Party by Laura Dave.

Hereโ€™s to another great year of reading in 2013! And let me know what your reading highlights were this year. What are your goals for 2013?


  • January 7, 2013 - 2:14 am | Permalink

    Congrats on the reading that you got done! I used to read far less when I worked full time, and different seasons of our lives mean different reading habits.

    I loved Still Alice, but it made me paranoid every time I forgot simple things. ๐Ÿ™‚ In that way I think it’s had a more long-lasting impact than a lot of other books I’ve read.

  • Susan
    January 7, 2013 - 7:14 am | Permalink

    Happy New Year! I really need to read Molly Ringwald’s book. The only reading goal I set for myself this year is to try graphic novels. I’m not sure they will be for me, or even feel like what I think of as reading, but I’m going to give it a go.

  • January 7, 2013 - 9:37 am | Permalink

    I think that’s a lot of reading with 2 new babies and a job outside the home! I loved Faith too!

  • January 7, 2013 - 10:45 am | Permalink

    I never did get the Ringwald book even though I heard it was being sent to me. I still want to read it though.

  • Len
    January 7, 2013 - 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Happy New Year Gayle!

    Thanks for the year in review. I didn’t realize what a depressing lot of books you reviewed in 2012 until you compiled all the subjects together…wow. ๐Ÿ™‚

    My top two subjects for the year were cancer and discrimination against Asian Americans, so I guess I can’t judge….

    My favorite read of 2012 was Junot Diaz’s “This is How You Lose Her”, but a very close second was “Fathermucker” (thanks for turning me onto that one!).

    Yours is now the third strong endorsement of “Gone Girl,” so thank you for once again making me violate my “I’m not adding to the TBR list until I whittle it down significantly” rule.

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