Friday, January 25, 2013

Books of 2012

At the beginning of 2011, I set a goal for myself to read 25 books during the year. I didn't think it would be very difficult, I figured that I would be able to do it easily. Well, I got through 24, and started the 25th one. I would like to say that I remembered setting a goal for books read for 2012, but I don't know if I did.


Steve Jobs - Walter Isaacson
I've always be interested in Steve Jobs, and was excited to get my hands on this. First book of the year, and it was great. Fabulous writing about an extremely intelligent and gifted man.

Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

The Fault in Our Stars - John Green

John Green is amazing. Tumblr is in love with him, as are many, many people around the country who have read his books. This book was the first I read, and I'm not sure if it's because of that fact, but it might be my favorite. (See below, as I read other books by John Green. There is another possible favorite.) I don't know really what I can say about this book, other than that I couldn't put it down, I cried, and I laughed. Amazing story, amazing writer.

Bloom - Kelle Hampton
I've written about Kelle Hampton's blog before, as it is one of my favorite blogs to read. Then, she published a book. Needless to say, I had it preordered and read it in a day. Not only is it written very well, the layout of the book is amazing with so many pictures, many filling the page.

An Abundance of Katherines - John Green

The Usual Rules - Joyce Maynard

Looking For Alaska - John Green

This was one of those books that don't end the way you want them to. I read it so qucikly in hopes of getting to where I wanted to in the story, and then it ended. I guess it could be a sign of good literature, making me think and staying with me longer than a book that laid out everything would. Overall, it was a fabulous story, and I love all of John Green's work.

Bringing Up Bébé - Pamela Druckerman

The story of how French parenting and American parenting differ was fascinating. Having spent time in Europe with small children as well as a great deal of time trying to wrangle American children, it was amazing the difference between the two, which are many times because of minute details. Really interesting, and because it was told first person, very well written.

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother - Amy Chua
It was interesting reading this book after reading Bringing Up Bébé. The lassez-faire parenting that Druckerman described in her book was the antithesis of how Amy Chua raised her kids. I'm not here to judge, as I think that everyone is entitled to their own way of life. Reading about hers was certainly something.

Cheerful Money - Tad Friend
This was similar to last year's Dead End Gene Pool. Hysterical, critical of his own family, and very honest, Tad Friend invited us into his WASP family, and led us through the downfall.

Bossypants - Tina Fey

I Didn't Ask to Be Born (But I'm Glad I Was) - Bill Cosby
I personally adhere to the belief that Bill Cosby is a genius. However, I sadly have to say that I think a lot of that genius is in his delivery. Reading what he had written, I could imagine him saying the jokes, complete with the facial expressions and craziness that is Bill Cosby, but it wasn't the same. Watch some of his stand-up or The Cosby Show if you want the real thing.

My Booky Wook - Russell Brand

What Remains - Carole Radziwill
I'll be honest, I found out who Carole Radziwill is by watching The Real Housewives of New York City. She's my favorite one of them: she acts like a real person, is funny, smart, and used to be a journalist, working with ABC and Peter Jennings. The book was the story of her husband's battle with cancer, and it shows she knows a thing or two about journalism. Also, she was married to Jackie Kennedy's nephew, and if that's not a reason to read what she's written, I don't know what is.

White Girl Problems - Babe Walker

Thin Rich Pretty - Beth Harbison

My Sister's Keeper - Jodi Picoult
Having seen the movie, I thought I knew how this book would go. However, as Wikipedia told me before hand, it would be different than how the movie turned out. It definitely was, and I can't even tell which I thought was better, they were that different.

My Booky Wook 2 - Russell Brand
The first one was so good, I thought I should keep going. Great book.

Little Bee - Chris Cleave

Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
The book was much better than the movie, but the movie was very, very good regardless. The book took me about a month to read, but well worth it. I can only imagine reading it in Russian, as I am sure that things are lost in translation. (Sidenote, I watched a fascinating movie about a woman who translated many of Tolstoy's works into German, she was one of the greatest contemporary translators. The movie is Die Frau mit den 5 Elephanten if you are interested. Subtitles and everything. I watched it twice.)

Just My Type - Simon Garfield
A book about type. Looked at this history of typography back to Gutenberg, and then went as far forward as to discuss the fonts of the logos of American Apparel and street signs/subway signs across America, and sometimes, the globe.

Candide - Voltaire

Happy Accidents - Jane Lynch

Paper Towns - John Green

This book tied with A Fault in Our Stars (see above) as my favorite. I don't know that I can say exactly why, but it was one of those books (this happens in movies, too) that has a character mysterious enough, but very likable, that you can't help but keep reading to try to figure them out. Really great book.

Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

The Letter - Marie Tillman
This is the book that Pat Tillman's wife wrote about Pat, his death, and their life together. As both an ASU student and an American, I feel like I should know something about him, as he has a large legacy both in Arizona and at ASU. I knew nothing, really, about the situation, and I am glad I read the book. It was heartfelt and genuinely well-written.

Five Chimneys - Olga Lengyel

Warriors Don't Cry - Melba Beals

Superfudge - Judy Blume
This was my favorite book at age 10, and for about five years I would read it twice or three times a year. Judy Blume was brought up and I thought I should revisit, see if my perspective changed. I had forgotten many things about the book, but it still entertained me, and remains a favorite in my mind.

An Object of Beauty - Steve Martin
I knew that Steve Martin wrote books and screenplays, but I wasn't interested until I saw this book in a bookstore on a front shelf. I got it and quickly read it, as within the first few pages I was hooked. The story was about a woman living in New York, working in the high-end art world. Knowing little about art, I feel like I learned a lot just by being thrown into the novel. I respect Steve Martin even more now that I like his books.

After the Wall - Jana Hensel

The Ten, Make That Nine, Habits of Very Organized People, Make that Ten - Steve Martin
I think I read this in 23 minutes. Entertaining, but you could probably save yourself a trip to a bookstore/library/anywhere else and just read Steve's tweets.

Shop Girl - Steve Martin

Saw the movie, then a few years later I read the book. Because Steve Martin wrote both the novel upon which the novel was based and the screenplay for the movie, the book and the movie are very similar. Maybe it was because I hadn't seen the movie in a while, but I found the book very humorous, so I may have to say I liked the book better.


That, my friends, is 33 books of the year. That's over my goal of 25 that I set last year, and I didn't even set a goal this year. I ended the year half-way through The Catcher in the Rye, so technically that's 33.5 books. That review will come next year, I suppose.

Happy reading.

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