Monday, January 07, 2013

2012 Reading Tally

I don't think of myself as a big stats geek until I get to this time - the books I read in 2012.  And then my love of tagging, sorting, and calculating goes nuts. 
Total books read: 174.*  This means I beat 2007!  And the other years too
Number of these that were novellas**: 8.
This still means I have about two years worth of reading in my TBR pile, but possibly not a complete two years.  So, progress.  (Of course the likelihood that I will hit this level again next year seems very low.)
I read 104*** different authors, so perhaps authorial diversity helped a lot here.  Jill Shalvis was the author I read the most of, with nine different titles.  About 90 of these titles were from 2012, so I am still tilted towards new releases. (Also, one of these books is tagged as being published in 2013, but I read it firmly in 2012, due to it being a staged release.)  I had thought April, where I travelled like a crazy person would be the winner, but apparently, July (where I did also travel) is the winner with 37.  Now, I know that seems like a typo, but no, really.  A few of those were novellas, and several of those were started outside of July, but yeah, I had a good run there. January and February tied for low months with 8 each, possibly because I took two crazy courses then, plus did some contest judging, so was reading stuff that did not count. 
Romance still wins as highest category with 115. YA was next with 49.  Series**** junkie status remains high (and is assisted by the trend of everything in YA being a trilogy) at 99. 

And for the books I found myself telling people about (that are not ones I blogged about already), we have the following:
Sudhir Venkatesh's Gang Leader for a Day is the story of a grad student at the University of Chicago who begins hanging out with a local gang in the 1990's.  It's really fascinating, and I think the distance he has from the events really lends some important perspective to the work. 
E Lockhart's The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks is one of those books I told many many people about.  To one friend I said it's a girl who makes up grammar, go read.  This is not the description that will hook everyone.  Other people I mentioned "Gilmore Girls".  But basically, it's a girl who discovers that there is a secret society on her boarding school campus and decides to make it better. 
Rob Thomas' Slave Day I've been meaning to read for a while.  It is the tale of a school that has what they call, well, slave day, where student council members and teachers are auctioned off to students for the day. Told from the perspective of a number of participants, it's a really great read.
Gayle Forman's If I Stay is hard to describe without it sounding like a terrible, horrible, gut-wrenching story, and, well, it is gut-wrenching, but still amazing.  The main character spends most of the book in a coma, after her family is in a horrendous, and for some passengers, fatal car accident. Mia, separated from her body, watches her visitors in the hospital. 
Sylvia Day's Bared to You showed up on a lot of those if you liked 50 Shades of Grey lists.  It is the story of two very damaged people falling in love and navigating those issues, and it is very hot.  It also, like some of those YA trilogies, ends, not on a cliffhanger, but clearly with more to follow, so, if lack of full resolution is an issue, you might want to wait for the whole series to be out. 
Ernest Cline's Ready Player One is a futuristic story in which a teen finds the first secret clue that folks have been searching for ever since the guy who created the virtual reality that everyone uses died.  The first to find all five wins the whole company.  I'm not a big gamer, but I do love some eighties trivia so there were plenty of entry points for me. 
Sherri Smith's Flygirl is one of those books that falls squarely into my wheelhouse.  I have read quite a bit of World War II fiction, especially pilot fiction. And I've read several books about the WASP and ATA programs where women pilots flew planes.  This is the story of a young woman who is black, but decides to try to pass so she can help in the war effort in the US. 
And speaking of wheelhouse, Julie Ann Walker's Hell on Wheels, fits squarely into my love of fictitious (or so I assume) spec ops groups, this one operating out of a custom motorcycle shop in Chicago. 

*I counted re-reads if I re-read the whole thing a didn't just skip to my favorite parts. 
**My rule has been that things I can buy separately count as a book, so a book that was released with three novellas, or a collection of short stories counts as one read.  With the rise of electronic publishing the number of novellas that are released all by their lonesome has gone up, but hey, if it was a separate payment (or borrowing) transaction, I'm counting it. 
***I counted authors, not pen names, where possible. 
****Series is based on the book being part of a series, whether or not I read any others.