2012 Books

I’ll update this periodically with book recommendations/reviews. Also, I’m on goodreads – let me know if you want to follow me!

73. Mrs. Queen Takes the Train by William Kuhn. You guys. This book is such a great read. It’s interesting and makes you wonder and makes you laugh and makes you say, “Aw!” and is just great. Four stars out of five. (Five being reserved for books like Harry Potter.)

72. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer by Seth Grahame-Smith. Meh. It was a good book, but not the greatest ever. The movie SUCKED, though.

71. Trapeze by Simon Mawer. I adored this book. Until the end. What the crap?

70. James Potter and the Hall of Elders’ Crossing by G. Norman Lippert. This is a fan fiction book about Harry Potter’s oldest son, and starts the year James begins Hogwarts. Several old characters are in it, and the author is no JK Rowling, but it’s excellent. There are three books in the series (so far?).

69. The Dreaming Place by Charles de Lint. The second in the Newford series. I loved it. LOVED it.

68. The Chaperone by Laura Moriarity. I really liked this book! I did a lot of Googling about Louise Brooks while reading it. I didn’t go into this book thinking I’d like it, because I thought it was by Liane Moriarty, and I didn’t so much like What Alice Forgot. But it’s not Liane! It’s Laura! And a good book.

67. True Believers by Kurt Anderson. It took me FOREVER to finish this book. Forever. (Like 2 weeks.) But I really liked it anyway. A lot of unnecessary big words. I was thankful to read it on my Kindle so I could highlight and look up words.

66. Dreams Underfoot by Charles de Lint. #1 in the series mentioned below. Again. LOVE. This one was especially great because it is a collection of short stories and introduces a LOT of characters that I assume are in the other books in the series. Certainly some I read about in The Onion Girl. Oh, man, I can’t wait to get further into the series!

65. The Onion Girl by Charles de Lint. Oh. Oh, this book. I loved it. I thought it said #1, but it said #11 in the series. So now I’m reading the first one. And will continue my quest through them all.

64. The Paris Wife by Paula McLain. Meh. I learned a lot about Ernest Hemingway, but wasn’t super impressed with the book or the writing overall.

63. Prospect Park West by Amy Sohn. I liked this book. It pissed me off a lot, but I liked it, overall.

62. Everything Changes by Jonathan Tropper. Good. Better than the last book I read by this author. Not so redundant.

61. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead. I adored this book. Highly recommend for any not faint of heart kids and tweens.

60. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I loved this book. LOVED it. I got to 94% and ran out of library time and I was really upset. I had to wait, like, two weeks to get it back.

59. What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty. Also meh. Apparently this is my word for the month. I’m super eloquent. It was okay, if a little predictable. Also, I’d just read a book about memory loss and was kind of over it.

58. The Newlyweds by Nell Freudenberger. Meh. It was okay. Kind of pissed me off.

57. Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin. Excellent. Oh, I adored this book.

56. The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai. Interesting book. Very interesting. I really liked it!

55. The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling. Oh. I hated this book. I was so disappointed. Sorry, Jo. HP will always be my favorite.

54. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. Meh. I enjoyed this book, but I didn’t really get it. I’m interested in seeing the movie, though because I think Emma Watson rocks.

53. Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella. I wanted a book to read that was mindless and easy and this fit the bill, although the topic is sort of heavy. I was annoyed by the very British slang and familiar speak in the book, though. Definitely wore out my Kindle’s dictionary on this one trying to understand the British-English.

52. The Magician’s Assistant by Ann Patchett. I loved this book until the end. Then I hated it. I NEED MORE INFORMATION.

51. I Don’t Know How She Does It by Allison Pearson. I haven’t watched the movie yet, but I kind of liked the book. (Ducks as you throw a copy of it at me.) I don’t know. I mean, certainly parts pissed me off and frustrated me. And of course I was annoyed part of the time. But I liked it okay overall.

50. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. This book. Oh, man. Are you freaking kidding me? Loved it. Took me until the second section to get it, but WOW.

49. The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex. Excellent. Excellent book. It’s a children’s book, of course, but I would say a mature 6 or 7 year old who isn’t easily scared could read and love this book. (Although! I listened to this on audio and then also checked out the hardcopy from the library so I could see the illustrations. Definitely get a hardcopy or eBook that has the illustrations.)

48. Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy #2) by Deborah Harkness. This was a typical second book in a trilogy book. It was about 10 pages of sludge and filler for every 1/2 page of good book/information. Ridiculous. I trudged through because I want to finish the trilogy. But geez, was this an annoying read.

47. The Book of Joe by Jonathan Tropper. Oh, this book. I listened to it, and I feel like I would have not finished it if I’d read it instead. It exhausted me! It was okay, all around, but it was exhausting. Someone with an eReader count for me how many times he says “17 years”, because it’s A LOT.

46. The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown. I liked this book. Mostly. The point of view was weird, and kept throwing me off. And there were unnamed, important characters, which bugged me. But all-in-all, I enjoyed the story. And as a woman with two sisters, I could relate to how we are VERY different and also VERY similar.

45. Freedom by Jonathan Franzen. Oh, this book. This was a LONG book. I listened to it on audio, and two of the three weeks I had it were the ones Eriana was off from school, and I don’t listen to audiobooks when she’s with me because I don’t want her next word to be a swear word. So it took me a LONG time to get through this one because I hardly had any time away from her those two weeks. But it was okay. It was well-written. (My friend Shalini has hilarious opinions of Franzen (and here, and here, and here), but this was the first I’d read by him.)

44. Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward. This book was frustrating and exciting to me. I was INTENSELY into it. It was a short read, and kept me intrigued the whole time, but it also regularly pissed me off. Good read.

43. The Imperfections by Tom Rachman. This was a weird book. Every chapter was focused on a different character and they all related together. There were surprises and I was intrigued, but I wasn’t super excited every evening to pick up this book.

42. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. This book was hard for me. It came VERY highly recommended, and it was a disappointment in that regard. I wound up liking it, but I sure had a hard time getting through it. It finally took audio to get me through it, but I started it several times on my Kindle. Thank the heavens for the library and it having several types of this book available.

41. The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart. This is such a great series. Although, I was CERTAIN the children were British in the first book and in the second they were American. So I guess I was wrong. I’m not sure why I thought they were from England. Oh well. Anywho. If you have elementary-age children it’s a great series, and if you like children’s/YA books, this one’s great.

40. Room by Emma Donoghue. I hated this book. HATED it.

39. My Booky Wook by Russell Brand. This book was SO not what I was expecting. Russell Brand is a bigger freak than you might realize. I haven’t read his second autobiography yet, so I didn’t get to his courtship with Katy Perry or his super stardom in the US.

38. Kris Jenner… And All Things Kardashian by Kris Jenner. Shut up. You know I love the Kardashians. This book was interesting. I actually liked it. Although she OBVIOUSLY had big help because the way she talks on their shows you KNOW she probably isn’t a proper writer.

37. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon. Excellent book. Excellent.

36. This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper. I thought this book was great was a great (GREAT) book about family.

35. Broken Harbor by Tana French. This was a good book. Not as good as her other three, but good. It took me awhile to get into this one! I would say I was about two-thirds through before I was really into it and couldn’t put it down. Then I was hooked, though.

34. Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall. This was a recommendation by my pastor’s wife (HI, MISSY!), and I happened to own a copy I’d forgotten about. It was a really sweet story. And inspiring about what one person can do.

33. The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani. Trigiani is one of my favorite authors. I adore her works. This book was average, and probably my least favorite so far of her books.

32. Emily, Alone by Stewart O’Nan. I liked this book a lot until the end, when I hated it. I needed more conclusion than it provided.

31. Jane by April Lindner. This is the July pick for the Twitter Book Club. I’ve never read Jane Eyre (gasp! I know.), so I wasn’t super sure of what to expect, but I liked it. I have Jane Eyre on my to-read list now.

30. Crossed by Ally Condie. I had heard this was just a filler book, the middle of the trilogy, but I liked it. Maybe I’m just weird (see below, Insurgent)?

29. Calico Joe by John Grisham. Another John Grisham book, Tara? Yes. I’ve read every book he’s written, so why stop now? I liked this book. I think if you like baseball (I don’t), you’d like it more than I did. I recommended it to my dad.

28. Insurgent by Veronica Roth. I really don’t remember when I read this book. I think it was during June. I thought I had already reviewed this, but it doesn’t seem to have been in any other post. Anyway. I liked this book. I heard it was a horrible space-filler, but I liked it anyway.

27. The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart. I read this for the Twitter Book Club Shalini started (are you a reader? Are you on Twitter? JOIN US!), and I loved it. It is a kid book, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Good read. And appropriate if you have kiddos that like to read. I would say a 5-6 year old who likes chapter books (and on up to an adult, obviously) would be okay with it.

26. The Litigators by John Grisham. He’s long-been one of my favorite authors, and this book didn’t disappoint. Also, it made me say, “beyond a reasonable doubt” to Jim, which he made fun of me for. Nice. Like when I speak really properly after reading Harry Potter.

25. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. This was a really good book. Software/gaming technospeak aside, I really liked it. It’s another book about a dystopian future, but it’s not set too far into the future, and the whole time you (well, I, but maybe you, too, if your imagination is crazy like mine) think “OH MY GOODNESS THIS COULD HAPPEN!” Highly recommend.

24. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson. LOVED it. I just started reading The Bloggess around the Beyonce days, so most of her story was new to me. And I love her. I want to go drinking with her. And start buying taxidermied, dressed animals to send to her.

23. Survivor by Chuck Palahnuik. Good. Weird. Made me have bad dreams. Don’t read right before bed, especially when you’re going through a difficult time in your life. Make it a daytime book.

22. My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares. I was SO! MAD! at Michelle for recommending this book, but then I found out it will be a series and I was okay.

21. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Dude. Don’t judge, but this is the first time I’ve read this. And I loved it, of course. I found it a little hard to get into at first, but once I was hooked, man was I hooked.

20. Paper Towns by John Green. Adore. I’ve loved everything by John Green that I’ve read so far. I totally blame TJ for getting me hooked on him.

17, 18, 19. Fifty Shades of Grey (and Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed) by E.L. James. Oh, man, did I get sucked into this series. Ridiculous! The whole series is ridiculous.

16. The Marriage Plot by Jeffery Eugenides. This was a good book, but it wasn’t great. It was a bit awkward for me, because it was taking place in the early 80s, when I was born and living my childhood. And it was set in a super literary and intelligent setting, which was pretty far over my head. But I liked it okay.

15. 11/22/63 by Stephen King. Great. Great book. I adored it.

14. The Opal Deception (Artemis Fowl, #4) by Eoin Colfer. I continue to adore this series. It’s just so thought-provoking and inventive.

13. Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King. I really liked this book! It was YA, but it was fun. Weird. Fun.

12. Matched by Ally Condie. I really need the next book in this series to come available at the library. I’m ready to read it. I’m about over the dystopian YA series, but am still truckin’ anyway.

11. The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach. This was a great, great book. And even though there was a healthy dose of sports in it, I wasn’t super bored by those parts.

10. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender. This was a weird book. Too weird. I didn’t like it much at all.

9. Stolen: A Letter to My Captor by Lucy Christopher. This book was hard to read. All I could think was, “Eriana will never go anywhere alone!” But it was very well-done. I liked it.

8. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling. I had to finish out the serious. Always.

7. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. I really, really liked this book. I feel like it was kind of X-men for people that don’t really care for X-men. And I’m okay with that. Because I am not super interested in X-men.

6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling. Another re-read, but I love it forever.

5. Run by Ann Patchett. Love. I loved this book. And it made me want to be Catholic. Which was a weird reaction, I’m sure.

4. Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon. I, um, didn’t really like this book. I wanted to! I really, really wanted to! But I didn’t. I finished it. And it was interesting. But the pace and how things are uncovered for the reader were both sort of infuriating to me

3. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling. I have read this many, many times. But it was wonderful all the same.

2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I adore John Green’s writing. I credit Temerity Jane for alerting me to his awesomeness. I have read most of his books in the past 6 months, and I couldn’t wait for the library to get this one in, so I bought it on Amazon. You guys, it’s been a long time since a book made me cry like this. It was very, very good.

1. Artemis Fowl: the Arctic Incident by Eoin Colfer. This is the second book in the set. I’m really getting into this series. I can hardly wait for the library to get in the next one so I can continue.

74. The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoners’ Dilemma by Trenton Lee Stewart. The third in the series. This was a good book! I adore thia series. Mostly I read children’s chapter books in anticipation of the days when Eriana and I can read books like this together. Screening, if you will.