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Best of the Year

Here are the five best books I read last year, alphabetical by author's last name, with first lines. I'm cheating again by including two separate series as one book each, and by including a series whose first book made this list last year. (And which will probably make the 2013 list again if the third book is as good as the first two.)

  • The Magicians and Mrs. Quent, The House on Durrow Street, and The Master of Heathcrest Hall by Galen Beckett.
    It was generally held knowledge among the people who lived on Whitward Street that the eldest of the three Miss Lockwells had a peculiar habit of reading while walking.
  • A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce.
    When my father died, I thought the world would come to an end.
  • Finnikin of the Rock and Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta.
    A long time ago, in the spring before the five days of the unspeakable, Finnikin of the Rock dreamed that he was to sacrifice a pound of flesh to save the royal house of Lumatere.
  • Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin.
    A "happiness project" is an approach to the practice of everyday life.
  • Cast in Ruin by Michelle Sagara.
    The worst thing about near-world-ending disasters according to Sergeant Marcus Kassan - at least the ones that had miraculously done very little damage - was the paperwork they generated.
All of the Year

A decade ago, I decided that I would keep a list of all the books I read. It would be, I thought, interesting to see how much, and what, I actually read. So when I read a book, I wrote it down in my notebook. I liked the whole project so much that I've been doing it again each year.

What's here:
  • Books I read in 2012.

  • Authors of the books.

  • Dates I read the books.

  • Short notes about each book or links to my reviews if I did one. Note: reviews all contain spoilers.

  • Approximately how many times I've read the book.
What's not here:
  • Magazine and newspaper articles.

  • Fan fiction.

  • Short stories and individual chapters I read to remind myself of what the book was about.
This year, I read 43 books. For those of you playing along at home, that's 3 fewer than last year. 36 of those, or 84%, are books I read for the first time. 21, or 49%, were Young Adult novels. 9, or 21%, were nonfiction. 4 were written by a PoC author; 38 were written by a female author. Of the 34 books for which I counted protagonists, 3 had a PoC protagonist; 29 had a female protagonist.

January 1 Mel by Liz Berry. I don't think this is objectively that good, but I imprinted on it at a young age. Sixth or seventh reading.

January 13-15 Cast in Ruin by Michelle Sagara. Review. First reading.

January 28 With Child by Laurie R. King. Review. First reading.

January 30 - February 4 The Magicians and Mrs. Quent by Galen Beckett. First in an excellent regency+magic trilogy. First reading.

February 3 Fish! by Stephen C. Landin, Harry Paul, John Christensen. This was actually a work-required book. It's a quick read, and the Fish philosophy is great, but it's a little pat as a story. First reading.

February 6-17 The House on Durrow Street by Galen Beckett. Second in an excellent regency+magic trilogy. First reading.

February 21-24 Night Work by Laurie R. King. Review. First reading.

February 25 Looking for Home by Jean Ferris. One of my favorite novels from when I was younger. Fourth reading.

February 26-March 1 To Catch a Pirate by Jade Parker. This was not a very good book, but I really wish I'd written an LJ entry about it at the time, because I would read all the AUs based on it. First reading.

March 5- Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters. Review. First reading (unfinished).

April 1 Crossed by Ally Condie. Second in a dystopian YA trilogy. First reading.

April 12 The Art of Detection by Laurie R. King. Review. First reading.

April 17-29 The Kid: A Season with Sidney Crosby and the New NHL by Shawna Richer. Review. First reading.

April 30-May 5 Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta. Fantastic. Second reading.

May 6-9 Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta. Sequel to Finnikin of the Rock. Also excellent, but you might want to wait until the third book is published before you read it. First reading.

May 12 Academy 7 by Anne Osterlund. This is nothing revolutionary, but it is very good for what it is, and I would read more set in the same world. First reading.

May 15-June 2 The Master of Heathcrest Hall by Galen Beckett. Third in an excellent regency+magic trilogy. First reading.

June 3-8 The Princess and the Hound by Mette Ivie Harrison. This book had potential to be good, but it doesn't quite hang together. First reading.

June 8-9 Girl at Sea by Maureen Johnson. Pretty good, but not great. It's just about what you'd expect from the back of the book. First reading.

June 10-14 Out of the Pocket by Bill Konigsberg. This is a YA novel about a gay high school football player. I really liked the beginning, and was less excited about the middle. First reading.

June 30-July 4 Girl in Motion by Miriam Wenger-Landis. Not only was this book not very good, it was incredibly badly edited. One of the characters changes names for a page and a half. A scene begins and ends in completely different locations with no movement from one to another. First reading.

July 12 Walking Dead by C.E. Murphy. This is the fourth book in a series. It had been a while since I read the first three, but I dived right back into it and enjoyed it. First reading.

July 12-September 2 Apollo's Angels: A History of Ballet by Jennifer Homans. Review. First reading.

July 16 Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George. This was an iffy retelling of East of the Sun, West of the Moon. First reading.

September 3-7 The Psalms of Herod by Esther M. Friesner. I adore this duology, and it was time for a reread. Fourth or fifth reading.

September 7-9 The Sword of Mary by Esther M. Friesner. I adore this duology, and it was time for a reread. Fourth or fifth reading.

September 30-October 6 Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin. Review. First reading.

October 7 Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles. There are some good parts in this book, but I didn't believe the ending at all. First reading.

October 8 Paintings of You by Mia Palazzi and Chris Delk. This was okay, I guess, but it turned out to not be my thing. Also, it was one of those books where everything could have been fixed if people asked questions/talked to each other instead of making assumptions. First reading.

November 4 The Wishing Year by Noelle Oxenhandler. Review. First reading.

November 5-7 A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce. This is a fantastic Rumpelstiltskin retelling. First reading.

November 5-23 When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron. Review. First reading.

November 14 Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough. I enjoyed this, and I was thinking I might read the sequel, but now I can only sort of remember what it was about, so maybe I won't. First reading.

November 15-18 The New Bottoming Book by Dossie Easton and Janet W. Hardy. Review. First reading.

November 25-December 3 The New Topping Book by Dossie Easton and Janet W. Hardy. Review. First reading.

November 27 D.A. by Connie Willis. This is a great novella (although I would read a million more words about the characters). Second reading.

November 29 Agnes and the Hitman by Jennifer Crusie. One of my favorite books, and just what I wanted to read on a rainy afternoon. Fifth reading.

December 4 Nothing but the Truth (and a few white lies) by Justina Chen Headley. Review. First reading.

December 6-10 Inseparable: Desire Between Women in Literature by Emma Donoghue. Review. First reading.

December 13 Reached by Ally Condie. Third in a dystopian YA trilogy. First reading.

December 17-18 Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. This is apparently something Maas started writing when she was sixteen. It shows, but it's also fun in the exact way you would expect a fantasy novel by a teenage girl fantasy fan to be. First reading.

December 21 Adaptation by Malinda Lo. Review. First reading.

December 26 The Girls of No Return by Erin Saldin. I enjoyed this. Fair warning that it does take place at a wilderness school for girls in trouble, and deals with some of those issues. First reading.

December 26 Hanging By a Thread by Sophie Littlefield. This was terrible. The basic concept was good, but the execution was not. First reading.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-01-22 10:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] templemarker.livejournal.com
I share the same fascination with tracking my reading, and I haven't found anything that's made it easier than Goodreads--have you considered using that? It doesn't have to be social, though it can be entertaining to view other people's reviews.

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Ruth Sadelle Alderson

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