In 2011 I read 20 books in nine months. So for 2012 I upped my goal to 30 books. I reached that goal quite soon and changed my goal to 40 and later in the year to 52 books. In the end I read 57 books! I was incredibly busy this year so I wasn’t expecting to be able to read anywhere near that much… I surprised myself haha. I’m glad I got back into reading as much as I did. I really missed it (I have always loved books but paradoxically didn’t read much since high school).
I read a lot of amazing books, as you can see from the above Goodreads-generated graph. It’s really difficult to pick a favourite book for the year. Here are some highlights:
Firstly, The Hunger Games. I had a lot of fun reading this series. These books were the first since Harry Potter (although nothing can compare to Harry Potter, sorry) that I simply couldn’t put down. I loved the world building and the dystopian theme. I was obsessed with Battle Royale for a long time when I was a teenager, and when first reading about The Hunger Games I was worried it would be too alike. Sure, the concept is pretty much the same, but it didn’t bother me at all. Kudos to Collins! And the movie was pretty awesome too (can’t wait for part two!).
I also read a bunch of volumes of the Darren Shan Saga. I remember reading a bunch when I was younger (I actually found my Dutch volumes back later). I must say I still enjoy them!
I didn’t actively participate in many events this year, but I loved The Literary Others, an LGBT-themed event held in October. I read five books for the event, and my favourite is easily The Song of Achilles, which has become one of my favourite books. I still plan to (re)read the Illiad sometime soon. Perhaps in 2013?
One of the bigger surprises of the year was The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman. I won this book at the Dutch Manuscripta book event by guessing the number of chocolate eggs in a glass bowl correctly. Along with the book I won a meet-and-greet with Alice Hoffman. I actually still can’t believe I won haha. I had completely forgotten that I had participated in the contest (and I was in fact the very last person to be able to enter before the event ended and they closed entries) so I was incredibly surprised to find the book and invitation on my doorstep.
I didn’t know anything about the book before I started reading it. Surprisingly it was an amazing page turner and I just couldn’t put it down. The story touched me especially when, halfway, I looked up Masada on internet. It’s beautifully written and translated (I received the Dutch edition). If you like historical fiction, or books with strong women as the main characters, read this. I really can’t do it justice no matter what I say.
I also never said much about the meet-and-greet with Alice Hoffman. We were there with approximately eight other readers and we had a great conversation with Alice Hoffman. She told us her reasons for writing the book and her own journey to Masada. I’m really curious about her other books now, which are apparently more fantasy-themed (although The Dovekeepers in a way also has a mystical theme).
Most read author
That was Murakami (I almost automatically added “of course”). I read five of his books (seven, if you count 1Q84 as separate books). My ‘obsession’ with his works is ever growing. I am fully aware I have not even touched his (generally considered) better works yet, such as Kafka on the Shore and The Wind-up Bird Chronicles. There’s plenty left to discover and I can’t wait!
Well, that’s my wrap-up of 2012.
All books I read in 2012, per month:
- The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
- The Help by Kathryn Stockett
- De Avonturen van de Baron von Münchausen by Rudolf Erich Raspe
- The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1) by Suzanne Collins
- Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2) by Suzanne Collins
- Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3) by Suzanne Collins
- The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
- Harry Potter: The Prequel by J.K. Rowling
- 1984 by George Orwell
- Heldere Hemel by Tom Lanoye
- Vampire Blood Trilogy (The Saga of Darren Shan, #1-3) by Darren Shan
- Hear the Wind Sing by Haruki Murakami
- The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy by Tim Burton
- Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can’t Avoid by Lemony Snicket
- Vampire Rites Trilogy (The Saga of Darren Shan, #4-6) by Darren Shan
- The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicle, #1) by Patrick Rothfuss
- Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami
- Pinball, 1973 by Haruki Murakami
- A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
- Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
- Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
- The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitchhiker’s Guide, #2) by Douglas Adams
- The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time by Mark Haddon
- And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
- Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
- The Rose of Fire by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
- Twilight (Twilight, #1) by Stephenie Meyer
- Een schitterend gebrek by Arthur Japin
- The Shooting Gallery by Yūko Tsushima
- Tipping The Velvet by Sarah Waters
- Candide by Voltaire
- Looking for Alaska by John Green
- Lady Susan by Jane Austen
- Mortal Engines (The Hungry City Chronicles, #1) by Philip Reeve
- Het Geheim van de klokkenmaker, of, De Tijd zal het leren of De Tijd zal je leren by Tonke Dragt
- 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
- Theories of International Politics and Zombies by Daniel W. Drezner
- The Prisoner of Heaven (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #3) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
- The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland, #1) by Catherynne M. Valente
- De duivenhoudsters by Alice Hoffman
- Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin
- The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
- Huntress by Malinda Lo
- Twee Cowboys by Annie E. Proulx
- Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
- Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
- Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
- Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
- The Angel’s Kiss: A Melody Malone Mystery by Justin Richards
- Under the Poppy by Kathe Koja
- Complete Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde by Oscar Wilde
- The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
- Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie
- 羊男のクリスマス by Haruki Murakami
- The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling