Bookish 2012: Wrap-up!

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).

Goodreads 2012

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?

Biggest surprise
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:


  1. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  2. February

  3. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  4. De Avonturen van de Baron von Münchausen by Rudolf Erich Raspe
  5. The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1) by Suzanne Collins
  6. Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2) by Suzanne Collins
  7. March

  8. Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3) by Suzanne Collins
  9. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  10. Harry Potter: The Prequel by J.K. Rowling
  11. 1984 by George Orwell
  12. Heldere Hemel by Tom Lanoye
  13. Vampire Blood Trilogy (The Saga of Darren Shan, #1-3) by Darren Shan
  14. Hear the Wind Sing by Haruki Murakami
  15. The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy by Tim Burton
  16. April

  17. Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can’t Avoid by Lemony Snicket
  18. Vampire Rites Trilogy (The Saga of Darren Shan, #4-6) by Darren Shan
  19. May

  20. The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicle, #1) by Patrick Rothfuss
  21. Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami
  22. June

  23. Pinball, 1973 by Haruki Murakami
  24. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  25. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
  26. Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell
  27. July

  28. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  29. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitchhiker’s Guide, #2) by Douglas Adams
  30. The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time by Mark Haddon
  31. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
  32. Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  33. The Rose of Fire by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
  34. Twilight (Twilight, #1) by Stephenie Meyer
  35. Een schitterend gebrek by Arthur Japin
  36. The Shooting Gallery by Yūko Tsushima
  37. August

  38. Tipping The Velvet by Sarah Waters
  39. Candide by Voltaire
  40. Looking for Alaska by John Green
  41. Lady Susan by Jane Austen
  42. Mortal Engines (The Hungry City Chronicles, #1) by Philip Reeve
  43. Het Geheim van de klokkenmaker, of, De Tijd zal het leren of De Tijd zal je leren by Tonke Dragt
  44. September

  45. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
  46. Theories of International Politics and Zombies by Daniel W. Drezner
  47. The Prisoner of Heaven (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #3) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
  48. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland, #1) by Catherynne M. Valente
  49. De duivenhoudsters by Alice Hoffman
  50. October

  51. Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin
  52. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
  53. Huntress by Malinda Lo
  54. Twee Cowboys by Annie E. Proulx
  55. Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
  56. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  57. November

  58. Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
  59. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
  60. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
  61. December

  62. The Angel’s Kiss: A Melody Malone Mystery by Justin Richards
  63. Under the Poppy by Kathe Koja
  64. Complete Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde by Oscar Wilde
  65. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  66. Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie
  67. 羊男のクリスマス by Haruki Murakami
  68. The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling


  1. Right, The Dovekeepers has been added to my ‘wanted’ list! 😉 I am a bit disappointed though that you only gave 4 stars to Cloud Atlas… David Mitchell is my favourite author! The movie is great too btw, which doesn’t often happen. I’m amazed how many books you read this year: I planned to do 40 but only managed 28! Slow reader :0

    • C.

      I always find it so difficult to give stars (and quite often change my opinion after a few days/weeks/months haha). I think I mentally gave Cloud Atlas 4.5 stars. I really liked it! And I thought the movie was pretty impressive too 🙂 I’m very curious to read other works by Mitchell. Which is your favourite?

      Thanks for your comment and RT by the way 😀 I’ve been following your blog for a while 🙂 Yay for fellow Dutch Murakami/Japan fans!

      • Same here: some books I just don’t rate… : And before commenting I had downgraded some of the 4-star books to 3! Haha. I’m not sure which book of Mitchell I like best: I appreciate the body of his work, because they’re all interconnected like a giant Mitchell-dimension-slash-universe. 🙂 It used to be Ghostwritten because that was the first I read. 😉

        Yay for fellow Dutch Murakami/Japan fans indeed!

        • C.

          I’ve heard number9dream mentioned as something that Murakami readers would like. But I must say I’m also very intrigued by The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet. I love how you mention the Mitchell-dimension-slash-universe. I love it when authors do that (Murakami being one of them, clearly)! I’ll definitely try to read more by Mitchell soon 🙂

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