Books I Read in 2012, Part One
I already posted this on my facebook page, so I apologize if you are a cross-over friend! But I wanted to add some commentary to my list. I thought about making notes on my thoughts right after I read the book, which maybe I will try this year, but for 2012 I decided to let my thoughts marinate first. I also had to break this up — no one wants to read my thoughts on 30 books all at once. Look for 16-30 tomorrow!
Without further ado:
- Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, 203/390 pages read in 2012
I loved this series, but Mockingjay was my least favorite of the three. As many others have said before me, I was sad that Katniss kind of “went away” in this book. Though I disagree with many in that I think it was a valid choice by the author, and makes sense for the plot. That’s all I’ll say so I don’t have spoilers.
- The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King, 380 pages (re-read)
This is one of my favorite books, first read when my dad introduced it to me somewhere around 13 or 14 years old. Stephen King wrote this for his young (at the time) daughter, but the story is very enjoyable for adults too, which is why I keep coming back to it year after year. I still wish it was called Napkins.
- The Stand, Complete and Uncut by Stephen King, 1153 pages
The main villain in The Eyes of the Dragon also appears in The Stand. At my dad’s urging, I finally decided to read this massive tome. I have to say, I was a bit disappointed in the ending, though the story-telling had me loath to put the book down through all 1153 pages. I just wished the payoff was better for the characters I grew to love.
- I’m a Stranger Here Myself by Bill Bryson, 288 pages
Not my favorite Bill Bryson, and I’ve read quite a few of his works. I don’t remember much of it, which says a lot to me, though I also don’t remember struggling to get through it. Bryson is such a great writer, this one only suffers by comparison to his other awesome books, my favorites of which are A Short History of Nearly Everything and A Walk in the Woods.
- The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, 358 pages (re-read)
A delightful story that stands the test of time. If you didn’t read this (or have it read to you) in childhood, read it now.
- Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison, 337 pages
This one took me awhile to get through, though I really did enjoy the story. It just took awhile to get going. A modern classic everyone should read.
- The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger, 360 pages (re-read)
I don’t remember what had me wanting to read this book again. Maybe I caught part of the movie on cable. It’s a light read, like a novel-length gossip column, a fun guilty pleasure.
- The Pelican Brief by John Grisham, 482 pages
This one sucked me in to the mystery, and it really is a page turner. By comparison (as is usual) the movie was not as good.
- Still Life with Chickens by Catherine Goldhammer, 176 pages
This was a charming little short read about a woman starting her life anew with her daughter after a divorce. It was really charming and sweet, and even though I picked up the book because of the promise of reading about raising chickens, I found myself equally interested in her attempt to rebuild a home for herself and her daughter.
- The Baseball Codes by Jason Turbow & Michael Duca, 260 pages
A really interesting book about the glory days of baseball and the unwritten rules that all players used to know. It’s fascinating, and I didn’t find that I needed to have an encyclopedic knowledge of baseball to enjoy it.
- The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho, 167 pages
Bleh. This shows up on “must read” book lists all the time, but I didn’t really see what all the fuss is about. It was ok. I can barely remember the plot. I wouldn’t read it again, and I’m a big re-reader, so that says a lot.
- How to be Lost by Amanda Eyre Ward, 290 pages
Easy to read, interesting story, but the ending kind of left me wanting. Just ok.
- Harriet, The Spy by Louise Fitzhugh, 298 pages (re-read)
I will always love this book, and even if I never have children I will never stop reading it. Makes me want to read From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler again. And A Wrinkle in Time. And Bridge to Terabithia. And The Witch of Blackbird Pond! Ok, I’ll stop now.
- Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien, 233 pages
Having watched the animated movie endless times as a child, I was surprised that I never really picked up on the real story behind the Rats of NIMH. I recently re-watched the movie, sure they must have left out major plot points from the book to make it more palatable to children, but no, it’s all there. I guess I wasn’t a very focused movie watcher back then!
- Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling, 240 pages
Delightful. I love Mindy Kaling, and I hope she continues to ascend to Nora Ephron levels of success.