I Like Big Books
That’s a lot of books. I found some new favorites and some that didn’t live up to the hype and some that intimidated the hell of me as a writer and some that made me wonder why I bother at all if crap like THAT can get published. And honestly, I didn’t do a lot of writing in 2012. But that is another post altogether.
Let’s dive in, shall we?
33. I Am Not Myself These Days – this is a memoir. By a drag queen. I don’t remember much about it and this seems like the kind of book a person ought to remember.
34. This is How – Oh how I love Augusten Burroughs. Yep, you should read this. Funny and true and honest and real.
35. The Night Circus – Yes yes yes yes I loved this book. I know that not everyone did and that’s ok. But I loved it. Lush and big and intimate all at the same time.
36. The Unwanteds – Dystopian Light. I previewed it for my dystopian-loving daughter. It was a little young for her. Definitely not YA, but not bad.
37. Let’s Pretend this Never Happened – funny. Oh so funny. Not just a rehash of the blog (www.thebloggess.com) which I appreciated.
38. Bird By Bird – Writing advice from Anne Lamott. Excellent. Write your shitty first draft. You just…have to.
39. Under an Orange Sky Some Days are Blue – strange trip into a grieving parent’s mind. I’m not sure this is a book you “like” – it is one that will stir up some feelings for you if you have kids, have or known someone who has lost a child, fear the loss of a child, or…you know… have a heart. Tread carefully.
40. We Are Absolutely Not OK – a collection of short stories by troubled youth. Holy shit, y’all. Adolescence is just as hard as it always was, only with more drugs/sex/bullying/cyber-everything. I am very afraid of middle school now.
41. Ketchup is a Vegetable - mommy-memoir. Meh. Everyone’s kid poops/says funny stuff/does something embarrassing/dresses wildly inappropriately.
42. The Light Between Oceans – I loved this book. So…sad and poignant and hopeful and…oh yes. Loved.
43. City of Women -I also loved this book. WWII, affair between Nazi Officer’s wife and Jewish guy. What could go wrong?
44. Shadow of Night – Um. I loved A Discovery of Witches and so I hope this book just has ”middle of the trilogy drag” like almost every 2/3 book has.
45. Hypocrite in a Poufy White Dress – I may be getting over my obsession with memoirs. Grew up in the south, rebel tomboy, blah blah blah.
46. The Glass Castle – OK THIS was a memoir. Beautiful, aching, stunning. Read it, if you haven’t already. I think this book had the best line of the year – “One thing about whoring – it put a chicken on the table.”
47. I Wore the Ocean in the Shape of a Girl – Addiction memoir. I don’t remember much from it.
48. Sharp Objects – by the same woman who wrote Gone Girl. Excellent. I loved this book too. Maybe in 2013 I will work up the courage to read Dark Places.
49. Water for Elephants – After starting and abandoning this book countless times I finally finished it. It was good…but it did not steal my heart the way Night Circus did. Still worth a read.
50. The Winter Sea – not bad. I like the sea in winter so it resonated. Some plot devices a LEEEEETLE too convenient but if they WEREN’T there wouldn’t be a story. So.
51. The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty – “if you liked 50 shades you’ll LOVE this.” I did not LOVE this, so maybe I also didn’t like 50 Shades. A little too much for me.
52. Alison Wonderland – another one I started several time then finally finished. Pretty good. I liked it.
53. Beauty’s Punishment – “No really, just keep reading.” – Eh. Two was enough for me.
54. Blackberry Winter – I liked this book. Very sweet ending. Set in Seattle, so what’s not to love?
55. A Grown Up Kind of Pretty – LOVED. I love everything by Joshilyn Jackson, and this was no exception. Deep southern gothic modern.
56. Loose Girl - another memoir, this one about a girl who has sex with a lot of guys. Very interesting. Good read.
57. Wonder – Middle grades book, my kid’s teacher read it to the class. My kid fell in love. I bought it. She read it. The other kid read it and loved it. I read it and saw why they loved it. My kid is now required to read a NEW book between readings of Wonder. If you have a late elementary school aged kid, definitely get this for them.
58. Out of My Mind – another middle grade – hoping the kid who LOVES Wonder will give this one a shot. Very nicely done.
59. The Aqua Net Diaries – maybe a memoir isn’t as interesting if you have lived the same time/fashion/circumstances as are in the memoir?
60. Growing Up Amish – I think this is an example of “writing is cheaper than therapy.” Interesting but not COMPELLING.
61. The Immortal Life of Henriette Lacks – Oh my. If you take advantage of ANY modern medicine AT ALL, you need to read this book. It was wonderful.
62. The Fault in Our Stars – I cannot stress enough how quickly you need to download this book. SERIOUSLY. It’s YA but it is just…perfect. Amazing. Sad. Honest. relatable. Beautifully written. Star-crossed.
63. Poser – This was aight. Nothing would have been awesome after TFIOS. In fact I started and put down many books between these two, because nothing really grabbed me – I was still dwelling in TFIOS. But this book was interesting and made me think about the PERFECT MOTHERHOOD we are all supposed to be having. (Hint: NO ONE IS HAVING THIS.)
64. Happier at Home – this was pretty good. Not as good as The Happiness Project, but good.
So – my best books of 2012? (In no particular order)
The Happiness Project
The Hour I First Believed
Divergent/Insurgent (WHEN IS #3 coming outttttt?)
The Night Circus
City of Women
The Light Between Oceans
A Grown Up Kind of Pretty
The Glass Castle
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
The Fault In Our Stars
Wonder (because the kids loved it so much)
I have already read 2 books for 2013 – my goal is 70, with half being non-fiction (though not necessarily memoirs!)