My 2012 in Books

I set a goal for myself each year to read a book a week. They say as a writer you need to keep reading as well, to help develop new ideas and learn how all types of writing are done and I've embraced that philosophy. I read mostly fiction, since that is what I want to write, but while I will tend towards writing novels considered noir/thrillers/suspense, that's not all I read. I read a lot of YA, some romance and the occasional fantasy or sci-fi in addition to plenty of violent thrillers. I think getting all those perspectives from quality writers in different genres will help me when I develop my own characters in new projects.

In 2011 I managed to read 63 books. I didn't get to quite that many in 2012 (54), but I still bested my goal. Below is the entire list, divided into three categories. The Fiction and Nonfiction categories are books I read in their entirety, while the Other section I would consider more the reference variety - predominantly cookbooks. Some of them have stories in them, but that's not the point of their existence.


5 Stars

I recommend any of these for any reader. Great characters, great world-building and fantastic plotting. Or, in the case of the murderous cat just plain hilarious.

Dark inside - Roberts, Jeyn
First in a series - love it.
Diaries of a Misspent Youth - Cameron, Bill
Short stories, very entertaining.
Divergent - Roth, Veronica
Another first in a YA series and I can't wait for more.
How to tell if your cat is plotting to kill you - Inman, Matthew
The Oatmeal. Enough said.
Insurgent - Roth, Veronica
Follow up to Divergent.
Kill you twice - Cain, Chelsea
Might be her best yet.
Looking for Alaska - Green, John
Rage within - Roberts, Jeyn
Follow up to Dark Inside.
The fault in our stars - Green, John
Beautiful and heartbreaking.
The Missus - Cameron, Bill
Whispers in Autumn - Leigh, Trisha
First in a series and highly recommended.
Wild thing : a novel - Bazell, Josh
Gone Girl - Flynn, Gillian
You know how they say you must trust your narrators? What if your narrators are liars?

4 Stars

If you like the genre you will love the book. If you aren't sure about the genre these are decent ones to start with.

Believe it or not - Fenske, Tawna
Dare me : a novel - Abbott, Megan E
Deliciously evil.
Die trying - Child, Lee
Endlessly - White, Kiersten
Last in the Paranormalcy series.
Hollowland (1) - Hocking, Amanda
If I Stay - Forman, Gayle
Fantastic voice and great premise.
Lone wolf : a novel - Picoult, Jodi
Loved the wolf setting and characters.
Never tell : a novel of suspense - Burke, Alafair
Portland noir - Multiple
Send - Blount, Patty
Fantastic debut. Even more poignant post-Newtown.
The whole lie - Ulfelder, Steve
Where She Went - Forman, Gayle
Followup to If I Stay.
Winter Omens - Leigh, Trisha

3 Stars

If you like the author or the genre, check it out. Otherwise may not be the best place to start.

212 - Burke, Alafair
77 Shadow Street : a novel - Koontz, Dean
Chosen - Swank, Denise Grover
Florida roadkill - Dorsey, Tim
Guilty wives - Patterson, James
In a fix - Grimes, Linda
Kill Alex Cross - Patterson, James
Mary, Mary - Patterson, James
Shroud for a Painted Beauty - Kamen, A.C.
The confession - Grisham, John
The litigators - Grisham, John
The third gate : a novel - Child, Lincoln
The twelve : a novel - Cronin, Justin
Disappointed with the followup to The Passage.
The wind through the keyhole - King, Stephen
A retro Dark Tower story that didn't need to be done.
Tripwire - Child, Lee
Where we belong : a novel - Giffin, Emily
Zone One - Whitehead, Colson

2 Stars

These were disappointing, to the point I'm not sure I'd read the next book from that author.

Kill decision - Suarez, Daniel
It's been downhill since his debut, Daemon.
Odd apocalypse : an Odd Thomas novel - Koontz, Dean
Having Koontz on this list hurts - he used to be a favorite.

1 Star

Ugh. All I can say about this is I managed to finish it.

Robert Ludlum's The Bourne imperative - Lustbader, Eric
Ludlum would not have allowed this to be published. 


Normally I read fiction because I like to escape a bit, but real stories can be entertaining too.

4 Stars

Dog Man: An Uncommon Life on a Faraway Mountain - Sherrill, Martha
Story of an Akita breeder in Japan. Great stories, better than the writing.
I suck at girls - Halpern, Justin
Still funny.
Let's pretend this never happened : (a mostly true memoir) - Lawson, Jenny
Freakin' hilarious.
The sweet life in Paris : delicious adventures in the world's most glorious -- and perplexing -- city - Lebovitz, David
Quite entertaining and educational.

3 Stars

These were fine. Nothing new.

The skinny rules : the simple, nonnegotiable principles for getting to thin - Harper, Bob
Underbelly Hoops: Adventures in the CBA - Cunningham, Carson

No Stars

I may get crap for this, but I couldn't get past page 100. Way too much writer, not nearly enough story about Jobs. The author needed to get out of the way of the story, which is disappointing because I had high expectations.

Steve Jobs - Isaacson, Walter


Wifey and I use the library a lot to review books before we buy them. Usually flipping through them at a bookstore isn't really enough time, so we check them out and take our time deciding if it's a book we want to own, one we want to just review, or one we have no interest in. Typically we do this with cookbooks - a lot of cookbooks - trail guides, and items of that ilk.

These are the ones we skimmed in 2012 according to the library. The ones we decided to purchase are in bold.

5 Stars

Bouchon - Keller, Thomas
Beautiful pics and maybe someday we'll get it, but not right now.
Chocolate obsession : confections and treats to create and savor - Recchiuti, Michael
If we had interest in making confections this would be a home run. Love his chocolate.
Flour Water Salt Yeast - Forkish, Ken
Jeni's splendid ice creams at home - Bauer, Jeni Britton
Momofuku Milk Bar - Tosi, Christina
Portland, Oregon chef's table : extraordinary recipes from the City of Roses - Wolf, Laurie Goldrich
Sugar Cube: 50 Deliciously Satisfying Treats - Jensen, Kir
The Dahlia Bakery cookbook : sweetness in Seattle - Douglas, Tom
The Paley's Place cookbook : recipes and stories from the Pacific Northwest - Paley, Vitaly
Will buy this eventually.
Vintage Cakes - Richardson, Julie
Ruhlman's Twenty: 20 Techniques 100 Recipes - Ruhlman, Michael
Baking Out Loud - Goldsmith, Hedy

4 Stars

Fire in my belly : real cooking - Gillespie, Kevin
Good to the grain : baking with whole-grain flours - Boyce, Kim
Owner of Portland's Bake Shop. Great treats we buy but won't necessarily make.
Make the bread, buy the butter : what you should and shouldn't cook from scratch -- over 120 recipes for the best homemade foods - Reese, Jennifer
Momofuku - Chang, David
Ready for dessert : my best recipes - Lebovitz, David
The thing with Lebovitz's recipes is just about all of them are available online. So why buy a book?
Ripe for dessert : 100 outstanding desserts with fruit--inside, outside, and alongside - Lebovitz, David
Room for dessert : 110 recipes for cakes, custards, souffles, tarts, pies, cobblers, sorbets, ice creams, cookies, candies, and cordials - Lebovitz, David
Rustic fruit desserts : crumbles, buckles, cobblers, pandowdies, and more - Schreiber, Cory
The craft of Stone Brewing Co. : liquid lore, epic recipes, and unabashed arrogance - Koch, Greg
If I were interested in making my own beer I'd buy this in a heartbeat. Maybe someday.
The great book of chocolate : the chocolate lover's guide, with recipes - Lebovitz, David
The Skillet cookbook : a street food manifesto - Henderson, Josh
Dishing Up Oregon
My Pizza - Lahey, Jim
Baking: From My Home to Yours - Greenspan, Dorie

3 Stars

Hubert Keller's Souvenirs : stories & recipes from my life - Keller, Hubert
Wanted to like this but it's beyond what I want to do. Would love to go to one of his restaurants.
Left Coast Roast : A Guide to the Best Coffee and Roasters from San Francisco to Seattle - Neuschwander, Hanna
Mike Isabella's crazy good Italian : big flavors, small plates - Isabella, Mike
Molly Moon's homemade ice cream : sweet seasonal recipes for ice creams, sorbets, and toppings made with local ingredients - Neitzel, Molly Moon
The book of burger - Ray, Rachael
The book of yogurt - Uvezian, Sonia
The cookie dough lover's cookbook - Landis, Lindsay
The truck food cookbook : 150 recipes and ramblings from America's best restaurants on wheels - Edge, John T
The yogurt bible - Crocker, Pat
The Essential James Beard Cookbook - Rodgers, Rick
Beginnings: My Way to Start a Meal - Cosentino, Chris

Wild in the city : exploring the intertwine, the Portland-Vancouver region's network of parks, trails, and natural areas

No comments:

Post a Comment