Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 book list

Time for a round up of books read in 2012! As always, rereads are not included and I've linked books I've reviewed/mentioned elsewhere to the blog post in which I talked about them. Favourites are marked with a *.

I seem to have read a lot of crime fiction again this year, of all different flavours, and one book of crime non-fiction. Usually I dislike true crime, but this was about the Somerton Man mystery, which I find fascinating, so that is an exception. My blogging was mostly dominated by my Century of Books challenge, which provided one of my favourite books of the year- Swann's Way. My other favourites included some fantasy and Northanger Abbey. Anyway, here is my (annotated) list!

The Tiger's Wife - Tea Obreht
Domestic Violets - Matthew Norman
Kind of male chick-lit? I ended up very much disliking this book, the protagonist was infuriating.
Starlight - Stella Gibbons
Not quite Cold Comfort Farm. Much more strange.
A Room with a View - E.M. Forster
The Man who was Thursday - G.K. Chesterton
The Man of Property - John Galsworthy
Fire: Tales of Elemental Spirits - Robin McKinley and Peter Dickinson
Nocturnes: Five stories of music and nightfall - Kazuo Ishiguro
Ten Second Staircase - Christopher Fowler
Take Two at Bedtime - Margery Allingham
Two stories from a Golden Age mystery writer.
Regeneration - Pat Barker
Really enjoyed this story of WWI psychiatry and shell-shock and Siegfried Sassoon.
*Swann's Way - Marcel Proust
Into the Beautiful North - Luis Alberto Urrea
I read this because of Emily at Evening All Afternoon's wonderful review
White Corridor - Christopher Fowler
I am Half-Sick of Shadows - Alan Bradley
Passing - Nella Larsen
Friends with Boys - Faith Erin Hicks
I read this because I started reading the webcomic which is now no longer fully available I think, and I thought it was charming
Wonderful Town: New York stories from the New Yorker - ed. David Remnick
Bryant and May Off the Rails - Christopher Fowler
The Voice of the Violin - Andrea Camilleri trans. Stephen Sarterelli
More different crime flavours! This time it's Italy, and a detective who has to deal with police corruption and organised crime as well as murder
Miss Pym Disposes - Josephine Tey
Back to the Golden Age detectives
Love Lies Bleeding - Edmund Crisp
*Cart and Cwidder - Diana Wynne Jones
How could I not love this book, which combines two of my favourite things- Diana Wynne Jones and a story about a family who travel in a cart and tell stories in the towns they pass through
Drowned Ammet - Diana Wynne Jones
The Shape of Water - Andrea Camilleri
The Victoria Vanishes - Christopher Fowler
Blankets - Craig Thompson
Another graphic novel/memoir about growing up, faith and love
*War for the Oaks - Emma Bull
Apparently one of the earliest urban fantasy books, unlike my usual urban fantasy reads this is set in the US (not London), and it's about music and fairies and it is great
Bryant and May On the Loose - Christopher Fowler
The Big Sleep - Raymond Chandler
Kraken - China Mieville
Back to the more familiar (to me) urban fantasy territory of London, as usual Mieville is grotesque and often terrifying and always a good read
Faithful Place - Tana French
The Path to the Nest of Spiders - Italo Calvino
The Autograph Man - Zadie Smith
The Three Loves of Persimmon - Cassandra Golds
I found this story (fable?) of the loves of the florist Persimmon a bit overwritten- maybe it's just that I am not keen on fables
The Cat's Table - Michael Ondaatje
A boy's journey from Sri Lanka to England, the friends he makes, the adventure he has, and his understanding of where he belongs
Embers - Sandor Marai
Engleby - Sebastien Faulks
The End of the Affair - Graham Greene
Bring up the Bodies - Hilary Mantel
Cybele's Secret - Juliet Marillier
Whispers Underground - Ben Aaronovitch
I think this series is improving, and I definitely enjoyed this installment. Urban fantasy crime novel set in London, it has so many things to like about it
The Forgotten Garden - Kate Morton
Melodramatic family saga of secrets and drama
Farewell, My Lovely - Raymond Chandler
Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut
Above Suspicion - Helen McInnes
A spy romp against the backdrop of Nazi Germany, which lends it a degree of seriousness. Read because of this fantastic review from litlove
On Literature - Umberto Eco
Love - Angela Carter
Narcopolis - Jeet Thayil
Umbrella - Will Self
Broken Harbour - Tana French
The Lighthouse - Alison Moore
The Fault in Our Stars - John Green
I've heard a lot of glowing reviews of this book, and it didn't disappoint, a funny and moving story of terminally ill teenagers and love. 
Swimming Home - Deborah Levy
The Summer of the Bear - Bella Pollen
Bryant and May and the Memory of Blood - Christopher Fowler
King, Queen, Knave - Vladimir Nabokov
Unnatural Habits - Kerry Greenwod
The Garden of Evening Mists - Tan Twan Eng
The House of the Spirits - Isabel Allende
The Coffins of Little Hope - Timothy Schaffert
Last Night in Montreal - Emily St John Mandel
The story of a girl who keeps disappearing, and a boy who wants to find her. I thought this was very good, but the ending was a little disappointing.
*Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen
I hadn't read this before this year, but it is just so hilarious! There are so many brilliant quotes. I was inspired to read it by Sarah Rees Brennan's parody (they are always so fun)
Black Heart - Holly Black
This is a fantastic YA fantasy series, with a smart conman hero operating in between the world of organised crime and the law enforcers.
Tamam Shud: The Somerton Man mystery - Kerry Greenwood 

This afternoon I am heading off to a New Years Eve party to celebrate the end of the year with some friends (and food and drink), so I don't think I'll be adding anything to this list today. I hope you all have a wonderful New Year and a great 2013!

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