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Final 2012 Reading List 
5th-Jan-2013 04:03 pm
young hot Marlon Brando


In 2012 I read 76 books. 12 of these were re-reads, including all 7 Harry Potters and the entire Hunger Games trilogy. The other 2 that I had read before were Peter Pan and The Hobbit, and for each it had been 10 years since the last time I read them.

I tackled a lot of classics, thanks to my decision to purchase a Kindle, and the fact that they were public domain and I could download them for free.

Here is the list:

** = Definitely recommend
* = Enjoyed a lot
^^ = Hated. Stay far, far away

Reading List 2012

1. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
2. The Blind Side by Michael Lewis*
3. Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie*
4. Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens by J.M. Barrie*
5. The Memory of Running by Ron McLarty*
6. The Distant Hours by Kate Morton**
7. Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay*
8. Whiteout by Ken Follett
9. The Liar by Stephen Fry*
10. Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne**
11. Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
12. The Magician King by Lev Grossman**
13. The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum*
14. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Burrows**
15. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins**
16. Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler
17. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern**
18. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins**
19. The Turtle Warrior by Mary Relindes Ellis*
20. The Grove by John Grove^^
21. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins**
22. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley^^
23. The Dress Lodger by Sheri Holman*
24. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett**
25. Lucky by Alice Sebold*
26. My Happy Days in Hollywood: A Memoir by Garry Marshall**
27. A Night to Remember by Walter Lord**
28. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling**
29. Lost Humanity: The Mythology and Themes of LOST by Pearson Moore^^
30. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling**
31. The Long Walk by Stephen King**
32. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll**
33. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling**
34. The Complete Stories of J.G. Ballard by J.G. Ballard*
35. Everything After by Sharon Pywell*
36. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling**
37. The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
38. Cahills vs. Vespers Book 1: The Medusa Plot by Gordon Korman
39. Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll**
40. The Shack by William P. Young^^
41. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling**
42. The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier*
43. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling**
44. Little Children by Tom Perrotta**
45. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling**
46. The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus*
47. The Princess Bride by William Goldman**
48. Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
49. The Maze Runner by James Dashner**
50. The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle**
51. The Deathly Hallows Lectures by John Granger*
52. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James*
53. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut**
54. Cahills Vs. Vespers Book 2: A King’s Ransom**
55. The Scorch Trials by James Dashner*
56. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne*
57. My Mother Was Nuts by Penny Marshall**
58. Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin**
59. The Death Cure by James Dashner*
60. The Savage Garden by Mark Mills*
61. Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers**
62. Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut**
63. The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
64. The Heroes of Olympus Book 3: The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan**
65. Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey
66. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton**
67. Dracula by Bram Stoker
68. The Gravedigger by Peter Grandbois
69. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien**
70. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens*
71. The Child in Time by Ian McEwan*
72. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde*
73. Greyhound by Steffan Piper*
74. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente**
75. Random Harvest by James Hilton**
76. A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh

Some notes:

Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children - Amazing concept. Totally botched in the execution. The gimmick is to incorporate vintage photos into the story. They ended up taking you right out of it. Two characters would be having a conversation, and one would constantly interrupt it to say "wait, here's a picture." Really disappointing.

The Magician King - In many ways, I preferred this sequel to the first book, The Magicians. However, the ending was awful. Rumor is there will be a third one, which will hopefully redeem it. The last 3 pages in this book are just the protagonist getting knocked down again and again and again. And then it ends. I thought the Julia backstory really dragged it down, too. She just didn't interest me as a character and was a poor replacement for Alice.

The Night Circus - "The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not." Probably my favorite book of the year. I never wanted it to end. This book is simply beautiful.

Frankenstein and Dracula - Two classic gothic novels. Hated Frankenstein with the power of a million burning suns. Incredibly boring. Dracula was a bit better, but was overly long, and the characters were morons.

My Happy Days in Hollywood - Garry Marshall's second book of memoirs. A lot of the first half is a rehash of Wake Me When It's Funny, but there's some new stuff in there. And I finally learned why the heck Laverne squirts ketchup on spaghetti noodles in "The Diner." Because that is how Marjorie Ward Marshall made spaghetti.

My Mother Was Nuts - Penny Marshall's memoirs. Someday, Tracy Reiner will write a book entitled My Grandmother Was Nuts, But My Mother Was Batshit Crazy. A lot of this is just Penny listing famous people she slept with and what drugs she did. It's a little disappointing to learn all the sordid life details of one of your childhood idols, but what can you do? It's still a really interesting read.

The Complete Stories of J.G. Ballard - This took me 6 months to read, as it's a 1200 page monster. There are some gems in here, especially his stories dealing with time manipulation. However, later on in life he appeared to be obsessed with space travel, and those were some of his worst stories. Still, I'm glad my friend sent me this. It's the type of book I would have never picked up on my own, but I mostly really enjoyed it.

The Shack - Shoot me. This book is among the worst I have EVER read. First of all, the author isn't really an author at all, he's just a guy who wrote a book. And you can tell. There are probably Twilight fanfiction writers that are better than he is. The dialogue in The Shack is atrocious; people DO NOT TALK LIKE THAT. Reading this book is like watching a bunch of junior high kids try to perform Shakespeare.

Little Children - Now, THIS is how people talk! This book is my second favorite from the year. The characters are real people. They act like real people act. Including the sex offender. It is an absolute shame that the movie totally botched it and made the child molester a sympathetic figure.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea - I read the unabridged version. This was a mistake. Pages and pages that just list the types of fish the characters are seeing. The story is good, but this is the kind of book that really benefits from being abridged.

The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, and The Death Cure - This trilogy had a great idea, but it was a little disappointing. I liked it enough to read all three books, but they honestly read more like story outlines than like actual novels. I did like that the characters were all open and actually SPOKE to each other rather than keeping everything to themselves. I didn't like how one-note most of the characters were. And the ridiculous love triangle had no pay-off because I didn't care about ANY of them. The ending was rushed and forced. I would recommend the first book, but not necessarily the others.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making - This book was delightful! It's a children's fairy story, but there is a lot for adults to enjoy. I'm looking forward to reading the sequel.

Rosemary's Baby - Loved this one. I had never seen the movie (I watched it after), so everything was new for me. I didn't like the ending at first, but now it's grown on me. If you have seen the movie, the book is redundant. The movie might as well have just used the novel as the script, because most of it is lifted verbatim from the text. However, while the movie does NOT show the baby, the book describes it in great detail.

The Long Walk - This was actually my very first experience with Stephen King. I read this because it was recommended for people who enjoyed The Hunger Games. I did enjoy it, but I thought a lot of it was pretty predictable. You kind of knew from the beginning who the last 2 walkers would be. There were some interesting twists along the way, and overall I would recommend it. It was good enough for me to buy a bunch of Stephen King books, because I liked his writing style and want to read more.

In 2012 my goal was 75 books. I read 76, but I will admit that in order to reach my goal, I chose a lot of short books (less than 200 pages), as well as easier-to-read YA and even children's books, like The Wizard of Oz.

Because I have a lot of very long books sitting on my shelves, I am setting a significantly smaller goal of 55 books for 2013. First up is Stephen King's 11/22/63, which I have already started and so far am loving.

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