Another year is ending, marking two full years of book blogging for me. It’s a funny business, blogging. I have no real idea, each time I post, whether anyone is reading, or interested. Hopefully each post gets a reader or two and perhaps, occasionally, someone seeks out a book or doesn’t bother reading one, because of what I’ve written.
This is my 2012 reading in review.
My favourite non-fiction for the year was the very first book I read:
“Worse Things Happen at Sea” by William McInnes & Sarah Watt (2011)
…William and his [late] wife … tell a meandering collection of anecdotes about their lives together, their children, their parents, their successes and their heartbreak. They tell it through words and pictures … One anecdote wanders off into another anecdote, before strolling casually back over to the original one. It’s a lot like having conversations in and amongst a group of people you know very well, when you stroll through different memories and funny tales, only to look at each other for a moment, as if to say, wait, where were we, and then the words take you back to where you started…
My favourite fiction was:
“Vernon God Little” by DBC Pierre (2003)
Vernon has moved into my heart, along with Jacob from “Water for Elephants”, Ed from “The Messenger” and Quick Lamb from “Cloudstreet”. He will stay with me, of that I am sure. I encourage you to invite him over and see if you like him too.
My favourite YA fiction was:
“Graffiti Moon” by Cath Crowley (2010)
I read it in one sitting. I couldn’t, didn’t want to, didn’t need to put it down. The characters are real, believable, engaging, flawed and fun. The plot is uncomplicated but not predictable. The language is poetic and fluid and a pleasure to read.
Browsing the blog, I came across a couple of comments that I thought were worth revisiting. I think I summed up my taste in novels effectively while discussing my 5 all-time favourite books, which are:
“Cloudstreet”; “Water for Elephants”; “The Orchard”; and everything by Markus Zuzak (yes, I know that’s cheating) (no, there aren’t any classics, so shoot me). There’s a common theme, actually. Each of my favourite books is character-driven and employs a simple narrative regarding simple folk. It is the absurdity and extraordinariness of ordinariness that delights me in a novel. And a descriptiveness that leans towards sparse rather than flowery, I suppose.
And then there was my reaction to my birthday present… a Kindle:
… man, I love my Kindle! I have been so dubious about e-books and using an e-reader, but I’m a total convert. I mean, real books are still delicious, but the Kindle is light, easy to use and the perfect accessory for the camping trip we’ve just been on. Best of all, the font size is adjustable which meant I could relax and read the book in a comfortable manner, even in the lower light of our unpowered nights at Bathurst. Since the Kindle is not back-lit, it means lighting is still important, but by being able to enlarge the font, it meant I could read by the light of my cute little string of LED lanterns.
Two years ago I suggested, when asked, that I probably read around 50 to 60 books a year. Then I started blogging, and it turns out I actually read about 35 books a year. That means that even if I don’t purchase or receive a single book, I have enough books waiting on my shelf and my Kindle to keep me going for the next 5 or 6 years. The question is, do I enjoy the feeling of wealth that 150 books waiting provides, or do I cull the collection down to a more manageable pile? This, perhaps, is a question without an answer…
See you back here for book 1 of 2013… a book I promised to read in 2012, and started yesterday! Oops! The deadline has eluded me.
Happy New Year, and happy reading.