What I Read in 2012

January 1st, 2013

Happy 2013! I hope yours is off to a good start: mine definitely is. Today has included, among other things: very good coffee, ice skating on newly-sharpened skates at a not-too-crowded rink, and a handstand on the beach. My day has not yet included any curling up with a book, but that’s coming next: I started The Casual Vacancy the other day and am enjoying it so far, and am planning to sit on the couch with it and some rooibos chai shortly. But first: what I read and liked in 2012.

I read 54 books in 2012—though that does include some picture books, which don’t exactly count, but I’m counting them anyhow.

The breakdown:
Picture books: 2
Other kids’/YA books: 9
Fiction (for grown-ups): 29
Non-fiction: 11
Poetry: 3

Works in translation: 7

Favorites: There but for the by Ali Smith. So smart and engaged and human. Leanne Shapton’s Swimming Studies, which I couldn’t shut up about for months because of how good it was: self-aware and introspective and interesting. NW by Zadie Smith, for its stylistic play and cleverness but also for how it’s as much about a corner of a city as it is about the people who inhabit it. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead, because it’s a play off A Wrinkle in Time. Alibis: Essays on Elsewhere by André Aciman, for the way Aciman explores place and memory and nostalgia and being in the world as a certain kind of person.

2013 plans: the plan for 2013, reading-wise, is basically to have no plans, other than the 2013 edition of the TBR Double Dog Dare, which means I’ll be reading off my bookshelves between now and April 1. I’m looking forward to it.

6 Responses to “What I Read in 2012”

  1. Vishy Says:

    Happy New Year 2013, Heather! Nice to know that you had a wonderful reading year in 2012! Your favourite books all look wonderful! I have Zadie Smith ‘NW’. I am hoping to read it soon. Nice to know about Rebecca Stead’s book. I will look for it. Thanks for sharing your list of favourites. Hope you have a wonderful year in 2013, filled with lots of books and wonderful reading moments!

  2. Rebecca H. Says:

    I’m glad your year is starting off well! I agree with you about the Zadie Smith and am looking forward to reading the Aciman collection. I like your 2013 plans very much. Have a great reading year!

  3. Heather Says:

    Vishy, thanks, happy 2013 to you too! I look forward to hearing what you think about NW, and I hope your year, reading and otherwise, is excellent as well.

  4. Heather Says:

    Rebecca, thanks. I was excited to hear that Aciman is doing a reading at McNally Jackson this month – with Teju Cole, which is super-exciting (though I haven’t actually gotten around to reading Cole’s Open City yet, but I suspect that when I do, I will really like it).

  5. Stefanie Says:

    Glad 2013 is off to a good start! 2012 was a good reading year. I’ve really got to read that Smith book, it seems everyone who reads it loves it. Good luck with the TBR reading!

  6. Heather Says:

    Stefanie, thanks, and yes, NW is great – I look forward to hearing what you think if/when you read it!

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