What I read in 2012, and some books to start 2013 with
Books read in 2012
I managed to hit 70 books read in 2012, which I’m very pleased about. This is the highest number I’ve read in a year since I began documenting my reading fully in 2008. This year I discovered a number of authors I hadn’t read before but whom I took an instant liking to: the crime novels of American Megan Abbott, Australian crime novels by Garry Disher, and the works of American Southern writers William Gay and Daniel Woodrell. I read a few more novels by authors I’d already read before: English author Pat Barker’s non-WWI novels, more from the peerless J M Coetzee, Graham Greene, Johnathan Lethem (whom I’m still undecided on), DBC Pierre (whom I’ve decided I don’t like) and more. Two of my favourite novels of the year though were by writers I hadn’t read much of previously: The City and the City by China Mieville and The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon. Overall, my tastes seem to run mainly to crime novels and Southern Gothic, and my interest in speculative fiction is on the wane. Here’s the full list.
Abbott, M – The Song is You, Queenpin, Die a Little, Bury Me Deep
Atwood, M – Oryx & Crake
Auster, P – The Brooklyn Follies
Barker, P – Another World, Border Crossing
Bergen, A – Tobacco Stained Mountain Goat
Block, L – Grifter’s Game
Brown, L – Fay, Joe
Brautigan, R – Trout Fishing in America, In Watermelon Sugar
Broderick/Di Fillipo – Science Fiction: The 101 Best Novels 1985-2010
Burroughs, WS – Rub Out the Words: Letters of WSB 1959-74
Byfield, M – Flight
Carter, A – Prime Cut
Coetzee, J M – Foe, Boyhood
Covich, S – When We Remember They Call Us Liars
Chabon, M – The Yiddish Policemen’s Union
Deane, J – The Norseman’s Song
Dick, Philip K – The Man Whose Teeth Were All Exactly Alike, The Simulacra
Disher, G – Blood Moon, The Dragon Man, Kittyhawk Down
Downham, J – Before I Die
Ellroy, J – The Black Dahlia
Faust, C – Money Shot
Gay, W – The Long Home, Provinces of Night, Twilight, Wittgenstein’s Lolita
Greene, G - A Gun for Sale, Stamboul Train, The End of the Affair, Graham Greene: A Life in Letters
Hyde/Wintz – Precious Artifacts: A PKD Bibliography
Krasnostein, A (ed) – 2012
Ishiguro, K – Never Let Me Go
Kurkov, A – The Good Angel of Death
Lethem, J – The Disappointment Artist, Amnesia Moon
Luckhurst, R – The Angle Between Two Walls – J G Ballard
Mieville, C – The City and the City, Embassytown
McCarthy, C – The Crossing
McHugh, M – After the Apocalypse
Mosley, W – Devil in a Blue Dress
Orwell, G – Down and Out in Paris and London
Pasternak, B – Doctor Zhivago
Pierre, DBC – Ludmilla’s Broken English, Vernon God Little
Palmer, C – PKD: Exhilaration and the Terror of the Postmodern
Priest, C – Boneshaker
Richardson, D – Ultra Soundings
Roth, P – The Plot Against America
Steinbeck, J – The Pearl
Stephenson, N – The Diamond Age
Swofford, A – Jarhead
Warren, K – Through Splintered Walls
Wessely, T (ed) – Epilogue
Weisman, A – The World Without Us (NF)
Woodrell, D – Winter’s Bone, Under the Bright Lights, Tomato Red, Give Us a Kiss, The Death of Sweet Mister
Books to read in 2013
I buy books a lot faster than I read them and thus I seem only to read about half of the books I buy. So I should slow down on the book buying, right? Riiiight Here’s my ‘immediate to-read’ list of 14, to be distinguished from my extended to-read list of 200+
Barker, P – Double Vision, Toby’s Room
I like Pat Barker quite a lot and I’ve managed to read at least half of her novels now. I complained a little to myself that she wrote too many books about WWI, but then in actual fact I prefer her WWI stuff to the contemporary novels of hers I read in 2012. Thus I’m looking forward to reading her latest novel, Toby’s Room, more than the older Double Vision.
Brown, H – Red Queen, After the Darkness
Russell of Reflexiones Finales put the thought of Australian writer Honey Brown into my head, and I’ve finally gotten around to picking up two of her novels today. I’ve made a brief start on Red Queen this afternoon and I like it plenty so far.
Coetzee, J M – Master of Petersburg
I’m not in a huge hurry to finish ploughing my way through the 7-8 Coetzee novels I’m yet to read, but I’ll get there eventually. I suspect I’ll pick up a couple more throughout the year.
Bergen, A – One Hundred Years of Vicissitude
Andrez Bergen’s second novel is on my immediate list courtesy of his excellent Tobacco Stained Mountain Goat. And he’s nearly finished a third novel. And a fourth, I think…
Disher, G – Wyatt
I’ve read a few Challis & Destry mysteries, but this will be the first I’ve seen of the Wyatt series.
Kempshall, P (ed) – Tales from the Second Storey
I picked this up at the KSP Minicon a few months ago and it has a very impressive Table of Contents…
Kerouac/Ginsberg – Letters
I love William Burroughs – his writing and his life – so much that I’m prepared to branch out into reading the letters of his friends now
Laidler, J – Pulling Down the Stars
I’ve almost finishing reading this one by the author of The Taste of Apple. Expect a review very soon.
McCullers, C – The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
Been meaning to read this for a long time, but my mum says it’s awesome so I’ll read it.
Penzler, (ed) – The Lineup
A collection of interviews with famous crime writers on how they came up with their protagonists.
Temple, P – Truth
I hear it’s good.
Xinran – China Witness
Another non-fiction book by the author of The Good Women of China.