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    the year in reading: 2012

    This year, I read 76 books, by far the most books I've read since I started keeping a reading log (surpassing the previous recorded high of 59 books in 2004).

    This number was assuredly helped along by the fact that I read a lot of comics collections / graphic novels—nineteen in total. Comic books, even when collected into trade paperback format, tend to be a quick read: I have to ration myself sometimes in order not to complete them in a single sitting. But even if you don't count the graphic novels, I'm still pretty proud of the number of books I completed this year, even prouder when you consider that my "book reading" was in addition to the tons of Web reading I've been doing: both nonfiction (informally anthologized here) and fiction (gleanings posted daily at Instafiction, which is now a part of Longform.org, in case I didn't already mention that).

    So. Nineteen graphic novels, twenty-four novels, five books of short stories, one book of poems, and what looks like a bunch of assorted nonfiction. More books than usual, and more good books than usual. A shocking, delightful abundance of good books. The following books, however, all represent books I can recommend whole-heartedly. (Asterisks indicate books that were a re-read, the highlighted books represent a top ten (actually eleven). Re-reads were left out of "top ten" consideration.)

    In Our Time by Ernest Hemingway
    Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
    Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
    The Flame Alphabet by Ben Marcus
    How To Keep Your Volkswagen Alive by Christopher Boucher
    Virtual Light*, Idoru*, and All Tomorrow's Parties (the "Bridge Trilogy") by William Gibson
    The Great Gatsby* by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    Jesus' Son* and Train Dreams by Denis Johnson
    A Perfect Spy by John Le Carré
    On Beauty by Zadie Smith
    Samaritan by Richard Price

    Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell
    About A Mountain by John D'Agata
    Blank Spots on the Map: The Dark Geography of the Pentagon's Secret World by Trevor Paglen
    What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly
    The Toaster Project by Thomas Thwaites
    A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
    In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
    A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again* and Consider the Lobster* by David Foster Wallace
    The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson
    Debt: The First 5000 Years by David Graeber

    My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf
    Three Shadows by Cyril Pedrosa
    The Dark Knight Returns* by Frank Miller
    Planetary Book 2 and Planetary Book 3 by Warren Ellis & John Cassady
    Building Stories by Chris Ware
    The Infinity Gauntlet by Jim Starlin & George Perez
    Duncan the Wonder Dog: Show One by Adam Hines

    Previous year-in-reading round-ups: 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004).


    Sunday, January 06, 2013
    4:56 PM


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