Monday, December 31, 2012

Part 3: Reading List of 2012

Here is part 1 and here is part 2

* indicates a favorite
** indicates a super favorite
53.   **The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath   Classics/Fiction
This book has been on my to read list for quite some time and I am so glad I finally got to it. Although it was written in the 50s, there are so many timeless elements to it. It is quite that kept me thinking about it for some time.  
54.   The Magician’s Assistant by Ann Patchett     Fiction
55.   Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper     Young Adult Fiction
56.    Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs       YA Fiction/Fantasy
57.    **The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield       Fiction/Mystery
This is a great book for any book lover out there. There are several stories throughout this book, and it is quite nice when they intertwine. Great characters, a nice mystery, and so many great quotes about the love of books! Writing about this book actually makes me want to reread it again.
58.   **The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd       Fiction
I decided to reread this book again after I finished Kidd’s The Dance of the Dissident Daughter, which is about her journey with feminism. At the end of it she decides to start writing fiction....more specifically, The Secret Life of Bees. I LOVED reading this book knowing the story that lead up to it. I loved this book the first time I read it and loved it even more the the second read through.  
59.   *The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks      Nonfiction/Psych
I picked up this book randomly without knowing anything about it...basically because of the great title. It reminded me of a Gogol title so I was surprised when I started reading and found out that it is a collection of nonfiction story from a psychologist. I really loved the stories and kind of skimmed over his psychology talk sometimes. I tended to read a chapter or two right before bed so my poor husband was forced to listen to a recap as I was so enraptured with them!
60.   *How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran       Memoir/Feminism
On the cover of the book there is a quote that says “The British version of Tina Fey’s Bossypants.” so I wanted desperately to read it as I loved Bossypants. Boy, was I in for a surprise! This book was a lot cruder than I was expecting but once I got over my shock, I enjoyed it! She tells some very funny stories about her growing up and exploring what it means to be a woman. She is super funny and I enjoyed the many rants that she went on. I wouldn’t recommend this book to everybody (mostly because some of the topics she goes into in detail) but I am eager to read more of her work!
61.  Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen      Classics
62.  *The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey        Fiction/Magical Realism
This story is about a barren middle aged couple that is starting over in the undeveloped Alaskan Territory in the 1920s. In their loneliness, they build a snowchild and in the morning, it is gone and only one set of footprints lead from it. Soon enough a young girl is seen in the woods and they befriend her. As their relationship grows, they question whether they are crazy, if she is real, or if she is magical. A really terrific read. Quiet in many ways but quite powerful, too.
63.   **Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon       Nonfiction/Art
This is such a great little read. Very inspiring. A great book to inspire your creativity!
64.   *Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed       Memoir
I put this book on hold at the library and was #175 so I figured I’d never get a chance to read it! Fortunately, I did get a hold of a copy and devoured it. It tells Cheryl’s story as she is grappling with a failed marriage, her mother’s death, and being abandoned by her dad as a young child. As her life gets messier, she takes a break to reorient herself on the PCT and what follows is a great book about her journey. I’m not sure she inspired me to pick up backpacking (she tells some horrible stories about her sore feet), but she tells a powerful story of taking charge of your life when you desperately need to.
65.   American Primitive by Mary Oliver         Poetry
66.   Closing Time by Joe Queenan      Memoir
67.   Letters from Pemberley: The First Year by Jane Dawkins    Historical Fiction
68.   **Thirst by Mary Oliver       Poetry
A great collection of poems that deal with nature, sorrow, and spirituality. Her poetry is simple yet has so much depth. I’m planning on buying this book so I can reread again and again.
69.   *A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers       Memoir
I really was turned off by the cover of this book for a while. Something about it just bothered me. Finally I read some review of the book that made me give it a try...and I’m glad I did. It was a very interesting book. The writing  kind of reminded me of Kerouac's run on style, which seemed appropriate because it was his story as a young 20 something losing both parents and taking on the responsibility of his younger brother. It was wild and chaotic--much like his grieving process.
70.   *The Round House by Louise Erdrich        Fiction
This book deserves all of the praise it has been receiving. I was a bit nervous to read it because it is about a woman who is raped and how she, her family, and her community deals with it. I’m really glad I read it, though. It shows a family grieving and how each of them deals with it. The story is told from the perspective of the child as an adult which gives it a nice removed but personal feel to it. A great glimpse into the Native American culture and the difficulties that they face as a community.
71.   Ariel: The Restored Edition by Sylvia Plath      Poetry
72.   *The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe        Memoir/Nonfiction
As a book lover, how could I not read this book? Will Schwalbe tells the story of him and his mother starting a two person book club while she is going through a terminal illness. Not only does he talk about the books that they read, but he also tells his mother’s life story. It has a nice story with depth so it doesn’t end up being just a collection of book reviews. I would have given this a super 5 star but sometimes it got a bit slow.  
73.   **Just Kids by Patti Smith       Nonfiction/Memoir
Honestly, I didn’t know who Patti Smith was when I put this book on hold at the library. I did know the story of Robert Mapplethorpe so I was intrigued to know some of his back story. I really just loved this book. Patti and Robert were so apart of this amazing, creative movement in NY that I loved reading about. I just felt haunted by this era and I couldn’t stop thinking about it even when I set the book down.  As a powerhouse artist, Patti was in the throes of it all. She experienced so many highs and lows throughout her life and she articulates it so nicely.
74.   Unpacking My Library: Writers and Their Books, Edited by Leah Price  Nonfiction/Art
75.   The Hobbit

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