Books read in 2012:

42

I joined Goodreads.com in March 2009, & I have to say I highly recommend it. Since joining it has been my goal to read more books each year than I did the year before. Last year was 35, with 42 this year I think I really outdid myself.

2012-10-12-1-nook-muscular-Beaver

My top three book recommendations from last year are:

(In no particular order.)

  • The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams Audiobook format is best with Stephen Fry, he’s fantastic in every way. Yes it still totally counts as read. I love the nerdery poking fun at it’s own nerdery.
  • The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander Smith A great heartwarming read but not in a cheesy way & you get lovely cultural insights at the same time. I read most of the series this year, but I’d really only highly recommend the first three.
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket I love that these are not your typical happy-ending stories & that the siblings stick together & work together using their strengths to overcome adversity. Again I’ve read through most of this series & I can only highly recommend the first three, after that they become rather formulaic.
  • Bonus recommendation! About a Boy by Nick Hornby This is not recommended to my Mom. At first I hated it because I found myself connecting with Will’s feelings & I thought of him as the selfish jerk character. As the book goes on I connect with Marcus the strange pre-teen & somehow I liked the book better after that. I watched the movie first & this is one of the few books where watching the movie first didn’t ruin the book for me.

2012-10-03-2-Island-of-the-Blue-Dolphin

I re-read Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell in 2012, a copy of which has bumped around various bookshelves of mine since the 6th grade. The copy I read was something I picked out of my teacher’s birthday book basket. I had two teachers that year, one of which was actually the principal, Mrs. Bennion, the other was Mrs. Boyer who got married that year. Her maiden name also started with a “B,” although I can’t remember it now. (I apparently just tricked my brain into remembering Mrs. Boyer’s’ maiden name, it was Ms. Bennion. The Principal was actually Mrs. Baldwin, as you can see her name in the picture above. Yeah for tricking my own brain!)

I think we “carved” soap animals that same year & placed them in habitat dioramas we’d made. Mine was supposed to be a seal, but it certainly did not live up to the image I had in my mind. I was so traumatized by my failure to make a true to life soap carving that whenever I smell Dial Spring Water bar soap the image of a malformed seal pops into my mind. I can never buy Dial soap if I expect to shower in peace.

Do you have an e-reader, if so what kind? I have a nook & the books I’ve read on it are mostly those in the public domain. If it’s out of copyright I refuse to pay for an electronic copy of it. I get them from Project Gutenburg or Archive.org both of which have epub format of texts in the public domain. If you like audiobooks, I’m all about Librivox.org, which has volunteers reading public domain texts. You can volunteer to read texts if you’re into that. Librivox is how I “read” Alice In Wonderland & plowed my way through several chapters of Les Miserables, unabridged, which is taking me more than 2 years to read.

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Up for vote today: digital or hard copy?

As for e-readers I’m starting to see the convenience, but the romantic in me protests. I’m sure I’ve mentioned Powell’s before, & all of the interesting stories that have happened there here here here & here. That third link includes finding an airline ticket from ten years ago, one of many of the things I’ve found in the various used books at Powell’s, but this time I found two interesting things in a used book off my own shelf. In my paperback copy of the Island of the Blue Dolphins was this faded old laminated picture of my parents. My Dad is wearing THE trendiest black & white polka-dot shirt I think I’ve ever seen & my Mom’s smile reminds me exactly of my own. I have no idea where this picture came from originally or how it ended up in my book, but there it was when I cracked open the first few pages. It was a fairly startling discovery for a couple of reasons. My parents divorced when I was in the 8th grade & my Dad died more than six years ago, so finding a photograph of my parents together always leads to a walk down memory lane, or in this case an uncomfortable tumble into memory lane.

As for my vote for digital or hard copy it’s a tough decision. The convenience & ease of digital vs. the romantic sort of tactile experience & the possibility of the unexpected in the hard copy.

Fortunately it really is not simply a matter of one or the other,

you all have my full permission to simply enjoy your books however you will.


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13 responses to “Books read in 2012:”

  1. […] had planned on doing a run down of my top books every year, but apparently I only did that for the Books I Read In 2012. I still highly recommend my top three from that […]

  2. Laurie says:

    Thanks for the shout-out about my literary shortcomings, BTW. Oh well, maybe 2013 will be my lucky number for getting back on track…

    If you ever want to read a fun book about reading, you should check out “The Polyphonic Spree” by Nick Hornby (author of “About a Boy”). It’s basically a newspaper column where he journalizes what he is reading/has read recently (aka a blog), but it has some pretty great recommendations and is very witty.

    As to the e-reader v. book debate: you and I have already talked about this, so I will just tell you my thoughts on it at the moment- the plug in in my Kindle is being wonky (I think it loosened or something), so I actually am hard-pressed to be able to read anything on my Kindle right now, which is really, really annoying since I was in the middle of several highly entertaining reads. GRRRRRUMBLE. However, I am also reading “IT” right now, and the book weighs 5 pounds and is ginormous and annoying to sit and read comfortably. GRRRRRUMBLE x2. I guess I will conclude my argument on e-readers v. books by just saying that everything is the worst. 😀

    I agree with you on Stephen Fry reading HGTTG. I would personally appreciate it if Stephen Fry read all of my books to me. Do you think he is free?

  3. Kathie mom says:

    Haven’t seen that photo for years. I don’t remember when it was taken. Books are one of the great blessings of this life. I love books with people shining through with their integrity.

  4. Joy says:

    I love this post. I always want recommendations for new books. I see I’m going to have to come to you for suggestions when I need them. I’ve been a strong proponenet for digital because of the convenience but I see the romance in the paperback. We lose something with every new thing we gain.

    • Hykel says:

      Thanks Joy!
      Are you on Goodreads? I know Aspen is & I think Holly is too. (Everybody’s doing it!)
      What kind of books do you usually enjoy?

  5. Aaron says:

    I’m almost digital all the way. On an eInk display pictures don’t work so well, but I think that’s my only complaint. I don’t read a lot of picture books as it is.

    • Hykel says:

      I think it’s funny that generally speaking you are the traditionalist & I am the non-traditionalist. When it comes to books I lean toward books in the traditional tangible form & you lean digital. I can’t wait to find more things between us that are polar opposites.

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