A blogger friend briefly came out of blog retirement to talk about the books she read in 2012. This lady is one voracious reader, admitting to slightly more than a book a week. Her library and local bookstore should give her an award. An Amazon gift card? That’s over 52 for those of you who have forgotten your calendar factoids. Now she modestly says that includes “a lot of mysteries and trashy novels”, but I say a book is a book. I don’t think a 600 page non-fiction book counts more than a 200 page thriller. If it does then let’s count that nf book as three books which would make her list longer. No, a book is a book. I think graphic novels and young adult books like Hunger Games are also very valid reads for adults.
I have always read a lot and my friends all read so when I did a little research I was surprised how little most people read. On second thought, maybe I expected this, I just didn’t want to believe it.The Pew Research Center recently published their findings on reading in America. Even with the rise of e-books, reading is low. You can read the whole article if you like but bottom line is Americans 18 years and older read on average 17 books each year, 19% said they don’t read any books at all and 5% read over 50 books. That 19% bothered me the most.
After reading Linda’s post I went back to my list and counted how many books I read in 2012. Curt and I added our books all year to a list we have linked on our blog. Look at the top banner under “Books Read (2012)”. Once I teased out Curt’s titles I was surprised to see I had read 45 books (pat on back). But I’ve got to pick up the pace to catch my friend Linda. Only three were non-fiction whereas Curt’s 15 books were all non-fiction.
Okay, here are my top three. Number one? Hands down, Stephen King’s, 11/22/63. If you have turned your nose up at King’s books because they are ‘just horror’ and anyone who writes that genre isn’t a real writer, well think again. Yes, going in you will have to accept time travel but once you get past that, wow! I’m not going to write a review but here’s a hint, the title refers to the day Kennedy was shot. Stephen King is a master of putting you into the time period. I could just feel the late 50’s,early 60’s.
Number two. Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. The story of a fierce duel between two magicians both of whom are part of a fantastic circus that only opens at night.
Number three is Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. This is a book I didn’t think I would enjoy but my book group had chosen it so I ventured forth. It is the story of twin brothers born of a secret union between an Indian nun and a British surgeon. The orphaned boys come of age as Ethiopia moves toward revolution. I couldn’t put it down.
For you nonfiction lovers, my husband obviously being one of them, I feel it’s only fair to list our top picks. I only read three but of those Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson was an interesting book about a fascinating and eccentric person. Curt’s fav was The Swerve: How the World became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt.
“An innovative work of history and a thrilling story of discovery, in which one manuscript, plucked from a thousand years of neglect, changed the course of human thought and made possible the world as we know it.” -Amazon.
Well that wraps up 2012. I’m already two books up for 2013 and half way through book three. What was your top book this past year? I’m always looking for suggestions. See ya in the stacks.