Twenty-twelve is over. This wasn’t a happy year for books. These made the cut:

  1. Millenium Trilogy**, Stieg Larsson
  2. The Book Thief, Markus Zusak
  3. Number the Stars*, Lois Lowry
  4. Hunger Games Trilogy**, Suzanne Collins
  5. State of Wonder, Ann Patchett
  6. Girls Like Us, Rachel Lloyd
  7. The Marriage Plot, Jeffrey Eugenides
  8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky
  9. Nickel and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich
  10. Under the Banner of Heaven, Jon Krakauer
  11. On the Road, Jack Kerouac
  12. The Night Circus*, Erin Morgenstern
  13. A Thousand Splendid Suns*, Khaled Hosseni
  14. On the Island, Tracey Garvis Graves
  15. Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?, Beverly Daniel Tatum
  16. Sliding into Home, Kendra Wilkinson & Jon Warech
  17. Light in August, William Faulkner
  18. Blindness*, José Saramago
  19. Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer
  20. Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card
  21. Into the Land of the Unicorns*, Bruce Coville
  22. Outliers, The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell (finished this yesterday, but read most of it last year so I will include it there)
(* indicates how many times I’ve read it before)
I had hoped again for 30 books this year, but wasn’t able to reach it. One of the excuses I have given myself for not reading more is that this summer I got LASIK surgery, so I wasn’t allowed/able to read very much for about a month. I did listen to one of the Harry Potter books, though, so don’t judge me too harshly.

I read 26 books total. Nineteen were fiction, seven were non-fiction. Eleven books I’d read before, two all the way back in middle school. Two books were by authors I fell in love with last year (State of Wonder and The Marriage Plot; neither were as good). Two books (Wallflower and On the Road) were made into movies this year and I wanted to read them before seeing the films (still haven’t seen either yet).

Here are my favorites:

  • Girls Like Us
  • Under the Banner of Heaven
  • Into Thin Air
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower
  • The Book Thief
  • Outliers

The winners for fiction and non-fiction, respectively:

  • The Book Thief
  • Into Thin Air… or Under the Banner of Heaven. It’s a tie.

The worst were:

  • On the Road
  • On the Island
  • A Light in August

On the Road and A Light in August were on the list because we read them in our international book club. We all wanted to say we had read these books/authors, so I feel happy to say I’ve got Kerouac and Faulkner under my belt now. However, I hated Kerouac because he’s a douche and I hated A Light in August because it was boring. Beautiful but boring. On the Island was one of the trashiest things I’ve ever read (so was Sliding into Home, for that matter), but it was still entertaining.

I read Jack Kerouac and Jon Krakauer back to back. I kept getting their names mixed up for the rest of the year.

Jon Krakauer wins for my new favorite (non fiction, at least) author. I have heard that Into the Wild isn’t as good, but Into Thin Air riveted and haunted me, so much so that I spent about a month reading everything I could about Mount Everest, high altitude mountain climbing/horror stories, and watching every documentary on the mountain that I could. I’m a moth to the flames of tragedy and death. And Under the Banner of Heaven… well, let’s just say it’s part of the reason that my faith was shaken this year.

I have a pile of books I need to read and sell before leaving Korea in July, so the first few books you will see reported are definitely because they’ve been sitting on my bookshelf for the past three years and I’m running out of time.