My reads in 2012 – summary

My reads in 2012 – summary

This is going to be one of the 3-4 posts series which I would like to summarize the year. I don’t want ot talk only about what I heve read or seen, but this was pretty exciting year with me and my kindle, and I guess it is worth to mention at least some of the books. So… here I go.

At the very beginning I need to admit, that I failed with my own personal goal, which was to read 50 books during 2012. I set myself this goal early in the January 2012, hoping actually that it would be way more than that. I managed to read 44, which I guess eventually is going to be extended up to 46, as I am currently doing my best with finishing mistborn trilogy. Even though I didn’t make it to 50, I am still proud of myself, as 2012 was my most productive year when it comes to reading.

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According to goodreads statistics, I have read 21,426 pages during 2012. I should start with the series which have taken most of my time this year.

DT 2 FinchDark Tower (1-7) by Stephen King

My journey through surreal All-World took me almost 4 moths. I have been always curious how come author like Stephen King could have focused on one concept for more than 30 years, and still coming back to it (last attend – The wind through the key hole in April 2012). I started first book (The Gunslinger) with high hopes. I have read King, but I didn’t really like him before. After reading The Stand last year I kinda changed my opinion of him, gave him a second chance. But what have been delivered to me with Gunslinger was uncertain promise to commit to that massive series without really giving a sign if it’s eventually going to be worth it or not. Here I am, months after finishing 7th book of Dark tower. Was it worth it? Absolutely yes. Can I recommend dark tower to everyone? No. Dark Tower is not something that I would recommend to everyone, despite the fact that you may be into fantasy books. Dark Tower creates its own specific genre which is hard to capture within narrow one-word terminology.

A Song of Ice and Fire (I-V) by George R. R. Martin

a-song-of-ice-and-fire-27936There has been said so much about George R. R. Martin’s magnum opus this year. The series which became a phenomenon in the media, storming all of the major book bestsellers lists arond the globe. It wasn’t easy, especially by the end AGoT_UK_Currentof last book, where thinking that I need to wait anothe 3-4 year for next part almost made me put down the book for next year (just to have some of A Dance with Dragons to read for later). It took me sometime to get used to Martin’s style of writing, structure of the books, especially each chapter’s viepoints.  The number of characters introduced at the beginning was overwhelming to me. But I got through. It took me slightly longer to finish all of the books than with The Dark Tower, however it was worth it. Don’t get my wrong, I have been raised on tolkien’s Middle Earth, and still consider Lord of The Rings as greatest read of my childhood. However, this is THE fantasy series of our time. The complexity and intricacy of the plot, politics and the unique characters made millions of readers addicted to the Song of Ice and Fire. And I am one of them.

What is Left?

Putting all together dark tower books and song of ice and fire we have 15 books (7 DK + 8 separate books

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of SoIaF) so what I have been reading besides that?

What I realized by looking at my goodreads profile is that I have serious tendency to getting involved with book series. I finally managed to finish Millenium Trilogy (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest) by Stieg Larsson which I gave up on in 2011. It was an entertaining read, especially last book makes me excited about the sequel of the movie even more.

There was plenty of standalone novels books which I have read during 2012, some of them are also worth to mention. Josh Grisham  introduced me to legal thrillers with his The Firm, and The Rainmaker. I have really enjoyed both of those books, and I am planning to go back to his work in 2013, as there are plenty of them on my “to-read” list.

Murakami_1Q84I have been waiting for the newest Murakami‘s 1Q84 for almost 2 years. As a huge fan of his work I was really curious how good the so-called magnum opus of Murakami is going to be? It is really hard fo me to write anything constructive about  his book from the technical point of view. My reads of his books have been really unique, I cant compare his to any of the authors that I have stumble pinballupon through all these years. Without giving a serious spoilers about the plot I just want to encourage all of you to give Murakami a chance, at the beginning perhaps NOT with the 1Q84, because for someone who is not familiar with his style of writing, it may be a little bit too much to ask. Sputnik Sweetheart (after reading Hear The Wind Sing and Pinball 1973 early in 2012) which was my last check-point on the murakami’s books this year would be a better point to start with him I guess.

3861958661_a39d29dc08_zNatsume Sōsek is another japanese author which is on my list of 2012 reads. With his short novel – Kokoro I came back to his work, after reading “I am Cat” couple of years back.

Going back to the fantasy world, I did try couple of other authors during 2012, including Ursula K. Le Guin‘s Wizard of the Earthsea, and my failed attempt to get started with The Wheel of Time books (book 1 – The Eye of the World). And going forward, the book which I can clearly classify as time-waster is without a doubt Hunger Games.  Another book which is worth mentioning is American american-gods-book-cover-imageGods by Neil Gaiman. The Book which won both Hugo and Nebula award (and many more books awards), was for me very “fresh” piece of fantasy and good kind of alternative to the huge amount of epic/high fantasy that I have read in the past 12 months. I may consider other books by the author in my “to-read” list for 2013.

Best Read in 2012

So What was my best book of 2012? As much as I have enjoyed months spend with the both Dark Tower and Martin’s Game of Throne books, I vote for Murakami’s 1q84

To see my full list of what I have been reading this year,  visit my goodreads profile: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5716628-maciej

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35 thoughts on “My reads in 2012 – summary

  1. Good morning,
    The only book from your list that we have in common would be the Hunger Games, out of interest i wonder why you felt it was a Time waster?
    I must admit although i somewhat enjoyed the books, i am not rushing to see the film…oh no, that would be a waste. I dont think it would come close to the top of like list either if i am honest, and i dont see me re reading it anytime soon.
    I enjoyed the imagination, and the images i was able to come up with, but the characters did not do much for me. And quite frankly, left lots un answered and the ending was….um poor, although thats not the word i would like to use, but cant seem to come up with one to describe it, so poor will do for now.
    Enjoyed your reviews, i think i may check some of them out.

    1. Good Morning and thank you for your comment. I think, the reason why I have described my experience with Hunger Games as “time waste” is that I was expecting something completely different from the book. My colleague persuaded me into reading the book, couple of weeks before the movie came out. She, as a YA novels reader, set my hopes high for the book. It’s like I didn’t enjoy it at all, it is an “OK” book, but not something for me, so instead I should have gone for something else.

  2. My best book of the year has to be Grapes of Wrath.

    I got 1Q84 for my birthday but exchanged it for A Tale of Two Cities. Don’t be mad. From what I’d read about 1Q84 it sounded pretentious and boring but lately I’ve been hearing some good things.

  3. I thought Murakami’s “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle” was very good, and I’m looking forward to finally getting around to “Kafka on the Shore” in 2013! Not sure I can tackle “1Q84” quite yet, though.

  4. Very perceptive. I sometimes wonder about all the hype surrounding certain series. I did not find Twilight to be anything special, and other librarians and avid readers share this opinion. On the other hand, I enjoyed Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. I have not yet had a chance to read past the first book, but I am hopeful the sequels are as good. Thank you for visiting and liking my post.

  5. Although last year I actually surpassed my Goodreads goal of 50 books ,It looks like this year I am not going to make it either! I too read IQ84. At 900+ pages, I think it should count for 3 books!

  6. I became a Stephen King fan after the original 1100+ page The Stand, but I also loved the Dark Tower series. I read each as they came out, so might be time to re-read them as a continuous series.

  7. I love Murakami’s work, although I think I was too young when I tried to tackle “The Wind-up Bird Chronicle” as I never finished it. I’ll have to go out and find it somewhere. Say, if you liked Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods,” and you want to check out more of his work, you should read “Neverwhere.” It’s really very good.

  8. I see we are both Murakami fans – my intro to HM was IQ84 and I’ve never looked back! Have noted Natsume Soseki – Japanese books don’t really appear on South African booksellers’ shelves, I have to order them on-line; so I may give this one a try.
    I see you are a George Martin fan – I can’t cope with his Yellow Pages size novels. I blogged about it in my despatchesfromtimbuktu. Happy reading in 2013!

  9. Hi, you have a great list of reading for 2012! I’ve read and loved some of these novels (Ursula Le Guin is a favourite of mine). I also watched The Game of Thrones series on television, and enjoyed Sean Bean’s role in particular. I haven’t read the novels, yet, though, and I’ve only read one Murakami, but I’ve heard great things about 1Q84. It seems a good choice for 2012. Thanks for stopping by my blog and I wish you good reading in 2013!

  10. Good list of books. Awesome almost getting to your goal. I may have to think about getting a goodreads account one day just to see how many books I do read in a year. By looking at my Ipad, I’m figuring about 70-80.

  11. I’ve been twiddling my thumbs over whether or not to get started on Game of Thrones, but after reading your list I think I may get started. I’m mildly worried that if it’s as addictive as everyone says it is, my January essays and exams might get swept under the rug, ahah!

    As for Murakami, I read A Wild Sheep Chase by him a year or so again and it absolutely blew me away. His style is gorgeous and the supernatural aspect to it took my breath away. Have you read Norwegian Wood? I know a film version is being made.

    I have a list as long as my arm for to-reads, and your list has just given me even more ideas! Dear me. Merry Christmas (sort of)!

    1. I did read Norwegian Wood, and had a chance to watch the film couple of months ago. I didn’t really like it (the movie I mean), I guess the director didn’t “capture” my interpretation of the book. And especially the characters – the movie fails to show those unique characters known from the book. Its a shame as I was really looking forward to it.

  12. Well, even if you didn’t make the challenge, the books you tackled were huge (Fire and Ice series especially). Good on you! Next year I’d like to read 30 books, which is by no means raising the bar, but any reading is good reading!
    As for the Dark Tower series. I did really enjoy it, as it seems you did as well. However I think Sai King could have cut 30% of his words and be left with a better, tighter story. And that ending-! He shouldn’t be allowed to make any more money whatsoever off Dark Tower series until he ends it properly. Even though I understand why the ending had to be that way. Even though it was perfectly fitting. Even though damn you Stephen King.

    1. I think it is how he described it: it was the only possible ending for the story. But yeah I didn’t like it at all and I guess I can only blame myself, because he warned me and the end of the book, just before the final epilogue that I am not going to like it ; )

  13. it’s a nice list. i love the stand, heard only good things about Dark Tower series. i did not like 1Q84 as much and like Wind up Bird and Kafka much better. what are you planning to read in 2013? best.

  14. Hey, thanks for the like! Awesome to see you took up a reading challenge too. Congratulations, those books are huge to digest 🙂 1Q84’s on my list to read sometime in the future, so I’ll keep what you said in mind!

  15. Nice list. I have 1Q84 on my shelf. I’ll have to put it on my list for early 2013. I couldn’t make it through the Dark Tower series. I think I made it to book 5 and quit. I like King’s stuff in general (11/22/63 was pretty good) but not a huge fantasy fan. Anyway, thanks for sharing your list.

  16. Where have you been all my life? We have almost exactly the same taste in books 🙂
    I haven’t tried Murakami yet, but I have to now 😉 I totally agree with you on Hunger Games and Dark Tower series. Ice and Fire, however, I have no intention of trying as I found George R R Martin too cruel for my taste (brilliant, but cruel). the only story of his I could stomach was “the skin trade” in Dark Visions, and even that was an effort. But I agree he’s brilliant.
    Neil Gaiman is another one of my favorites, as well as Brandon Sanderson (isn’t Mistborn amazing?) and Terry Pratchett.
    Good reading in 2013! Thanks for going my blog, it was great to meet you!

  17. I’m currently making my way through the second part of Storm of Swords; I had to force myself a little earlier in the series, but now I’m seriously engaged. I can’t believe what happened at the beginning of the book!
    I love Neil Gaiman – I came to him via Terry Pratchett. I love American Gods in particular, but I highly recommend listening to the audio book version of it read by Lenny Henry. His voice takes it from amusing to hilarious.

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