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.
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.
Dark 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
There 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 of 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
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.
I 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 upon 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.
Natsume 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 Gods 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