I know it’s February, well past the proper amount of time to ruminate on one’s last year, but I came across someone else’s 2012 in books post and felt the urge to write my own. Besides, fellow bookworms never mind book talk.
In 2012 I picked up Stephen King for the real first time. I say the real first time because I read Carrie as a teenager and didn’t feel compelled to read him again until this year. I’d say that’s about a decade gap in between. Nonetheless, I became a voracious King reader, inasmuch as I could be a voracious reader, being kind of slow. In 2012 I read his memoir On Writing (which I think actually compelled me down this path of writing-as-work), followed by Misery, then Full Dark, No Stars, a short story collection that did no worse a job at scaring the bejesus out of me. After that I had to take a break.
I read twenty-four novels in 2012. That’s a decent number. I didn’t finish all of them.
I wanted to like Mil Millington’s Instructions for Living Someone Else’s Life, but I just couldn’t get past the rambling nonsense of his writing. It may work on the internet, but it didn’t translate well into a novel.
The one that surprised me the most was probably Gil Adamson’s The Outlander, a wonderful historical Western set in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Mary Boulton was probably my favourite character of the year, too. Tied with The Sisters Brothers, but then I really enjoyed my summer of cowboy fiction.
I also got into memoirs and non-fiction in 2012 more than I ever have before. After David Rakoff passed away in August, I wanted to explore his writing and found the humour of Half Empty inspring, even if they are a collection of pessimistic essays. The cancer that Rakoff wrote about in this last release is what ultimately killed him last year. Similarly, I read Nora Ephron’s I Remember Nothing after she passed away in June. It was eerie to read her musings on death. In a way it was like hearing the voices of ghosts inside my head.
Seeing as it’s now February, I feel like this state of my bookshelf can include what I’ve currently read.
My 2013 has begun in a decidedly Canadian vein with Tamara Faith Berger’s (weird) Maidenhead and Andrew Pyper’s The Killing Circle (a lesser Stephen King attempt set in Toronto, which was cool.)
I’m attempting a Virginia Woolf right now, my first one, and I’m finding it hard to concentrate. The writing is stream of conscious and the language is just antiquated enough that it’s boring. Sadly. I want to like Virgina Woolf, but maybe I just like her more as a character in someone else’s fiction.
And, on the other side of the coin, I’m reading a Georgette Heyer because why not?