31 December 2012

Bye-bye, 2012 (and where I reveal how many pages I read)!

2012 was an odd-ball year for me. 

I simply could not read to task.  I couldn't make plans to read certain books - they either had to hit my fancy or not.  This year, my fancy leaned toward...

...romance novels.  Almost to the exclusion of everything else.  I read my way through Eloisa James (nearly everything she wrote), Mary Balogh's Bedwyns, Julia Quinn's Bridgertons, Smythe-Smiths, and Bevelstokes, and discovered Tessa Dare, Sarah MacLean, Caroline Linden, Miranda Neville, Sophia Nash, and Elizabeth Hoyt.  I even tried out the grand-dame of historicals Georgette Heyer (and if you can get Richard Armitage to read it to you so much the better).

I think this had to do with the fact that all I could do was worry about my mom.  I couldn't guarantee that her chemo and radiation would do the trick (so far, so good - the MRIs are clear, cross my fingers and toes) and I couldn't fix it so all I could do was read.  I used to read romance novels in junior high and high school because Mom usually had a few laying around the house.  While we don't read to the same taste (she usually read contemporaries while I prefer Regency historicals followed by other historicals) I found that being able to read a 250-300 page romance novel with an almost gold-plated, guaranteed Happy Ending in the two hours between coming home from work and falling asleep not only helped me relax but delivered a weird sense of accomplishment.

So much so that I read 191 books this year when I only meant to read 110:

That is 63,496 pages.  HOLY CRAP ON A CRAP CRACKER!!!  Almost twice as much as last year when I read 102 books.

I guess having an ereader really does make me read faster.  As far as the breakdown of books goes I did like almost everything I read this year (5 stars being "amazing", 3 being "it was OK/readable", and 1 star being "sucked hardcore"):

Likely the best book I read this year is either The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (which just tore my heart out) or One Good Earl Deserves a Lover by Sarah MacLean (and since it's not pubbing until the end of January 2013 that's sort of cheating).  The worst book I read this year was The Husband Hunt by Lynsay Sands - if I hadn't pre-ordered the ebook I would have lit the damn thing on fire (see reasons why here).  One book is unrated (The Duke Diaries) because I haven't decided where my opinion lies yet - it's for a review in March 2013 so I have time for a re-read.  Nothing was officially DNF'd this year, so that was good.

Speaking of reviews, I started reviewing romance at Brazen Reads this year!  The brainchild of Pam, Brazen Reads is a collaborative blog where romance of all types is reviewed.  I concentrate on Regency and historical so drop on by if you're interested.

I also tried on graphic novels for size this year.  DC Comics had a buy-2-get-1-free sale from late August to mid-November so I decided to rectify a "blind side" in my reading life.  I started with Watchmen, Fables #1: Legends in Exile, and Sandman #1: Preludes and Nocturnes.  I had read Watchmen back in high school in a hopeless attempt to impress the boys in drumline (snare players are uber-cool) and didn't really like it.  This time around I was much more able to appreciate the art and storytelling.  Fables was a great intro to an alternative fairy tale world but Sandman just about blew my mind.  I'm halfway through the series now.  Neil Gaiman is a national treasure (since he lives stateside but is still a Brit I guess we'll have to share him).

The downside of all the reading I did is that I am hopelessly behind in reviews.  Almost shamefully.  I'll catch up don't worry.

Have a safe and happy New Year, everyone!

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