a sample of my book collection

Books I read in 2012, and how I am a complete failure

I got all excited about this idea, because I love making lists. List writing is my THING. And I also love demonstrating my worldly, well-read knowledge. As my Christmas mug from my roommate says, “I like big books and I cannot lie.”

And then when I sat down and started writing my 2012 list of reading material, I was devastated. I’VE ONLY READ 16 BOOKS?

What has happened to me? Writers are supposed to EAT literature. INHALE IT. How can you be even a mediocre writer if you don’t READ? There is a science in words that only some people understand, and the rest of the world rarely appreciates.

/rant

(Okay, I know like one person who does this brilliantly. But that’s about it.)

So here’s what I read.

1. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
2. The Olive Grove – Katherine Kizilos
3. Suzanne Collins – The Hunger Games
4. Suzanne Collins – Mockingjay
5. Suzanne Collins – Catching Fire
6. Matador Network – No Foreign Lands
7. Abby Heugel – Abby Has Issues
8. Graham Greene – The Power and the Glory
9. Jeffrey Eugenides – Middlesex
10. Donna Morrisey – Kit’s Law
11. Wayne Johnston – The Custodian of Paradise
12. Bobbi French – Finding me in France
13. Tatiana de Rosnay – Sarah’s Key
14. Gigi Griffis – And, Also, My Palms are Sweaty
15. John Mole – It’s all Greek to Me!
16. Charles O’Keefe – The Newfoundland Vampire

My goal for 2013 is to double that list, or at least get to 30. My love affair with books has been ongoing since I was a wee child at seven years old, bringing home my first novel (The Babysitters Club: Claudia and Mean Jeanine) and being skeptical about enjoying anything without pictures. After that, I’d bring home at least 5 books a week from the library (the limit) and eeny-meeny-mony-moe them because I couldn’t figure out which one to read first.

My friends will tell you I’m pulled to used bookstores like a magnet. Books are more than just great literature for more…their physical selves are important. Which is why I abhor both the e-book and the audio book. Such blasphemy.

Anyway. I ramble. Some notes on my reading list.

Favourite book(s) of 2012

The Hunger Game series. Seriously, I was blown away. I avoid over-hyped books like the plague, and tend to judge people who read them (i.e. Twilight). But these books were so amazingly well written and smart and wonderful and ACTION PACKED. I read them all within two weeks, and was devastated when the experience was over.

The book that made me want to be a better writer

Middlesex. Wayne Johnston better watch out, because he’s got some competition from Eugenides as my new favourite author.

Least favourite book

Little Women. I’m sorry, those girls were just terrible. If I knew them in real life, I’d kick each one in the shin.

Best travel literature

Bobbi French’s Finding me in France. She’s a fellow Newfoundlander, with all the wit to boot. Read it. READ IT.

Most surprising book

Kit’s Law. I’m wary of a lot of Newfoundland literature, because as I said before, most of it is hyped. Newfoundlanders tend to work within their own circles, and so I find a lot of the writing here insanely repetitive. BUT Kit’s Law was a great, fun read and I devoured it on the plane from Montreal to St. John’s. It made me happy to be home.

NOW. Suggestions for 2013? I’ve got 30 to shoot for, remember.

  • December 20 2012
    Bobbi French

    Wow! Proud to have made your list! Merci and keep reading, I’m rooting for your 30 milestone babe.

    • December 28 2012

      One of my faves all year, woo! Let me know when your second book is out.

  • December 20 2012
    Erin

    I read Kit’s Law years ago and still remember really enjoying it! I love reading as well and am always disappointed in the minimal amount of books I have finished by the end of the year! I think you should read 50 shades of Grey (yeah, I know, ANOTHER one of those over-hyped books but I just read it and it was interesting to read and analyze what got everyone so hooked!)

    • December 28 2012

      Yay, glad you liked it! I’m actually adding 50 Shades of Grey to the list. I love a bit of trashy reading every now and then.

  • December 20 2012

    The best book I read in 2012 was WILD by Cheryl Strayed. A must read for you!

    BTY: Keeping flammable books over the fire might not be that smart.

    • December 28 2012

      I’m on it!

      And that fireplace is solid brick and never heats up, don’t worry. ;)

  • December 20 2012
    Steph

    My goal for this year was to read 50 books and I fell short too. It’s hard to find the time!
    I’ll be writing up a post in January on my favorites, but i agree down thread that you should check out Wild. Other favorites this year were The Fault in Our Stars (only if you want to sob your face off), Divergence (for Hunger Game withdrawals) and How to Be a Woman.

  • December 20 2012
    Daryle

    I’ll have to check them out! My goal this year was 38 books. I’m almost there! My favorite reads of the year were The Night Circus, The Paris Wife, The Age of Miracles, and The Cellist of Sarajevo. I also loved the Hunger Games, despite all of the hype!

  • December 20 2012
    Daryle

    I’ll have to check them out! My goal this year was 38 books. I’m almost there! My favorite reads of the year were The Night Circus, The Paris Wife, The Age of Miracles, and The Cellist of Sarajevo. I also loved the Hunger Games, despite all of the hype!

    • December 28 2012

      Adding those to the list! Haven’t read The Paris Wife or The Cellist, but I’ve heard great things.

  • December 20 2012

    If it makes you feel any better, you read more books than I did, Candice. And, as an English major, I join you in feeling devastated about that. The down side of blogging is that I don’t have enough time to read books any more, I’m too busy reading online travel articles!

    • December 28 2012

      SAME! But quantifying how much time I spent NOT reading made me realize how much of my life is being devoted to work. Too much. I’ve got to fix that.

  • December 20 2012
    Ashley of Ashley Abroad

    I totally agree that the Hunger Games were amazing. I didn’t get out of bed for like a week- my roommates were starting to worry!

    • December 28 2012

      Hahaha, I stayed up until daylight reading the final book. Oy.

  • December 20 2012

    Book suggestions…

    1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

    2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

    3.The Jessica Darling series by Megan McCafferty

    4. American Gods by Neil Gaiman (though I prefer the sequel, Anansi Boys)

    5. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

    I have so many many more recommendations but will stop at five. :)

    • December 28 2012

      LOVED The Book Thief! Can you believe I’ve never read The Great Gatsby?! I can’t believe it wasn’t part of my English curriculum…

      • February 22 2013

        Oh my God, I lovelove love Fitzgerald. He is my literary crush. I just read Tender is the Night, and fell desperately in love all over again. You HAVE to read Gatsby. It has been one of my top 3 books ever since I read it in high school.

      • February 22 2013

        Oh my God, I lovelove love Fitzgerald. He is my literary crush. I just read Tender is the Night, and fell desperately in love all over again. You HAVE to read Gatsby. It has been one of my top 3 books ever since I read it in high school.

  • December 20 2012
    Alexandra Shiels

    I read Galore by Michael Crummey (who, I think, is from Newfoundland area). It’s very magical realism/fantasy based and I liked it a lot. I usually try for one book a month, so 16 is pretty good! I need my friend to hurry and read the Hunger Games. I’ve seen the movie, but I can tell I’m missing a lot of context!

    • December 28 2012

      I’ve read some MIchael Crummey but have never been a BIG fan, so I think I’ll take your word for it and give Galore a try. Thanks!

  • December 20 2012

    Thanks to this I realized I couldn’t count the books I read if paid. I’m hoping that’s a good thing.. I suggest Remember Me by Sophie Kinsella, or any of her books really. Just really fun reads.

    • December 28 2012

      Actually read that one! I hated the Shopaholic series, just because the whole idea drove me INSANE, but loved Remember Me. She’s a great writer.

  • December 20 2012

    Wild, by Cheryl Strayed. I know lots of people are reading it now, but it is great. It made me laugh and cry, and I didn’t have to slog through any boggy bits.

    • December 28 2012

      I can’t believe I never even heard of it until now. Consider it added.

  • December 20 2012
    Susan Beare

    Hey Candice. List making?? My number one hobby of all time! Agree with you on Middlesex; excellent read.

    Might I suggest the following:

    1.A Student of Weather by Catherine Hay

    I think she’s from Ottawa originally and is a great writer. My favourite book of 2011.

    2. The Sisters Brothers by Martin De Witt. It’s a Western but not in a Louis L’Amour kind of way. He’s also Canadian.

    3. My third favourite book of all time, Cold Mountain by Curtis Frazier.

    4. You have very likely already read it but The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.

    5. What is the What? by Dave Eggers. If you aren’t dehydrated after reading this incredibly sad story then your heart is made of metal.

    Rock on Candice!

    Peace,

    Susan

    • December 28 2012

      List making, HELL YEAH! I’m adding all those to my list.

  • December 20 2012
    Caroline Eubanks

    Hunger Games FTW! I didn’t read as much as I meant to this year, but I didn’t spend nearly as much time on buses, planes, etc. Look out for my book post sometime soonish when I stop slacking off.

    • December 28 2012

      Oddly enough, I don’t spend a great deal of time reading in transit. I should smarten up.

  • December 20 2012
    purplekat99

    Quality over quantity? I read nearly 150 books this year (no money/internet=no life) and for the life of me, I can’t remember most of them. Thankgod for GoodReads!

    • December 28 2012

      Lol! 150?!! Sweet jebus. You put us all to shame. I hang my head.

  • December 21 2012

    Wow you kicked my butt! I read 1.5!!!

  • December 22 2012

    You’ve probably had a very busy year if you’ve read half the norm. I’ve written down your suggestions. This year I’ll top out at 40 with more bad than good ones. I’ve enjoyed reading – Cool Water by Diane Warren, Late Nights on Air by Elizabeth Hay, Chosen by a Horse by Susan Richards (& I’m not a horsey person) and loved a series that took place where I visited this summer in central BC where the living is hard & the winters are cold – The Rancher Takes a Wife, Nothing too Good for a Cowboy and Grass Beyond the Mountains By Richmond Hobson Jr. Merry Christmas Candice and hope it’s a fantastic year for me. Maybe I’ll see you in Newfoundland as I’m coming.

    • December 28 2012

      Been meaning to read Elizabeth Hay for awhile, adding that one to the list! Merry Christmas, Leigh!

  • December 22 2012
    Joya

    If it makes you feel any better, I read around the same amount this year and maybe less. I did read The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost and The Sweet Life in Paris. I recommend both, especially the second for all its foodie recommendations. Good luck in 2013!

  • December 23 2012

    I don’t think I read 16 so don’t feel bad. It’s quite pathetic. My goal is to at least read 24 books (2 a month). It’s hard when you’re working at least two jobs and blogging. I read more magazines than I do books. So less social media, more reading. Want to keep each other motivated and start a mini-book club? :) And how in the hell does Camels and Chocolate read 52 in a year?! We need to take lessons.

  • December 28 2012
    crw

    My New Year’s resolution is to read more. I used to practically eat books but as a new mom, finding time to brush my teeth is hard enough let alone reading a book. I hope to do both more frequently in the new year.

    If you’re going to read the Paris Wife (wonderful) and The Great Gatsby (even more wonderful) you have to read The Sun Also Rises and/or (I suggest AND) A Moveable Feast by Hemingway. They’re two of my favourites for different reasons. Also as a journalist I find Hemingway refreshing and inspiring. You don’t have to fill a page with words to so say a lot.

    Obviously E.L. James didn’t read enough Hemingway. I also don’t mind reading a but of trash but 50 Shades was so terribly written and repetitive that it was downright offensive. If you’re looking for an erotic read check out Quiver. It’s a collection of short stories so steamy you’ll have to open the window. Seriously.

    • December 29 2012

      Lol! I’m ashamed to say I’ve never read “A Moveable Feast.” I use Hemingway as a reference a LOT for new writers…you don’t have to use a lot of words to say great things.

  • December 28 2012
    crw

    Oh one more to add to the list. Blood, Bone and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton. No your average foodie book. It’s funny, tragic and sometimes mouth watering. That girl can turn a phrase (she has a masters in creative writing) and apparently cook a mean dish or two (owns Prune – a hugely successful restaurant in NYC).

    • December 29 2012

      Ha! I don’t typically read foodie books, but the title alone is enough to make me curious

  • January 03 2013

    I am embarrassed at how little I read in 2012 despite believing I’m a big reader. I think I may need to set a challenge.

  • January 05 2013
    Rebecca and the World

    Ha ha, I’m a list-maker too! My goal is 40 books this year… may be a bit ambitious but I’ll put in a good effort! Loved the Hunger Games too, although the third book was nowhere near as good as the others…

  • January 05 2013
    Rebecca and the World

    Ha ha, I’m a list-maker too! My goal is 40 books this year… may be a bit ambitious but I’ll put in a good effort! Loved the Hunger Games too, although the third book was nowhere near as good as the others…

  • January 17 2013
    Damon Dominique

    THE ART OF NON-CONFORMITY – and yes my writing in ALL CAPS means that im yelling! It’s a must-read if you’re a traveler or just someone who does not live life by the book!

  • May 17 2013
    Taejha Young

    The Fault in Our Stars – John Green

    Nineteen Minutes – Jodi Picoult

    Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky

    I know they may seem a little mainstream, but I promise you, they were all WONDERFULLY written or scribed a BEAUTIFUL story.

  • October 11 2013
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  • October 11 2013
    Guest

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