My Year in Reading – 2012

2012 was my first year participating in Pajiba‘s Cannonball Read (CBR) project and I had an absolute blast.  I’ve already signed up for 2013’s CBR.  While I often write reviews for books I read on Goodreads, I don’t always do so and I also felt a little more pressure to write more complete reviews for the CBR blog.  As a result, when I moved in March, I got 20 books behind and it put pressure on me for the rest of the year.  I definitely feel the quality of my reviews suffered from my being so far behind (never mind the fact that I missed being the first person to write a 52nd review).  For 2013, my resolution is to stay up to date on my reviews!

At the bottom of this post is a complete list of reviews (alphabetized by author, then title) along with hyperlinks to my reviews.  But I thought it would be fun to summarize the year with my thoughts on the books I’d read.

A note on how I rate books:

  • One Star: a book I hated
  • Two Stars: an OK book
  • Three Stars: a good book
  • Four Stars: a great book
  • Five Stars: a favorite book (that means a book that I’ve read at least twice and still love)

Ten books that rocked my world in 2012 (in order from most to least rockin’):

I can not emphasize enough how much you should not read these books:

Marlo Morgan’s Mutant Message Down Under may be the worst, most pernicious book I’ve read in my life.  If I ever were to burn a book, this one would qualify.  I actually trashed my copy, rather than donate it as I usually do.  I didn’t want to be responsible for more people reading this book.

Mutant Message Down Under by Marlo Morgan (1 stars)

I violently disliked Galen Beckett’s Mrs. Quent trilogy.  And yet I read all three books.  Because I am masochistic like that.

I wasn’t crazy about Kate Elliott’s Crown of Stars series, which I abandoned with book five, but I didn’t hate it. Still, see what I mean about the masochism?

Writers I fell in love with this year:

The World Writers Conference in Edinburgh this year was the gift that keeps on giving because most of the writers I fell in love with (Jackie Kay, China Miéville, Denise Mina, Patrick Ness) were encountered while watching the youtube footage of the conference.

  • Jackie Kay
  • Kelly Link
  • China Miéville
  • Denise Mina
  • Patrick Ness
  • John Scalzi

Writer whose book I didn’t love but who I still love:

Lev Grossman

Three of my reviews were published on

This year I learned:

I do not like serial storytelling.  It’s one thing when all the books in a series are available but I absolutely loathe getting to the end of a book and not feeling satisfied by it.  This year I read all of Lisa Shearin’s Raine Benares books, but there was a months long gap between the first four books and the fifth while I waited for it to be published.  Despite the fact that it was only a months long gap, not the customary year (or in, ahem, George RR Martin’s case, years), I found that I had forgotten enough of the events of the first four books to feel lost.  I’d also stopped caring about the heroine and her plight.  Similarly, I found the Sirantha Jax series unputdownable but couldn’t get into the final book in the series when it was released months after my reading the first five books.  So I ended up returning it unread.  I think one of the reasons I love Patricia Brigg’s Mercy Thompson series (which I reread this year) is that each book tells a complete, satisfying story.  Yes, it’s best to read the books in succession, but they never end with a cliffhanger that makes you feel like the story isn’t done.


Hope you guys like the reviews!  Let me know what you think!

The reviews: