?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

books of 2012

I didn't make it to 52, much less 100, but

V is for Vengeance / Sue Grafton
- I love Kinsey Millhone forever no matter what the end.
****

Beauty Queens / Libba Bray
- Clever. Fun. My first Libba Bray, but unlikely to be my last.
****

1Q84 / Haruki Murakami
- Oh, Murakami! So good. So, so good. I lived in the 1Q84 world(s) for a month, and it was magical.
****

Underwire / Jennifer Hayden
****

Soulless (Parasol Protectorate, #1) / Gail Carriger
- I asked for suggestions for something smart but fluffy, to balance out the month-long 1Q84; a friend recommended this series, and it was perfect.
****

Daughter of Smoke and Bone / Laini Taylor
****

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children / Riggs Ransom
****

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making / Catherynne M. Valente
- Someone introduced me to Valente in 2011, via Palimpsest, and she has become one of my all-time favorite authors. Love love love her.
****

Changeless (Parasol Protectorate, #2) / Gail Carriger
****

Blameless (Parasol Protectorate, #3) / Gail Carriger
***

Heartless (Parasol Protectorate, #4) / Gail Carriger
***

The Dovekeepers / Alice Hoffman
- God, this was amazing. AMAZING.
*****

Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships / Tristan Taormino
- Wise and accessible and useful. Excellently written about a topic sometimes not handled well.
*****

Enthusiasm / Polly Shulman
- Predictable, so occasionally boring, but cute.
***

Hello, Groin / Beth Goobie
***

Goodbye without Leaving / Laurie Colwin
****

Family Happiness / Laurie Colwin
****

Pink Smog (Weetzie Bat, #0) / Francesca Lia Block
- Meh. Unnecessary and doesn't really feel like a Weetzie book at all.
***

Hark! A Vagrant / Kate Beaton
- C'mon. Kate Beaton!
****

Parable of the Sower / Octavia Butler
- Brilliant, agonizing, terrifying. Easily the most plausible dystopia I've ever encountered (hence the terrifying).
*****

Parable of the Talents / Octavia Butler
- It'll break your heart.
****

The Marriage Plot / Jeffery Eugenides
***

Scenes from an Impending Marriage / Adrian Tomine
***

The Artist of Disappearance / Anita Desai
- I feel about this one much the same way I felt about Maile Meloy's "Both Ways is the Only Way I Want It" - beautiful writing, too sad stories that you know are going to end sadly.
***

The Phantom Tollbooth / Norton Juster
- Can you believe I'd never read this before?!
*****

Timeless (Parasol Protectorate, #5) / Gail Carriger
****

Why We Broke Up / Daniel Handler
***

The Beginner's Goodbye / Anne Tyler
- I never thought the day would come when I gave an Anne Tyler book 2 stars, but this one did absolutely nothing for me. I didn't care for or about any of the characters. I had to continually remind myself that the main character and his sister were supposed to be roughly my age, because they both spoke and behaved like the aged widows/widowers in some of Tyler's previous books. They were not at all believable as people in their 30s. And the ending was so predictable I actually rolled my eyes.
**

A Horrible Experience of Unbearable Length: More Movies That Suck / Roger Ebert
- I will never, ever get tired of Roger Ebert tearing up terrible movies.
****


Sex and the Slayer: A Gender Studies Primer for the Buffy Fan / Lorna Jowett
- I firmly reject two of the binaries the author laid out in the introduction, the first being that sex is either male or female. The high rate of intersex infants makes this patently untrue, and I would expect a gender studies academic to know better. Furthermore, the book so far is framed in terms of "feminist" vs. "femininity", which is an utterly false dichotomy.
Also, white people, could we stop using the word "ethnic" to describe anyone who isn't white? I agree with the author that "nonwhite" is problematic, but substituting "ethnic" is the opposite of a solution. This was a major disappointment.
**

The Arrival / Shaun Tan
- Breathtaking. Buy this, or at least get it from your library. You must.
*****

You Might Be a Zombie and Other Bad News: Shocking but Utterly True Facts / Cracked
- It's Cracked, you know? Sometimes interesting, sometimes funny, sometimes spurious. The book (and the website) would be 100% better if they weren't so lazily and persistently male-centric, misogynist, and ableist (there's no reason to use "retarded", unless your aim is to hurt people). "Fun" fact you probably won't be at all shocked by: out of 35 writers for this book, only 3 are women.
**

Whedonistas!: A Celebration of the Worlds of Joss Whedon by the Women Who Love Them / Lynne M. Thomas
- Okay, I skipped a couple of pages in this one. Specifically, Teresa Jusino's essay "Why Joss Is More Important Than His 'Verse". I read the first page or two, got to the phrase "being overweight is never a good thing", got angry (seriously, "good" is the word you're going for here? Not, maybe, "easy", or even "fun, in a society that punishes fat bodies"?), got to the next page which lauded "Firefly"'s characters' speaking Chinese and English (as well as the appropriation, er, "influence" of myriad cultures) without pointing out that there were apparently little to no Asians on a show that supposedly took place in a 'verse formed practically 50/50 by America and China, got more irritated, moved on to the next essay.
Unsurprisingly, Catherynne M. Valente's essay was far and away the loveliest and best-written.
And nobody's ever going to convince me that Mal is likeable (much less not a goddamn misogynist), or the strong female characters on "Firefly" balance out the constant misogyny and sexual menace directed at said female characters.
***

Fashionable Food: Seven Decades of Food Fads / Sylvia Lovegren
- Interesting, especially if you like this sort of reading (I do). Focuses almost exclusively on the foods consumed by middle- and upper-class white people; aside from a few paragraphs on the popularity of soul food in the 1960s, there's no discussion of what poorer families and people of color were eating. I found that a major failing.
Also: she mentions Paul Prudhomme's size not once, but twice. I don't recall her doing that with any other chef in the book (perhaps she mentioned Julia Child's height?). I don't think that being fat is bad, obviously, but his size is irrelevant to the impact his cooking had. And when you make a point of "PAUL PRUDHOMME WAS SOOOO FAT" while mentioning the physique of no other chef in the book, you look like a sizeist jerk
***

Glamour: Women, History, Feminism / Carol Dyhouse
- Minus one full star for likening obesity to anorexia & bulimia. Fatness isn't an eating disorder, but a culture's insistence on demonizing it is an excellent way to create more eating disorders.
***

Blackout (Newsflesh Trilogy, #3) / Mira Grant
Oh, yes. Difficult but ultimately satisfying end to the series.
****

Arcadia / Lauren Groff
So damned beautiful. Three books down, I am convinced that Lauren Groff can do no wrong.
****

A Girl Becomes a Comma Like That: A Novel / Lisa Glatt
***

Fallen / David Maine
- 2 stars is really not enough, but 3 is too many, since I didn't particularly like it. And I also didn't like any of these people. Though I have to admit that I agree with Cain - their God was an asshole.
**

Fingersmith / Sarah Waters
- I didn't like it as well as "Tipping the Velvet" (mmmmmm), but I couldn't give it only 3 stars.
****

The Habitation of the Blessed (A Dirge for Prester John, #1) / Catherynne M. Valente
- CATHERYNNE I LOVE YOU.
****

Sacre Bleu: A Comedy d'Art / Christopher Moore
***

Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son's First Son / Anne Lamott
- Oh, I don't know. I like her very much, but the reviews are not wrong - this is very much a book about her. I respect and appreciate her honesty, but I found myself thinking that she has some things to examine with regard to race, class, and addiction (she uses "crackhead" as a descriptor/epithet frequently, which is odd, as she's an addict).
***

The Fault in Our Stars / John Green
- Easily my favorite book of 2012, and one of the best books I have ever read. I fell for this book like falling in love, hard, as anyone who is friends with me on Facebook can attest. I gave it to my beloved for his birthday, and now we call it The Book, like Hazel and Gus and "An Imperial Affliction".
*****

Hopeless Savages: Greatest Hits 2000-2010 / Jen Van Meter
I love Jen Van Meter. I love "Hopeless Savages". I want more more MORE of both.
****

The Folded World (A Dirge for Prester John, #2) / Catherynne M. Valente
****

Paper Towns / John Green
- I wish the entire book could have been as good as the last chapter / part three.
Demerits for repeated use of hate speech.
***

Things I Want to Punch in the Face / Jennifer Worick
- Awful. Absolutely awful. Aggressively unfunny and so poorly written.
*

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
pescana
Jan. 4th, 2013 09:23 pm (UTC)
The Phantom Tollbooth is one of my favorite books of all time. I can't remember when was the first time I read it, but I was young. Love Milo, love the philosophy, LOVE.

Tipping the Velvet and Fingersmith are my two favorite Waters books. Affinity was okay, and the one about the war was interesting in how she did it. Plus her writing makes me stop and marvel at how well she uses words.

I got Miss Peregrine's for my new nook, so will be reading that probably on my trip.

And now I have some new books to seek out!
sarrabellum
Jan. 4th, 2013 10:16 pm (UTC)
See, I've kind of had this feeling that, by starting with Tipping the Velvet, I'd started with her best. I've been slow to pick up the rest of her stuff as a result, though she is so very talented. I think it's telling that her books are quite long, yet I never feel like any of her words are extraneous.

Miss Peregrine's... was quite enjoyable. Excellently atmospheric. I hope you like it!
kaligrrrl
Jan. 7th, 2013 02:47 am (UTC)
yay books!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )