The Year in Reading

This year, I tracked all my reading through Goodreads, which kept me honest and allowed me to keep tabs on things I intend to read sooner or later. According to the site, I exceeded my goal of 75 books by three (presuming I finish Target Lancer by New Year’s). As the site’s popularity has grown, I’ve wound up with 308 friends, so each day my Inbox contains a lengthy report of what people have been reading, lusting to read, and what they generally have to say about the works they’ve consumed. It’s led me to try a few things and one or two to avoid.

Based on the reviews and buzz, I finally sampled Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, which was fun. The Art of Fielding was a well-reviewed book using baseball as its background so I eagerly read this and found the ending disappointing and wrong, making me wonder what the fuss was all about. I found Bond Girl lightweight and enjoyable. I also really liked The Last Werewolf and want to read the sequel. And yes, I succumbed and read Fifty Shades of Gray to see what the fuss was all about but had no desire to read books two and three.

While commuting to school in the spring and fall, I once more relied on the Fairfield Library’s audiobooks and continued to work my way through classics I somehow missed through the years. That included Treasure Island and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

I found myself disappointed by several works form people who I had read and enjoyed in the past or were colleagues I knew and liked. The biggest disappointment may have been John Grisham’s The Associate, which contained little in the way of surprises or interesting characterization. Similarly, Greg Rucka’s Alpha was incredibly unsurprising and Grant Morrison’s Supergods was a mess.

The two major biographies I read – Cleopatra and Steve Jobs — were both enlightening and fascinating.

I continue to read plenty of comics, attempting to stretch the types I read as I sample many of the fine offerings from creators at Dark Horse and Image. DC’s New 52 is clearly aimed at an audience that does not entirely include me and what passes for acceptable storytelling is baffling. Marvel Now promised to be a more organic reboot but too often the new teams have entirely ignored what came before so feel disjointed and there are several I’m ready to drop.

I somehow manage to keep up with The Week, Time, Smithsonian and Entertainment Weekly but can’t add another magazine, letting Alter Ego and Back Issue! pile up.

Perhaps the biggest change is the iPad. I have stopped buying physical books to save a bit on money and plenty of space. I read as much as I can on the iPad, including the above magazines. I have adapted pretty well to this and certainly like the portability and lack of weight in my luggage when traveling.

My goal in 2013 is to read a little more, sample more new writers and topics. I want to be a little more interactive on Goodreads, including chatting with readers on my groups so if you’re interested, come find me.

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