Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The 10 Best Books I Read In 2012

Last January on Tumblr, I listed all of the books I read in 2011.  Not sure why I did that but I think it was because of my book book, the book I use to write down all of the books I read.  (What good is keeping track if I don't let everyone know about it?!) This year, I will spare everyone all that noise and just list the best books I read in 2012.  Because that makes more sense, right? And you might want to read them, right? OK.

1) The Martian Chronicles ~ Ray Bradbury

I hadn't read this since high school and I'm so glad I re-read it.  I've read other sci-fi books about the colonization of Mars but this collection focuses more on the human aspect than the science stuff.  I think you'll likey.

2) Just Kids ~ Patti Smith

I  started plotting ways to meet Patti and hang out with her right after I finished this one.  (Just kidding!  She's on the East Coast and I'm lazy!) She's a great writer who has had a fascinating life.  Her perspective is so unlike anyone else's that you can't help but feel like you've stumbled upon a secret.  But I'm not keeping the secret.  I will tell anyone who will listen that I loved this book.  Guess what? I think you should read this book even if you don't like her music, even if you don't like music at all, even if you don't read books.  Yup.

3) It Chooses You ~ Miranda July

The end of this one made me cry.  (Seriously.  I can't remember why I cried, only that I cried, which is actually a rare occurrence except for once a month when I run out of Midol.) Good ole' MJ (I call her that because I'm so so cool)  answers ads in the PennySaver and writes about the strangers she meets.  It's a glimpse into the lives of regular people, the life of July and into the creative process, a behind the scenes look at the evolution of a screenplay.  For me, this just clicked on every level.  It's one of those books I will probably give as a gift for the rest of my life.

4) Super Sad True Love Story ~ Gary Shteyngart

I finally picked up a copy of this one when I visited Powell's Bookstore in Portland last summer.  It's funny and sad and set in the future (pretty much everything I love in a book).  Plus, the cover is the cutest and that's so important.

5) The Picture of Dorian Gray ~ Oscar Wilde

I started reading classics a couple of years ago to try and make myself a better smarter more interesting person.  (It's hard, guys.  Most of my favorite shows are on the CW.  My favorite food is cheese pizza.)  I found this book to be a quick, interesting read and it has a distinct fantasy slant, which surprised me because I didn't know the plot at all.  Very descriptive and moody.  Not at all the stuffy boring classic I thought it would be.

6) The Hobbit ~ J. R. R. Tolkien

I had to read this again before the movie came out.  It's amazing and fantastic.  There are trolls and goblins and dragons and bear dudes.  Duh.

7) A Moveable Feast ~ Ernest Hemingway

I love his fiction so I had to read this memoir about his Paris years.  It's kind of like Just Kids in that tons of other famous people make appearances, which is great, but it's also just fascinating and super hilarious because Hemingway is basically making a case for his own awesomeness in every single essay.  I'm pretty sure one of the pieces is a love song to his penis.  I loved it sooo much.  I also read The Sun Also Rises last year but I have to pick A Moveable Feast for this list because I know I'll end up reading this one again soon.

8) Gone Girl ~ Gillian Flynn

My pal Jenny loaned me her copy just so she'd have someone to talk about this book with.  I read it in one day then told everyone else I know to read it.  Then I devoured her first two books.  She's just a really smooth writer.  It's been a really long time since I've read something I couldn't put down but this one lives up to the "suspense" category for sure.  It be scary, y'all.

9) The Wolf Gift ~ Anne Rice

Shut up if you hate Anne Rice, I don't want to hear it.  Tell it to your cat, man.  I love the Vampire Chronicles and was at first amused that she'd jumped on the werewolf bandwagon but the book has everything you want from her within its pages:  it's sexy and dark and strange and weirdly moral.  It would be a perfect book for a plane ride.  I hope she does another one.  I hope there's tons of weird werewolf sex and little werewolf babies and such.

10) The Wind Through The Keyhole ~ Stephen King

I love that I'm ending this list with two writers I've been reading since I was twelve.  This book is part of the Dark Tower Series but it's also a stand-alone book.  I liked it because I can't get enough of Roland (and Oy) and he does one of his story within a story tricks that I love so much.  If you liked the Dark Tower Series, give this a chance.  You won't have to reread all seven of them, I promise.

Honorable Mentions: (These didn't make the list but I highly recommend them) World Without End by Ken Follett, The Lust Lizard Of Melancholy Cove by Christopher Moore, Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. Oh and The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway because that shit's good!

ALSO, I should mention that in 2012 I read popular books The Rules Of Attraction by Bret Easton Ellis and Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte and pretty much shrugged and rolled my eyes afterwards so my taste doesn't always line up with everyone else's.


I hope you guys get something out of this list other than, "That Kendra chick is a book bully," or "Kendra knows how to read?!"  Let me know if you want me to tell you what to eat or what shoes to wear because I'm totally available.  Cheers!

*photo of my book book with my phone phone.