What a long, strange reading year it’s been (2012, that is)

In terms of life events, for me 2012 was a humdinger. For exam­ple, in Octo­ber I final­ly reached an age where I can apply terms like “humdinger” and not seem like an iron­ic hip­ster!

Oth­er than that mile­stone, 2012 was a ban­ner year for me, book-wise. After a ges­ta­tion peri­od that would make an ele­phant proud, the long-rumoured sopho­more nov­el Husk was released to near-uni­ver­sal­ly glow­ing reviews, a way bet­ter response that I nev­er dared hope for. Ter­rif­ic notices in The Toron­to Star and Quill & Quire, a 2012 Edi­tors’ Choice selec­tion for books of the year by Amazon.ca, appear­ances at Winnipeg’s Thin Air Inter­na­tion­al Writ­ers Fes­ti­val and Toronto’s Inter­na­tion­al Fes­ti­val of Authors (not to men­tion all the authors I met along the way)…if there is a patron saint of unlike­ly flukes, let me know, I’ll erect a shrine in my bed­room imme­di­ate­ly.

Read­ing-wise, my habits some­what slowed, with my final tal­ly falling at eighty books. Nor­mal­ly, I would trot out my absolute favourites for your review, with notes on each one, but this year I’m decid­ing to pass on the usu­al­ly riga­ma­role and sim­ply plop down a list. Part­ly, this is because of lazi­ness on my part, but part­ly it’s because I’m quick­ly becom­ing aware of the per­ils of review­ing books by peo­ple who know me. I was lucky this year, no tru­ly awful nov­els were con­sumed.

So, no more “worst of the year” lists (unless it’s par­tic­u­lar­ly despi­ca­ble, or writ­ten by James Pat­ter­son).

With that in mind, these are the books read in 2012 that made a true impact on me in some fash­ion. I read a lot of fine works over the twelve months, but these are the ones I’d read again in a sec­ond, the ones that have lin­gered long after I put them back on the shelf. Most are fair­ly new, some are old­er, and some are rereads.

That’s enough, I think. It was a great year for me, read­ing and oth­er­wise. I’d like to thank every author I read this year for help­ing keep me sane through the crazy parts, and sup­ply­ing insan­i­ty dur­ing the down times.