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.
- Thunder Road, Chadwick Ginther
- Night Street, Kristel Thornell
- Song of Kosovo, Chris Gudgeon
- The Lava in my Bones, Barry Webster
- The Iron Bridge, Anton Piatigorsky
- The Rapture of the Nerds, Cory Doctorow & Charles Stross
- Breakfast of Champions, Kurt Vonnegut
- Swallowing a Donkey’s Eye, Paul Tremblay
- A Tree of Bones, Gemma Files
- Ninja Versus Pirate Featuring Zombies, James Marshall
- The Tiny Wife, Andrew Kaufman
- Eutopia and Rasputin’s Bastards, David Nickle
- The Iowa Baseball Confederacy, W.P. Kinsella
- The Door to Lost Pages, Claude Lalumière
- Osama, Lavie Tidhar
- Cures for Hunger, Deni Y. Béchard
- Stone Junction, Jim Dodge
- Ubik and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick
- Every Shallow Cut, Tom Piccarilli
- Half-Blood Blues, Esi Edugyen
- Natural Order, Brian Francis
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.