Oh, books. Oh, yearly reviews. What fun things to bring together! Here’s a quick summary of my 2012 reading.
Who: me. Mother to a toddler, employee, helped facilitate a renovation and a move.
When: whenever a few minutes were available. I read while eating, while baby napped, while walking to and from my car at work, and occasionally over the lunch hour (dangerous: an hour can fly by before I realize it!). Evenings and weekends were also prime time, with many a big chunk of a book started or finished over a few hour period.
What: about 62 books, give or take (some reference books I didn’t read in full; and I’m sure there are a couple that didn’t make it onto my list. Yes, I keep a reading list. And there are two I’ve started but won’t finish before the end of the year).
What continued: I read a lot of novels. Many of them are easy-reading chick lit, and I am okay with that. I love the simple escapism (i.e., not dramatic or bloody), and after running around with work and baby, easy reading suits me right now. Top in the genre for me is Jill Mansell. I also loved Writing Jane Austen (by Jane Astor).
I read a number of family & parenting books as well. Top picks include Unconditional Parenting (Alfie Kohn); Survival Mom (Lisa Bedford); and Beyond the Sling (Mayim Bialik). I now own the first two!
Rediscovering Elinor Lipman’s novels. I read Then She Found Me a few years ago and LOVED it – engaging, page-turning, sweet and satisfying. I read several more this year and they were utterly wonderful, particularly The Family Man and The Inn at Lake Devine.
Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name by Vendela Vida. Possibly because I’ve traveled to some of the Finnish destinations she described, this evocative novel completely captured me. I also loved The Dirty Life, a memoir by Kristin Kimball of her transition from newspaper writer to farmer. The descriptions of preparing meaty meals was surprisingly palatable for this vegetarian. Sean Wilsey’s autobio Oh the Glory of it All was an amazing sweep across his young life, bizarre family and heart-wrenching experiences. I was also moved by Carole Radziwill’s memoir What Remains, about her life and marriage to Anthony Radziwill, a relative of the Kennedys’.
Finally, for future light escapism, I was turned onto Nancy Atherton’s Aunt Dimity series through the book Aunt Dimity and the Village Witch.
For next year, the following lists may provide some inspiration:
Best Books on Writing
Happy reading in 2013!