looking back on the (previous) year in books

My reading goal in 2012, courtesy of Goodreads' reading challenge, was to finish 104 books (an average of two books per week). It was a goal I fell short of by six books, wrapping up the year in reading with #97 yesterday afternoon: Public Vows: A History of Marriage and the Nation by Nancy F. Cott (Harvard U.P., 2000).

(If only they allowed us to count fan fiction -- Hanna and I would have shot passed our goals and then some this year!)

But never mind -- I'm trying not to feel a failure for having fallen short: it was an ambitious goal, outstripping my previous record of the past five years (89 books in 2009) by fifteen titles. And there were some really great and interesting reads to be had in those ninety-seven titles. Below I've picked out my top fifteen titles. You can definitely see the way I trend: keywords include "sexuality," "politics," "history," "gender," and "feminism."

(Within the list order is strictly alpha by author; links are all to my blog reviews of said titles)

Memorable Reads of 2012:

Pray the Gay Away by Bernadette Barton

The Book of Mormon Girl by Joanna Brooks

The Straight State by Margot Canaday

Love the Sin by Janet Jacobsen and Anne Pellegrini

Bodies of Knowledge by Wendy Kline

The Mansion of Happiness by Jill Lepore

Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire

Why Have Children? The Ethical Debate by Christine Overall (MIT Press, 2012).

Well Met by Rachel Lee Rubin

After Pornified by Anne Sabo

Passing Strange by Martha Sandweiss

Not Under My Roof by Amy Schalet

Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed

Mrs. Robinson's Disgrace by Kate Summerscale

So, what were your memorable reads in 2012? Got anything you're excitedly looking forward to checking out in 2013? Share in comments! Inquiring minds want to know :)


  1. I loved a lot of sci fi/fantasy and YA titles last year. The Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness, Every Day by David Levithan, Wither by Lauren DeStefano, The Kingdom of Gods and The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin (last book of one trilogy, first of another).

    I'm looking forward to The Shadowed Sun, the second book in the second Jemisin trilogy. I have it right here!

    1. I should totally get back into reading more genre and YA fiction - I've become really bad at reading fiction over the last few years (what's up with that?) ... maybe I'll check out the folks you mention! Aside from Levithan (whom I adore) I'm not familiar with any of them :) yay new writers!