On Looking Back at 2012

I'd intended to write this post a few days ago, I've been busy with signing up for challenges, organizing calendars, organizing my desk and office, sorting through and organizing scheduled future reviews. I'm heavily booked with reviews through March. I've also sorted my books into stacks (soon to topple over) so I'll have them handy when I'm ready to read them. Book reviewing (I have 2 blogs) is not as easy or simple as some may think. I keep both a dry-eraser board and large calendar to write in when book reviews are due. I keep files on those I review for, I must keep up with give-aways and if the book reached its destination to the winner. I have to look back over emails to see if I've forgotten to read a book, or failed to answer an email request to read a book for review. Reading and reviewing is not just a hobby, it is a career for me. I don't punch a time clock, but I take reviewing seriously......not to mention passionately.
In looking back at 2012 just going by memory (I remember authors names and titles easily) and not looking at my list of books read. The fiction books that stood out to me the most are:
1. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
2. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
3. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
4. Silas Marner by George Eliot
5. The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot
6. Ruth by Elizabeth Gaskell
7. All Our Worldly Goods by Irene Nemirovsky
8. Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier
9. 22 Britannia Road by Amanda Hodgkinson
10. Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained by John Milton
11. The Last Time I Saw Paris by Lynn Sheene
12. Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran
13. Annette Vallon, A Novel of the French Revolution by James Tipton
14. Shanghai Girls by Lisa See
15. The Lincoln Conspiracy by Timothy L. O'Brien
16. Sown in Tears by Beverly Magid
17. The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien
18. Cocoon by Emily Sue Harvey
19. Moloka'i by Alan Brennert
I'd read Frankenstein before so I did not add this book to the above list.
Of the 52 fiction books read, only one I did not like and could not finish because it disgusted me, Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin.
2012 was an phenomenal year for me in reading. I read 15 classics, including the epic Les Miserables, this was the book to read in 2012. I took part in reading World War I books for the War Through The Generations Challenge, fulfilled The Back to the Classics Challenge and The Historical Fiction Challenge. I read several poems from the Romantic Period. I became introduced to the mother son writing team, Charles Todd, reading several of their books from the World War I era. I met other authors I'd not read before: Syrie James, Stieg Larsson, Emily Sue Harvey, Ernest Hemingway, Henry James, David LeRoy, Lynn Sheene, Michelle Moran, JRR Tolkien, Lisa See, Timothy L. O'Brien, Victor Hugo, and Beverly Magid. A few of these authors are first time authors, and I was pleased to meet through email some of them. One of them I consider a new friend.

The non-fiction books that stood out to me the most were:
1. A World Undone, The Story of the Great War 1914-1918 by G J Meyer
2. A Small Town Near Auschwitz, Ordinary Nazi's and the Holocaust by Mary Fulbrook
3. Catherine The Great, Portrait Of A Woman by Robert K. Massie
4. The Great Influenza, The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History by John M. Barry
5. In Harm's Way by Doug Stanton
6. Left For Dead, A Young Man's Search for Justice for the USS Indianapolis by Pete Nelson
7. Nurses At The Front, Writing the Wounds of the Great War edited by Margaret R. Higonnet
8. All But My Life by Gerda Weissmann Klein
9. The Tower of London, The Biography by Stephen Porter
I want to mention that the books In Harm's Way by Doug Stanton and Left For Dead by Pete Nelson were very personal and emotional for me to read. I have a good friend thats husband died either on the USS Indianapolis when it was bombed or shortly after the sinking. To read these books and to hear her story in dealing with her late husbands presumed death, was a memorable turning point for me in 2012. My friend Thelma has never forgotten her love for him, she has kept his things, she's remembered those final days with him before he left, and time has not eradicated her memories of the horrible circumstances that led to his death. She said she has forgiven the Japanese. She went on to remarry and have children. Yet, she still remembers and loves her first husband, her first love that did not return home to her.

Comments

  1. What a wonderful set of books you experienced in 2012--so many favorites on that list, and a few I need to acquaint myself with. I would love to read Les Miserables and I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it. Madame Tussaud is on my TBR Pile Challenge for this year--I know I will love it, but just haven't carved out time for it yet. Frankenstein is also on my Classics list for 2013, and is probably the one I'm most looking forward to.

    Best wishes for a great reading year in 2013.

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  2. I'm amazed you could remember books and authors without looking at your list! Thanks for recommending the two books on the USS Indianapolis. I'm always interested in WWII history and was unfamiliar with this event.

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