2012 Book List: The Good

According to my GoodReads account, I’ve read 106 books so far in 2012, and 32,422 pages. That’s about half of last year which makes me a little sad.

Part of me thinks I must have forgotten to record some, but I guess we’ll never know

Anyway, since it was a lot of fun last year to look back through, I thought I would give you a run down of the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly again. These books all got five stars from me this year:

The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey

This series were my three favorite books I read this year. I read each in a day because I couldn’t stop, and then read them to Steven in another three days because he couldn’t either. It’s historical horror with a gruesome, gothic feel and characters that are too real. Will Henry is a young assistant to the world’s greatest monstrumologist, Dr. Pellinore Warthrop, who’s also an incredibly egotistical, selfish pain to deal with. You can think of him as a monster hunter, though he would insist that he’s a scientist and give you a lecture about the difference. He and Will Henry have such a fierce love/hate relationship, bound by guilt and life debts, and everytime I think about how I have to wait till next September till the fourth (and last?) book in this series I start to hyperventilate a little. WILL HENRYYYYYYYYY, I need you right now.

Anyway, in this, the first book, Will Henry and Dr. Warthrop attempt to save their town from vicious, blood thirsty anthropophagi, humanoid monsters with no heads and mouths in their stomachs.

The Curse of the Wendigo (Monstrumologist Book 2) by Rick Yancey

Will Henry and Dr. Warthrop travel from the far off wastes of Canada to the bustling metropolis of New York to save a colleague and old friend of Warthrop’s from the wendigo, a ravenous ghost vampire monster which the Doctor insists isn’t really, because that would be silly.

The Isle of Blood (Monstrumologist Book 3) by Rick Yancey

Shit gets real when Dr. Warthrop leaves Will Henry behind to hunt the holy grail of monsters. Of course, he regrets it AS HE SHOULD, and Will Henry is forced to rescue him from an insane asylum, and then accompany him to Socotra, the Isle of Blood, where shit gets even more real. This book contains a cameo from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and is simultaneously the saddest and most badass bildungsroman ever. I loved it so much that, when I finished it, I just lay face down on the floor of Steven’s office silently shrieking into the carpet. He ignored me because he’s used to me. Seriously, you should read this series if you like things that are well-written and exciting and also slightly terrifying.

Part of me wants to just end this entry right here because NOTHING EVEN COMES CLOSE TO YOU, WILL HENRY. But I’ll go on, since Goodreads as yet provides no rating for “THE BEST THING” so you’re stuck in the same category with these fools for now:

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Speaking of creepy, try having this on your nightstand for a week. It’s about a teen ghost hunter who literally kills ghosts with a freaky mystical knife.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth

This book was set in the 90s, so it kind of felt like historical fiction, but of things I myself am nostalgic for! Weird. Cameron Post is trying to keep on with her life after her parents die in a car accident, but that becomes harder when her evangelical aunt sends her to Stop Being Gay camp.

Croak by Gina Damico

Lex is a reaper, and a teenage prodigy one at that. Not an original concept, but I liked how sassy all of the characters were. Plus, historical dead people cameos!

The Ghosts of Ashbury High by Jaclyn Moriarty

I always love Jaclyn Moriarty’s switching perspectives, but this time there was also a mystery to solve!

The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy

I won’t be surprised when this one gets turned into a movie, because I was basically watching the animation in my head as I was reading it. Four different Princes Charming team up to defeat a witch, a giant, and a dragon, and also fill you in on where your Prince Charming stereotypes are wrong. Also, the writing is kind of funny:

Together again, and having had a little taste of victory, they were more optimistic than ever–which they probably wouldn’t have been if they’d known that one of them was not going to walk away from the battle.

Oops, sorry about that. I probably should have said, “Spoiler alert.”

Letter Perfect by David Sacks

A history of our alphabet with a chapter on each letter! Just the kind of set up I love.

Modelland by Tyra Banks

Everyone else on Goodreads gave this 1 star but I gave it 5 because it was INSANE and amazing. Maybe it’s all a matter of expectations. James and I read our fair share of celebrity “written” fantasy novels in book club, and they are always just kind of bland and disappointing. Tyra, on the other hand, may have actually written this herself, because it reads like something she would say after drinking heavily and marathoning her own show. She’s created an entire fantasy world where appearances are everything and everyone is like an anthropomorphic inanimate object and the narrator is literally just TYRA making fun of her own characters. It makes no sense, and reading it is like a drug trip, but I read it all the way to the end because I just could not look away. And not even like Twilight or 50 Shades where I groaned the whole time and was really just in it to see how bad it would get. My main thought the entire time was “What the hell is going to happen next?” And you just cannot guess, because it is probably going to be something only a crazy person could think of! And that’s really interesting! Reading it gave me the same feeling as looking at crazy modern art. I don’t understand it, and I’m not putting it in my living room, but I kind of love that someone else could think of it.

Reading the OED by Ammon Shea

One man’s quest to read the entire OED in one year. Again, each letter has a chapter that tells about his travails, and also interesting words he found there. Here are some of my favorites:

wine-knight (n)–a person who drinks valiantly
tricoteuse (n)–a woman who knits; specifically at guillotinings
solivagant (n)–a person who wanders around alone
apricity (n)–the warmth of the sun in winter

Reality bites Back by Jennifer L. Pozner

Academic studies of reality TV and why it’s probably hurting you in more ways than you’re aware

Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal

Like Jane Austen, but everyone can do magic!

Snuff by Sir Terry Pratchett

Sam Vimes goes on vacation and also stops a goblin genocide like a bad ass

The List by Siobhan Vivian

Every year a list is posted saying which girls in each grade are the hottest and the… not hottest. But who posts the list? How do they choose? What is this objectification doing to us all??? etc

This Day in the Life: Diaries from Women Across America

I really liked the concept of this book: each person keeps a diary for the same day, and then they’re all published together.

The Flamingo Rising by Larry Baker

I read this because it was a challenged book, but I ended up really liking it just on its own. It tells the story of a boy growing up at a Florida drive-in movie theater on the beach, the dream of his somewhat crazy father.

The Wicked and the Just by J. Anderson Coats

Historical fiction about 11th century Wales? YES!

2012: The Bad
2012: The Ugly
2012 Bonus: The Pretty

Last year: The Good 2011, The Bad 2011, The Ugly 2011

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