I began 2012 with a goal of reading at least two books each month. I knew going in that it would be challenging since I was having a baby halfway through the year, but I thought that setting a firm goal would at least help me get some of my beloved (and lapsed) hobby back. That turned out to be true. Some months I exceeded my goal, and others I read nothing at all (see: the colicky months with R), but when I look back at the year as a whole, I’m thrilled to have absorbed so many wonderful works and to have discovered a few new authors that I love.I have similar hopes for 2013 and have already read two books, so I’d say I’m off to a good start. Any year in the company of books is a very good year, indeed.Because I love a good book recommendation more than anything, I thought I’d briefly summarize what I read in 2012 in case you’re on a reading journey of your own.
January: I kicked off my goal strong and devoured five books this month. I continued my Anne Lamott love affair with Grace Eventually: Some Thoughts on Faith, discovered Tana French and immediately tore through In The Woods, and The Likeness, did some laughing and pregnancy humor courtesy of Belly Laughs which a friend gifted me, and picked up my first Jonathan Tropper in the form of This is Where I Leave You. It was an excellent month for reading, because I loved all of these, in very different ways (obviously). I’d recommend any of them.
For some reason, I skipped February altogether. I can’t think of a decent excuse for why this was the case, but there it is.
March: I got back on track this month and tore through five books at lightning speed, thanks in no small part to our Florida babymoon and its glorious expanse of reading beneath the umbrella with my toes in the sand. I continued to love Tana French, and read Faithful Place, and tackled (and quite enjoyed, to my surprise) the Hunger Games series including Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay. I followed that up with more Anne Lamott in the form of Operating Instructions: a Journal of my Son’s First Year, which—as an expectant (first time) mom – was my favorite “parenting book” by far.
April: this month, I read three very different novels and I really, REALLY loved all of them. The first was A State of Wonder which is not my typical jam and was unlike most books I’ve read in recent years, but I found the story and characters engrossing and I was sorry when it ended. I discovered Cheryl Stray after that with Wild, and I’m pretty sure I tore through it in two sittings, completely unable to put down her engrossing, gritty, real memoir. She tells a vivid and amazing story with her writing, and really, those are the best books to read. Lastly, on multiple internet recommendations, I dove into John Greene with The Fault in our Stars, and oh, how I loved this novel. I ugly-cried and laughed and truly mourned when I turned the final page and knew it was over.
May: hugely pregnant and increasingly uncomfortable by the end of this month, I didn’t do a ton of reading and the reading I did was of a (ahem) light nature. Oh fine, I read the 50 Shades trilogy and much like the Hunger Games (and yet nothing like it at all), I really enjoyed it. For posterity, I read Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, and Fifty Shades Freed. I hear there are movies in the works. I may or may not have to see those films. That decision may or may not depend entirely on who is chosen to play Christian Grey.
June: this month was a frenzy of finalizing work related things, readying our home and lives for a baby, and then actually having a baby on the month’s final day, so no huge surprise, but I managed to read only one book, and (shock!), it was another Anne Lamott. I read Some Assembly Required, which was a lovely journal of her grandson’s first year, following in the footsteps of the book she wrote about her son’s first year. I had the pleasure of reading both in the same year, and together, they paint a lovely and REAL picture of what’s it is like to love a child and raise a child and all that comes with both. I finished this book while laboring at the hospital. Apropos, yes?
July: in the early weeks and sleepless haze of new motherhood, I was able to continue my reading hobby while my precious bundle slept away large chunks of the day. It will probably surprise no one that the first two books I read that month were The Happiest Baby on the Block, and The Happiest Baby: A Guide to Sleep. Appropriately versed in soothing techniques for baby, I returned briefly to Tana French with the disturbing but still great Broken Harbor, and then jumped on the Gillian Flynn bandwagon with Gone Girl. Spoiler: I didn’t love this one like most did, but I didn’t fully hate it, either.
August: we began our colic filled journey this month, but before it swallowed us whole, I managed to sneak in one more book, and it was another treat from John Greene, Finding Alaska. While it wasn’t as awesome as TFIAS (see above), I enjoyed it very much.
September and October were eaten alive by colic and the management of colic (along with a few road trips here and there), and November was my big return to work and adjusting (ha) to our new normal as a family. Needless to say, nary a book saw the light of day during those three months.
I ended the year getting back to my twice monthly book goal, and in December, I read Help, Thanks, Wow, another gem from Anne Lamott and Tiny Little Things, which was a very engrossing compilation of advice column entries from Cheryl Stray. I learned that she authored such a column under the name “Sugar,” and it is a testament to her writing and powerful ability to tell stories that I read this one, as I’m not a fan of advice columns in general, and would never have willingly signed up to read a book that was a compilation thereof. That bias aside, I adored the book, and found myself wanting more, more, more!
2012 was an action-packed year, and in doing this little recap, I’m thrilled to realize that amidst its chaos, I was able to tackle more than twenty good books.
And now I am appropriately inspired to load up the Kindle app with treasures for 2013. Happy reading!