Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Best This Year's (Meaning Last Year's) Reading

Here's a list of the books I read this year.  I thought I read more.  I guess there were a few real long ones that slowed me down real bad.  And my daily subway ride is too short to get much read, too.  Excuses, Excuses, Excuses!
  • And So It Goes -- Biography of Kurt Vonnegut.  What I Learned: Don't read biographies of people you admire.  It may result in greatly diminished admiration.
  • Hunger Games -- You know, to get ready for the movie.  To be able to properly criticize, or enjoy, it.
  • Mason & Dixon -- Now I've read all of Pynchon's novels.  And he only wrote novels.  Except for that one collection of short stories.  I liked it and it got me psyched and conveniently coincided with the Transit of Venus this year.  Because that's how Mason and Dixon met, observing the Transit. 
  • Pulphead -- by John Jeremiah Sullivan.  It's a collection of essays, I'd read most of them on the internet, but I liked them so much I wanted to support the fellow.  And have them all in one place.  2012's #1 reading discovery was John Jeremiah Sullivan.  Could not recommend everything he's done more.
  • Girl and Her Pig -- April Bloomfield's cookbook.  Good stuff.  Cooked my first thing from it this weekend, a Thai-style steak rubbed with chili peppers.  Basically I tear gassed myself when I threw it on my super-hot pan.  When a recipe says to make sure your kitchen is well ventilated, you should really, really make sure it's well ventilated.
  • 2011 Anthology of Non-Required Reading -- There was some good stuff in here.  I'd have to go get it down from the shelf to remember what, though.
  • Eat With Your Hands -- Zac Pelaccio (of Fatty Crab and Fatty Cue)'s cookbook.  Nice pictures, a ton of interesting recipes, but fell short with me for some reason.  Maybe because I couldn't shake the "I will never, ever cook any of these" feeling it gave me.
  • Ada or Ardor -- Basically I had to grab myself by the scruff of the neck and drag myself through this tome but now I've read all of Nabokov's most famous works.
  • Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter -- Something I learned after reading this: It's basically a true story. Which explains some of the stuff from the book that didn't make a lot of sense.  It didn't make sense because it was true.
  • Blood Horses -- Another John Jeremiah Sullivan book.  All about horses, particularly race horses.  Probably my favorite read of 2012.  Had just about the best ending of any book I've ever read.
  • A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man -- If I hadn't written down that I re-read A Portrait this year I probably wouldn't remember that I reread A Portrait.
  • Paper Lion -- I'm starting to get tired of writing these little synposes.
  • The Wilding -- I mean, are you even reading them?
  • Life, on the Line -- I think I posted about most of these when I read them, anyway.
  • Marvel, the Untold Story -- I mean, really, do you need me to tell you a second time that I liked learning the history of Marvel Comics?
  • The Hero with 1000 Faces -- etc., etc.
I was trying to get To the Lighthouse finished in 2012 but didn't swing it.  Good news is I'm just a day or two away from finishing my first book of 2013.


Sara said...

I was, in fact, reading each review. Ah, well. :/

Brigham said...

That's all I needed to hear. I will finish the reviews!

Pearl said...

I was reading em too!