Monday, December 31, 2012

Books Read in 2012

Tim Callahan seems to like lists like these. The dates after each title are the dates I finished reading the book in question. This list only includes the books I finished during 2012. Like many, I have numerous partly-read books that I simply did not complete.

EDIT: Updated with a few words on each book...

  1. The Eternal Husband by Fyodor Dostoevsky (January 13): I remember a sense of dread and awfulness lingering over this. Characters so true to themselves that they cannot avoid tragedy.
  2. Fear and Loathing at Rolling Stone by Hunter S. Thompson (February 23): I wrote about this already.
  3. Killing Yourself to Live by Chuck Klosterman (February 27): The final stop on a Chuck Klosterman reread. My second time reading this. Very enjoyable. Klosterman is a writer I never have to work at to read.
  4. Timbuktu by Paul Auster (March 8): The plot concept didn't do much for me... until I began reading the book itself. Touching and wonderful.
  5. The Sugar Frosted Nutsack by Mark Leyner (March 27): One of my favourite authors finally returned with a novel and it was everything I expected/wanted -- which means insane, tedious, self-aware to the point of annoyance, unpredictable, and something of an endurance race. All of which I mean as compliments.
  6. The Kitchen Readings: Untold Stories of Hunter S. Thompson by Michael Cleverly and Bob Braudis (April 8): Some nice stories about Thompson. Nothing too sordid or out of line. A book that both plays to the legend and grounds Thompson within his home.
  7. Avengers Assemble: An Oral History of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes  by Brian Michael Bendis (April 12): I wrote about this already.
  8. Less than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis (April 23): The beginning of the Great Bret Easton Ellis Reread of 2012. Still a slight, pure book. So focused that I cannot help but admire it.
  9. Imperial Bedrooms by Bret Easton Ellis (April 24): A return to the style of his first novel and it was interesting to read immediately following Less than Zero. Not quite as impressive in reread, though.
  10. The Informers by Bret Easton Ellis (May 3): My least favourite of Ellis's work. If only because some stories don't hold up at all. But, there are some wonderful bits and pieces here and there.
  11. The Rules of Attraction by Bret Easton Ellis (May 17): The first half is tough to get through because it was adapted so directly in the movie that it feels tired. But, the second half is still surprising and worthwhile.
  12. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis (June 8): I laughed more this time.
  13. Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho by Julian Murphet (June 8): One of Continuum's books from a series on 'popular' books that looked at their place within the culture and how they have been adapted. I have ones for High Fidelity and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle as well. Nice companion to American Psycho with some choice tidbits. Worth it for the bio chapter.
  14. Glamorama by Bret Easton Ellis (June 18): Still my favourite. I laughed more this time, too.
  15. Lunar Park by Bret Easton Ellis (July 3): Ellis mocking himself in the character's planned novel concept was hilarious. The horror elements didn't quite come together at the end for me. Unlike other novels, this one couldn't just fade out as easily as it faded in and that seemed to be a problem for Ellis.
  16. Exile on Main St. by Bill Janovitz (July 19): Part of the 33 1/3 series. I listed to the album quite a bit during this time, too. I need to read more of those books.
  17. American Tabloid by James Ellroy (August 11): I read the first 2/3s over a long weekend at a cottage. Wonderful time.
  18. Winter Journal by Paul Auster (August 26): An amazing example of how, in writing about the specific, a truly gifted writer can speak to the general. I found myself imparting my own self onto the text an alarming amount. A joy.
  19. Waging Heavy Peace by Neil Young (October 27): This reads like a series of blog posts in the best way. Little visits where Young talks about what's on his mind in no order. Just whatever comes to him with lots of tangents. What I was hoping for.
  20. Top of the Rock: Inside the Rise and Fall of Must See TV by Warren Littlefield with TR Pearson (November 24): I read this quickly. It could have been twice as long and I would have still loved it. Oral histories are great.
  21. Crooked Little Vein by Warren Ellis (December 8): More focused than I rememberd. It could have been longer if Ellis wanted -- and might have been better for it. It breezes by. But, it made me laugh.

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