Starting 2011 I decided I would read twelve books that year. It might seem like too little for some of you, but I was reading at the time maybe two/ three books a year, so this was a big challenge. By the time 2012 came by, I had read fourteen books! Needless to say, I was elated. With such a resounding success I decided to go higher for that year. I set my mind and heart at 16 books. Again, I rather have realistic goals and blow mi mind with success, than breaking my heart by a failure. And yet again, I did great. 20 books was my last count. Yay me!
2012 was also the year I started reviewing for a magazine, the sadly now extinguished Dark River Press. Reviewing changed me as a reader. It taught me to pay attention to details like style, voice, editing, and plot. Not that I wasn't aware of that before. As a reader before I knew something wasn't yelling in a story, there was something missing that hindered my ability to enjoy it. Then, as a writer I learned the mechanics of a story, but it was being a reviewer that got me to mix what I'd learned as a writer and what I felt as a reader. There, I was reborn and I must say I'll never read the same way again.
But, let's face it. No matter how technically adapt or compelling a story is, it must speak to you. It must resonate with your experiences, background, dreams, whatever you want to call it. It is this spark between the story and you that will make you remember it years down the road. Oddly enough, I've found myself remembering specific passages of a book that I didn't even enjoy at the time! Somehow, as I grew up, or my experiences emulated those of the characters, my memories of the book became fonder... Beats me, but it's true.
So, here is the list of books I read on 2012 and, among those, the ones that impacted me the most (highlighted.)
- Satan's Toybox: Demonic Dolls. Edited by Stacey Turner.
- The Sallie House: Exposing The Beast Within by Renee Pawlish.
- Blackout (All Clear #1) by Connie Willis
- A Satan Carol by Alan Steven Kessler
- The House on Blackstone Moor by Carole Gill.
- Rabbits in The Garden by Jessica McHugh.
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
- Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins.
- Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins.
- Dellwood by Ginny Gilroy.
- Midnight Movie Creature Feature. Edited by T.W. Brown.
- Dead: The Ugly Beginning by T.W. Brown.
- Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury.
- Red Island by Lorne Oliver.
- Pandora by Joanna Parypinski.
- The Black Death of Babylon by Edward J. McFadden.
- The Empty House and Other Stories by Algernon Blackwood.
- The Dark Horde by Brewin'.
- Reaper's Walk: Hellstone by Don Franklin.
The absolute best would be Bradbury and Blackwood. No surprises there. While Bradbury has a poetic prose that uses (or over-uses, some might say) adjectives and very long sentences to lull the reader to his world, he still can pack a punch and have you afraid to read any further. Almost like closing your eyes right before the killer is about to jump out of the closet. Instead Blackwood is concise and precise. His sentences are short and to the point. He keep his monsters hidden in the closet but lets you know they're there. Highly atmospheric. I haven't been so afraid to turn the lights off in years.
Blackout is a runaway hit of science fiction and winner of many awards. My first venture into time-traveling stories, which I usually hate, but this one I loved. A review is coming!
Satan Carol has an almost philosophical nature. It is also scary and funny. Such a hard combination! That alone would suffice but on top of that, it is very well done. A tour de force I'll be thinking about for many years.
Blackstone Manor has the best opening scene I have ever read.
The rest are all awesome in their own right. If you want to know more, follow the link to check the reviews!
So, for this year I'm shooting for twenty-four books. Given my hectic schedule, I seriously doubt I'll be able to read much over the goal, but believe me, I'll try.
What is your goal for the year? What were your most memorable reads of 2012? I'm always adding to the TBR pile. =)