These are books that I read in 2012, rather than books published in 2012. I never seem to keep up to date with new releases. To see all the books I read during last year click here!
What Was Lost by Catherine O’Flynn. This was one of my favourite books of the year. It was published in 2007 and it seems that everybody else picked up on it that year, or not at all. It was, as is typical, a charity shop buy. I expected it to be ‘chick lit with an edge’ but was hugely surprised by it: it is sweet, touching, funny and gripping.
The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood. Of course I loved this book. Atwood is one of my favourite writers, and Oryx and Crake is one of my favourite books. If I find myself with some spare reading time in 2013 I plan on rereading both books to put everything in more perspective.
Freshta by Petra Procházková. I still haven’t had time to sit down and review this so I don’t have any well-formulated thoughts about it, but the fact that it’s a reasonably hefty volume and I managed to get through it in just a few days speaks volumes. A complicated but fascinating and moving story. I was expecting it to be quite heavy-going but it was actually written in a surprisingly light style, with an unexpected but welcome amount of humour from the confusing but endearing narrator.
Cosmopolis by Don DeLillo. I don’t think I ever got into this, even though I eventually finished. I felt like I was just staring at a wall of text and not absorbing anything. I didn’t like or understand any of the characters and didn’t really care about any plot points.
Love and Other Possibilities by Lewis Davies. This was a collection of short stories that just left me wondering why, after reading one, I ever bothered reading the rest. A few were ‘alright’ (to damn them with faint praise) and a few were just irritating.
White Horse by Alex Adams. Oh, I so wanted this to be good. I actually think I saw an advert for it some time ago, and against all my better judgement I love these ‘end of the world’ narratives that are always flying around. And… it wasn’t bad, but it was not great. A few pages in, I have a Kindle note that says ‘a bit ham fisted’ on the phrase “Nature is rebuilding with her own set of plans. Man has no say” – and it just gets more ham fisted as it goes on. The story was interesting, as apocalypse stories go, but the painfully strained metaphors and heavy handed attempts at poignancy began to wear me down quite quickly.
Poppy Shakespeare by Clare Allan. Once again, this was not bad, but just not that good. I went from being really interested, to vaguely amused, and eventually was just annoyed. I wonder if it would make a good audiobook, though.
What were the best, worst and most disappointing books you read in 2012?