2012 in Review

Welcome to my first-ever annual retrospective post here at A Library Mama.Extra Yarn

I reviewed about 122 books in 2012. I moved from Livejournal/Dreamwidth to WordPress in the middle (taking my archives but not my comments with me), and as the LJ platform doesn’t let me see my stats, there’s very little point in trying to do anything with that. Instead, I have lists of my favorite books of the year. I’m way too indecisive to pick just one or two from a category. These are the ones I found myself thinking about when I woke up at night, wanting to tell my friends about, and pondering months later. Within each category, they are listed roughly in reverse chronological order.

Favorite Books of 2012
Picture Books – Sleep Like a Tiger, I Kissed the Baby, GoldilocksZita the Space Girl and the Three Dinosaurs, Laundry Day, An Undone Fairy Tale, Extra Yarn
Easy Readers – Penny and Her Song, Queen Ella’s Feet, Puff Flies
Early Chapter Book – The Secret Chicken Society
Youth Graphic Novels – Zita the Space Girl, Giants Beware
Teen Graphic Novels – Drama
Adult Graphic Novels – The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt, Saga, Habibi, Unterzakhn
Classics – The Odyssey, Around the World in 80 Days
Youth Fantasy – Seven Tales of Trinket, Starry River of the Sky, The Book of Three, The Cabinet of Wonders, The Book of Story Beginnings, Earwig and the Witch, The Unseen Guest, the False Prince, The Coming of the False PrinceDragon, Breadcrumbs
Teen Fantasy – Crown of Embers, Black Heart, Forever, Seraphina, Dust Girl, Bitterblue, Grave Mercy, Clockwork Angel, Book of a Thousand Days
Adult Fantasy – The Night Circus, The Curse of Chalion
Adult Nonfiction – Quiet; Geek Mom; Circular Knitting Workshop; Parents Need to Eat, Too; Reduced Shakespeare Company; How Eskimos Keep their Babies Warm; All the Money in the World
Adult Fiction – The Language of Flowers

Thoughts on the books…
When I first became an official Librarian, I made an effort to read broadly, or at least, more broadly than I otherwise would.  I kept in my head types of people who ask me for reading advice and would try to Geek Momread to their taste; I would stop reading series I was enjoying after the first book because I had enough to recommend the series to other people.

Over the past couple of years, though, I’ve started to head back the other direction.  Anybody who wants to find a thriller can look at the bestseller list, and I will do better at getting people excited about reading books if I’m talking about the ones I’m really excited about. Following blogs like Charlotte’s Library, I realized (pardon me if this revelation is less than earth-shattering) that reading books that someone else might enjoy but that I only kind of did was taking away precious reading time from me reading the books that I actually want to read.  I felt obliged to read books for grown-ups because I’m officially an adult librarian, even if I’m the librarian that everyone at my library knows to turn to if someone wants a youth or teen fantasy.  I was surprised to see how many adult Starry River of the Skynon-fiction books I enjoyed, particularly in comparison to straight-up adult fiction.  These things bump around in my head with my baby stats, the problem of how to describe my reading tastes (probably much easier for anyone but me), and the question of whether I should try to specialize this blog more or just keep on reviewing anything I feel strongly enough about to have thoughts to share.  If you, Dear Reader, have any thoughts on these matters, I would love to hear them.

…and why I’ve been absent so long
I write these posts in between patrons at the library desks.  Lately, there have been either lots of patrons or patrons wanting help with downloading books to their e-readers or help finding a book they’d like in a genre that they haven’t liked before.  And my three-year-old’s new bedtime strategy is to sneak out bed to turn on the light and read books, multiple times if we try to stop her and until our bedtime if we don’t.  While flattering in the “we always wanted our kids to be readers” way, the net result is less sleep all around.  And less sleep plus more patrons leaves me struggling to hold on to a coherent thought, let alone find the time to type it up.  As my pile of books to be read grows ever longer and the list of books waiting to be reviewed longer yet, I really hope something gets better on this front soon. There are so many exciting books to be read!

About Katy K.

I'm a librarian and book worm who believes that children and adults deserve great books to read.
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3 Responses to 2012 in Review

  1. Charlotte says:

    My feeling is that unless you are reading what you want to read, the enthusiasm for saying anything about the books just won’t be there. I do try to read YA fiction, and this year more adult, but I don’t think I’ll be reviewing much of the YA–I just don’t have much to say about it! And though I do like the adult non-fiction side of things, I don’t think I’d be able to say all that much about those either….

    • Thanks for your thoughts! I’ve long since given up trying to review books that don’t interest me… but should I try to limit what I review to something that’s easy to describe, like all kid and ya lit or all speculative fiction? That would be simpler to describe, and focus might lead to a Better Blog. I think I read enough to do either of those things – and you do the all-fantasy and sf so well that it’s inspiring. On the other hand, I also use this personally when patrons come looking for books, and mainstream being what it is, having reviews of any such books I’ve read handy is very helpful.

  2. Gina says:

    “There are so many exciting books to be read!” well said!

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