15 books for 2012

Continuing with the annual summaries of books read this year. The new kindle, as predicted, has meant more reading, hence the list of favourites being expanded to 15. They have generally been longer as well – obviously the weight of physical copies has been a deterrence in the past, though not one I was particularly conscious of. The kindle itself I'm still a little ambivalent about, since there are lots of things books do better. Colour being the most obvious one, but also navigation, footnotes, index pages, highlighting and annotations, all of which need improving if ereaders are to replace paper-based technology. One thing of huge benefit the kindle offers is the integrated Oxford English Dictionary, which makes looking up definitions relatively painless. My vocabulary has expanded as a result, which I suspect has had a less than salubrious effect on my writing. The previous sentence being a case in point.

As for my intention to write more about what I've read: output (crudely measured) has actually declined over the years (80% of favourite books in 2010, 60% in 2011, now 40% in 2012). Not an encouraging trend, and one I am committed to arresting if not reversing in the new year. Still, hopefully the fall in quantity has at least been mitigated by a rise in quality.

Schismatrix Plus - Bruce Sterling
Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë [link]
Shadow & Claw - Gene Wolfe
Wolf Hall - Hilary Mantel [link]
Bleak House - Charles Dickens [link]
Rare Earth - Paul Mason
Moby Dick; or, the White Whale - Herman Melville [link]

The End of the Party: The Rise and Fall of New Labour - Andrew Rawnsley*
Discordia - Laurie Penny, Molly Crabapple
The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It - Paul Collier

Maggie the Mechanic / The Girl from HOPPERS - Jamie Hernandez
Habibi - Craig Thompson [link]
Asterios Polyp - David Mazzucchelli [link]
Sundome vols 1-3 - Kazuto Okada**
Indian Summer - Hugo Pratt, Milo Manara

*More like just the 'fall', really, isn't it? The 'rise' (probably as interesting, I suspect) was covered in a previous book.

**basically Fifty Shades of Grey with the genders reversed.

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