Why hello, faithful reader.
I hope you’ve had a lovely year. I know that my 2012 was tumultuous at best – but it also was one of the better years of reading I’ve had in quite a while. More books and better books – how can you go wrong? Plus, after a few test runs, I’m happy to announce that we’ll be expanding our programming officially: more columns about cover art, more Questions & Answers, and 2013 will bring the first in a (hopefully continuing) series of guest posts that take a look at other aspects of the literary experience. We’ll be talking with editors, writers, publishers, designers, and readers – and bringing it all to you as it happens. And if you’re interested in joining that guest post roster, give me a shout.
In the meantime, though, tell me about your year. What did you read that you loved? That you hated?
OH and I almost forgot! This year, we completed the first of a hypothetical ten-year project that will work through the Great Authors of Our Time (I’ll explain more in a proper post later). Thanks to the wonderful people at Penguin and the brilliant designs of Coralie Bickford-Smith, I worked my way through the six “Major Works” of Charles Dickens this year. And it was fun!
So, here we go:
Dickens 2012 moves on to become Austen 2013. That’s right, Raging Biblioholism tackles the six novels of Jane Austen. #Austen2013 or bust.
On that note, I wish you a very happy 2013 and I leave you with the stuff that I always think is the most fun of all: the stats.
Vital Stats, Year Three:
- Books Read: 116 (The Patrick Melrose Novels, while one physical item, counts as four books)
- Pages Read: 37,107
- Average Rating: 4.12 (I told you it was a good year for books)
- Highest Rating(s): The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern / The Patrick Melrose Novels by Edward St. Aubyn (cumulative all five books) – 6 out of 5.
- Two very different books but equally momentous in my reading. The Night Circus is a triumph of magical imagination – I think about that book all the time and my Halloween costume was a reveur. The red scarves, the punchdrunk-ian magic… there’s a reason I keep going back to see Sleep No More and it’s the same reason I keep coming back to this book: it is the closest we get to magic in the real world. As for the Melrose novels, I’m not sure I can think of a better series of stories to come about in my lifetime. To me, it equals the towering Alexandria Quartet in both beauty of prose and beauty of storytelling. Patrick Melrose, as truly fucked up as he is, is the most human creation I’ve had the pleasure of spending five novels with maybe ever.
- Lowest Rating(s): The Accidental by Ali Smith – 1 out of 5. I had the highest of hopes for this one and it just. did. not. happen. I’d say that my level of irritation was actually even higher on this than other books I perhaps liked less because I chose to read this. Because I actually took Ali Smith’s other novels out of my to-buy notebook because I was so irritated by this book.
- DNF(s): The Education of Henry Adams by Henry Adams. It still sits next to my bookshelf, marked where I left off – perhaps I’ll pick it up again in the new year, read a little more. But maybe not.