Author Topic: The Best Thing We've Read All Year {2012 Edition}  (Read 2323 times)

Junior

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The Best Thing We've Read All Year {2012 Edition}
« on: January 01, 2013, 01:54:32 AM »
According to Goodreads (and if you're not on Goodreads, you should be, and if you're not friends with me on Goodreads, you should be), I've read 34 books this year. There will be a big ol' blog post about that, but this is a tradition, so we need to keep it alive. The best book I read is probably Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. It's kind of amazing. It's so big and so personal and all the characters are as important as all the crazy stuff that happens. And it's superbly written. There are a few other books that might have given it a run for its money (save those for the blog, I guess), but the sheer invention of Cloud Atlas in its structure and characters wins out. And you?
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WillMunny

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Re: The Best Thing We've Read All Year {2012 Edition}
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2013, 05:15:37 AM »
And you?

Fifth Business by Robertson Davies is the best book I've read in 2012 - lowest year-end tally of my reading life, usually I read circa 50 books a year - not counting comics - 39 in 2012 including comics  ??? so this morning I'm in revenge mood and I've set my Goodreads 2013 goal at 70. I like silly failures. I have forgot how Fifth Business came into my possession, I mean the reason why it came, and it's a pity because I'd like to thank the friend/critic/website/whatever who convinced me to giving it a try. It's an absorbing and stimulating book, beautifully written full of wit mixed with irony and allusions and a group of memorable characters and situations. What is friendship? How the place where you grow up defines you? How our actions affect the lives of the people around us? Is there a relationship between magic and religion? Would it have been my book of the year if I read it in the same year than Cloud Atlas? I guess it would have been a close call.

Bondo

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Re: The Best Thing We've Read All Year {2012 Edition}
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2013, 06:44:32 AM »
Didn't have any single book that wowed me so much that I have to credit it. The Conservative Nanny State by Dean Baker is probably the most influential book I read. The Good, The Bad, The Multiplex read by Mark Kermode is probably the most fun. Damned by Chuck Palahniuk is probably the top novel.

Starting 2013 out with Cloud Atlas which I'm digging so far from a stylistic standpoint (since the story itself is not new having seen the film).

Monty

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Re: The Best Thing We've Read All Year {2012 Edition}
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2013, 07:22:40 AM »
Starting 2013 out with Cloud Atlas which I'm digging so far from a stylistic standpoint (since the story itself is not new having seen the film).

I bought the Cloud Atlas (Unabridged) audiobook from Audible last week. I'm gonna make a start after the weekend. Next on the list is probably The Life Of Pi.

With regards to the best thing I've read, I really did like George Orwell's Homage To Catalonia and Michael Lewis' Moneyball and The Blind Side amongst others.


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verbALs

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Re: The Best Thing We've Read All Year {2012 Edition}
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2013, 09:01:34 AM »
Ten favourite books first read in 2012

1. Starship Troopers- Robert Heinlein

2. Hard Times- Charles Dickens
"Quadruped, graminivorous, 40 teeth; namely 24 grinders, 4 eyeteeth and 12 incisive. Sheds coat in the spring. In marshy countries, sheds hooves too. Hooves hard but requiring to be shod by iron. Age known by marks in mouth." Thus and much more...Bitzer.
"Now, girl number 20", said Mr. Gradgrind, "You know what a horse is."


3. The Lathe of Heaven- Ursula Le Guin

4. The Man In The High Castle- Philip K. Dick

5. Heart of Darkness- Joseph Conrad

6. The River (short)- Flannery O'Connor
She pulled him into a sitting position and he felt as if he had been drawn up from under the river. "Tell me [what the preacher said]", she whispered and her bitter breath covered his face.
He saw the pale oval close to him in the dark. "He said I'm not the same now," he muttered. "I count."


7. The Hydrogen Sonata- Iain M. Banks
The first problem was getting all the bits and pieces out of the way, so there would be room for itself.
Actually, who was it kidding? The first problem was all about not blowing up the world....
"Another f...ing day at the office," the ship thought...
The space was clear. The ship went for it, jumping across into real space in a single vast snap...
"Messy," the ship would be prepared to concede, "but never mind."
{massively paraphrased}

8. A Canticle For Lebowitz- Walter M. Miler

9. The Boy Who Followed Ripley- Patricia Highsmith

10. The Caves Of Steel- Isaac Asimov
I used to encourage everyone I knew to make art; I don't do that so much anymore. - Banksy

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: The Best Thing We've Read All Year {2012 Edition}
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2013, 11:06:50 AM »
The Complete Stories Flannery O'Connor

The portrayal of the Gothic south, the dark humor and constant critiques of how the South has misappropriated and misused the religious iconography of Christianity consistently provided series of stories that were both amusing, artistic and though-provoking.

FLYmeatwad

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Re: The Best Thing We've Read All Year {2012 Edition}
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2013, 11:22:07 AM »
A good man truly is hard to find, Sam.

sdedalus

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Re: The Best Thing We've Read All Year {2012 Edition}
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2013, 12:11:20 PM »
2012 Books, don't regret reading any of them:

1. The American Cinema by Andrew Sarris
2. Nixonland by Rick Perlstein
3. Ozu and the Poetics of Cinema by David Bordwell (read half)
4. The Parade's Gone By. . . by Kevin Brownlow
5. Tender is the Night  by F. Scott Fitzgerald
6. Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold
7. Acting in the Cinema by James Naremore
8. When Movies Mattered by Dave Kehr
9. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (80 pages from the end)
10. Confessions of a Cultist by Andrew Sarris
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worm@work

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Re: The Best Thing We've Read All Year {2012 Edition}
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2013, 12:50:20 PM »
2012 Books, don't regret reading any of them:

1. The American Cinema by Andrew Sarris
2. Nixonland by Rick Perlstein
3. Ozu and the Poetics of Cinema by David Bordwell (read half)
4. The Parade's Gone By. . . by Kevin Brownlow
5. Tender is the Night  by F. Scott Fitzgerald
6. Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold
7. Acting in the Cinema by James Naremore
8. When Movies Mattered by Dave Kehr
9. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (80 pages from the end)
10. Confessions of a Cultist by Andrew Sarris

Really nice list but what does the note next to the Dickens mean? You only had the last few pages remaining?

Emiliana

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Re: The Best Thing We've Read All Year {2012 Edition}
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2013, 01:09:09 PM »
Nice list, verbAls! I am looking forward to Hard Times so much - still debating whether to go with proper book or audiobook. Dickens lends himself so well to audio, but I have listened to two of his novels in the last two months already, so I should probably shake things up.

A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens) was my favourite audiobook of the year. Addictive, fun, and lots of passages of narrative brilliance.
A Dance with Dragons (George R.R. Martin) was the standout pageturner of the year.
The Blind Assassin (Margaret Atwood) was the best literary novel I read last year, and what got me reading again after I hadn't really picked up a book for months and months.