Tuesday, January 8, 2013

2012 in Review

According to Goodreads, I read 276 books in 2012. Which actually isn't true...I only put the highlights on Goodreads, and keep everything on a spreadsheet. The real number is 410 books read in 2012, which actually isn't even my record, that would be the 451 I read in 2010. I regret nothing. I rated only 5 books in 2012 with 5 stars, while rating 14 books with 1 star, 84 books with 2 stars, and I think that's my record number of 1 and 2 star reviews. It was a cranky year in reading apparently. I think because I go through periods of trying to broaden my reading, which is probably weird, because I already read just about everything anyway. So currently I've been trying to read the Nobel laureates, Pulitzer winners, "best" modern books adapted to movies, "best" mysteries, and a few genres that I might not normally read much out of. I've found some good stuff this way, and I don't force myself to finish a book I'm not enjoying--which is usually why the majority of my books are usually 2 stars or above. I probably start but abandon at least a third more or perhaps even double more of the total I finish. So what gets a 1 star? Usually it's that the writing is good enough to keep me going, but I don't like the plot/characters; or else it was good up until a horrible ending (Bitterbynde trilogy I'm still so mad at you 10 years later). And for 5 star reviews, those are generally just as rare, I'm more likely to give 4 stars--a 5 star is a book that if I don't own I immediately want to go out and buy it so that I can handle it lovingly and stare at it creepily in my library. 4 stars are books that were very good, and I'll probably read again, but I don't necessarily need to hug them daily.
It looks like I read the most books in the "other" category--which I think is mostly random nonfiction that wasn't history, like health and current affairs or travelogues and possibly fiction genres that didn't go anyway? (I don't know, Goodreads classification is weird.) Biography, history and young adult followed, in that order. The longest book I read was My Soul has Grown Deep ed. by John Edgar Wideman at 1280 pages. Although truthfully this was a collection of several early African American memoirs and I'd read a few of them before, so I didn't read it cover to cover. But I did read the majority, so it counts.

As for movies, I watched 186 in 2012 (since I don't get any TV stations, I watch TV shows on DVDs, so I count them in with my movie watching), which is the fewest since I started keeping track. 53 movies got 1 star reviews--I'm a lot more lenient about finishing a movie I don't like vs finishing a book I don't, probably because of the time factor. 27 movies got 4 or 5 star reviews. I also keep track of which country the movie is from, surprisingly France topped the foreign language list, followed by India, then China--it's weird, since I started keeping track of the movies I watch (only since 2009, where I've been keeping track of books since 2001), France keeps popping up in my top three most watched foreign language countries almost every year. But if you were to ask me what I watch the most, I'd always say India, China, Iran & maybe Japan. I don't know how France keeps sneaking in there. Actually, never mind, looking through the movie list, it looks like many of these are movies set in a former French colony, and if it's a situation where several countries are listed as having made the film, I'll put the the first one listed down, which is usually the funding country. So France sneaks in on a technicality.

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