A Half a Year of Books

    I keep track of the books I read in a spreadsheet. It’s pretty nerdy, but I like that I can look back and see which authors I enjoyed, what I loved, what I hated, and how my reading tastes have changed. I did a summary for 2011, and since we’re halfway through 2012, it seems like a good time to do a recap of my reading so far this year.
    Since January, I’ve read 28 books. The vast majority were fiction. In fact, my non-fiction reading has tapered off quite a bit. I think a lot of that is because I have a to-be-read pile that is threatening to topple over and kill me in my sleep and it’s almost all fiction. Even my electronic to-be-read pile, the folder on my Kindle, is huge and full of books that I bought on impulse or on sale or on a really strong recommendation. So, while I’m trying to work my way through that pile, I haven’t been looking for new nonfiction books. Also, I’m not currently obsessed with any particular topic right now. Typically, I will read something that triggers a need to learn more about the subject (The Troubles in Northern Ireland, post-colonial West Africa, the financial crisis) and then read everything I can get my hands on until I run out of steam. Apparently, I’m between nerd-outs.
    Most of my reading was on my beloved Kindle, and I’ve only listened to two audiobooks so far this year. That’s below average for me, but I blame the ready supply of quality podcasts that I’ve been listening to on my commute.
    So, of the 25 fiction books I’ve read, the overwhelming majority were some sort of romance — skewed heavily toward romantic suspense. I’ve got a few on the list that were mysteries or thrillers, without the romantic element, but only a few. I read my first Anne Stuart book this year, followed by my second Anne Stuart. And there’s a third coming up on my to-be-read list. I can’t believe I haven’t read her before now. She’s just wonderful.
    I usually don’t do reviews because that’s not what this site is about. Also, my notes on what I loved are too vague to be of use to anyone else. It’s like how my wine tasting notes basically amount to “tasty!” However, here are a few of my favorites so far this year.
    First, A Little Night Magic, by Lucy March (aka Lani Diane Rich). I loved this quirky, fun, light paranormal romance and recommended it to everyone I know who reads. I am impatiently awaiting the second novel. It will be one I pre-order.
    In the Bleak Midwinter, by Julia Spencer-Fleming, was an incredible book. I just loved it. I learned about this from a review from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books and I am so happy I did. The book is incredibly well-written, the characters are genuine and the growing story of their relationship is compelling. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series. And since this book came out in 2003, there are many more to read.
    The Kingdom, by Amanda Stevens, the second in the Graveyard Queen series. Oh, my god, I adore this series. I’m reading the third book, The Prophet, right now. The first book, The Restorer, was one of my favorite reads of 2011. The second and third books are just as good.
    Not that this is a contest, but if it were, honorable mention would go to Whiskey Rebellion, by Liliana Hart, because it made me laugh out loud and wake up my husband. I love a book that does that.
     In the next six months, I think I’m going to focus on adding some nonfiction to my diet (it’s like fiber, it’s good for you and can be delicious). Also, I have amassed some serious credits in my Audible.com account, so I’m going to let someone read to me while I drive.
     If you have any recommendations, please feel free to share!

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