What I Read In 2012 (So Far)

Here’s a spooky fact: in the past six months, I have read more books than I did in all of 2009. Fifty-five! Pure lunacy.

Pictured above are the survivors.

As in years past, I’ve cobbled together a complete list for all you completists out there, with links to full reviews whenever applicable (which is most of the time).

One important note: I usually save the number-crunching for year’s end, but since the topic of gender imbalances in Canadian book reviews has been in the news lately, I did want to look at how well I’ve done in terms of writing about male and female authors.

Historically—for as long as I’ve been keeping track—I have been absolute garbage at this. So I’m happy to report that of the 21 titles I’ve reviewed for newspapers or magazines in 2012, 12 were written by men, and 9 by women (and 4 have been in translation).

This isn’t quite 50-50, but it’s way better than I was expecting. I can only chalk it up to my recently self-imposed rule, which I came up with after reading those CWILA statistics and deciding to shut up and become part of the solution for once: namely, I will read any new book by a female author that comes across my desk. This is the only way to broaden my admittedly limited horizons, and I’m starting right now.

(Okay, one last thing: (CDN) designates a Canadian author; (CDN)* designates an Edmonton author.)

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Kingsley Amis, Lucky Jim (1954) (re-read)

Robert Hough, The Stowaway (2004) (CDN)

Martin Amis, Yellow Dog (2003)

Martin Amis, House of Meetings (2006)

John D’Agata, About a Mountain (2010)

Karen Armstrong, A Short History of Myth (2005)

Ben Marcus, The Flame Alphabet (2012)

John D’Agata and Jim Fingal, The Lifespan of a Fact (2012)

Carl Wilson, Let’s Talk About Love (33 1/3) (2007) (CDN)


Greg Southam and David Staples, Barb’s Miracle (2004) (CDN)*

Lysley Tenorio, Monstress (2012)

Paul Auster, The New York Trilogy (1987)

Robert Hough, Dr. Brinkley’s Tower (2012) (CDN)

César Aira, Varamo (2002, trans. Chris Andrews)

Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (1813)

Michael Chabon and Jake Parker, The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man (2011)

Todd Babiak, The Garneau Block (2006) (CDN)*

Julie Wilson, Seen Reading (2012) (CDN) [review forthcoming]


Nicholson Baker, Human Smoke (2008)

Ross Raisin, Waterline (2012)

Douglas Wolk, Live at the Apollo (33 1/3) (2004)

Rosecrans Baldwin, You Lost Me There (2010)

Jesse Ball, The Curfew (2011)

J.G. Ballard, The Atrocity Exhibition (1970)

Tim Bowling, The Tinsmith (2012) (CDN)*

Alex Leslie, People Who Disappear (2012) (CDN)

Julian Barnes, Flaubert’s Parrot (1984)


Carrie Snyder, The Juliet Stories (2012) (CDN)

Tom Rachman, The Imperfectionists (2010) (CDN)

Dan Kois, Facing Future (33 1/3) (2010)

Samuel Beckett, Malone Dies (1951, trans. Samuel Beckett)

Ellen Ullman, By Blood (2012)

Amelia Gray, Threats (2012)

Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit (1922)

Robert E. Belknap, The List (2004)


Otto Binder, The Avengers Battle the Earth-Wrecker (1967)

Caroline Blackwood, Great Granny Webster (1977)

Kevin Barry, City of Bohane (2012)

Anakana Schofield, Malarky (2012) (CDN)

Scott Teplin, Mac Barnett, and Eli Horowitz, The Clock Without a Face (2010)

Roy Blount Jr., Alphabet Juice (2008)

Jason Lee Norman, Americas (2012) (CDN)*

Matt Prins, Fart Head (2011) (CDN)*

Laurent Binet, HHhH (2009, trans. Sam Taylor)

Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy (524, trans. Victor Watts)

Peter Hobbs, In the Orchard, the Swallows (2012)

Daniel Sada, Almost Never (2008, trans. Katherine Silver)


Lynn Crosbie, Life Is About Losing Everything (2012) (CDN)

Curtis Gillespie, Almost There (2012) (CDN)*

Heather Birrell, Mad Hope (2012) (CDN)

César Aira, How I Became a Nun (1993, trans. Chris Andrews)

Etgar Keret, Suddenly, a Knock on the Door (2010, trans. Miriam Shlesinger, Sondra Silverston, and Nathan Englander)

Ali Smith, Ali Smith’s Supersonic 70s (Penguin 70s) (2005)

Pasha Malla, People Park (2012) (CDN) [interview with Malla]

Buffy Cram, Radio Belly (2012) (CDN)

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Previously in What I Read: 2011, 20102009.

Feedback? Go here, or email hingston [at] gmail [dot] com. You’re great.

  1. booksinthekitchen posted this