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Books I've read in 2012: I feel a little bad, I usually aim for about 50 books a year and I missed it by one. The past few months have been very slow reading and I think maybe I missed listing some. So I am about a third of the way through My Life in France (Julia Child) and exactly 305 pages (about a third) into Les Miserables (Victor Hugo). Those can count for 2013.

Favorites are starred. The English Patient can go die in a fire. Oh wait. Swamplandia! was also disappointing.

To Green Angel Tower (Memory, Sorrow and Thorn book 3) -- Tad Williams
2012 Montezuma's Revenge -- V. Mark Covington
The Pearl -- John Steinbeck
Swamplandia! -- Karen Russell
*11/22/63 -- Stephen King

*Homemade Sin -- V. Mark Covington
The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians) -- Rick Riordan
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children -- Ransom Riggs
Beauty And The Beast -- Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve
The Magicians -- Lev Grossman

The Magician King -- Lev Grossman
The Sea Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians) -- Rick Riordan
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks -- Rebecca Skloot
The Curse of the Titans (Percy Jackson and the Olympians) -- Rick Riordan
The English Patient -- Michael Ondaatje

The Fellowship of the Rings (LOTR Book 1) -- J.R.R. Tolkein (reread)
The Two Towers (LOTR Book 2) -- J.R.R. Tolkein (reread)
The Return of the King (LOTR Book 3) -- J.R.R. Tolkein (reread)
The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians) -- Rick Riordan
A History of the World in 100 Objects -- Neil MacGregor

The Only Travel Guide You'll Ever Need -- Dave Barry
*The Windup Bird Chronicle -- Haruki Murakami
No Country For Old Men -- Cormac McCarthy
Anna Dressed In Blood -- Kendare Blake
The Omnivore's Dilemma -- Michael Pollan

The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians) -- Rick Riordan
*The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making -- Catherynne Valente
Matchless -- Gregory Maguire
The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ -- Phillip Pullman
Shutter Island -- Dennis Lehane

*The Graveyard Book -- Neil Gaiman
Why Do Men Have Nipples -- Mark Leyner and William Goldberg
Santaland Diaries -- David Sedaris
The Importance of Being Earnest -- Oscar Wilde
The Pale King -- David Foster Wallace

*Persepolis -- Marjane Satrapi
Dress your Family in Corduroy and Denim -- David Sedaris
*The Orphan's Tales: In The Night Garden -- Catherynne Valente
The Orphan's Tales: In the City of Coin and Spice -- Catherynne Valente
Slaughterhouse Five -- Kurt Vonnegut

Dead Reckoning -- Charlaine Harris
In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto -- Michael Pollen
Official Book Club Selection -- Kathy Griffin
A Little Princess -- Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Wind in the Willows -- Kenneth Grahame

Uncle Tom's Cabin -- Harriet Beecher Stowe
Fevre Dream -- George R. R. Martin
Oh Myyyy (There Goes the Internet) -- George Takei
Old Man's War -- John Scalzi


So let's talk about Victor Hugo and Les Miserables. I love how one of his characters robs someone on the field after the battle of Waterloo--the incident is only a paragraph long--and yet it justifies giving a TOTAL chapters-and-chapters-long recount of the battle of Waterloo. Oh Victor. Must you? I mean, I know the battle of Waterloo is a big historical event, but it has NO place in your story--or, at least, not at that great length. FYI: Victor Hugo says Napoleon lost because God wanted him to lose because he was getting too big for his britches, basically.

Also: Victor Hugo keeps referring to weakness as THE virtue of women. He is a bit tiresome. But it is a novel of the times.

It sounds like a really irksome novel but mostly it's not. It just gets stuck in the mire sometimes.
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