Jan 02

The First Ten of Fifty-Two Books for 2012

WHAT’S PLAYING: Lil Wayne “How to Love”

So, last week I decided to read a book a week for an entire year. It’s not really about the number; it’s about reconnecting with one of the most important things in my life: reading.

That being said, I’m having a hard time getting started. The idea of reading fifty-two books is ambitious to say the least. At the same time, fifty-two is a paltry number compared to all the novels I want to read.

So to make things easier, I’ve narrowed the list down to the first ten. I’ll be posting reviews on each one, depending on when I finish them. Some of these I have read before and want to revisit. Others are new additions to my ever-expanding library. But they all have one thing in common: masters of the craft wrote them, people I hope to emulate in my own writing some day. (And please, remember that I’m reading these books as a consumer. Not a critic.)

1.Witches Abroadby Terry Pratchett

Bet you saw that one coming. This is one of my favorite Discworld novels, and I can’t think of a better way to kick off the New Year.

2.The Enchantress of Florenceby Salman Rushdie

This is a new addition. I’ve heard great things about it, and I’m a huge fan of his writing. I can’t wait to read it.

3. “Memoirs of a Geisha” by Arthur Golden

Lyrical prose, haunting imagery, and a strong protagonist. Toss in an epic love story set amidst World War II, and you have a book worth revisiting.

4.The Handmaid’s Taleby Margaret Atwood

No reading list would be complete without this unnervingly realistic portrayal of a dystopian future.

5.Poison Studyby Maria V. Snyder

A friend of mine recommended this one. I don’t usually go in for fantasy-romance novels, but she insisted I give it a try.

6. “The Princess Bride” by William Goldman

I grew up watching the movie. Imagine my surprise when I learned that the book was so much better.

7.Everything is Broken” by John Shirley

Another favorite author — not to mention a kick ass mentor – this is John Shirley’s latest. It’s scheduled for release on January 24. I’ve already pre-ordered my copy.

8. “Neverwhere” by Neil Gaiman

I am ashamed to admit that – while I am a rabid Neil Gaiman fan – I have yet to read this one. An oversight I intend to remedy soon.

9. Luka and the Fire of Life” by Salman Rushdie

The first repeat on my list, but not the last. I picked this one because I wanted a kid’s book on the list, though from what I hear, this book is so much more than that.

10. “Butcher Bird” by Richard Kadrey

Tattoos and demons and witches, oh my! An excellent choice to round out the list. (Plus, I’m kind of digging the ink.)

And there you have it. The first ten of my fifty-two books. What about you? What’s on your must read list for 2012? (If you have any recommendations, I’m open to suggestions.)

I’ll be honest. I don’t know if I’ll be able to pull this one off, but no matter how many books I read – fifty or five – the important thing is that I’ll be reading.

Best New Year’s ever!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.jacquitalbot.com/2012/01/the-first-ten-of-fifty-two-books-for-2012/


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  1. Mandy

    I love this idea–a book a week–a goal I instantly told myself “I want to do that too!”. Then, I wondered: what if one book is 285 pages and then the next is a Harry Potter . . . Would it be more realistic if we put a “number of pages” per week? (please?)

    1. justjacqui2

      I tried to plan my books around my schedule. That is, saving the longer ones for weeks when I’m not so busy with work and other things. A page count is a great idea. Since the average novel is around 300 pages, I’d shoot for that. That’s about fifty pages a day, six days a week, with one day off to review and pick the next one on your list. (I usually read about fifty pages in an hour or so.) I think devoting an hour or two to reading every day is doable. What do you think?

      1. Mandy

        Perfect! I’m so glad you came up with the 300 page count. One to two hours a day is absolutely doable. If it’s not, then that means I’m doing other things that are a waste of time! I just started “The Lovely Bones” so I’ll make it a goal to have finished it by the end of the week.

        Thanks for the motivation!

        1. justjacqui2

          No problem! Thank you for joining me in this venture. It’s been a while since I’ve read “The Lovely Bones”. I’ll add it to my list. Be sure to check back in and leave your reviews!

          1. Anonymous

            Will do !

  2. Janice Heck

    Thanks for this list. Usually I don’t make a list of books to read,but just go book-to-book. But I like the idea of a list of ten. I’m starting to make my list now. It will be a mix of fiction and nonfiction. I might borrow a couple from your list! Perhaps the Enchantress of Florience. For nonfiction, I am considering Katherin Boo, Behind the Beautiful Forever: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity. Thanks for sharing. Happy Reading.

    1. justjacqui2

      You’re very welcome. I should add a couple of nonfiction titles to my own list. Any suggestions? If you have time, drop by and post reviews of your books.

      1. Janice Heck

        I just finished reading Martha Beck, Expecting Adam. A mom learns that she is going to have a Down’s Syndrome child. She is a graduate student at Harvard at the time, young for Down’s Syndrome. She struggles with her decision about the baby. Good book with ethical issues at hand.

        I also started Rebecca Skloot, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, a poor black tobacco farm woman whose cancer cells were taken without her knowledge for research. Again, interesting ethical questions. What I have read so far is intriquing. Excellent narrative style.

        1. justjacqui2


          Thanks for the suggestions! Both books sound great, especially Expecting Adam. I’ll add them to the list.

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