Books to Read in 2012

This is the evolving list of books I plan to read in 2012, to which I’ll keep adding as I come across appealing titles or gaps in my knowledge and off which I’ll cross those that I do end up reading. I also plan to bequeath each of the books that I read with a single word describing my opinion of it. If you’ve read anything wonderfully juicy, breathtakingly poignant or rivetingly fascinating, feel free to leave a suggestion in the comment box!

  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer – Mark Twain
  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – John Le Carre
  • Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Jonathan Safran Foer
  • Moby Dick – Herman Melville
  • We Need to Talk About Kevin – Lionel Shriver
  • IQ84 – Haruki Murakami
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – Betty Smith
  • The Outsiders – S.E. Hinton
  • A Room of One’s Own – Virginia Woolf
  • I Capture the Castle – Dodie Smith
  • Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Little Coffee Shop of Kabul – Deborah Rodriguez 
  • Looking for Alaska – John Green 
  • Julie and Julia – Julie Powell 
  • The Road – Cormac McCarthy
  • Scoop – Evelyn Waugh
  • Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
  • Blue Eyed Boy – Joanne Harris
  • Pet Cemetery – Stephen King
  • The Nanny Diaries -  Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus 
  • Slaughterhouse-Five – Kurt Vonnegut 
  • The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger 
  • The Tiger’s Wife – Téa Obreht 
  • Deception Point – Dan Brown 
  • The Time Keeper – Mitch Albom

40 thoughts on “Books to Read in 2012

      • I also made my own “required reading” list when I was a student. I’ve read much of the list and I think you’ll like it. I’ve been meaning to read “We Need to Talk About Kevin.”If you read it first let me know what you think.

      • I shall! I just ordered a copy online so when it arrives, I’ll get straight into it. I want to read it before I watch its film version. Thanks for commenting. And I love your username – makes me laugh!

  1. These are some of my favorite books! It seems like we have similar reading tastes, so if you haven’t read these yet, I highly suggest them!
    Fire by Kirsten Cashore
    I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
    Gone With the Wind by Margret Mitchell
    Also, I loved A Tree Grows in Brooklyn! One of my favorite books ever!

  2. Just finished Tinker, Tailor, Soilder Spy…..Loved it and especially in the context that John Le Carr’s experience with military intelligence and the Cambridge Five exposure. The book is subtle, undersated yet never lets up the pace! Trying to get courage to read A room of one’s own; Virginia Woolf killed me with her Orlando and Mrs Dalloway….but do not go by my experience; many people appreciate and relate to her work.

    • Oh, thanks for the comment! Yes, I’ve started Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and although I must confess to being a little confused at this stage, it does promise to be a good read. A Room of One’s Own was actually recommended to me by a fellow blogger who described it in such high esteem that I was convinced to add it to my list!

      • I know initially the plot of Tinker, Tailor meanders and one wonders where it would end up! But hang in there; it would soon become crystal clear. The book is subtle, understated, but never lets up the pace. Virginia Woolf is appreciated by many and I might be unnecessarily prejudiced against her. Let me know how you liked A room of one’s own and I might take her up again! If you like satire mixed with fantasy and liberal dose of ha-ha funny, would strongly recommend Terry Pratchett. Try his Carpe Jugulam for his take on vampires, Maskerade for a satire on “Phantom of the Opera” and Jingo for the Islam vs West controversy. He is awesome. Would also recommend Evelyn Waugh and his “Scoop”…..sensational journalism will never be the same again!

  3. Jekyll and Hyde was a really good book (okay, novella). I think it’s always interesting to read these stories that are so familiar in their original form. I often learn that the way I remember or know the the story is different from the reality.

    • Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts! Yes, I’ve heard little bits about Jekyll and Hyde and it’s always intrigued me but I don’t have a solid understanding of what it’s about so I’m really excited to read it!

  4. This list has some really nice items on it… both of the Mark Twain items are fantastic. There’s actually a nice essay I’d recommend to read before picking him up called “What’s ‘American’ about America?” Here’s the pdf:

    http://baresmusic.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Kouwenhoeven-Whats-American-About-America.pdf

    His section on Twain’s “jazz” style of writing is spot-on and really insightful.

    Also, Moby Dick is one of the greatest books I’ve ever read. I finally picked it up after a friend kept going on and on about it. Among the best decisions of my college career!

  5. Hi,

    Huckleberry Finn is great.. and so is Moby Dick – which I think gets its power from the fact that the author himself did whale-hunting.

    Other books I have loved and would like to share:

    1. Siddhartha – Herman Hesse
    2. Catch 22 – Joesph Heller
    3. Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
    4. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
    5. The Reader – Bernhard Schlink

    Though I do not share my love for books on my blog, I do share other experiences, do have a look

    Hope you find them as good as I did.. Enjoy !

  6. Great list! But if ‘Little Coffee Shop of Kabul’ didn’t take you where you wanted to go, can I suggest ‘The Kite Runner’ by Khaled Hosseini. I enjoyed ‘We need to talk about Kevin’ but found it overly long. The payoff is huge, but you need to stick with it, with patience. In case you’re looking for new books to add to your list, my favourite book of 2012 so far is ‘Blue Eyed Boy’ by Joanne Harris – dark psychological story which demands concentration but packs a punch.

    • Oh thank you so much for the suggestions! I love hearing about others’ favourites! I’ll look into all of those that you’ve recommended. I’ve read ‘Chocolat’ by Joanne Harris and wasn’t overly taken by it (though that could’ve been due to the fact I was required to sit an exam about it and exams never endear me to anything) but ‘Blue Eyed Boy’ sounds really fascinating! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

      • Most of Joanne Harris’s books are actually nothing like ‘Chocolat’ yet ‘Chocolat’ is the one that has received most notice. She has a great line in psychologically disturbing characters and dark stories, so well worth looking into.

  7. Getting a Kindle has been amazing for me. At one point I just stopped going to the library to get books, but now I can download them without having to get up :P

    My reading list just grows and grows.

    An interesting thing about Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde: Mr Hyde wasn’t a giant brute, but a smaller nastier man. The typical way he’s portrayed in pop-culture is as a goliath.

    I would recommend: Gold by Isaac Asimov. Short stories, and powerful ones too. I’ve just finished the Ender’s Game series by Orson Scott Card so I’m obsessing over those right now.

    • Oh thank you so much for the suggestions! It’s one thing to browse through a book store hoping to know which books are good and another thing to have fellow book lovers guide you straight to the literary gold. I’ll definitely look these up!

      • Cool cool.
        Do let me know how they turn out for you. I’m a huge sci-fi fan/nerd, but I read just about anything. Any suggestions?

      • I’ve read very little of sci-fi but I’ve had Steven King’s books recommended to me on a number of occasions so you might want to check them out if you haven’t already? Particularly “Pet Cemetery” which I hear is his scariest horror.

  8. Pingback: February in Literary Retrospect « Free Page Numbers

  9. These are some great books on this list! Many are on my to read list this year as well, and many are my favourites – Catch 22 is my absolute favourite book of all time! :D Another book I would recommend if you haven’t already read it is Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres (the movie is terrible, but the book is amazing).
    Good luck with reading all of these books! :)

    • Oh thank you for the suggestion! I will look it up and most likely add it to my list. Yes, I’m really looking forward to reading ‘Catch 22′. I’ve heard a lot about it and I know it’s a classic. Thank you for commenting. :)

  10. If you haven’t already read, The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. You’ll love it. It’s a cross with the movie “Greese” but with out all the singing and a little ruff on the edges. See the movie AFTER you read the book for sure. Hinton was a teenager when she started writing this book in the 60′ so it makes you think is alot of it true to fact ???? It’s one on my long time fav books. ENJOY it !!!

  11. I love well-written, modern fiction novels with powerful women characters – these are a couple of my favorites: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, Bread Alone by Judith Ryan Hendricks, and The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison.

    Lovely blog to feed a love of reading!

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