Eff Off, 2012/Top Ten Books of the Year/Resolutions

[If you are here for the Top Ten Tuesday from the Broke and the Bookish, please scroll waaaaaay down for my ten "bookish goals" for 2013 (sorry!). And if you're a follower and have already read them, check out The Holden Caulfield Drinking Game post instead. Thanks so much for stopping by!]

This is a long post. Hopefully my delightful wit and fascinating commentary will hook you in. If not, you can always go read about Kim K's pregnancy on People.com. 

I tend to get a little nostalgic this time of the year- I take stock, reflect, and plan. 2012 was definitely not my favorite year- it brought a great deal of challenges personally and at times professionally. And while not all were bad, the accompanying stress hasn't been appreciated in the slightest (don't you love it when people allude to juicy information and then fail to throw you a bone?). And, for the record, I think it's okay to have "so-so" or even bad years- it makes the great ones that much better. In the whole "scope of life" things could have been much worse, and for that I am thankful. I'm still married, live in a pretty nice house, have the health of my prized pups, am fortunate enough to have a steady gig, and have great friends. I faced some fears this year (skydiving!), took some fun little trips (Yosemite to climb Half Dome again, San Diego, Vegas, Arizona), nailed some projects (blanket making, NaNoWriMo's 40,000 word count, working on my yoga moves), and have tried to get out and "do things" (museums, readings, restaurants).

Oh, and I read some books. 60 of them, to be exact, giving me an average of 5 books per month, compared to the 38 I read last year, at a measly 3.17 books per month.


And, without further adieu, in no particular order:

Top Ten of 2012

1.  What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami- I just finished this short memoir today and loved the marriage between writing and running that Murakami creates.  This is by far the best running book I've ever read; a post devoted to it and my complicated relationship with running will be up soon.

2. Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt- The writing and the story were both spot on- I was hooked from page one. Brunt tells the story of a teenaged protagonist who loses her beloved uncle to AIDS. If you read just one book on this list, let it be this one.

3. The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach- I read this book as my Giants slowly maneuvered their way into first place in the NL West, making it an even more appropriate read for me. But it's not just about baseball- it's a coming of age story that will make you care about the characters and their futures. 

4. Family Fang by Kevin Wilson- The two words that perfectly describe this book is fucking hilarious. I've written about it many times before, so I'll spare you the details, but if you need a laugh read it.

5. Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn- This isn't exactly a literary feat, but I really, really loved this quirky little story about the island that loses letters of their alphabet. 

6. Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer- Another one I've written about before, this is the story of a man who decides to climb Everest. It's adventurous and exciting and had been read by pretty much everyone but me prior to January 2012.

7. Habibi by Craig Thompson- The first graphic novel I had ever read, this one was the way to go. I still don't feel completely comfortable reading these, but I'll get there.

8. Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer- I stopped eating meat early last year and read this soon after. I learned a lot, and while I'm still struggling with making sure my body has what it needs, I do think that relying as little as possible on meat is the way to go.

9. The Barbarian Nurseries by Hector Tobar- While I definitely am by no means a social activist, I am interested in the sociological and economic implications of immigration in Southern California. Combined with the recession and the dynamics of marriage, Tobar creates a fascinating story.

10. When the Killing's Done by TC Boyle- The fact that this is by the TC Boyle aside, I loved the questions this book left me with in terms of what my stance is on certain environmental issues.

Some people don't like resolutions, but I do. And while I have some in my mysterious, hush hush personal life that I won't mention (basically, I want to quit stripping, stop spending all my money on blow, and find Jesus), I do have some in regards to reading, books and blogging. So here we are:

1. Read 61 books
2. Go to at least 10 readings
3. Visit the Huntington Library again
4. Check out some of the few independent bookstores left in LA
5. Consider moving the blog to a different format/host (a big we'll see)
6. Continue to grow the blog by being super smart and funny
7. Read at least 2 graphic novels
8. Read at least 10 nonfiction works
9. Read at least 5 "classics"
10. Finish a draft of my novel by the end of the school year, work on editing during summer break, and then go from there

The End
Hope everyone has a wonderful New Years and that 2013 brings you loads of awesome shit.


  1. "Loads of awesome shit" is just what I was hoping for! ;) Good goals. That's a lot of books, but there's no reason to think that you can't read that many. And yeay for making it to 60 this year!*

  2. That is a ton of books, but it's such a fun goal. I read graphic novels, but I don't normally talk about it because then they'll know I'm a huge dork haha

  3. 61? why 61? Haha, your personal resolutions cracked me up. Good luck with writing your novel, and meeting your other goals. Here's my list:

  4. Great list. I agree with finding local bookstores. Feel free to stop by and View My TTT

  5. I'm jealous. I've wanted to visit the Huntington library for years. I finally moved my blog from Typepad after putting it off for a good 8 years. Happy that I finally made it happen. Good luck with your goals and happy reading.

  6. Yay! I hope 2013 brings me a loads of good shit. lol.

    My FF

  7. I've signed up for my first two challenges (equaling 62 books) and would love to attend more literary events. Here's to some great reading and writing in 2013.

  8. Out of all the 300+ bloggers that ave posted resolutions this week, your intro wins :-)

  9. This may in fact be the best TTT I have read ever.

  10. Great list and the picture about the Kardashians made me laugh :)

    My TTT: http://blueskyshelf.blogspot.com/2013/01/top-ten-tuesday-bookish-goals-for-2013.html