A Year of Books

Yeah, yeah, not a fancy title but it’s still early on 2012 and my brain isn’t fully functioning yet. And before you jump to conclusions, no, I didn’t drink heavily last night, nor am I suffering from a hangover, I’m just a little off on my already odd sleep cycle. Blame it on the new video game. (More about that in another post).

First off, Happy New Year. While 2011 was a pretty good year – hey, I published my first book, The Penitent Assassin in 2011 – I’m really looking forward to new adventures in 2012. New books as well. Both to read and to publish. One of my writing goals this year is to publish at least one more novel. I’d love to make it two, but I’m not sure if I’ll have enough free time to accomplish that. I’d also love to get my short stories polished and perhaps publish a few of them as well.

But this post is supposed to be about the books I read in 2011. If I include my own book, The Penitent Assassin, and the rough draft of the new book I’m currently working on, I read 50 books in 2011. Eight of those were graphic novels — that counts, right? Still, even if you don’t count them, I’m happy that I read over 40 ‘books’ in one year….plus published a book…plus began a second new job at the bookstore…

Yeah…I hear you…on with the list! I debated about writing comments about the books, and then decided that I’d only make a few comments after the list was complete–primarily on the books I loved. However, please keep in mind, even if I don’t comment on a book, it doesn’t mean I didn’t like it. For the most part, I enjoyed almost all of the books I read in 2011….(I normally don’t finish books I dislike).

1. Legends of Shannara: Bearers of the Black Staff by Terry Brooks

2. New Spring the Novel (The Wheel of Time: In the Beginning) by Robert Jordan

3. Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton

4. True Grit by Charles Portis

5. Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay

6. The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson & The Olympians: Book One) by Rick Riordan

7. Batman “Hush” (graphic novel) by Jeph Loeb

8. Crossover: A Cassandra Kresnov Novel by Joel Shepherd

9. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

10. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

11. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

12. If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland

13. Hostage by Robert Crais

14. Winter’s Bone by Daniel Woodrell

15. Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

16. Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

17. The Blade Itself (The First Law: Book One) by Joe Abercrombie

18. Deliverance by James Dickey

19. Before They Are Hanged (The First Law: Book Two) by Joe Abercrombie

20. The Fire in Fiction: passion, purpose, and techniques to make your novel great by Donald Maass

21. Last Argument of Kings (The First Law: Book Three) by Joe Abercrombie

22. Transformers: Dark of the Moon (movie novelization) by Peter David

23. Sin City: The Hard Goodbye (Vol 1) by Frank Miller

24. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (Vol 2) by Frank Miller

25. Sin City: The Big Fat Kill (Vol 3) by Frank Miller

26. Sin City: That Yellow Bastard (Vol 4) by Frank Miller

27. Sin City: Family Values (Vol 5) by Frank Miller

28. Sin City: Booze, Broads, & Bullets (Vol 6) by Frank Miller

29. Sin City: Hell and Back (Vol 7) by Frank Miller

30. Dearly Devoted Dexter by Jeff Lindsay

31. The Man with the Golden Touch (How the Bond Films Conquered the World) by Sinclair McKay

32. Dexter in the Dark by Jeff Lindsay

33. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

34. Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie

35. Conspiracy Theory (movie novelization) by J. H. Marks

36. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

37. The Penitent Assassin by Shawn Wickersheim

38. The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie

39. The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson

40. The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan

41. (UNTITLED rough draft of new novel) by Shawn Wickersheim

42. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

43. Leviathan (Book One) by Scott Westerfeld

44. My Swordhand is Singing by Marcus Sedgwick

45. The Iron King (Book One of The Iron Fey) by Julie Kagawa

46. Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Book One) by Laini Taylor

47. The Falling Machine (Book One) by Andrew P. Mayer

48. The Angel Hunter by Jerrod Begora

49. The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz

50. The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack (Book One) by Mark Hodder

EDIT TO ADD: Ooops, forgot one!

51. Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick by Joe Schreiber

As you see, I read quite a few ‘Book One’s and I’m looking forward to many of the ‘Book Two’s. A nice mix of fantasy, I think — some steam punk, some classic, some gritty, some urban along with some classics, dramas, thrillers and even a couple of non-fictions thrown in too. I finally got around to reading the Sin City series by Frank Miller (loved them) and finishing up The Hunger Games series(loved them too).

I was very happy I found Joe Abercrombie’s books — truly enjoyed every single gritty one of them — and I absolutely loved The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. What an amazingly beautifully written book! As was Jamie Ford’s Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. If you haven’t read any of these books, you really should find the time to do so.

After watching the Dexter TV series, I was curious about the Dexter books and while I’ve only read half of them so far, I’m planning on finishing up the rest someday (though admittedly, I didn’t like the third book as much as the first two). It happens.

There are quite a few books I started near the end of 2011 but I didn’t quite finish them before the midnight deadline last night (darn video game!). I’ll likely attempt to do a quarterly posting of my reading list in 2012.

Okay…well, this post was rather long. I think I’ll shut up now and go read for a little while before heading out for Christmas #4 with the in-laws later this afternoon. I hope you all had a wonderful and safe celebration last night and 2012 is a great new year for you! I have some plans for this blog for 2012; author interviews, some book reviews, writing notes, updates about my books, and even the occasional personal post (I’d like to lose another 10 pounds in 2012 (lost 20 in 2011). Care to join me on your weight loss quest? I’m planning on increasing my exercising this year…how about you?)

Also, what are some of your reading goals? I’d like to read another 40-50 books this year and ‘discover’ a few new authors. Any suggestions?

Happy New Year!


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About inkcompetentwriter

Author of The Penitent Assassin and The Rush of Betrayal duology available at Amazon.com and Smashwords.com.

3 responses to “A Year of Books”

  1. deshipley says :

    I’m planning to read “Night Circus” (on the sooner side of “eventually”, I’m hoping), so no spoilers, please!
    I can’t tell if I didn’t get a lot of reading done this year, or if I just can’t remember most of it. (Likely both. In fact, don’t even ask me to remember my name, just now; I’ve been up too late for too many nights in a row.) I know “Mockingjay” was in there, somewhere (my “third that I didn’t like as well as 1 and 2” moment of the year), and I finally completed my reread of “Fellowship of the Ring” (I am determined that 2012 will be my year to at long last read through the entirety of the “LotR” trilogy!). Other reads to come will include:
    “Ivanhoe” and “Le Morte D’Arthur” (for the old-school takes on the legends that my “Ballad of Allyna-a-Dale” revisited);
    “Wayward Son” by Tom Pollack, which I saw reviewed here (http://amyleebell.wordpress.com/2011/12/22/wayward-son/), and it sounded interesting;
    and this author whose blog I follow (http://catherineausten.wordpress.com/) was dear enough to send me free copies of her new middle-grade “26 Tips for Surviving Grade 6” and YA “All Good Children”, so I’m looking forward to having time to read those;
    and a bunch of other books on my shelves that I’ve been meaning to read since who-can-quite-remember-when.
    Goodness, I’ve gone on longer than I meant. Away with me. Happy New Year/Continued Christmas, dude!

    • inkcompetentwriter says :

      No spoilers on The Night Circus…but I’d be surprised if you didn’t like it. It was one of my favorites for 2011.

      I realized this morning I forgot a book. I was pretty good about keeping track of my reading in 2011, but between Christmas and New Years I wasn’t on my laptop much and I forgot to include ‘Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick’ by Joe Schreiber. It was described to me as Ferris Bueller meets La Femme Nikita. It was crammed full of action and at only 190 pages, it was a rather quick read. Fun mind candy, for sure.

      Good luck finishing LotR! A few years back when I drove a lot for my job (and had a CD player in the truck) I listened to the unabridged audio version of the entire trilogy. It was a good way to revisit that book.

      Happy New Year to you! 🙂

  2. Ciara Ballintyne says :

    I read the First Law books last year as well although I was a little unsatisfied by the ending. Bearers of the Black Staff is at home waiting for me, together with Measure of the Magic. I’ll get to them this month or next month.

    Good luck with your publishing goals for 2012. I anm working on a bunch of shorts to send off. Novel is still with HarperCollins, I probably should check in on that, hey!

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