Mid-Year Reading Assessment

We are halfway into 2012, and I’m still 5 books short of the halfway point of my goal of reading 50 books this year.

Looking back at the 20 novels I’ve read, I can say that it’s been a pretty interesting reading year so far.

I quite surprised myself this year by reading, and actually finishing the gargantuan novel by Roberto Bolano, 2666, thanks to my reading buddy.  2666 is a surprising, brilliant novel, which proved to be both provocative, and entertaining.

Another memorable novel was Ian McEwan’s Amsterdam.  A short, but deeply disturbing tale about friendship, loyalty, and vengeance.  Master of plot twists, McEwan never disappoints, presenting readers with complex, thought-provoking narratives.

The graphic novel, Daytripper, by Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba, with its beautiful art, and deep philosophical questions on life, also left a lasting impression.

Then there was Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies – books in a trilogy by Hilary Mantel, about the reign of Henry VIII from the perspective of Thomas Cromwell, probably one of history’s most misunderstood figures.  In the first 2 novels of the trilogy, Hilary Mantel succeeds in taking a well-known part of British history, and enlivening it with intriguing characters.

Last, but certainly not least, there was The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet.  I can probably consider David Mitchell’s most recent novel the best book I’ve read in 2012 so far.  A story of bravery, sacrifice, pride, and love, it doesn’t fail to make me sigh every time I think about it.

Then there were the books which I did not enjoy so much, namely A Passage to India, The Master and Margarita, The Imperfectionists, and Black Swan Green.  I did not enjoy these books, not so much because they were badly written or had bad stories, but because they did not live up to my high expectations of them.

Of course, if there is the “best book” I’ve read so far, there is also the worst, and Tana French’s detective-mystery novel, In The Woods holds that unfortunate title.

At my current reading pace, I’m 7% behind, and with only 20 books read by the middle of the year, I don’t know how I’m ever going to accomplish by goal of 50 books.

With no strict reading plan to follow, I just play it by ear and read whatever catches my attention.  I look forward to all the new books and authors I will discover in the remaining 6 months of 2012.

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17 thoughts on “Mid-Year Reading Assessment

  1. I was thinking of coming up with a similar post by the start of July because technically, it’s the middle of the year. I just ran a search and the exact middle is July 2 (for non leap years).

    I am amazed that you read those Hilary Mantel novels. For now, I only intend to read Wolf Hall. But if the Bring Up the bodies wins the Booker, well, I’ll have to read that as well. 😀

    • I was originally planning to do it in July too, but I was really bored today and had nothing better to do…

      Wolf Hall is really very enjoyable, though it seems hard to believe because of its subject and narrative style. But I don’t know if it’s really the kind of novel you would like….

      I think if you read Wolf Hall and liked it, you may want to continue with Bring Up The Bodies, because it really is just a continuation of Wolf Hall. But I think it’s ok to read Wolf Hall by itself. You won’t enjoy it less because you don’t continue with the other books in the trilogy.

      I’ll wait to see your mid-year reading list 🙂

  2. Pingback: 2012 Library: Halfway | Wallflower Wannabe

  3. I think you’ve done handsomely as some of books are pretty hefty. And apart from Bring Up the Bodies which I hope to read sooner rather than later, you’ve also reminded me that I need to catch up on both Black Swan Green and Jacob de Zoet. Will come back to your reviews when I’ve read them!

    • Thanks! I hope I can make it to 50 by the end of the year. I’m reading another really long book right now, so I’m behind schedule again lol. Oh well…

      I hope you like Jacob de Zoet…it really is a beautiful book.

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