Reading Year in Review, 2012

I read 45 books in 2012. This was fewer than the 65 I read in 2011, but the page count was closer as 2012 was dominated by a few very long books:

  • Joseph and His Brothers by Thomas Mann, 1536 pages
  • A History of the Federal Reserve (Volume 1 and Volume 2 Book 1) by Allan Meltzer, 1504 pages
  • 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami, 945 pages

I only had two 5-star ratings in 2012, for Joseph and His Brothers and for An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler.

The only two new books (2012 publication) that I read were Why Nations Fail by Acemoglu and Robinson, and Twilight of the Elites by Chris Hayes. Both of these were abetted by my acquisition this year of a (used, old model) Kindle, which I have used quite a bit for checking out e-books from the Brooklyn Public Library. Their selection is not stellar, but it is generally pretty good as far as new releases are concerned. (I also read The Black Swan and Models Behaving Badly on the Kindle, and Elise read 1Q84 on it–a relief for the wrists!) I definitely don’t imagine I will move all or even most of my reading to the Kindle, but it is very nice to have for checking out e-books and for reading out-of-copyright books that are free.

The last notable book event of 2012 for me was my wild goose chase to find a copy of the out-of-print Brewing and Beer Traditions in Norway. This involved (a) trying to check it out of the New York Public Library, only to find when I got there that it was for in-library use only, (b) trying to find it in bookstores in Norway while I was there, and finally © successfully getting it on inter-library loan through NYU. And after all that, it was a pretty boring book!