In 2012, I read only 37 books. I say “only” because my wife is a more voracious reader than I. She should have a plaque in her honor at the local Barnes and Noble.
If there’s one major difference between “male-reads” and “female-reads”, it’s the male preference for “thrillers.” My wife chides me for my intrigue with serial killers and bloody mayhem. Due to her prodding, I have tried to elevate my reading selections, but I’m not about to cast off my favorite detectives.
My favorite books in 2012 included a gritty new novel by my favorite thriller writer John Katzenbach (“What Comes Next?”), a novel by the always-interesting John Sanford (“Stolen Prey”), two by my favorite new mystery novelist (Scottish writer Denise Mina), and three re-reads by P.D. James. However, my favorite mystery was the hugely popular “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn.
To appease my wife, I also included novels by my favorite non-mystery novelists Stewart O’Nan (“Emily Alone”, “Wish You Were Here”, “Snow Angels”, and “The Odds), the hilarious (but edgy) Jonathan Tropper (“Just Before I Go”), the heartfelt Anne Tyler (“The Beginner’s Goodbye”), and the fascinating “The Submission” by Amy Waldman.
The two best non-fiction books were “In the Garden of the Beasts” by Erik Larsen (an ambassador’s look at the early years of Hitler’s Germany) and the million-selling “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand (the biography of a tortured World War II soldier).
I even read a book similar to the controversial “50 Shades of Grey” novels Р but that’s another story for another time.