My [personal] top 10 books of 2012

This is me hugging a book.

Well guys, 2012 is drawing swiftly to a close and I have nothing to show for myself except a sweet new job and the collective knowledge of ~53 finished books (52.3 if I’m being honest about Les Mis, 58.3 if I count the Gone series and all three FSOG books). A productive year indeed.

Last week I posted the mathematically irrefutable Best Books of 2012, a labor on which I spent an undisclosed number of hours (like five) but after a little rest, relaxation, and weirdly mortifying perusal of my own ramblings from the last 12 months, I’d now like to share a more important list: the books I read this year that made the biggest impact on my little reality-TV-filled brain. Few of these titles were released in 2012, a byproduct of my resigned refusal to spend $27 on hardcovers, but sometimes it’s nice to read a book a few years after its release, when you can absorb it in the vacuum of irrelevance.

So here are the books that touched my shriveled-up heart this year, in dramatic countdown order. Happy reading!

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Book bonanza: Part I

In the last four days, I bought 17 books.

Whew. Okay. It’s out. Now you all know that when I say I have a problem with buying books, I don’t mean a small one. I mean that I had to relocate at least 30 books to floor piles (pictured) so that I might reduce the risk of one of my overburdened bookshelves collapsing during the night, thereby giving me a fatal heart attack and forcing some hapless relative to sort through my massive paperback collection while distributing my possessions post-mortem. Now you know that when I say I have a book-buying problem, I mean that I actively facilitate the makings of a serious physical hazard.

In fact, so unchecked is my penchant for bookstores that this weekend marked the first time I actually purchased a book I already ownedβ€”Michael Lewis’s The Big Short, which I am (perhaps out of guilt) now reading. In the interest of making lemonade out of lemons, I will award (and mail) the extra copy to a lucky reader, to be determined after the writing of that review. …Similarly, I think it would be in everyone’s best interest if I started finding a way to give away other books, so keep your eyes peeled for more details on that in coming weeks.

Anyway! Book-buying guilt also propelled me into a frenzy of reading this weekend (under the logic that finishing 3 books would somehow justify buying 17) and so I have a wealth of reviews to write. On Friday I finished Don Winslow’s Savages, on Saturday John Green’s Looking for Alaska, on Sunday Nora Ephron’s Wallflower at the Orgy and yesterday Bret Easton Ellis’ The Rules of Attraction. I haven’t read this quickly and productively since that time I had chicken pox and my mom brought me an entire stack of Tiger Beat.

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