I don't seem to have the energy at the moment to do a full list of best of 2012, so I've revived this, which first appeared on here in 2009.
How many books read in 2012?
I can't actually answer this question, which is interesting in itself because it shows how much my blogging habits have changed since 2009. That year I said I'd read 90 books and I must have reviewed them all. This year, I've reviewed about 60 books but have read, or listened to, a good many more. Audiobooks have become a big feature of my life this year, but I don't write about nearly as many as I listen to. So my answers here will relate mainly to the ones I did review.
How many fiction and non fiction?
I only have on record three non fiction books -- Bill Bryson's A Short History of Private Life (though I see that I didn't actually finish writing the review of that one), DJ Taylor's What You Didn't Miss, and Jonathan Croall's Gielgoodies. And the second two were review copies. So clearly non-fiction is not very important to me.
Male/Female author ratio?
Only about twelve male authors got reviewed this year, which shows that as always I consider my preference to be for women writers. However, the male authors included Henry Green and Patrick Hamilton, both of whom I would count among some of my favourite novelists of all time.
Favourite book of 2012?
This is really hard, as I've read some terrific novels this year -- after all, we had Muriel Spark Week and Beryl Bainbridge Week, and either of them could have provided a winner. But I'm going for Henry Green's Living -- though not my all time favourite of his novels (that would be Loving, read the previous year) it is a truly remarkable piece of writing.
Not sure exactly, but I was very disappointed with Geraldine Brooks' People of the Book, which had come highly recommended by a friend but didn't at all live up to her enthusiastic description.
Any that you simply couldn’t finish and why?
Sadly, that has to be Ford Madox Ford's Parade's End. I was so much looking forward to it -- his The Good Soldier is one of my top rated novels of all time, and I had very much enjoyed the TV adaptation of Parade's End so I was very pleased to get the novel for my birthday. But I just couldn't get into it. I suspect I'll give it another go sometime -- I think perhaps I tried to read it too soon after seeing the TV adaptation?
How many books from the library?
Easy to answer this one -- none, much to my sorrow. It is in fact my only regret in moving to France -- in Oxford, I used to potter round the corner on a regular basis to visit my dear little local library, or plunge into the great Central library in town, which seemed to have everything I ever had a fancy for and much more besides. This lack may possibly change next year as I'm told that the libraries in neighbouring towns do have a selection of English books, though I'm not getting too excited about the probable choice.
Any translated books?
I have to mention here something I'm rather proud of -- I read Agatha Christie's The Murder of Roger Ackroyd translated into French -- Le Meutre de Roger Ackroyd. But I've also consumed quite a lot of Scandinavian crime, of which the 'Martin Beck' novels of Maj Sjohwall and Per Wahloo have to be the best. I've also read Jo Nesbo's Headhunters, and probably one or two other authors I've now forgotten and didn't review.
Most read author of the year, and how many books by that author?
That would be Beryl Bainbridge, I think, whose novels I absolutely loved and was very happy to read as part of BB week. I think I read five of hers, and they were ace.
Probably all of Beryl Bainbridge, as, though I'd of course heard of her I'd never been tempted to try her. So Annabel's launch of BB Week was a brilliant idea, and the first of her novels I read, the aptly named Harriet Said, was a terriific read, as were all the others I then plunged into.
Which books are you annoyed you didn’t read?
Hilary Mantel's Bring Up the Bodies. I've got it as an audio book and really meant to listen to it but have not done so. Of course I still might get to it before the end of the year...
Did you read any books you have always been meaning to read?
I've always meant to read Clayhanger, by Arnold Bennett, and finally got around to it in the early part of this year. I think he is a much underrated novelist, not in fashion at the moment, and I liked the novel a lot.
Anything not covered by these questions?
Yes. I very much enjoyed Kathryn Stockett's The Help, and I've read some superb crime novels this year including Laura Wilson's 'Stratton' series, Sophie Hanna's brilliant Kind of Cruel, and two novels by Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl and Sharp Objects, neither of which I appear to have reviewed for some strange reason as they were extraordinarily good. And last but by no means least, Elizabeth Taylor's Short Stories, which gave me hours and hours of pleasure.