Bookgasm 2012

stormofswordsTo your right is my Best Read 2012 Edition. Because the murders are horrific, the characters wicked, the plot complex. Not-for-the-faint-of-heart stuff. The whole book is a big fat middle finger to anything formulaic.

For this year, it’s 20 books/ebooks, more or less 15 magazines (mostly Rolling Stone), zero comics (not proud of this) — and two significant developments: my  gore-soaked introduction to the fantasy genre, and my acceptance of ebooks as a legit format rather than Jeff Bezos’ racket to sucker us into buying his Kindle (I ended up buying his Kindle).

It was a wild ride. In 12 months I’ve been to Afghanistan at the height of the Taliban rule, to Texas playing Sherlock Holmes with a dude named Kinky, to the highly fortified NASA compound in Houston plotting the most audacious heist in history, even to the Booya Moon, where it’s always bad at night and there’s evil laughter in the woods. And more. Wherever it was, it was always exactly where I wanted to be.

Looking forward to the adventures of 2013.

Photo courtesy of Dennis “The Ill Diablo” Mendoza.

Bookgasm 2011

My life with the printed word in 2011: 21 books/ebooks, 15 magazines, two comics. Not bad, really, considering that I have a job that occupies most of my waking hours, and am also a full-time family man on the side. I just wish I hit the 30-books-a-year target, or have purchased fewer books than what I’ve actually read. (Booksale, you da devil, man.)

Looking at my list, I see that six books got my  highest five-star rating. Naturally, I have to pick my Top 3 from these, which are: 3. The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich 2. Demon Box by Ken Kesey 1. The Proud Highway: The Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman by Hunter S. Thompson.

I’d love to elaborate on why these three made it to the top of the heap this year, particularly on why HST ruled them all, but it’s the afternoon of Dec. 31 and the household is busy preparing for tonight’s media noche and I don’t feel comfortable sitting on my ass here in front of the laptop hammering this swill when I can lend a hand to my wife. So I’ll end this now and hope to come up with much improved numbers by next year-end. Things look good: I’m starting 2012 with George R.R. Martin’s “A Game of Thrones,” the first in the five-book series A Song of Ice and Fire. The HBO series based on the first book was actually one of the best things that happened to me this year.