- Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures / Straub, Emma
- The Middlesteins/ Attenberg, Jami
- A White Wind Blew /Markert, James
- The Hobbit/ Tolkien, J.R.R. (re-read)
- The Movement of Stars: A Novel/ Brill, Amy
- Who by Fire: A Novel by Diana Spechler
- Wherever You Go: A Novel / Leegant, Joan
- The Gods of Heavenly Punishment: A Novel / Epstein, Jennifer Cody
- Moving Waters /Rosett, Racelle
- A Wedding in Great Neck /McDonough, Yona Zeldis
- The Fun Parts/ Lipsyte, Sam
- The Casual Vacancy /Rowling, J.K.
- Nicholas Nickleby / Dickens, Charles
- Penelope /Harrington, Rebecca
- How to Be a Woman /Moran, Caitlin
- Silver Sparrow /Jones, Tayari
- How Should a Person Be? /Heti, Sheila
- The Custom of the Country /Wharton, Edith
- Seating Arrangements/ Shipstead, Maggie
- Gone Girl /Flynn, Gillian
- Blood Red Road (Dust Lands, #1) /Young, Moira
- Wolf Hall (Wolf Hall, #1) /Mantel, Hilary
- Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail /Strayed, Cheryl
- Blueprints for Building Better Girls: Fiction /Schappell, Elissa
- Daughters-in-Law /Trollope, Joanna
- Deadlocked (Sookie Stackhouse, #12) /Harris, Charlaine
- Shadow Tag /Erdrich, Louise
- Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1)/ James, E.L.
- The Temple Of My Familiar /Walker, Alice
- The Wife /Wolitzer, Meg
- Cat’s Eye/ Atwood, Margaret
- Love Marriage: A Novel /Ganeshananthan, V.V.
- The Master Blaster/ Kluge, P.F.
- Death Comes to Pemberley/ James, P.D.
- The Girl Who Fell from the Sky /Durrow, Heidi W.
In reverse chronological order, below, find 33 novels/story collections and two nonfiction memoirs/manifestos.
In retrospect, this list leans heavily towards contemporary “literary fiction” by women. It’s in reverse, so if you study it carefully from the bottom up you can see I went through a “contemporary Jewish women’s lit” phase with an embedded “Israel extremist tales of woe” subset, a “hot books you must.read.now” phase and my early year “fuck white men” phase, inspired by reading Jeffrey Eugenides during the holiday season of 2011.
And also of course there are a few more frothy selections—not guilty, just pleasures—in there.
Not my best year ever, but a decent showing! I also read a very healthy handful of selections from the Pen/O’Henry stories and the Best American stories. Speaking of short stories, one thing I started doing this year which is cool is using instapaper to save stories from litmags like Hunger Mountain, the Paris Review, Joyland, Electric Literature, Tablet and elsewhere, and read them during odd moments. So though it’s not reflected here, my short story quotient I think went way up in 2012.