Given that this is the fourth installment of my annual reading list, I think it’s safe to call it a “long-standing tradition” at this point. As I do every year, I’ll share my yearly reading list with you, My Faithful Readers, and set a reading goal for the year ahead.
Last year, I raised the bar yet again and vowed to read 25 books; a feat I accomplished thanks to a flurry of end-of-the-year reading activity after months of sitting in neutral.
As is the case pretty much every year, you’ll note a lot of the usual suspects: Stephen King books, zombie books, baseball books, and wrestling books.
Without any further ado, here is this year’s list of books (in chronological order):
The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta
The Visible Man by Chuck Klosterman
Talking to Girls About Duran Duran: One Young Man’s Quest for True Love and a Cooler Haircut by Rob Sheffield
The Postmortal by Drew Magary
The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
Another Bullshit Night in Suck City by Nick Flynn
Punching Tom Hanks: Dropkicking Gorillas and Pummeling Zombified Ex-Presidents—a Guide to Beating Up Anything by Kevin Seccia
Dead: Revelations (Dead, #2) by T.W. Brown
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
After the Apocalypse by Maureen McHugh
Assholes Finish First by Tucker Max
Zombie Spaceship Wasteland by Patton Oswalt
Dead Inside: Do Not Enter: Notes from the Zombie Apocalypse by Lost Zombies
One Fall by Spencer Baum
Sex, Lies, and Headlocks: The Real Story of Vince McMahon and the World Wrestling Federation by Shaun Assael
Calico Joe by John Grisham
Heartbreak & Triumph: The Shawn Michaels Story by Shawn Michaels
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Zombies by Matt Mogk
Ric Flair: To Be the Man by Ric Flair
Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling by Bret Hart
The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t by Robert Sutton
Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best… and Learn from the Worst by Robert Sutton
How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You by Matthew Inman
What to Do When You Become the Boss: How New Managers Become Successful Managers by Bob Selden
Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know by Jill Geisler
The Death of WCW: WrestleCrap and Figure Four Weekly Present . . . by R.D. Reynolds
Ringside: A History of Professional Wrestling in America by Scott M. Beekman
Rage by Richard Bachman/Stephen King
The Long Walk by Richard Bachman/Stephen King
All-in-all, I plowed through 29 books in 2012.
Not too shabby if I do say so myself…and I do, because this is my blog and that’s kinda what I do here.
Admittedly, of those 29, not all were winners. I read some serious duds this past year, so in an attempt to keep all y’all from suffering the same fate, I’m going to give you a heads up about what did and did not suck with my quick ranking of the best and worst of what I read in 2012:
Three Favorite Books of the Year:
- The Postmortal was awesome and had me flipping pages like a maniac.
- Ready Player One was surprisingly good for a futuristic/sci-fi/video-gamey kinda thing. Not normally my style, but I dug it.
- The Long Walk was very good and very haunting. Definitely worth a read, even if you’re not a King fan.
Three Least Favorite Books of the Year:
- Ric Flair: To Be the Man was a seriously disappointing book. Ric Flair is the greatest wrestler of all-time, but his book came off as nothing but a written collection of a bitter old man’s ramblings.
- The Art of Fielding was a good, but not great book…and then it went on for another 100+ pages. In doing so it quickly became very, very meh. I liked the idea, but it needed to not take itself so seriously and pump the brakes far earlier than it did.
- After the Apocalypse was riddled with typos and poor editing and most of the stories were all sizzle and no steak.
While I’d love to do what I’ve done every other year and raise the bar for 2013’s reading goal, but I can’t imagine that’s a good idea. As evidenced by my complete and utter lack of output here at BS&BP in recent months, my life has gotten just a wee-bit hectic after getting my sought-after promotion back in late September. As such, I think I’m going to stick with last year’s already lofty (for my standards) goal of 25 books for the upcoming calendar year.
I’ve got a slew of management books that I’ve been meaning to read for months now—apparently my waiting on the books to magically deposit their knowledge in my head has been for naught—and I’m on a mini-mission to plow through all of Stephen King’s infamous “Bachman Books” over the next couple of months, so I’ve got a decent pile of reading material to get me started.
If you’re interested in following my reading progress all year long (and who isn’t?), you can add me as a friend or buddy or amigo or whatever the hell it is over at Goodreads.com.
Until next year, happy reading.