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Old December 31 2012, 11:19 PM   #1
Miss Chicken
Little three legged cat with attitude
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Location: Howrah, Hobart, Tasmania
Books read in 2012

I would appreciate it if people recommended their favourite reads of 2012 rather then just posting a list .

I had planned on reading 100 books but managed only to reach 76.

The fiction books I read were

1) Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins 4/5
2) Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins 4/5
3) Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - Ransom Riggs 3.5/5
4) The Takers - R.W. Ridley 3/5
5) Delon City - R.W. Ridley
6) Into the Wild - Erin Hunter 2.5/5
7) The Hound of the Baskervilles - Arthur Conan Doyle 4.5/5
8) The Drought - J.G. Ballard 2/5
9) The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman 3.5/5
10) The Flatey Enigma - Viktor Arnar Ingolfsson 3.5/5
11) The Eyre Affair - Jasper Fforde 4/5
12) The Giver - Lois Lowry 4/5
13) Lost in a Good Book - Jasper Fforde 4/5
14) A Study in Scarlet - Arthur Conan Doyle 4/5
15) On the Cold Coasts - Vilborg Davidsdottir 3/5
16) The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon 4/5
17) Island Life - William Meikle 3/5
18) Halfway Human - Carolyn Ives Gilman 3/5
19) The Novice’s Tale - Margaret Frazer 4/5
20) Black Skies - Arnaldur Indridason 4/5
21) The Sign of Four - Arthur Conan Doyle 3.5/5
22) The Servant’s Tale - Margaret Frazer 4/5
23) The Valley of Fear - Arthur Conan Doyle 3.5/5
24) The Outlaw’s Tale - Margaret Frazer 3/5
25) The Hitman’s Guide to House Cleaning - Hallgrimur Helgason 4/5
26) The Oriental Casebook of Sherlock Holmes: Nine Adventures from the Lost Years - by Ted Riccardi 3.5/5
27) The Bishop’s Tale - Margaret Frazer 3/5
28) In the Darkness - Karin Fossum 4/5
29) Arthur and George - Julian Barnes 3.5/5
30) The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry - Rachel Joyce 4/5
31) Holmes on the Range - Steve Hockensmith 4/5
32) The Fish Can Sing - Halldor Laxness 5/5
33) Dear Mr Holmes: Seven Holmes on the Range Mysteries - Steve Hockensmith 4/5
34) Season of the Witch - Arni Thorarinsson 3/5
35) Pigeon English - Stephen Kelman 3.5/
36) Life of Pi - Yann Martel 5/5
37) The Glass Collector - Anna Perera 4/5
38) Stone Tree - Gyrdir Eliasson 3.5/5
39) Season of the Rainbirds - Nadeem Aslam 3.5/5
40) The Merry Misogynist - Colin Cotterill 4/5
41) Gregor the Overlander - Suzanne Collins 2.5/5
42) The Boy’s Tale - Margaret Frazer 3.5/5
43) Love Songs from a Shallow Grave - Colin Cotterill 4/5
44) Slash and Burn - Colin Cotterill 4/5
45) From the Mouth of the Whale – Sjon 4/5
46) Petrified - Barbara Nadel 4/5
47) The Last Brother - Nathacha Appanah 4/5
48) The One Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared – Jonas Jonasson 3.5/5
My favourite of these was, by far, The Fish Can Sing by Icelandic Nobel Prize winner Halldor Laxness. It is a beautifully written book set in the early in the 20th century in Iceland. It is about a young boy Álfgrímur, and his adoptive grandparents and the community of misfits and eccentrics that live with them in their house. I absolutely adored the grandfather and the grandmother in this story.

Another Icelandic novel I enjoyed was The Hitman's Guide to House Cleaning. A Croatian hitman working in New York finds himsellf on the run. He ends up in Iceland after killing and taking the identity of an American televangelist. He finds Iceland and its people bewildering..

I also loved "Life of Pi" but I don't think I need to summarise it because it is a well known novel.

1) The Boy in the Box: The Unsolved Case of America's Unknown Child - David Stout 3/5
2) The Girl Who Was on Fire (Your Favorite Authors on Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games Trilogy) - Leah Wilson et al 3/5
3) Barbie and Ruth - Robin Gerber 3.5/5
4) Sherlock Holmes for Dummies 4/5
5) Txtng: The Gr8 Db8 - David Crystal 4.5
6) Island of the Lost: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World - Joan Cruet 4.5/5
7) Australian Book of Disasters - Larry Writer 2/5
8) Over the Edge of the World - Laurence Bergreen 4/5
9) They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky: The Story of Three Lost Boys from Sudan - Benjamin Ajak et al. 4/5
10) Call the Midwife: A True Story of the East End in the 1950s - Jennifer Worth 4/5
11) An Athropologist on Mars - Oliver Sacks 4/5
12) Shadows Of The Workhouse: The Drama Of Life In Postwar London - Jennifer Worth 3.5/5
13) Farewell to the East End - Jennifer Worth 3.5/5
14) Get Me Out: A History of Childbirth from the Garden of Eden to the Sperm Bank - Randi Hutter Epstein 3/5
15) 100 Cats Who Changed Civilization: History's Most Influential Felines - Sam Stall 3/5
16) Bending the Willow: Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes - David Stuart Davies 4.5/5
17) The Science of Sherlock Holmes - EJ Wagner 4/5
18) Rabbit Stew and a Penny or Two: A Gypsy Family Hard Times and Happy Times on the Road in the 1950s - Maggie Smith Bendell 4/5
19) 1788: The Brutal Truth of the First Fleet - David Hill 4/5
20) Forbidden Signs: American Culture and the Campaign Against Sign Language - Douglas C Baynton 3.5/5
21) Lighter Shades of Grey: a (very) critical reader's guide to Fifty Shades of Grey - Cassandra Parkin 4/5
22) Everyone Here Spoke Sign Language: Hereditary Deafness on Martha's Vineyard -Nora Ellen Groce 4/5
23) The Fossil Hunter: Dinosaurs, Evolution, and the Woman Whose Discoveries Changed the World - Shelley Emling 3/5
24) The Glass Castle - Jeannette Walls 3.5/5
25) Forgotten Bookmarks: A Bookseller's Collection of Odd Things Lost Between the Pages - Michael Popek 3.5/5
26) Talking Hands: What Sign Language Reveals About the Mind by Margalit Fox 5/5
27) 50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God by Guy P Harrison 3.5/5
28) The Cross in the Closet by Timothy Kurek 2/5
MY favourite non-fiction reads were

**Talking Hands: What Sign Language Reveals About the Mind by Margalit Fox.

Margalit Fox is a journalist who has a master's degree in linguistics. She accompanies a linguistics team to an isolated Bedouin village in Israel. The village had been found seven generations before by a deaf Egyptian and his Palestinian wife. Two of the couple's sons inherited the recessive gene for deafness.

Three generation ago, after numerous cousin marriages, the hereditary deafness resurfaced with 10 children born deaf in that generation. Those children and their families started to create a new language which they passed onto the next generation. Now there are about 150 deaf people in a village with a total population of 3000.

This language, known as Al-Sayyid Bedouin Sign Language (ABSL) is one of the world's newest language and is of great interest to linguists as it is a key to how language started and how our minds are programmed for language.

Island of the Lost: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World - Joan Cruet

In 1864 two different crews are shipwrecked on different sides of Auckland Island south of New Zealand. Because an impassable ridge separate the two crews they are unaware of each other presence through the whole of their ordeals.

One crew has good leadership and the men pull together to survive. Luckily this crew are able to salvage items from their wreckage.

The second crew has poor leadership. Their captain becomes catatonic after the shipwreck. The only man who seemed to have the skills and drive needed to survive is one of the common seamen and the officers are not willing to let him take control. This crew also do not have the luxury of a wrecked boat close to shore and there are few seals on their side of the island.

Bending the Willow: Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes by David Stuart Davies. Excellent book that looks at the 10 years Jeremy spent playing the role of Sherlock Holmes, including his battle with manic depression (bipolar order) and heart disease.

Last edited by Miss Chicken; December 31 2012 at 11:40 PM.
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