The Literary Hoarder's "Back and Looking Forward To" List for 2012

By now we’ve read every Best of 2011 List out there, and while we have lists we could make for that, we thought we would each take a moment and compile the list that we wanted to get to in 2011, but just didn’t fit in. Terrible we know, but damn those 9-2-5 jobs!  Was it a banner year for books or what? Below is the list that we really should get to for 2012, and some of those we’re itching to get our fingers on as well. This did take some thought and time we supposed, as our “To Read” lists are ridiculous. And we’re certain the list doesn’t contain everything! When can we devote all of our days to reading?

Penny’s List:

Where to begin?! First up, I pre-ordered two books so I’m definitely needing to get to those two:

  1. The Time in Between, by Maria Duenas
  2. The Snow Child, by Eowyn Ivey

After finishing “The Girl With…” series by Steig Larsson, many other Scandinavian authors starting popping up with “The Next Steig” imprinted on their covers. The three most intriguing to me, and the three authors I purchased books from were Jo Nesbo, Lars Kepler and Camilla Lackberg. Therefore, I need to get to these three that I purchased and are waiting patiently for me on my Kobo:

  1. The Snowman, by Jo Nesbo
  2. The Hypnotist, by Lars Kepler
  3. The Hidden Child, by Camilla Lackberg

I discovered Maisie Dobbs in 2011, and I need to finish her last two in the series before she goes and releases a new one!

  1. The Mapping of Love and Death, Jacqueline Winspear
  2. A Lesson in Secrets, Jacqueline Winspear

Continuing in the Maisie Dobbs theme, The Bookclub Girl is doing a read-a-long with the Bess Crawford series by Charles Todd. I own those and they are also patiently waiting for me. Bookclub Girl will start the read-a-long in March, I believe, leading up to the release of the 4th and new Bess Crawford in the series in June. I’m really looking forward to participating in this, as this will be the first time I actively participate in a read-a-long. Bookclub Girl features some very interesting read-a-long challenges and again, I do look forward to the discussion(s) and conversation(s) with fellow enthusiasts.

And more Downton Abbey is coming! Season 2! Woot! I am thoroughly addicted. There are a few books that remind me strongly of Downton Abbey, but perhaps the one I keep my eyes peeled for is Broken Music by Marjoie Eccles.

If I don’t read the Mist of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley, I’m certain I will lose a dear friend, one who continuously rolls her eyes when she sees I’m STILL not reading it! At 1,000 pages, it’s going to take some time, but honestly, I should read it this year!

As for what is to come in 2012? Sigh, it gives me anxiety knowing books will be released in 2012 that I could not possibly ignore and will of course add to the tower of books waiting for me, both at home, on my Kobo and at the library. John Irving is publishing a new one in 2012, that for certain will be added. Hey Pat Conroy? You got anything? We waited so long for South of Broad, which I read in one sitting, that I’m going through withdrawal again. I am looking forward to Arcadia by Lauren Groff as well. Her Monsters of Templeton is one of my all time favs, so I’m hoping and praying for good things with Arcadia! There are many! I’ll have to do an addendum to this post I suppose.

And at this point, I’ve only been seeing list after list of what’s coming in 2012 and my piles are teetering some more! Big fat sigh!

But thanks to Netgalley, I was able to read Elizabeth George’s new one, Believing the Lie before its January publication, so I get to cross that off the list! :-)

Elizabeth’s List:

My “wanted to read in 2011” list included many books that were published last year… and before.  Yes, that snapshot is a smattering of the books that I could not get to before the end of December.  I’m coping with my guilt well, I think.  I’ve also toyed with the thought of giving up sleep.  Seems rational.

Some of the treasures from this list that are at the top of the current ‘to read’ pile include:

  1. Bride of New France by Suzanne Desrochers
  2. Emily, Alone by Stuart O’Nan
  3. Fall of Giants by Ken Follett
  4. The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler
  5. Nightwoods by Charles Frazier

Truthfully, this could stretch for miles.  Now that I’m looking at this list…. what about Jo Nesbo’s Snowman?  Chris Bohjalian’s Night Strangers?  Camilla Lackberg’s The Preacher?  So many brilliant authors… too many to count.

Now that I’ve mentioned my to-reads… I would like to mention a few highlights from last year.  Skippy Dies by Paul Murray.  Stole my heart, and will remain in my overall top 10 forever.  Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks was historical and heartfelt.  I will not soon forget that tale.  The Tower, The Zoo, and the Tortoise by Julia Stuart is nothing short of a treasure, which will make you laugh out loud, and then ache with compassion.  Sister by Rosamund Lupton will grab a hold of you, and won’t let you go until you turn the last page.  The clever and quirky Summer of the Bear by Bella Pollen made me want to read everything she ever wrote.  And last but far from least, The Time in Between by Maria Dueñas, which was nothing short of brilliant espionage.

Shall I briefly mention my biggest disappointments?  The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern kicks off this list.  Huge marketing machine… for a book that should have been categorized as YA.  A promising plot quickly dissolved into a contrived, silly romp.  The Cat’s Table by Michael Ondaatje was widely acclaimed, and that really left me scratching my head.  I found it to be disjointed, and cold.  Lastly, The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman, which turned out to be about a series of truly unlikeable characters.  Sorry, but no thanks.

In 2012, there are several titles that I’m waiting for with huge anticipation (and expectation!).  If you’re a Literary Hoarder, you wait for these release dates like Twilight fans wait for the next movie.  (Do not get me started on vampire trends.)  I’ve mentioned before that I can’t wait for Rosamund Lupton’s April release of Afterwards.  After reading Sister, I’m sure this will be a great second novel!  Thanks to Netgalley, I’m currently reading The Last Romanov, with review pending (another April release).  There is a great deal of Romanov activity out there, and I’m thrilled to see it!  Speaking of which, Catherine the Great will be another must read this year.  (It was actually released at the end of 2011, but what the heck… I’m putting it here anyway.)  I’m also very anxious to get my hands on The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey, which will be available on February 1st.

I hope that some of these books are released sooner than scheduled.  If not, I’ll have nothing to read.

Jackie’s List:

So many books, so little time!!! Yes, as we have said many times– if only reading paid the bills! 2011 definitely was a great year for books!

2011 books to get to:

  1. Rules of Civility – Amor Towles (just got the audio download from the library!! YIPPEE!)
  2. The Night Strangers – Chris Bohjalian (really excited about reading a new Bohjalian)
  3. Moondogs – Alexander Yates (highly recommended by the Opinionless Book Club)
  4. Townie – Andre Dubus III (after hearing the interview with him on Writers and Company i just really want to read it– what an interesting guy! Plus i loved House of Sand and Fog!)
  5. The Hypnotist – Lars Kepler (like Penny– excited for the Swedes!)
Books that have been hanging around FOREVER:
  1. White Teeth – Zadie Smith (my cousin’s book borrowed about 4 years ago now!!)
  2. The Museum of Innocence – Orman Pamuk (i just got this one this year but it has been on my to read forever– brings back memories of Turkiye!!)
  3. The Women – T.C. Boyle (i got this one after finishing Loving Frank to see what the dude got up to after Mamah and haven’t got to it yet!)
  4. Through Black Spruce – Joseph Boyden (i promptly got the hardcover of this one after reading his 3 Day Road which was an excellent read! this is the sequel)
  5. A Fine Balance – Rinton Mistery (WOW!! it is just SOOOO BIG!!)
Books i have started but haven’t finished (yet):
  1. The Source – James Michener (this is my mom’s favourite book of all times (she is also an avid reader!). i can’t believe i have not finished this one– it is so interesting so far!)
  2. The Lacuna – Barbara Kingsolver (not the first one i haven’t finished by this author– couldn’t finish Poisonwood Bible either.)
  3. Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand (PLEASE don’t tell Anthony!!)
  4. The Blind Assassin – Margaret Atwood (not a fan of the Atwood unfortunately!)
  5. The Glass Palace – Amitav Ghosh (my friend who has great taste in books got it for me about 5 years ago and i have tried to finish it twice! maybe this year!)
Excited for 2012:

well, i haven’t really heard of much more than the ones already mentioned by my fellow Hoarders but there is one that i, personally, will definitely be anxiously waiting for… Duran Duran bass-god John Taylor will be releasing his autobiography in the fall!!! ooooh! i feel 13 again!!!