This past year was the first in a long time that I got in some quality time for myself by reading some good books. Most of this "reading" happened listening to audiobooks from Audible.com as I spent 2.5-3 hours commuting to Malibu from Redondo Beach everyday for work, and was my way of redeeming what otherwise might be considered lost time. I still do a lot of reading the old-fashioned way, of course, but even since September I find myself listening to audiobooks frequently while doing chores or taking walks with Liam around the neighborhood. So, what books made my 2012 reading list? Here they are, in no particular order:
11-22-63: A Novel (Stephen King)
I am no fan of Stephen King, but the time travel premise of this book combined with the historical angle of President Kennedy's assassination convinced me to give this book a try. I did not regret it.
A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast For Crows (George R. R. Martin)
In 2011 I started the Game of Thrones fantasy series, and this year I nearly made it through all of them--I have just one more left...
No Higher Honor (Condoleezza Rice)
This choice revealed the hardcore historian in me. Anyone who is not into history and politics would not enjoy this (very long) read, so if you're not a history lover and you don't want to sleep, I recommend leaving this one alone.
Drift (Rachel Maddow)
Again, more hardcore history and politics. Although Maddow is a far more engaging and entertaining writer than Rice, this is not a causal read for the uninitiated.
Big Leagues, Curveball (Jen Estes)
These two cozy mysteries about a young female sportswriter were on my list because the author is from my hometown. A little baseball mixed with malice domestic--fun, quick reads, even for a busy working mom.
Calculating God (Robert J. Sawyer)
Like 11-22-63 this book provided an intriguing combination of two subjects I am very interested in--space exploration and museums. The premise of the book is that an alien lands at the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada in order to consult with a paleontologist and learn about the history and development of life on earth. The twist? The alien civilization has studied the universe through science and has concluded that science points to a Creator--i.e. God. The story is told from the point of view of the ROM paleontologist who, as an earthly scientist, has studied science and reached the exact opposite conclusion. This book was one of the most enjoyable sci-fi reads I've had in a long time, and if you like sci-fi I highly recommend it.
The Bone Bed (Patricia Cornwell)
I've been reading Patricia Cornwell's books since I was a teenager, and as a long-time fan of the Kay Scarpetta series, I wouldn't miss out on a new release. The series is as strong as ever, and if you like forensic thrillers, you can't go wrong with Scarpetta.