Happy New Year from Shaggin the Muse and my 2012 Booklist

Wow, so this is the second New Years Eve for this site. I’m planning a 2012 in review post for later this week, but for now I can just say that 2012 was a great year for my career. I published a second novel and a plethora of short works and attended my first show. I managed to crank out half a million words. More than that, I began to get my legs under me and figure out what I’d like to see out of the next few years. Next year I’ll be releasing a short story collection and another novel and attending a few shows, with an April show already confirmed. More information coming on those in the near future. For now, I just feel that I have some decent momentum going into 2013.

I hope you’ve had a great year and have a lot to look forward to next year. We only get so many of them and as I get older I realize just how important it is to do the most you can with the time you have. Yeah, I know that’s something of a cliche, but it begins to settle into your bones as you approach middle age, that’s for sure.

Now, enough of that. It’s booklist time! This year I set a goal to read 60 books (up from last year’s 50). That meant I would have to read, on average, more than a book a week. I hadn’t done that in many, many years and wasn’t sure if I would make it. I’m happy to report that I’ve exceeded that goal, hitting 64, which means I’ll probably keep my goal static next year. Let’s see what I read…




Stolen Climates



i am mordred

  • I Am Mordred: A Tale of Camelot by Nancy Springer – Finished 08/21/2012. An interesting take on Mordred. It inspired me to maybe re-examine his tale in my own way.
  • The Hall of Nearly Great by various authors – Finished 08/27/2012. Fantastic baseball book. Highly recommended.
  • The Dark Tower VII: 7 by Stephen King – Finished 09/11/2012. A year later, I finally get through my third re-read of the series.
  • The Last Policeman: A Novel by Ben H. Winters – Finished 09/14/2012. A policeman trying to solve a crime in the shadow of an impending asteroid strike. Quite an interesting tale.
  • Pig Island by Mo Hayder – Finished 09/20/2012.
  • Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend: A Novel by Matthew Dicks – Finished 09/21/2012. This one ranks up there with Room. Definitely worth your time.




And that’s that for this year! Any suggestions for next year? Feel free to comment or drop me a line. What did you read? Any standouts?

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  1. Happy New Year, Jonathan! This is an amazing list. Sixty books means more than one a week, and I’m really impressed.

    I am making my way through Minette Walters’ oeuvre of crime thrillers, and recommend giving THE SHAPE OF SNAKES a read.The narrator blatantly knows more than has been revealed to the reader, and that makes the read maddeningly tantalizing. As a writer, I’m fascinated by the skill it takes to pull that off and still have a readable book.


    • Happy New Year! Thanks 🙂 It helps a LOT to listen to audiobooks, I can tell you that. I also read two or three books at a time.

      Oooh, I’m interested in checking that book out. Adding it to my list!

  2. Quite a diverse list! Happy New Year!

  3. Hot damn! You’ve read some books in just one day (and those weren’t short novels). You put my past year’s reading list to shame. Thanks for inspiring me to make my reading list for this year a lot longer.

    I definitely agree with your assessment on the zombie works. World War Z was overrated IMHO. It was a good and well-written book, and the interview format was a welcomed change (btw, the audio book had one hell of an ensemble). But I felt like Brooks kept banging me on the head with the morality hammer and constantly whining with an overtly political rant, elements I hate, hate, HATE in a book (regardless of whether I agree or disagree with them).

    However, I really like “The Walking Dead” comic books. Mainly because I love a story with great characters and Kirkman focuses more on the human condition than blood and guts. Also, if you liked the comic book, I’d highly recommend Telltale’s “The Walking Dead” video game (which is about a great original story rather than butchering up zombies). I’d be interested in hearing your opinion of that game.

    • Yep you nailed it on World War Z, and in general I even agreed with some of its politics. I just hate when that becomes a weapon that the author brandishes. Yeah, the interview format was interesting, but it wore thin pretty quickly and I couldn’t help but wish that I was “witnessing those events first-hand”, if that makes sense. It put a layer between the reader and the action.

      Hah, funny you mention the game, I’m working my way through it now and it’s fantastic. I realize that a lot of the decisions I’ve made are illusions of choice, but I care about them all the same, and Clementine is the first character I can remember really caring about in a video game in quite some time. Good stuff.

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